The Iliad The Iliad question


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Fact or Fiction?
Jane Jane Oct 30, 2011 01:23PM
I believe it was based on fact...although down through the centuries words got mis-translated.



These give a good background to the subject:
The Trojan War: A New History
In Search of the Trojan War
And the 1st chapter of The Birth of Classical Europe: A History from Troy to Augustine.
But relying on Homer for fact is like taking Braveheart as an accurate portrayal of 12th/13th cent Scotland.
The archeology can't say what caused the collapse of Troy with certainty and if a war caused it there is no evidence to say who fought the Trojans. The contemporary records that are currently available are mainly Hittite and they don't mention anything about a 10 year war between Trojans and Acheans, and considering the location and importance of Troy on the edge of the Hittite world seems to imply the war didn't happen...or maybe the Hittite news clipping hasn't been found yet.

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Jim Stephens "...or maybe the Hittite news clipping hasn't been found yet." :) Did anyone bother to check their facebook page? ...more
Sep 10, 2013 08:39AM · flag

Adding to Ramona's comment about Schliemann:

The veracity of Schliemann's discoveries at Troy are still debated. His methods were infamously destructive to the site (likely damaging a lot of other evidence), and the layer he believed to be Ilium, dubbed "Troy II", was too early by a few centuries.

Heinrich was an "imaginative" guy and some of his findings were proven to be invented, which puts a pall of doubt on his work. But, he did a great service by uncovering Mycenae and revealing ancient Aegean society. And perhaps demonstrating how NOT to conduct a dig, heh. Later archaeologists have debated whether the "Troy VII" layer may be the mythical Troy, but the jury is still out.


I think the story was BASED on fact, but was obviously embellished and became more of a fiction.


The stories of gods siding with people, golden appples and runnaway wife leading to men and demigod fighting for a decade is based on fact, the main story of an alliance that waged war to invade a bustling tradespot city-state-kingdom like Troy is pure fiction... or the otherway around, whichever works.


A (good) discussion of this work is currently occurring on the Western Classics board. (1/2012)


I think parts were based on fact, but of course there were elements of fiction as well.


Afterthought: TROY by Adèle Geras is a great modern day retelling of the events from THE ILIAD, though, if you're interested.


Uh ... well the ACTUAL Trojan War had to do with agricultural rights, I believe, with Helen of Troy basically symbolizing all that is 'good' of the Earth. I don't remember my mythology class from my college days all that well, but I believe I can specifically recall these events as being symbolic of the struggle for agrarian rights. As for some of the participants? So far as I know, they could've been real. I wasn't around then.

No, I do not believe that the gods were real ... at least, I don't think that they're real as they're portrayed in THE ILIAD. I think this also depends upon what you personally believe -- about whether Earth's ancients knew something more about mankind's possible interactions with the Gods or not. But, if you're asking me, no, I don't think so.


deleted member Aug 31, 2014 12:35PM   0 votes
The poem itself is a complete fiction. However, it is historical fiction. The war indeed happened and many of the characters were people actually there.

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Old-Barbarossa Sources for your statement?
Aug 31, 2014 10:39PM · flag

The Author of this Book is a mystery , Homer perhaps is not the real Author of this book.
Others said It was a mix of books of different Authors .


It is a great oral story meant to be passed down in the oral tradition and not in a book to be judged. The ability at storytelling is what it is all about.


Whatever the historical facts of war between Greece and Troy, do you think the parts about the gods are fact? Or is this an allegory?


Why? I mean people have always told stories. We still tell stories.
I think it probably reflects some truths, and history has claimed parts of it,but I wouldn't go so far as to call it a true story.


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