Troy

Last Updated: 6th Jun 2012

trojan horse

The site of what is almost certainly the ancient city of Troy sits across the Dardanelles Straights from Gallipoli in Turkey.

Troy was one of the most powerful city states of the ancient world. It went through many different incarnations on the same site but earned it’s legendary place in history as the site of the epic Trojan War between the armies of Troy and the masses of the combined Greek states.

The war, according to legend, ended after years of siege when the Greeks evacuated leaving behind a wooden horse. The jubilant Trojans took the horse inside the walls of their city and in the hangover after the celebration, Greeks, who had been hiding inside the horse, broke out and opened the gates to the waiting Greek Army who destroyed the city and it’s population.

The legends and myths that surround this city grew with the antiquity and would have been lost along with the city had it not been for the writings of the Homer in the Iliad.

Troy was believed to be simply a myth until the site was uncovered 1870’s by the German archaeologist Schliemann who used the clues found in the Iliad to locate the now excavated city. Schliemann’s use of Homers writings in his successful find lends weight to the argument that the stories of Achilles, Hector, Paris and the heroes of Troy were not simply fiction but an accurate historical record. These stories have been made even more famous by the movie Troy.

Although the ancient city of Troy is nothing but ruins today, the site is still being excavated and new discoveries are still being made at the many levels of the archaeological site. The fact that the Trojan Wars took place is almost indisputable fact while the existence of a Trojan horse is questionable but it is still awesome to walk amongst the ruins of the walls where the Greeks once attacked this impenetrable city and to stare out onto the plane where Achilles and Hector once did battle.

Indeed it is also amazing that two of the most famous battles in history (the Trojan Wars and the Gallipoli attacks of the First World War) occurred in such close proximity to each other, separated only by a narrow stretch of water.

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