The Trojan War, according to the Greeks and Romans, took place close to what is now known as Troy. Furthermore, they believe they are familiar with the locations of the fights that took place in Anatolia, which is now Turkey. The same area was used by the Greeks and the Romans to build their towns. Aristotle's annotations on a copy of the Iliad are thought to have been in Alexander the Great's bed when he visited the alleged location during his expedition in Asia. The conflict, in the eyes of the Romans and the Greeks, is an actual occurrence that significantly influenced their respective cultures' histories. (Cline 1). However, both the Greek and Roman scholars are not sure when the war occurred and estimated the dates to be around 1134 and 1135 B.C.E. However, the predictions are not based on substantive evidence (Cline 1).

According to ancient sources, two parties are involved in the story of the war, the city of Mycenaean Greece which was against the city of Troy and its friends (Cline 2). According to them, the war was characterized by the abduction of women from both sides. For example, the wife of King Menelaus abducted Trojan women. However, there is insignificant evidence to support this claim thus making people believe that the Trojan War is just a myth. One of the ancient sources is Homer's Iliad (Cline 18). He is one of the people who form the basis of whether the Trojan War occurred or not. Homer was not only a blind bard but also a poet. He is regarded as one of the greatest poets to have ever lived in the western world. When translated into Greek, his name means hostage. It is believed that Homer was born on the Asian coast and his use of dialect can support this claim. Additionally, in Homer's poems, he is very familiar with that area as shown in his poems. This can also be used to say that he is from that region (Cline 42).

The Link between Mycenaean Bards and Homer

There is evidence where Vikings and other people who wanted to conquer the world took bards to the conquests so that they can record the actual happenings and remind them past stories. This shows that the real events were put into writings many years after the conquests had occurred, this is also the possibility of what could have happened in the Mycenaean civilization. It is, therefore, possible to presume that if one establishes a link between Homer and the Mycenaean bards of the 1300 B.C, the former's epic will consequently have some truth in them (Cline 45-53).

According to the poets of Greek and Rome origins, the Trojan War is indicative, colorful and romantic. There are many variants of the epic. However, the general one is as follows: Paris was the son of King Priam and Queen Hekabe of Troy. It was prophesied that Paris would bring destruction, as a result of this, the boy was abandoned on a hill. Luckily, for Paris, some shepherds found and pitied him. They took care of Paris, and he grew to become a handsome young man. Problems arose when Paris fell in love with Helen who was the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. He, therefore, abducted and took her to Troy, hence leading to the Trojan War (Cline 15). On the other hand, Homer's epic mainly talks about Helen. There is a pagan shrine built in 1300 B.C. The shrine was dedicated to the Queen of Sparta. The pilgrims made offerings to the shrine from as early as 800 B.C believing that Helen had been in existence before. Recently, archeologists discovered remains of what is considered to be a palace or a mansion which could have been the capital of Sparta. Additionally, they found that it was abandoned for a century and then erected again during the period of the war. The remains had a lot of similarity with the palace of Pylos and Mycenae during that time. It is believed that it was rebuilt by the King Menelaus as a gift to his newly wedded wife, Helen. However, the archeological evidence is not enough to prove the existence of Helen because it is almost impossible to trace love in archeology (Tew 8).

One of the main arguments that challenge Homer's works is that the Romans suggest he did not write the poems himself. It is believed that what Homer wrote was passed down from generations to generations through word of mouth. However, this does not dismiss Homer's epic because it also links him with the Mycenaean bards of 1300 B.C, therefore, confirming the legitimacy of his poems (Cline 42). Additionally, Dr. Chadwick of Cambridge University once claimed that Homer's story was transmitted orally to generations hence there is a possibility of incorrect recording. He further suggests that the story could have been improved. However, he agrees that there is a connection between Mycenae and Troy as shown in Homer's writings. Consequently, even if Homer's work is not hundred percent accurate, there is some connection between Troy and Mycenaean hence proving that indeed the Trojan War occurred (Tew 9).

