Troy 2004 - Virgil - Richard Miles TV - Simon Armitage TV - James Burke TV - Troy: The Truth Behind the Legend TV - Ernst Pernicka - Unsolved History: Trojan Horse TV - Homer - Lord Byron - John Milton - Ancient History TV - Ancient Mysteries TV - In Search of … TV -
3,200 Years Ago: After decades of warfare Agamemnon, King of Mycenae, has forced the kingdoms of Greece into a loose alliance. Only Thessaly remains unconquered. Agamemnon’s brother, Menelaus, King of Sparta, is weary of battle. He seeks to make peace with Troy, the most powerful rival to the emerging Greek nation. Achilles, considered the greatest warrior ever born, fights for the Greek Army. But his disdain for Agamemnon’s rule threatens to break the fragile alliance apart. Troy 2004 starring Brad Pitt & Eric Bana & Orlando Bloom & Rose Byrne & Peter O’Toole & Diane Kruger & Brian Cox & Sean Bean & Julie Christie & Saffron Burrows et al, director Wolfgang Petersen, opening caption
Will our actions echo across the centuries? ibid. commentary
Good day for the crows. I like your land. I think we’ll stay. ibid. Agamemnon
I wouldn’t be bothering with the shield then would I? That’s why no-one will remember your name. ibid. Achilles to boy
Imagine a king who fights his own battles. Wouldn’t that be a sight? ibid. Achilles to Agamemnon
Is there no-one else? Is there no-one else? ibid. Achilles to Thessalian king
I have made many mistakes this week. ibid. Helen to Paris
You’d let Troy burn for this woman? ibid.
We’re sending the largest fleet that ever sailed. A thousand ships. ibid. Odysseus to Achilles
This war will never be forgotten. Nor will the heroes who fight in it. ibid.
I knew they would come for you long before you were born. ibid. Thetis to Achilles
Your glory walks hand in hand with your doom. ibid.
Do not mock the gods. ibid. Priam to Hector
War is young men dying and old men talking. ibid. Odysseus to Achilles
History remembers kings not soldiers. ibid. Agamemnon to Achilles
Before my time is done I will look down on your corpse and smile. ibid. Achilles to Agamemnon
This is about power not love. ibid. Hector to Helen
At night I see their faces. All the men I’ve killed. ibid. Achilles to Patroclus
We men are wretched things. ibid.
The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal. ibid. Achilles to Briseis
No father ever had a better son. ibid. Priam to Hector
It never ends. ibid. Briseis to Achilles
Let me place two coins on his eyes for the boatman. ibid. Priam to Achilles
Let Troy burn! ibid. Agamemnon
If they ever tell my story, let them say I walked with giants. ibid. commentary
I sing of arms and the man who first from the shores of Troy came destined an exile to Italy and the Lavinian beaches, much buffeted on land and on the deep by force of the gods because of fierce Juno’s never-forgetting anger. Virgil, Aeneid
So massive was the effort to found the Roman nation. ibid.
Do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts. ibid.
I see wars, horrible wars, and the Tiber foaming with much blood. ibid.
Schliemann used his fortune to follow his dream, one of the most elusive prizes in archaeology: the ancient city of Troy. Richard Miles, Archaeology: A Secret History II: In Search of Civilisation, BBC 2013
I’m in the Mediterranean on the trail of a legend. A warrior from Greece who triumphed at Troy. His name is Odysseus. And he is the hero of a two and a half thousand year old poem called The Odyssey. It’s the diary of a wandering man and a lost soul. He describes a ten-year journey criss-crossing these oceans and pinballing between islands. Simon Armitage, Gods and Monsters: Homer’s Odyssey, BBC 2010
The Troy described by the poet Homer is a powerful city state. But then the Greeks came here to fight a famous war. For ten years they tried to smash through its impregnable walls. And for ten years they failed. It’s a bloody and blinding conflict. ibid.
In 1870 he studies Greek, goes nuts about the Trojan war and decides that Homer is telling the literal truth. Because he – Heinrich Schliemann – is going to find the fabled city of Troy. A project about which he becomes quite deranged. Well since he knows as much about archaeology as I do he kind of destroys the site, fails to find Troy, and accidentally turns up a fortune in gold and jewels. This makes him internationally infamous, because he kind of steals it. Well what would you call secret shipments back home. James Burke, Connections s2e13: The Big Spin, BBC 1994
In Troy there lies the scene. From isles of Greece
The princes orgulous, their high blood chafed,
Have to the port of Athens sent their ships,
Fraught with the ministers and instruments
Of cruel war. William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida, prologue
In May this year Hollywood releases its latest epic. It’s the story of the Trojan war. But is any of it more than just a myth? Tonight Horizon can reveal the latest scientific evidence about the real Troy. The evidence comes from the written tablets of a lost civilisation; a lost shipwreck and treasure uncovered at Troy itself. Horizon: The Truth of Troy, BBC 2004
The story was composed by the Greek poet Homer almost three thousand years ago. It’s so compelling that for centuries people wondered whether any of it was true. Was there a war fought for love? Did a coalition of Greeks set sail? Did Troy even exist? ibid.
The first breakthrough was made by Heinrich Schliemann in 1870. He was something of an amateur but he had other qualities ... They placed Troy in the north west corner of what is now Turkey ... Fifteen metres down he found a walled palace with a paved ramp leading to a gate. Schliemann thought he had found Homer’s Troy. The rest of the world wasn’t so sure. But in this trench he answered the doubters with a breath-taking discovery: treasure. ibid.
These jewels could never have been worn by Helen. They were more than a thousand years too old. Schliemann had dug down too deep. ibid.
Perhaps there was more to Troy than had so far been uncovered. Outside the city walls [Manfred] Korfmann’s team began to excavate ... A city of the late Bronze Age was now revealed. Korfmann believes it was a sizeable city with a population between four and eight thousand. ibid.
After three thousand years the legendary city of Troy seemed to have become a reality. It seemed there was some historical truth in the myth. But there was still no evidence that Troy had been destroyed as Homer said by an enemy army ... Soon they began to find evidence of violence. ibid.
But were the Greeks capable of mounting an expedition together? ibid.
Another possible motivation for a war began to emerge from the stones of Mycenae. That motivation was greed. ibid.
Korfmann believes that Troy became a wealthy city because of its strategic position as a gateway between two continents. So it seems Troy was a very desirable city, desirable to the Mycenaeans because of its wealth. ibid.
The late Bronze Age was a time of rich trade, of great wealth being moved across the high seas. ibid.
The Hittites ... A superpower of the late Bronze Age ... The tablets described festering conflicts involving the Mycenaeans all along the coast ... Conflicts spread over two hundred years. The tablets stated Mycenaean warriors had once fought at the gates of Troy to win Helen back. That it was a war of love and vengeance. It makes a wonderful story but it has never seemed very likely. ibid.
The tablets show that Troy was an ally of the Hittites. If Troy was attacked the Hittites were likely to come and fight alongside them. So Homer’s legend appears to have been based on a real conflict between two superpowers of the Late Bronze Age – the Mycenaeans and the Hittites. ibid.
So there was no face that launched by a thousand ships. The war or wars were not fought for love but more likely for gold and loot. And what of the Trojan Horse? ibid.
The site Heinrich [Schliemann] identified as Troy is still one of the most famous digs in the history of archaeology. Troy: The Truth Behind the Legend
First test excavations are very promising. His finds indicate an ancient settlement on the hill. The artefacts salvaged by Frank Calvert are now exhibited. ibid.
A total of ten different layers have been identified. At first Schliemann is helpless. ibid.