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1 Burnside Western Civilization- Ancient Greece

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The Trojan War: A New History


The Trojan War: A New History Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Trojan War is the most famous conflict in history, the subject of Homer's Iliad, one of the cornerstones of Western literature. Although many readers know that this literary masterwork is based on actual events, there is disagreement about how much of Homer's tale is true. Drawing on recent archeological research, historian and classicist Barry Strauss explains what really happened in Troy more than 3,000 years ago.

For many years it was thought that Troy was an insignificant place that never had a chance against the Greek warriors who laid siege and overwhelmed the city. In the old view, the conflict was decided by duels between champions on the plain of Troy. Today we know that Troy was indeed a large and prosperous city, just as Homer said. The Trojans themselves were not Greeks but vassals of the powerful Hittite Empire to the east in modern-day Turkey, and they probably spoke a Hittite-related language called Luwian. The Trojan War was most likely the culmination of a long feud over power, wealth, and honor in western Turkey and the offshore islands. The war itself was mainly a low-intensity conflict, a series of raids on neighboring towns and lands. It seems unlikely that there was ever a siege of Troy; rather some sort of trick — perhaps involving a wooden horse — allowed the Greeks to take the city.

Strauss shows us where Homer nods, and sometimes exaggerates and distorts, as well. He puts the Trojan War into the context of its time, explaining the strategies and tactics that both sides used, and compares the war to contemporary battles elsewhere in the eastern Mediterranean. With his vivid reconstructions of the conflict and his insights into the famous characters and events of Homer's great epic, Strauss masterfully tells the story of the fall of Troy as history without losing the poetry and grandeur that continue to draw readers to this ancient tale.


Based on the latest archeological research and written by a leading expert on ancient military history, the true story of the most famous battle in history is every bit as compelling as Homer's epic account, and confirms many of its details.

Table of Contents


Author's Note

Timetable of Events Relating to the Trojan War

A Note on Ancient History and Archaeology


CHAPTER ONE: War for Helen

CHAPTER TWO: The Black Ships Sail

CHAPTER THREE: Operation Beachhead

CHAPTER FOUR: Assault on the Walls


CHAPTER SIX: An Army in Trouble

CHAPTER SEVEN: The Killing Fields


CHAPTER NINE: Hector's Charge

CHAPTER TEN: Achilles' Heel

CHAPTER ELEVEN: The Night of the Horse


Glossary of Key Names


A Note on Sources



Product Details

A New History
Strauss, Barry
Simon & Schuster
Ancient - Greece
Military - Other
Trojan War
Publication Date:
September 2006
Grade Level:
9.25 x 6.25 in
Age Level:
wealthy, cultured, and caught between two empires.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Ancient Greece
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Trojan War: A New History Used Hardcover
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Product details 288 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743264419 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Based on the latest archeological research and written by a leading expert on ancient military history, the true story of the most famous battle in history is every bit as compelling as Homer's epic account, and confirms many of its details.
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