Is the Trojan War in Homer’s epic real or not?
Under the influence of “Homer’s Epic”, contemporary artists used movies to reproduce the popular “Trojan War”, which made archaeologists feel pressured because the tragedy of the Trojan horse massacre has not been confirmed in archaeological excavations.
Is the Trojan War true or false? People have been arguing for many years. In the past 16 years, 350 scientists and technical experts from nearly 20 countries have participated in an archaeological excavation of the Troy site.
This site is located in the northwestern part of present-day Turkey, and its civilization activities began in the early Bronze Age in 3000 BC until the Byzantine settlers abandoned it in 1350 AD. According to Manfred Koffman, the current head of archaeological excavations, determining the authenticity of the Trojan War described by Homer has become their main task.
Coffman said that based on the inference of the archaeological remains, it can be roughly concluded that the city of Troy was destroyed in about 1180 BC, probably because the city lost a war. Archaeologists found a large amount of relevant evidence at the site, such as fire remains, bones, and a large number of scattered stone projectiles.
According to common sense, after the war, the victors of the defense war will recollect the throwing stones and other weapons in order to cope with the enemy’s invasion again; and if the conquerors win, they will not do this kind of aftermath work. Of course, the conflicts reflected in these ruins do not mean that it is the Trojan War described in Homer’s Epic. Archaeological evidence also shows that decades after the city was defeated this time, a group of new immigrants from the Balkan Peninsula or the northwestern Black Sea settled in the city that is likely to be quite decayed.
The traditional view of archaeology is that these relics have nothing to do with the great city mentioned in the “Homer Epic”; the ancient city as the object of archaeology today has no strategic significance in the late Bronze Age, so it cannot be a city. The “protagonist” of the great war.
In response, Koffman retorted that new archaeological research in southeastern Europe will correct these views.
Coffman pointed out that the city of Troy could be regarded as a very large city at the time, with strategic importance beyond the region. It is a strategic hub connecting the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, Asia Minor and Southeast Europe. Obviously, it has suffered repeated attacks as a result, and it has had to repeatedly defend, repair, expand, and strengthen its fortifications. This is still evident on the remains of today. Recent excavations have also shown that the city of Troy is 15 times larger than previously thought, and today the site covers an area of 300,000 square meters.
Coffman inferred that Homer must have taken it for granted that his audience knew about the Trojan War, so the troubadour would portray Achilles’ anger and its consequences in a vivid way. Homer put the city and this war into a poetic stage, staged a great conflict between man and god. However, in the eyes of archaeologists, the “Homer Epic” can be confirmed in a completely different and secular sense: Homer and those who provided Homer with “poems” should be in 8 BC At the end of the century, we “witnessed” Troy and that area. This period is the time when the “Homer Epic” recognized by most scholars was formed.
Coffman believes that although the city of Troy may have been in ruins during the time of Homer’s life, the ruins of this great city that have survived to this day are impressive enough. The listeners of “Homer’s Epic” who lived at that time or later, if standing at a certain height and looking down, should be able to identify the buildings or battlefields described in the epic one by one.
Although Troy is located in Anatolia (the old name of Asia Minor), two pioneers of Troy archaeological activities (German archaeologist Sheriman, who discovered the ancient city of Troy in 1871; Brigan, presided over the 1930s The investigation of Troy) has brought people such a view: Troy is the Troy of the Greeks. This view is a prejudice. Coffman pointed out that this view is not correct. The archaeological research of the two pioneers only involved the investigation from Greece to Troy on the “Western Front”, but ignored the overall investigation of the Anatolia region on the “Eastern Front”. .
Coffman said that with the continuous deepening of archaeological research, scholars have roughly determined that Troy in the Bronze Age is closely related to Anatolia, and this degree of closeness exceeds its relationship with the Aegean Sea. Tons of local pottery unearthed in Troy and other discoveries (such as seals with hieroglyphs, mud brick buildings, cremation phenomena) all verify this.
The study of Anatolia tells people that this city today known as Troy had risen up a powerful kingdom in the late Bronze Age—the Willoss Hittite Empire and the Egyptians were once involved with it. Keep in close contact. According to historical records of the Hittite Empire, from the 13th century BC to the early 12th century BC, the political and military relations between them and the city of Troy were very tense.
This period is exactly the period of the Trojan War described in Homer’s Epic. Is there any connection between this? This point is worthy of further study.
Decades ago, those scholars who insisted on the authenticity of the Trojan War were in the minority, and their doctrines were scorned by mainstream academic circles. With the rapid development of related archaeological activities in the past ten years, the minority group of the year has now become the majority group. Today’s minority, those scholars who firmly deny the authenticity of the Trojan War can only support their views with the phrase “Trojan has no strategic significance.” As Koffman and others have pointed out, this statement is too reluctant.
Now most scholars have reached a consensus that there were several conflicts in Troy in the late Bronze Age. However, we are still not sure whether Homer’s “Trojan War” was a “memory distillation” of these conflicts, or whether there was indeed a great war that will be remembered forever by future generations.