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Camac
Posted: 16-Aug-2008, 10:49 AM
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LOA;

'Tis the weekend and as forewarned, "THE TROJAN WAR"

Did it happen? Yes.

When? Sometime between 1180 and 1200 BCE.

Where? The Troad on the west Coast of Modern Day Turkey (Anatolia) at the entrance to the Dardanelles which lead to the Black sea.

The Combatants: Troy and its' allies against an alliance of Aechean City States led by Mycenae. (At this point in History they were not called Greeks. That would come after the Dorian Invasion))

Did it last ten years? Unlikely, 3 to 5 years is more plausible.

Were there a 1000 ships? Unlikely again 300 to 500 is a more plausible number.

Was there a Helen, Achilles, Agamemnon, Hector, Paris or Priam? Very likely as the the story was passed on by oral tradition and these names would be diligently preserved.

Was there a Trojan Horse? Possible but more possibly it was traitors inside the City who opened the Gates or the Horse symbolizes a seige tower which were in use at the time.

Was Troy sacked, burned, and its people sold into slavery? Yes. This was common practice in the Bronze Age.

Were the Gods involved? The people of the time thought so. Religion played an enormous part in their daily lives. Great warriors or Kings were not mere mortal but descended from the Gods. Plagues and Pestilence were punishment from the Gods.

Was the War fought over Helen? Not really she was just the excuse the Aecheans needed to attack Troy. The root cause was Trade and the opportunity for Plunder. The Aecheans were the Vikings of their day.

Is Hollywoods' account of the events accurate? Only in the sense that the War occurred and the names are correct. Hollywood shows the heroes wearing Plumed Corinthian Helmets when in fact the wore conical helmets made from Boars' teeth. The shields were not round but either figure eight or rectangular. The weapons and armour were Bronze with the Spear being the predominant weapon and the sword backup. Bronze swords of the day were notorious for breaking at the hilt. Some arrow heads were of Iron but iron was rare. The ships were undecked Penteconter of 50 oars not the sleek Triremes that are depicted. Chariots were used but only as a means of transport to and from the battle. Once at the fight the warrior dismounted to fight on foot while the chariot pulled back a safe distance waiting. With the exception of individual duels between Heroes the fighting was mainly a shoving match more on the lines of a street brawl and woe betide the ones that fell or tripped they were usually trampeled to death. In Homers' Iliad we see only a few months of the 9th year of the War. It is mainly concerned with the argument between Agamemnon and Achilles over a women Briesis but this alone was enought to spur people to look for Troy and in 1870 Schliemann, a German amateur archeologist and treasure hunter discovered the location of Troy. There are nine cities each built on the ruins of the previous. The Troy of the Illiad is number VII. Schliemann being mainly concerned with treasure was a very poor archeologist in that he destroyed more that he recovered making it extremely difficult if not impossible in some instances for the modern scientific research to be conducted. Schliemann also used the Iliad to find Mycenae and approched it in the same destructive way. How many countless treasures were destroyed , stolen or lost we will never know.

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 17-Aug-2008, 05:47 PM
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So, in all sometimes what we see is not what really happened,especially in "movies" since what they really after is "romanticize" history, that's a fact.

But by what you are describing in the way the war was fought and the army and what was it consisted even with what seem archaic in what is decribe in the "movie" it was a formidable army nonetheless and it must have been quite a site.

As for Helen of Troy, isn't she a bit overated in all of this? I don't know much about her and her role in all of this except again what was depicted of her character on films. I have never read about her. I thought it only a myth.

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Camac
Posted: 17-Aug-2008, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (Lady of Avalon @ 17-Aug-2008, 05:47 PM)
.

As for Helen of Troy, isn't she a bit overated in all of this? I don't know much about her and her role in all of this except again what was depicted of her character on films. I have never read about her. I thought it only a myth.

LOA

LOA;

Ah yes Helen "The Face that Launched a Thousand Ships" In the Iliad she is forced to marry the brother of Paris, Deiphobus, after Achilles son Neoptolemus kills Paris who had killed Achilles with the fatal arrow. Menelaus kills Deiphobus finds Helen and takes her back to Sparta to have her executed. He is still so enamoured with her that they rconcile and are told to live a long life to together and are buried at Spartan in the same tomb. No one knows for sure what happened as there is only fragments of other chronicles about the Trojan War such as the "Little Iliad" to try and get information from.

In the late bronze age an Army of 7000 was considered huge and it is possible that the Aechean Army was close to that number maybe as high as 10,000-. The population of Troy at the time is calculated at 5 to 7 thousand total and it is reported that its army outnumbered the Aecheans. This was due to the large number of allies Troy had.
               
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 21-Aug-2008, 06:56 PM
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One thing that I am always suspicious and find it hard to really believe is how can they (archeologists or historians) come up with numbers like that for armies that even then did not even know for sure what their enemies army size was?