Linguistic Evidence

In Homer's works, it is assumed that all weapons used in the war were made of bronze despite the fact that his epic was written 300 years after the Trojan War. Some historical artists have come up with ideas of what the weapons used at the time of the war looked like. The armors they came up with and the one described in Homer's epic have an interesting connection (Cline 43-48). Homer stated that Achilles had only one flaw - the back of his lower leg which is popularly known as the Achilles tendon. In the constructed armor, a person is protected from head to toe except for the back lower leg which will be left exposed. Additionally, there is a linkage between the shields of Hector and Ajax. Therefore, it is right to say that the works of Homer contain memories of weapons that were being transmitted from generation to generation. This shows that Homer's epic had different time periods thus supporting Dr. Chadwick's idea that the Iliad is a combination of poems from different time periods, this being real shows that, the war is a factual event (Tew 10).

Another linguistic evidence that links Homer's works with the Mycenaean bards is the description given to the city of Troy. Homer's description of Troy in 1300 B.C shows that he knew how the city looked like. For example in one of his literary works, he referred to Troy as "windy Troy" the region is known to be notoriously windy even today. Additionally, he refers the area as "towering." As of now, the area is not as high as it used to be and this is due to excavations that were done by archeologists. Additionally, there are three phrases used in Homer's works that indicate a bardic memory, for instance, the way the sea, the walls of Troy and measurements of the walls are described. It should also be noted that Homer's description has matched all archeological discoveries. A good example here is the Western Wall which had been described to be built poorly. Archeologists concurred with this description because they discovered that some sections, especially the western parts of the walls had not been replaced or repaired, this made them weak. Another thing that can be integrated with the linguistic evidence found in Homer's works is the trade that Troy conducted with other nations. Troy produced the best horses in that time. Additionally, to this day Turkey and to be specific the east of Troy still provides the best horses. Furthermore, some records prove the Greeks bought horses from Troy. Finally, there is evidence where the Greek warships were being launched in Mycenae to go to war, and this was the Trojan War (Tew 11).

Theoretical Evidence

This is also known as contextual evidence. There are theories which speculate what might have happened at one time during the war. According to the Iliad, the Greeks took a gift to the Trojans which was in the shape of a Trojan horse, and it was big enough to fit around twelve of the best Greek soldiers. It is very difficult to prove the existence of such gift. However, it is speculated that the Greek God who is called Poseidon gave them that idea. In Greek mythology, Poseidon is the God of the sea, earthquakes, and horses. Archeologists state that there was an earthquake during the invasion. Consequently, if an earthquake occurred during the invasion of the Greek soldiers which destroyed the walls, there could be a linkage between the actual war and Homer's works. There is also some documented evidence in the Hittite records that show if Paris indeed existed he would be around fifty years old when he seduced Helen and took off with her. It is, therefore, possible to say that Paris existed, this helps to prove the start of the Trojan War as mentioned earlier because Paris is one of the primary cause of the war. This helps to show that the war indeed existed (Cline 23).

Other Evidences

Documented Evidence

I will start with documented evidence which is all about the women of Troy and the Hittite Records.

In the Hittite records, a connection between Mycenae and Troy is shown. The Hittites formed an empire which was located on the eastern side of Turkey which is today known as Boghazkoy, and during that time it was known as Hattusas. German excavators discovered what might be a foreign agency office of the Hittites; this led to the discovery of diplomatic archives. The records show that the nation had diplomatic relationships with the people of Mycenae. The records also show the existence of war as of that time (Tew 19). They record a war in a place called Anatolia which is the exact position of Homer's Troy. Additionally, it should be noted that when recording diplomatic relations, the Hittites were very accurate. Therefore, this can be the crucial link that proves the existence of the war. The Hittites also recorded a period of political tension between the Troy, the Hittites, and the Mycenae. Therefore, it can be said that the Hittite records provide enough evidence to prove the existence of Trojan War (Lovata 116- 118).

Another documented evidence is the women of Troy. Excavations done in the 20th century led to the discovery of tablets that showed the lives of the women workers who were also slaves. The tablets found were almost similar to the ones indicating the existence of slave trade in the 1800s. Upon further study of the tablets, it was discovered that the tablets showed that the female slaves came from Asia Minor, which was mainly from the city-states of southern Troy. This discovery may suggest the pillage of the Mycenaean Greeks after the war. The tablets further showed that there were only women without husbands and were employed as industrial workers. It is, therefore, correct to say that these women were as a result of the effects of the Trojan War or any war which led to the collapse of the states of the city. Additionally, according to the time frame predicted, the Trojan War also occurred during this time (Tew 17).

