The Trojan War

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Surveys the historical underpinnings of the Heroic Age in ancient Greek tradition

Different as the Trojan War was to Greeks and Romans, the two peoples united in an identical longing for a heroism that was attainable in the present only by reaching out for an impossible past. Carol G. Thomas and Craig Conant's broad and varied account of the Trojan War allows readers to investigate the archaeological and historical foundations that underlie the epic poems featuring Achilles and Aeneas, and to examine how the poems altered understanding of the war for the many cultures and civilizations touched by their narrative power.

Conceived as an introduction to this critical event in the Western tradition, The Trojan War offers readers and researchers an engaging mixture of descriptive chapters, biographical sketches, and annotated primary documents. Also provided are an annotated bibliography and index.

Carol G. Thomas is Professor of History at the University of Washington, co-author of Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200-700 BCE and author of Progress into the Past: The Rediscovery of Mycenaean Civilization.

Craig Conant is co-author with Carol G. Thomas of From Citadel to City-State.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is an accessible book, admirably suited to its target readship. A copy in a school or departmental library would provide an excellent introduction to the nature of oral epic and to the problems (with some possible solutions) of identifying places, events and characters in Homeric epic, and a valuable resource for students researching coursework."


Journal of Classics Teaching

"Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and two-year technical program students; general readers"



"This guide provides an in-depth discussion of the ancient civilizations of the Aegean. The main focus is to explain plausible evidence that supports the growing body of scholarship, which holds that Troy and the Trojan War existed not only in oral tradition, but also in fact….Although this guide will certainly not be light fare for the casual reader, those studying the ancient and classical worlds, will not be disappoined. Recommended."


Library Media Connection

"Was it Iphigeneia or Penthesileia whom Achilles slew in battle? Is Memnon just a nickname for Agamemnon? And how did all those Hittites get in there? For those of us who have trouble telling Antenor from Andromache, Thomas and co-author Conant sort out the events and characters of Homer's account, and give us the background to appreciate his themes. They describe the contexts of the late Bronze Age, the efforts by scholars to find what turned out to be the real Troy, the influence of Homer in the epic tradition, the force of legend, and the implications of the story of Troy for the present day. They include a photo essay, a chronology, compilations of biographies of characters and original documents, a glossary, and an annotated bibliography."


Art Book News Annual

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806138749
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 236
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Carol G. Thomas is Professor of History at the University of Washington, co-author of Citadel to City-State: The Transformation of Greece, 1200–700 BCE and author of Progress into the Past: The Rediscovery of Mycenaean Civilization.

Craig Conant is co-author with Carol G. Thomas of From Citadel to City-State.

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Table of Contents

Series foreword
Ch. 1 Troy and the world of the late Bronze Age 1
Ch. 2 Finding Troy and the Trojan war 21
Ch. 3 Homer and the Epic tradition 39
Ch. 4 The force of legend 63
Ch. 5 Troy and the twenty-first century 81
Biographies : the personalities of the war 97
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