Last Updated 15 Apr 2020

Troy – Evidence of Homer

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The role that Homer played in our understanding of the Trojan War by his writing the Iliad has been one of great significance. The turn of the 8th Century saw the writing of the Iliad from the Ancient Greek writer, Homer, which was roughly 3,000 years ago. Heinrich Schliemann, a wealthy German business, dedicated his energy and considerable fortune to discovering the Troy Homer describes in the Iliad. By using the writings, Schliemann was able to locate the site of the Ancient city of Troy.

Manfred Korfmann, a German archaeologist, interested in the city of Troy itself, set out to find out the truth about Troy through science, rather than using the Iliad as a guide, but when researching and discovering historic events in Troy, numerous finds matched up to Homer’s writings. Armed conflicts in 1200 B. C, around the same time as the Bronze Age, further highlights the impression that the Trojan War did in fact happen, just as Homer had stated in the Iliad.

In the time when Homer’s Iliad stated the Trojan War took place, and when conflicts were apparent, the Greek “Mycenaean’s”, believed to have been involved in the Trojan War, were at the height of power and were known to be warriors. This can help prove the violent aspects and conflicts that were written in the Iliad. The Hittie Empire was that of superflous power, and over the great technology and riches they had, meant that the written tablets they had left behind were of vital importance.

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Much like what Homer had written throughout the Iliad, the tablets contained clues to a great battle fought over an Ancient city named Wulisa, the same exact name Homer had called the ancient city of Troy in the Iliad. Homer’s Iliad therefore shaped our understanding of the events that led to the Trojan War, and those that took place during it. Our understanding of the Trojan War has been shaped Homer and the Iliad. Heinrich Schliemann arguably is one of the most famous archaeologists when reffering to the discovery of Troy.

Infatuated with the idea of finding the lost city of Troy, Schliemann used all of his money, time and will power to find it. Studying the Iliad tirelessly, Schliemann discovered what he believed to be the location of Troy, and began excavating in search for the stories held within the walls. Using his own copy of Homer’s Iliad, examining the geographic clues that the writings contained, Schliemann located what is believed to be the location of the ancient city. Despite the believed location being found by Schliemann using Homer’s Iliad, German archeolgist Manfred Korfmann was interested in he science of the ancient city, rather than the written work of Homer. But, excavating the side and relocating the search to a much broader area, not even Manfred Korfmann could argue with the descriptions that Homer wrote in the Iliad, and how closely related they were to the large uncovered city. As Korfmann’s team began the tireless venture to look for clues, they found things that result to the belief of violence. Arrow heads were found on the lower levels of Troy, for close combat fighting, which links to Homer’s recount of the Greek Myceanians taking down Troy from the inside.

Korfmann, whilst continuing the hunt for clues, found that a catastrophe had taken place within the great walls of the ancient city, the catastrophe being a large fire, enough to burn down the city. In the Iliad, Homer states that after the city was unrun by the Greek Myceanians, they burnt the town to the ground. A corpse of a girl, around the age of 16 or 17, was found in the middle of the city. Foul play was noted, due to her feet being burned by fire, as well as half her body buried in an open space.

This was unusual for the time of such spiritual believers in the afterlife, that results in the belief of a quick fast burial. The fast burial could have been because of the overruling of the city, at the hands of the Greek Myceanians, just as Homer had written it in the Iliad. Manfred Korfmann believes that Troy was a city that was seiged, defended but most of all defeated in the war. The findings pointed to a great battle, which saw the falling of Troy, at the end of the late bronze age, just as Homer’s legend in the Iliad had said.

Although Manfred Korfmann stated that his belief in the Iliad was not reason enough to excavate the city as Schliemann had done, the remarkable similarties between the descriptions Homer had written in the Iliad of what took place, was far too coincidental to not take notice. Homer’s Iliad has stated that the Trojan war was an armed conflict, one of the greatest conflicts of all time. Our knowledge and understanding of the Trojan War therefore has been shaped and influenced greatly by Homer and the Iliad. 200 B. C. , also known as the Bronze Age, was a time believed that armed conflicts were taking place. All evidence shows us that a heated conflict was raging where we now know lies Greece and the area that was called ‘Wilios’, which Homer states as the city in which the Trojan war took place. Homer wrote, “A multitude of rulers is not a good thing. Let there be one ruler, one king. ” This quotation directly from the Iliad helps with our understanding of what the Greek Mycenaean’s were all about.

They were known for their greed, thirst for power and riches due to farmland and copious amounts of food supplies. The sophistication of the way Greeks lived was of high upkeep and strong reliance on natural resources. The Iliad states that the Greek Mycenaean’s were the most powerful army of the late Bronze Age, mainly because of their hunger and maliciousness in regards to attaining power. It is believed that during this time, the Mycenaean’s were on the hunt for Bronze and Gold to expand their land. At the time, the ancient city of Troy was rich in Bronze.

This could’ve have, knowing that the Greek Mycenaean’s were known warriors and very powerful, been reason enough for the Trojan war to take place. Manfred Korfmann, the German archaeologist who excavated Troy, believes that Ancient Troy was an important trading route within the trading routes around the world. He states, “Everything that was taken between Europe to Asia should have passed through here. ” Homer wrote that the Greek Mycenaean’s were powerful, but also greedy, in a way that the abundance of riches that Troy had could’ve been appealing enough to the great Kings of Greece, appealing enough to start a war.

Our understanding of the Trojan War has been greatly shaped by that of Homer in his writings of the Iliad and the key descriptions of the Greek Mycenaean’s, in which they were merciless warriors and very powerful. In the Iliad, Homer states that what we know to be named as Troy was actually named Wilios. When archaeologist found that the powerful Hittite empire had written artefacts that were of vital importance when pinpointing the exact location the Great War had taken place.

Archaeologist examined the tablets, looking for any mention of Troy, which was then found to be named Wilusa, which in Ancient Greek was the same name used for Troy. Homer had written and used the Name Wilios in the Iliad, when referring to the Ancient city of Troy. The tablets found stated, “Mycenaean warriors had once fought at the gates of Wilusa. ” Although even though the evidence matched up with that of Homer’s writings in the Iliad, archaeologists couldn’t be sure that Wulisa/Wilios was the exact same place of what we know now to be Troy.

But the tablets held more vital information, including the description of a water tunnel in ‘Wulisa’, which was dated to be around 1000 years after the late Bronze Age. Using evidence from the tunnel, it was dated to be of use at the exact same time these tablets from the Hittite Empire were being written. By deciphering the tablets found and left behind by the great Hittite Empire, the clues and descriptions of what happened all those years ago directly linked with the same descriptions that Homer had used for Ancient Troy in the Iliad.

Our understanding of what took place in relation to the Trojan War, as well as who was involved and why the war had begun in the first place, was greatly influenced by Homer and his writings of the Iliad. The discovery of the area in which Troy laid to rest, founded by Heinrich Schliemann who used the Iliad to find the city, as well as Manfred Korfmann who couldn’t ignore the similarities between what he found within the walls of what he believed to be Troy and what Homer had written in the Iliad are all substantial evidence of the influence Homer had on our understanding.

These evidential points, as well as the knowledge of armed conflicts, the demeanor that the Greek Mycenaean’s possessed and the ancient tablet inscriptions left behind from another powerful ancient civilization further displays the influence that Homer had on our understanding of the Trojan War, through his writings in the Iliad.

Troy – Evidence of Homer essay

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