Archeological Evidence

In archeological evidence, I will first begin with the size of Troy which has been the focus of several arguments when trying to prove if the Trojan War existed. The size of Troy is estimated to be 96 hectares which is very large. In Homer's description, the city was also large since he described the city to be "wide and big." This shows that Homer's description matches with archeological evidence hence proving that the war indeed occurred (Tew 20).

Another archeological evidence is the citadel. It is reported that in 1870, a German business person found Troy with the use of the Iliad. He, therefore, headed to the northern side of Anatolia which is the modern day Turkey. However, his location of Troy was not the correct one because people had occupied the citadel of Troy over the years which resulted in the formation of layers that date back to 2500 B.C. It is reported that Troy had accumulated over 50 layers and more than seven cities. The Troy referred to the works of Homer is known as Troy IV and was discovered by a German architect. This particular citadel that was discovered is popularly known because of its great walls. It coincides with the description that Homer gave for Troy. Another Troy VII was discovered by an American archeologist called Blegen. However, it was discovered that that one had been burned down and it is a shanty city as compared to the one in Homer's description which was a royal one. Therefore, it is correct to say that the Troy that existed in the Trojan War is the Troy VI which has the same description like that one of Homer, hence making his claims more valid (Cline 87-88).

Mycenaean and Trojan Trading Relationships

It is reported that Troy was a good city and quite rich in minerals such as gold. Additionally, the city had good traditions, and the Mycenaean was just like it. There have been archeological discoveries through things like pottery which were found in the two areas that is Mycenae and Troy. This indicates that trade was conducted between the two cities. Judging from the date of the artifacts found the trading relations date back hundreds of years before the occurrence of the Trojan War. This proves that the mainland of Greece had a good civilization and knew the existence of Trojan. Additionally, it proves that the mainland Greece had contact with Troy. Another interesting fact is that most researchers have proven that trading activities were cut off as they approached 1250 B.C. From the above statements, one can conclude that Mycenae was indeed familiar with both the positioning and wealth of Troy. This was because of the discoveries that they made through many years of trading. Therefore, it is right to conclude that the trading relations became bad because of one thing which is the Trojan War (Tew 21).

Economic Motives for War

It is reported that before the start of 1300 B.C, a lot of building activities took place at Mycenae. On the other hand, as the city approached 1300 B.C, it started to experience an economic decline despite the building activities. It should be noted that the mainland Greece was inhabited by not only the Mycenaean Greeks but also Orchomenos in the northern side of Greece, Sparta was in central Greece, Pylos in the southern side of Greece, Thebes on the northwest side of Greece and finally Tiryns which was on the southern-central side of Greece. Therefore, it appears that immediately before the Trojan War the Greece confederation started having problems with itself. The problems experienced include overpopulation among the states, production of commodities being reduced to 50%, their routes used for trading were under threat, need for treasures that could be used during the war. Additionally, the states needed to keep their armies loyal, something which could only be achieved through being involved in a war with an external enemy. Therefore, one can conclude that the city of Mycenae had many reasons for getting into war with a foreign city, most of the reasons were economic (Cline 52). From the motives, Troy was an easy target because they knew much about its wealth and it was not protected from its southern area. The state of being unprotected from that side will make it easy for an invasion and looting.

Conclusively, during the Bronze Age, there was a city known as Troy. It was the most beautiful city during its prime because of its elegant walls, good mansions and a palace that was on a hilltop. The city was safe for about 500 years because of its big walls. After 1300 B.C the city built some towers. The city therefore reflected the description in Homer's poems. Additionally, the city was brought down in 1250 and archeologists have proven that it was done so by the hands of men. The chief causative agent for that destruction that fit the epic and Iliad are the Mycenaean. Additionally, after this victory, songs could have been sang and poems composed about it by the Mycenaean bards before the destruction of their city. Therefore, all this shows that the war indeed occurred, however, Achilles did not have superpowers as it is always believed because there is no archeological or other evidence to support this apart from the stories.


Cline, Eric H. The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013. Print.

Lovata, Troy. Inauthentic Archaeologies: Public Uses and Abuses of the Past. London: Routledge, 2016. Print.

Tew, David. The Trojan War. Cape Town: Hilton University, n.d. Print.

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