I have read that at that time, the sizes of armies were always or mostly exaggerated. It was always an estimation done by scouts that were sent to spy on the others's side and vice versa.

As for the reality of that war, it is still under the debate of truth or myth.
This is a passage stating about if the war really happend or if a myth.And it speaks of Schlieman's excavations of the site

The Ancient Greeks thought the Trojan War was a historical event that had taken place in the 13th or 12th century BC, and believed that Troy was located in modern day Turkey near the Dardanelles. By modern times both the war and the city were widely believed to be non-historical. In 1870, however, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann excavated a site in this area which he identified as Troy; this claim is now accepted by most scholars. Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War is an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may simply mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age. Those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War derive from a specific historical conflict usually date it to the 12th or 11th centuries BC, often preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 11941184 BC, which roughly corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VII.

LOA

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Camac
Posted: 21-Aug-2008, 07:40 PM
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LOA ;

To estimate the size of the armies archeologist first determine the size of a city or encampment then estimate how many people could inhabit such a place . From the estimated size of the populace of a city they can then determine how many would have been capable of fighting as in those days most warriors were also citizens of their city. In a city of say 7000 it would have an average of 3000 capable of bearing arms. In 479 BCE at Plataea a united Greek force of 60,0000 Hoplites plus another possible 60,000 light troops met and defeated a far large Persian army. This Greek Army was the largest ever assembled, even Alexanders' army was never that size. The Spartans alone supplied 7 to 8 thousand Hoplites and the Athenians even more.

In recent excavations at Troy (Troy VII is now numbered Troy VIi) they have found evidence that this city was destroyed in war as Bronze Age weapons and Iron Arrow heads, plus mounds of sling-stones,were found. Also there had been a massive fire and Troy was reported put to the torch.

As to the stories being a compulation of different sagas brought together, I personally don't think so. The Archeological evidence points to there being A Trojan War.


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Camac
Posted: 25-Oct-2008, 10:58 AM
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25/10/08

Of late I have been spending alot of time writing Poetry and my sharing of Historical knowledge has suffered greatly. If there are any on the forum still interested in Historical information I will gladly take up where it was left off.

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 25-Oct-2008, 11:11 AM
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Well I am for one....please continue to post about this great civilization and it's history my friend...I'm looking forward to read what you have to say...though a bit busy since my return I want to read about it.

Thank you
LOA
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Camac
Posted: 25-Oct-2008, 11:29 AM
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LOA;

For you my Friend and any others I will take up where I left off at the end of the Trojan war starting to- morrow as I too have some things to take care of to-day.

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Camac
Posted: 26-Oct-2008, 11:31 AM
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As promised;

Within a century of the Trojan War the Myceanan Civilization collapsed probably as a result of the the Dorian Invasion or Migration into the Peloponesian Penninusla, south-west Greece,. Where the Dorians came from is up for conjecture. The name Dorian derives from the Greek meaning "woods people, hill people, or mountain people., or possibly spear people. Some suggest that they originated in the north-east part of the Balkans, ie. Macedonia, others say they originated in Asia Minor and migrated into Greece through Thrace. What is know is that they spoke a dialect of Greek and were war-like as their desecendants the Spartans can attest. Irregardless of where they came from their Invasion/Migration plunged Greece into a "Dark Age" that was to last five centuries. During this period the Greeks lost the ability to write. Under the Myceaneans writing was Linear B akin to the type the Minoans used but this was lost and no record other than Oral is available for the period. Around 700 BCE Greece emerge from this period into what was to become "The Golden Age" Art, Philosophy, Mathematics, Literature.City States, and the development of what became the modern day alphabet (from the Greek Alpha-Beta {A-B}) An interesting aside is that the Greek Alphabet does not run A-B-C but A-B-G.(more on the alphabet later) It was also at this time the Greeks became "Masters of Warfare" with the introduction of Heavy Infantry know as "HOPLITES". This term comes from the name given to the large circular shield carried, "HOPLON". It was at this time also that Homer is thought to have lived and put into writing the stories of the Illiad and Odyssey based on the Oral traditions handed down. The Golden Age gave rise to the City States, ATHENS, SPARTA, CORINTH, THEBES, amongst many. Of these Athens rose to the greatest prominence and gave civilation the first form of Democracy on which the modern day version is based. Perhaps though the most notable of these Cities was Sparta, thanks of course to Hollywood and the movies.
               
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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 26-Oct-2008, 06:39 PM
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So then at one point in history the Greeks lost a bit of their own history for during a long a very long period they lost the ability to write...how can this happened?
At least they restart during the Golden Age as you state and from then on the Greek empire grew to an outstanding society of culture.

Though it is sad that an entire civilization looses it's ability to write. That's what happened to the Egyptian civilization.

If I could only have the time to read Homer's story, maybe in a near future one never know.

Can't wait to read more.Thank you.

