Trojan War Myth or Reality?

Did the city of Troy really exist? Is the Trojan War myth or military reality? And what about that giant horse?

In the Greek poem The Iliad, the basis for Troy, Prince Paris of Troy steals the gorgeous Helen, of Greece, from her husband, King Menelaus. The act brings the two nations to war, and eventually Greeks led by the warrior Achilles lay siege to Troy. The poet Homer probably wrote the epic several hundred years after the war is supposed to have taken place. Much of it is no doubt fantasy. No evidence that Achilles or Helen exist.

Not single Event
Archaeologists who have been digging into the myth of Homer's poem believe the legendary war may have been a process rather than a single event. Eric Cline cline said Trojan war or wars took place, and that Homer chose to write about one or more of them by making it into a great ten-year-long saga.

Nine Cities of Troy
Archeologists who dig the placed said to be troy say , the site contains nine cities built on top of each other. There is a citadel in the middle and a town around it. A high wall fortified the town.
Eager to find the legendary treasures of Troy, Schliemann blasted his way down to the second city, where he found what he believed were the jewels that once belonged to Helen. As it turns out, the jewels were a thousand years older than the time described in Homer's epic.

Today archaeologists believe that the sixth and seventh oldest cities found in layers at Hisarlik are the best candidates for the Troy of The Iliad. Resplendent and strong, city number six looks like Homer's Troy. The problem is that this city's destruction in 1250 B.C. does not appear to have been caused by war but an earthquake.

Homer Clue
In The Iliad, the Greeks breach the city walls by hiding inside a giant horse, which they present as a gift to the Trojans. The Trojan horse could have been a metaphor for Poseidon, a god associated with horses who was both the god of the seas and earthquakes. "The suggestion is that Homer knew that the city he was describing had been destroyed by an earthquake," Cline said. "But that's not how you want to end your monumental saga—with a whimper. So he concocted this idea of a Trojan horse."

The seventh oldest city at the site, on the other hand, fits the description of a city under siege and destroyed by war in 1175 B.C. Archaeologists have found arrowheads in the streets. But the city itself was not as grand as the one described by Homer. cline said Homer may have taken the description of Troy 6 and the destruction of Troy 7, and, using poetic license, blurred the two into one ten-year-long war. But these are the words of people who have already agreed to trojan war and are searching for evidence.

Sea People
In the late Bronze Age, Troy, if located at the Hisarlik site, would have been a great prize for power-hungry kings. Perched at the entrance to the Black Sea, the city would have been at an international crossroads. The Greek Mycenaean empire would have lain to the west. The Hittite empire, which stretched from Mesopotamia to Syria, would have been to the east. As for its great wealth, Troy may have acquired that by taxing seafarers traveling into the Black Sea.
One theory suggests that the lesser known Sea Peoples wrecked Troy. Originally from what is now Italy, the Sea Peoples swept across the Mediterranean Sea from west to east. According to inscriptions found in Egypt, this group came through Troy at the time of the Trojan War, around 1200 B.C.

Hittites and Greece
Yet another theory, supported by ancient Hittite texts, suggests an intermittent, 200-year conflict that raged between the Hittite empire and a rebel coalition that included Troy. In this text, the Mycenaeans of Greece actually allied themselves with the Trojans against the Hittites. Archaeologists have found Mycenaean pottery in Troy 6, supporting the suggestion that the two nations were allies.

The least plausible explanation, most archaeologists agree, is that the Trojan War was fought over Helen, described by Homer as the most beautiful woman in the world. However, there is a historical precedent for a war being fought over an injustice done to a king. In the 14th century B.C., the Hittite king received a letter from the Egyptian queen. She said her husband had died and asked the Hittite king if he could send a son for her to marry. The Hittite eventually agreed and sent one of his sons. On his way to Egypt, however, the prince was killed. Believing the Egyptians killed him, the Hittites declared war on Egypt.

If the Hittites and the Egyptians could go to war in the 14th century over the son of the king, why wouldn't the Mycenaeans and Trojans go to war less than a hundred years later because the king's wife has been kidnapped? Cline asked. "One can't really rule out that it was fought over Helen, but at the moment we don't have any supporting data for that."

