Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery

Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery

Hardback

By (author) Joachim Latacz, Translated by Kevin Windle, Translated by Rosh Ireland

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 364 pages
  • Dimensions: 147mm x 224mm x 24mm | 558g
  • Publication date: 3 February 2005
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199263086
  • ISBN 13: 9780199263080
  • Illustrations note: numerous figures & maps
  • Sales rank: 907,054

Product description

In this book Joachim Latacz turns the spotlight of modern research on the much-debated question of whether the wealthy city of Troy described by Homer in the Iliad was a poetic fiction or a memory of historical reality. Earlier excavations at the hill of Hisarlik, in Turkey, on the Dardanelles, brought no answer, but in 1988 a new archaeological enterprise, under the direction of Manfred Korfmann, led to a radical shift in understanding. Latacz, one of Korfmann's closest collaborators, traces the course of these excavations, and the renewed investigation of the imperial Hittite archives they have inspired. As he demonstrates, it is now clear that the background against which the plot of the Iliad is acted out is the historical reality of the thirteenth century BC. The Troy story as a whole must have arisen in this period, and we can detect traces of it in Homer's great poem.

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Author information

Joachim Latacz is Professor Emeritus at the University of Basel.

Review quote

...intellectually challenging. Ian Rutherford, Journal of Hellenic Studies spellbinding ... Latacz's Troy and Homer offers undergraduates, graduates, and professors a compelling synthesis that whets our desire to learn more. Adele J. Haft, Scripta Classica Israelica This is a vigorous, lucid, up-to-date and, on the whole, convincing book...it is destined to become a classic for our time. Dr Donald F. Easton, Minerva The story is well told, with excellent maps, chronological tables and illustrations; the reader is kept on tenterhooks throughout. TLS Joachim Latacz, the best Homeric scholar writing in German, brings the field up to date. The story is well told, with excellent maps, chronological tables and illustrations; the reader is kept on tenterhooks throughout. He draws attention to, and revives, the insights, many long since neglected, of scholars in the ancient world itself. TLS Latacz's book is a substantial contribution Joshua T. Katz, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 125.3 [Latacz's] expositions bring clarity to many problems, and scholars of Antiquity, too, both young and old, will find ample instruction herein. G.L. Huxley, Hermathena, Vol. 179 Here is to be found much intellectual reward for readers who persevere; many of them will wish to keep a copy of Troy and Homer on their shelves. G.L. Huxley, Hermathena, Vol. 179

Table of contents

I: TROY ; The old sources: a lack of authenticity ; The fundamental problem: was Hisarlik really once Troia/Ilios? ; Staging posts in a search: what was Hisarlik called in the Bronze Age? ; Conclusions: Troy and the empire of the Hittites ; The opposing side: 'Achaians' and 'Danaans' - two more names rehabilitated ; The result: Homer's backdrop is historical ; II: HOMER ; The basic facts ; Homer's Iliad and the tale of Troy ; The tale of Troy independent of Homer's ; When was the tale of Troy conceived? ; How did the tale of Troy reach Homer? ; The tale of Troy and history ; The result: there probably was a war over Troy