The Legend of Troy11/29/2010
Upon arriving in the great country of Turkey, one of the cities I really wanted to visit was Troy. Many epic poems, (Homer’s The Illiad and Odyssey), scrolls, paintings, stories, and movies have captured the imagination of this legendary city.
Troy is located in the northwest corner of Turkey, built originally as a strategic location to control sea trade from the Sea of Marmara and Aegean Sea.
Here is an older map showing the location of Troy
The legend of Troy begins with the famed Trojan War, after Paris of Troy takes Helen away from the King of Sparta, Menelaus. Orchestrating the events are gods and goddesses that include Athena, Aphrodite, and Zeus.
Quoted from Wikipedia “The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked “for the fairest”. Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the “fairest”, should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy”.
Many hard battles are fought and heroes such as Hector and Achilles perish.
During 12th century BC Troy was one of the most well fortified cities in the world. Finally, after a 10 year battle, the Greeks give up and construct a large wooden horse as a victory gift.
However, 30 men lay waiting inside the wooden gift, and when the horse was pulled inside Troy’s walls, the gates were opened allowing the Greeks to storm the city. Troy was destroyed by the invention of the “Trojan Horse”
Here is me inside a Trojan Horse at Troy.
I visited Troy, Turkey wanting to learn more about the ancient city. The tales listed above were from Homer’s Illiad. Homer blended fact and fiction when describing Troy.
For many centuries most people did not believe in the existence of Troy. In 1868 a renegade archaeologist named Heinrich Schliemann began excavating the area of Troy using The Illiad as a road map. The story of how Schliemann accumulated his wealth and found Troy is a fascinating story worth researching.
Schliemann was more interested in pursing the treasures of Troy than preserving the ruins. Thus, much of Troy was lost forever.
I was surprised to find that there are actually 9 different cities of Troy. Troy was rebuilt 9 times do to fires, earthquakes, plague and war. Troy 7 was the most likely setting for Homer’s Trojan War.
The map below shows the various layers of Troy.
I really enjoyed walking around the city and learning about the significance of each Troy. After a while, it became possible to tell which Troy era the ruins came from.
Our tour guide is in the process of setting “the most consecutive days of leading the Troy ruins tour record”, and he was absolutely brilliant in sorting out fact from fiction. I believe he said he had been running this particular tour for 2+ years in a row now.
Unfortunately I got so caught up in the moment, I forgot my camera was in my right hand. I broke my camera inside the ruins of Troy that day.
Here is the last picture I took with my Powershot S90 on the Europe trip.