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Paperback In Search of the Trojan War Book

ISBN: 0452259606

ISBN13: 9780452259607

In Search of the Trojan War

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Tales of Troy and its heroes--Achilles and Hector, Paris and the legendary beauty Helen--have fired the human imagination for 3,000 years. With In Search of the Trojan War , Michael Wood brings...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Excellent View Into the Dawn of Western Culture

In this excellent book, Michael Wood covers the history of the modern search for the Troy of Homer's Iliad, and makes a strong case for the Trojan War being a historical occurrence, with most of the details in the Iliad being likewise historical.About half the book is devoted to the major archeological digs at Hisarlik, a site in northwest Turkey, that is the likely site of Troy. Wood puts the discoveries at these digs in a broad context, both geographically and economically, for example in terms of archeological discoveries about contemporaneous sites in Greece and Crete and their implications about trade and warfare, and historically, in terms of the development of the archeologists' own theories over the last century and a half. He also pinpoints which archeological layer is most likely the city that was sacked by the Greeks - specifically, a layer called Troy VI, with n grand, imposing city wall surrounding a stately central city of broad avenues.What I found most interesting, though, was the discussion of historical accounts from the various major powers of the day - the linear B tablets from the Greek city states, the diplomatic archives of the Hittite empire in what is now Turkey, and accounts from the Egypt of Rameses II and III. To me, these really brought to life the late bronze age civilization of the Eastern Mediterranean - arguably a higher civilization than the early iron age civilization that followed.Overall, this book does a terrific job of not only showing when and how the Trojan War actually occurred, but also why, in terms of the dynamics between the 'great powers' of the day.

In Search of the Trojan War

Only someone like Michael Wood could breath life into such a subject as Troy; his 6 part P.B.S. "Trojan War" series back in 1985 is one of my favorites! The only other author who is as passionate about his subject matter is John Romer. His "Ancient Lives" series is not to be missed.What I found almost as interesting as the search for Troy, were the varied personalities in the search. Frank Calvert, for example. Were it not for his direction, Schliemann may have never have uncovered what he did.Sir Arthur Evans died a spent man, both physically and financially, due to the intensity with which he approached Troy.Carl Blegen's 7 season dig was carried out the with a surgeon's precision. He seemed so passionate about Troy, yet in thought and appearance, so restrained.Did the war actually occcur? After reading the book, seeing the video, I believe it did; however, still doubts remain. Homer and The Iliad await vindication thirty-two hundred years after the "fact".After reading the book, I became very interested in archeology. I have visited Ephesus and Herculaneum. Heretofore, having no interest in the subject at all; this, I feel, is the greatness of an author and his/her subject matter. To convey to the reader the excitment, intrigue and triumph that stories like this offer and to draw the reader into the mystery.That an author can inspire, stir up enthusiasm and interest in this way is a triumph!This book get a "Two Thumbs Up--Way Up!"

A Classic Classicist

Here's the thing I like about Wood; he gets excited about the little things. It comes through best on the BBC/PBS specials, but when going through the book, you see it shine through as well. He absolutely *loves* what he writes about, and as a result, he's one of the most entertaining authors I've come across.I read this book for one of my mythology classes, and it's one of the few that I kept. It's very well-written, and just utterly fascinating. It's interesting to know just how sophisticated Bronze Age civilizations really were, and that we're not that superior to them after all. Reading about the Hittites made me want to visit Turkey (after hitting Hissarlik, of course!).The best part, though, was an anecdote about a clay tablet found still in an oven, composed by a king calling for assistance from his overlord. Reading the emotions of the writer between the lines, thousands of years after this tablet was made, was incredibly moving.Darn, I love this book.

An excellent overview of this subject.

I first purchased this book when it was first published, and to give you an idea how much I enjoyed it I also purchased the new edition. While I agree wholeheartedly with Mr. Kenny's review it should be noted that to the small royal citadel of only 5 or so acres described in the first editon there should be added a lower fortified town encompassing a further 45 acres. These new finds, showing Troy to be significantly larger in scale than even Mycenae and thus a major Anatolian citadel even more in keeping with Homer's descriptions are addressed in the new edition.

A history of the archaeology and stories of Troy

A fascinating book that covers not only the major archaeological events that have led to our current understanding of Troy; where it was and what it was like, but also the Homeric legend, the many disciples and followers a period of history that is so often seen as a Golden Age. Michael Wood combines a very clear and discriptive writing style with a very obvious attraction to his subject, producing a book that is both a delightful read, and highly imformative. He captures both the reality of Troy (probably no more than a couple of hundred yards by a couple of hundred yards, and windy) with all the majesty and romanticism of Homer. He describes the work and results of the great characters of the archaeology of the period; Calvert, Evans, and of course the larger-than-life Heinrich Schliemann. The arguments, the egos and the finds. He brings together the effects that the of story of Troy has had through the ages and across many cultures; it's legendary characters and great deeds, as well as their very human failings. For a fascinating account of the history, archaeology, legends and personalities of Troy, and of the Homeric story, I would recommend Mr Wood's book.
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