Romantic History
One thing is clear: The wars seem to have ended an age. "Homer is writing a memory of the end of the world," said Diane Thompson, author of The Trojan War: Literature and Legend from the Bronze Age to the Present. "Nostalgia fuels his writing, and it has fueled it ever since."

When the Roman poet Virgil in the first century B.C. rewrote Homer's story in his own classic The Aeneid, he turned the Greeks into scruffy villains and described the Trojans as beautiful losers who went on to found the Roman Empire. Through the ages, European people clung to this version—many of them tracing their ancestry back to Troy.

 Is Troy True? The Evidence Behind Movie Myth by Stefan Lovgren
National Geographic News May 14, 2004

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  1. Vow!! what a beautifully written love story ended in such a tragedy. People still believe its trueness unless they read this informative article.

  2. I'm thinking about using your opinion for my research project on the Trojan War (Myth/Reality) and I just wanted to make sure this was indeed your words and your opinion. As I need to know if I need to acknowledge external references.

    Reply ASAP,
    thanks in advance.

  3. My Articles are collection of information on the Net.The Information is widely available on the net.

    You can find more in the article for this topic

    Is Troy True? The Evidence Behind Movie Myth by
    Stefan Lovgren
    National Geographic News
    May 14, 2004

  4. May I respectfully suggest that National geographic may not be a good source for information.

    You all seem like research oriented people.

    Find out who owns National Geographic and start your learning there.

  5. Thanks for the comment Adam

    National Geographic not be a good source for Information ?. I don't care. What I care is good information. As far as the Trojan Horse myths are concerned. The information is good and the researcher has done good analysis. Another article by the same author or the magazine. I will not blindly follow.

  6. Its all fake . . .
    Wht I think is that, There was no trojan war in any history . .
    Homer may have heard the stories of Mahabharat, and just by making some fake ideas, created a story for his own . .
    There are a lot of similarities between Mhaabharat and Trojan War . .
    Check it out, or else send me mail . .

  7. You are entitled to your opinion senhiten, I am entitled to mine.

    No body knows the truth, so everybody is into putting their views and their own spin into it. There are large vested interests there to profit from the images they put on about homer and his works.

    Today the situation is so complex, that even Homer cannot clarify. If everbody is ready to trust him

  8. folks - Troy is Ramayana !!. Rama (Agmemnon) & Ravana (Priam) are stories of 2 South Dravidian Kingdoms. This war was triggered when Ravana kidnaps the wife of Rama.

    The story of the Victor is Ramayana - Rama/Agmemnon is God here. The story by the defeated is Troy - Lanka version of Ramayana - Ravana/Priam is God here.

    The story lines are Identical (except for some minor changes), - Troy & Lanka are protected by Invincible walls & Invincible princes (Hector/Indrajit). Hector kills Achilles (in the form of patroclas), Indrajit kills Lakshmana. Both come back from the dead (Patroclas dies in the armor of Achilles, Lakshmana is killed on the battlefield & revived by the Gods to fight again) to kill hector/Indrajit.

    Both Achilles/Lakshmana worship the gods & wear the divine shield before fighting Hector/Lakshmana. etc..

    you have to be invited into the city otherwise you cannot break it. It is protected by the Gods. Hence in the case of Ramayana, the brother of Ravana (priam) invites Rama (Agmemnon) & he uses a flying chariot to enter Lanka, in the case of Troy, the trojan horse is used.

    endless similarities. Illiad & Odeyssey are based on Ramayana & Mahabarata.


    1. There are too many differences also.
      Main one. Sita is Kidnapped
      while troy is a love story

  9. Hey, very well written, I was wondering if You had the URL to the article you read? I'm doing a project on the trojan war.

    1. Unfortunately No, the url stopped working after I started working on this article. So I have given the details of the article earlier on the comment.

      Is Troy True? The Evidence Behind Movie Myth by
      Stefan Lovgren
      National Geographic News
      May 14, 2004

  10. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.


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