Book Review: The Trojan War

Archives

by Carol G. Thomas and Craig Conant

Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007. Pp. xii, 210. Illus., maps., append., notes, biblio., index. $16.95 paper. ISBN: 0806138742

A fresh look at an eternally fascinating subject.

Standing on the cusp between myth, legend, and history, the Trojan War continues to attract attention.  In this work, Thomas and Conant, who previously wrote  Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200-700 B.C.E., review the current state of the evidence on this major event in the formation of what would become Western civilization.  The book is curiously organized, with regular chapters alternating with shorter ones that are rather like extended appendices.  They open with a look at the mythic Troy, and follow that with a discussion of the city under the mound at Hissarlik within the culture of the Late Bronze Age which has come to be generally accepted as the place that inspired the Homeric epic.  There follows an account of the mythic and traditional histories of the city and the war, a look at what can be learned from the Homeric epics, and how this tradition and archaeology have shaped views of the events to the present.  The book concludes with an overview of the current state of thought on the subject.

The authors are not afraid of controversy, and address head on such difficult questions as whether there actually was a great war on the scale described by Homer, or did the poet merely inflate some small conflict, or perhaps even make it up entirely.  These are questions that will never be settled, nor will we ever grow tired of discussing them.   The Trojan War is well written, wide ranging, touching upon art, science, literature, history, and more, often analytical and insightful.  It will prove a very good read for anyone with even a slight interest in history.
---///---
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   


Buy it at Amazon.com




X

ad
0
30

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 30 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close