Société d'archéologie de l'uOttawa – uOttawa Archaeology Society

The Trojan War as Myth and History: An Anatolian Perspective

5:00 PM, Sunday, February 19, 2012
Auditorium, Library and Archives Canada

The Trojan War as Myth and History: An Anatolian Perspective

Shane Hawkins, Carleton University

In the last thirty years developments in archaeology and linguistics have challenged and changed many of our ideas about the Trojan War. Our understanding of ancient Anatolia, particularly the languages of its inhabitants and its ancient geography, has paved the way for a reassessment of  the history that lies behind the epic tale. Hittite documents supply places and names familiar from Homer’s Iliad, such as Ahhiyawa (Achaeans), Wilusa (Ilion), Tarwisa (Troy), Alaksandu (Alexandros/Paris), Pariyamuwa (Priam), and even traces of an Anatolian poem about ‘steep Wilusa’. Texts from the Hittite archives reveal diplomatic contacts and marriage alliances with Mycenaeans as early as the sixteenth century BC, as well as a series of conflicts between Anatolians and Mycenaeans in eastern Asia Minor and at Wilusa itself. What do these facts mean for our understanding of this period of history? For our understanding of the Greek epic? Was there a real Trojan War? Is it possible to separate fact and myth?

Sponsored by the Canadian Institute for Mediterranean Studies


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