LOA
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Camac
Posted: 02-Nov-2008, 11:46 AM
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QUOTE (Lady-of-Avalon @ 26-Oct-2008, 06:39 PM)
So then at one point in history Greek lost a bit of their own history for during a long a very long period they lost the ability to write...how can this happened?


LOA;
This happened mainly because writing was the purview of the Royal Bureaucracy which kept the records of the Royal Treasury in the form of taxes and tribute. With the fall of Myceanae to the Dorians (illiterate tribesmen) there was no longer a need for this and writing fell into disuse. The Literature of the day was oral passed on by the Bards. There is a theory that writing was re-invented to record Homers' Epics, The Illiad and The Odyssey

The Myceaneans use Linear B Script which they took from the Minoans of Crete when they conquered the island around 1300 BCE. Linear B consists of an crude alphabet and pictographs to form writing. Between 800 and 700 BCE the Aegeans Greeks re-invented the Alphabet using the Phoenican Alphabet as a base. This in turn led to the Latin Alphabet which we use to-day. The Greek Alphabet is also the basis of the Cyrillic Alphabet used in Russia and other Slavic speaking countries.
So it is not that hard to loose the ability to write as can also be seen in the European Dark Age when the Roman Empire fell and only the Christian Church kept writing alive in the West.

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 02-Nov-2008, 02:56 PM
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Yes that is why it was call the Dark Ages actually.Contrary to general beliefs that the Dark Ages was somewhat dark and war all over Europe.

So if I unserstand correctly not only the Greek alphabet is the basis of our own it is also the basis of many other language as well as I can see.
That is why Greeks like to say that if it weren't for them nobody would have the ability to write today... biggrin.gif

Look forward to read more my friend,

LOA.
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Camac
Posted: 16-Nov-2008, 12:34 PM
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LOA;

The five hundred years of the Greek Dark Age and the loss of writing did not mean that there were no advances made. The Dark age saw the transition from the Bronze to Iron Age, the rise of the city states, and the eastablishment of the Ionian Colonies in the Greek Islands of the Aegean and mainland Turkey. With the coming of the the Iron Age came improvements agriculture, building, and of course weapons. It is during this period also that the evolution of the Hoplite began and by the 5th century BCE make Greek Heavy Infantry the finest of its time. With the rise of the city states came security and a growing sense of nationalism. Not to Greece but to the City. The City State system was and would continue to be the biggest drawback in Greek unity. It was not a case of I'm Greek it was I'm Athenian, I'm Thebean, or I'm Spartan. It would not be until the 4th century BCE under Macedonia that Greece became united.

By 700 BCE the Golden Age og Greece was on the horizon and with it would come an explosion of civilization in the form of Architecture, Literature, Science and Mathematics. The Glory that was Greece was about to be born.

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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 17-Nov-2008, 07:05 PM
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When we say the "Golden Age" doesn't it mean that the empire is at it strongest point in history...in term of socio-economics around the word?

If the glory of Greece was about to be born with literature,architecture,science and mathematics what happened to his great armies...did it just disapeared?

For was it not about this time as well that the great conqueror Alexander the Great was to conquer the world, Egypt for one or was it later in history?

LOA...next chapter please smile.gif
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Camac
Posted: 23-Nov-2008, 12:58 PM
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LOA;

The time period of the Greek Dark Ages 1200-700 BCE was a time of great upheavel in Greece it also coincided with the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age . From the North came the Dorian invaders displacing the inhabitants. Unlike earlier invaders the Dorians did not assimulate the exsisting culture but destroyed it. All the great cities of the Myceanae were laid to ruin and the peoples subjugated. The invasion forced the inhabitants to migrate and we see them moving east into Attica (Athens) and out into the Greek Islands and the west coast of Asia Minor (Turkey). From these new cities the Greek civilization would rise and spread back onto the mainland. The birth of the cities states began, Athens, Thebes, Corinth, and Sparta would become the leading states and each in turn would rise and fall . The cities in Asia minor would fall in turn to the Medes and
the Persians. This would give rise to the Persian Wars and the Greek obsession with conquering Persia and getting revenge. This would would culminate in the Conquests of Alexander in the mid 4th century BCE.
In the Pelopenese Sparta would rise to be predominate and in Attica Athens would rise and give Greece its Golden Age. The rise of these two great city states would eventually lead to the Pelopenesian War and the downfall of Athens and her Empire but this is 300 years in the future and for now the Greeks are clawing their way out of the Dark Age. Around 800 BCE the Greek alphabet was adapted from the Phoenecian, some say by Palamedes, others by Danaos,and others still by Kadmos. Who adapted it will never be settled but the fact that it was is of the greatest significance for it allowed the Illiad and the Odyssey to be put into writing and this in turn gave the basis for what was to become the Greek Culture. To the Greeks these two books were not fables or legend, they were historical fact.


Camac.

               
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