Few ancient wars are as well known today as the Trojan War. Due in large part to High School students all over the world being required to read Homer's Greek epic poem the "Iliad, and also in large part to the 2004 Warner Brother's blockbuster film, Troy.
The "Iliad" focuses on the last year of the 10 year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek States. Long story short, Paris of Troy, takes Helen, the wife of Greek King Menelaus to become his wife. In 1100 BC, just as it is today, it's not a good idea to steal another guy's woman. Menelaus asks for his wife back and the Trojans refuse. Evidently, Helen must have been one fine lady. So, Menelaus convinces his brother Agamemnon to lead an Army against Troy to get Helen back. The Greek Fleet brings thousands of warriors to the shores of Troy and lay-siege on Troy for 9 years, never able to penetrate the awesome walls and defenses of the Trojan City. Finally the Greeks devise a plan, they build a giant wooden horse to present to the Trojans as a sort of peace-offering. Of course as everyone knows, the horse contained warriors hidden inside. The Greeks push the horse to the gates of Troy and then depart with the Fleet as if returning to Greece, only to hide the ships behind an island a few kilometers off the coast. The Trojans accepted the horse, and bring it into the city. As the Trojans sleep, the Greek Warriors come out of the horse and open the gates to the city allowing others to join them in sacking Troy… or so the story goes. Historians have debated for centuries the authenticity of the story of the siege of Troy, many thought it was nothing more than a well told story, others argued parts of the story couldn't possibly be true. Of course, how many histories are absolutely true, certainly not one written in 800 BC. I think it's pretty well accepted by most Historians and Archeologists today that Troy is undoubtedly the city in Homer's epic poem. Did the war really take place? Who knows? The Troy one visits today is probably 9 cities, one on top of the other over a thousand plus year history. The one described by Homer is thought to be probably the 6th Troy city in the chronology.
A few days ago I spent 3 hours touring the ruins of the ancient city of Troy. The one thing that surprised me was the fact that the entire city could probably fit on 2 acres, the impenetrable walls of Troy were probably no more than 25 ft tall and not all that spectacular to see. I certainly was not expecting to see an exact replica of the 2004 movie, but I thought I'd see a larger city. It was a great visit nonetheless! I had the opportunity to touch the walls of a city that may have been the scene of one of the most well known wars in ancient history? My tour-guide did a great job explaining what parts of the story were probably fabrications and why other parts were probably based on fact and then tried to weave a plausible story for me. He mentioned that when a certain well know American actor was being interviewed for the movie-premier of Troy, he was asked where Troy was today and the Actor responded Greece? When in fact Troy is in modern-day Turkey. My tour-guide laughed and said, "at least Warner Brothers sent to Horse to the correct city." Evidently the giant horse used in the film was given to the City of Canakkale, only a few miles from the ruins. The other funny thing I noticed while visiting the Troy ruins was that the Asian tourists were not really interested in the ruins of Troy and spent most of their time posing for pictures in front of or inside of the big wooden-horse at the entrance of the ruins? They were laughing and posing for multiple photo-ops…. maybe it reminded them of Godzilla?
Two of the pictures are from the eastern walls of Troy 6 and the eastern gate. Notice in the one picture, the wall curves around toward the gate, this curve before the gate prevented attackers from using battering-rams against the wooden-gates!
The other picture is of course of me in the small theater of Troy.