Much of our perception of history is influenced by the artists who have drawn and painted scenes from out of the past. This is the second in a series in which Deadliest Blogger looks at historical armies and warriors through the images artists have given us.
The Trojan War was a seminal event in both Greek and Roman history and legend; and few episodes in Classical mythology have attracted more attention from artists, writers, or filmmakers than this famous war.
In their immortal tales the epic poets Homer and Virgil describe the ten-year war between the Greeks and the Trojans; and the wanderings of the Trojan hero Aeneas and the refugees from Troy to Italy. While these tales were accepted as history by both the Greeks and the Romans; post-renaissance scholars largely dismissed them as myth. It was not till the work of archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who did the initial excavations at both Hisarlik in Turkey (site of ancient Troy) and at Mycenae that the underlying truth behind the legends began to emerge. Since Schliemann, continuing archaeology has confirmed and expanded our knowledge of events first described by Homer. We now know that the site of Troy was continuously occupied over many centuries, and archaeologists have uncovered not one city, but many; each built on the ruins of the previous.
Most scholars and archaeologists agree that Troy VII was the Troy of Homer.
The world of Homer’s heroes (as well as the other heroes of Greek “mythology”) was that of the late Bronze Age. Most scholars now place the Trojan War somewhere between 1260 BC and 1120 BC. This was a world…