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Revue de presse

The author's writing is so clear and his arguments so well structured and complete that this book will appeal to both interested amateurs and those familiar with the extensive literature on this subject ... Highly recommended. (D.A. Slane, CHOICE)

Présentation de l'éditeur

Homer's tale of the abduction of Helen to Troy and the ten-year war to bring her back to Greece has fascinated mankind for centuries since he related it in The Iliad and The Odyssey. More recently, it has given rise to countless scholarly articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, epic movies, television documentaries, stage plays, art and sculpture, even souvenirs and collectibles. However, while the ancients themselves thought that the Trojan War took place and was a pivotal event in world history, scholars during the Middle Ages and into the modern era derided it as a piece of fiction. This book investigates two major questions: did the Trojan War take place and, if so, where? It ultimately demonstrates that a war or wars in the vicinity of Troy probably did take place in some way, shape, or form during the Late Bronze Age, thereby forming the nucleus of the story that was handed down orally for centuries until put into essentially final form by Homer. However, Cline suggests that although a Trojan War (or wars) probably did take place, it was not fought because of Helen's abduction; there were far more compelling economic and political motives for conflict more than 3,000 years ago. Aside from Homer, the book examines various classical literary sources: the Epic Cycle, a saga found at the Hittite capital of Hattusas, treatments of the story by the playwrights of classical Greece, and alternative versions or continuations of the saga such as Virgil's Aeneid, which add detail but frequently contradict the original story. Cline also surveys archaeological attempts to document the Trojan War through excavations at Hissarlik, Turkey, especially the work of Heinrich Schliemann and his successors Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Carl Blegen, and Manfred Korfmann. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 14 commentaires
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Best Concise Guide to the Evidence for the Trojan War 10 mai 2013
Par P. Helm - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Eric Cline is an archaeologist and ancient historian with deep knowledge of the Bronze Age civilizations of the Aegean and Near East - the perfect background for tackling this assignment. He reviews the critical evidence for Aegean-Anatolian relations in the Late Bronze Age, including material that has been discovered in the last 25 years that most books on the subject have yet to consider. I am impressed with this monograph's comprehensiveness, conciseness, and readability. I plan to assign it to my students next time I teach "Homeric Epic and Greek History."
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
If you want the facts, this is the book to read. 23 septembre 2013
Par Peter Renz - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Was there a Trojan War? No doubt about it, there were many. Does the Iliad tell it like it was? As for the details, No. But as for the human elements, motivations, nature of warfare, and so on, Yes. Those elements are outside the realm of this book, but here you will come to understand how the story of Troy is reflected in the Hittite tradition and what is known from the work at the site of Troy. Essential reading.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent! 4 septembre 2013
Par Dick Marti - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I can't add much to what has already been said in the previous two reviews. I found the book excellent, readable, and undownputable. There was a lot in it that I did not know, especially the information about Teuthrania, Ajax, and the possible involvement of Herakles in a First Trojan War. Hopefully, somebody is working on the undeciphered tablets. What's taking so long?
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Trojan Work 12 décembre 2013
Par JohnCarr - Publié sur
Format: Broché
"The Trojan War" is part of the OUP's "Very Short Introduction" series. These are slim volumes, each would fit in a jacket pocket, covering a wide variety of topics, each written by an expect in the relevant field. (Some are reissues of the OUP's old "Past Master" series). Each is about 100+ pages long, complete with maps, illustrations, a bibliography and an index. This one has a glossary also.
The author begins by telling the tale of "The" Trojan War as recounted in various Greek epics. These he puts in the context of the likely timeframe of the Late Bronze Age in the Aegean.
Then he addresses the questions of whether Homer existed and was the Iliad an accurate account of "The" war before dealing with what we've learnt from those Hittite texts that have been translated to date (there are more still to be worked on). These show that, if as seems likely Hittite Wilusa was (W)Ilios/Troy then there were a number of Trojan Wars which leads on to the question - which of these is "The" war? He goes on to show that there is internal evidence that the Iliad may amalgamate stories about more than one of the wars.
Having dealt with the literary texts the author goes on to discuss the archaeological evidence.
As someone who grew up reading of Schliemann's exploits I was a bit taken aback to see him described as "apparently a scoundrel", even though I knew he didn't have an unblemished record. I didn't know the half of it and a few pages later I had to concur with Mr Cline's assessment of him.
The work of later, more honest, archaeologists is then reviewed and the question asked - which Troy was Priam's Troy, Dorpfeld's prosperous Troy VIh or Blegen's post-earthquake ravaged VIIa?
There is much we don't know and will never know on this topic but I feel Mr Cline has given a fine layman's summary, assuming it's accurate, which I have no reason to doubt, and it's only my reluctance to award five stars except for works that I find truly exceptional that prevents me from awarding it a fifth star.
10 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Trojan War 15 mai 2013
Par J. West - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Eric Cline, The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction (New York: Oxford University Press), 2013.

In Eric Cline's latest learned tome he tackles the Trojans and their war. It's worth noting right off that a glance at the index shows that Cline does not mention Zwingli so much as once; but why would he? This delightful volume specifically focuses its attention on one matter and one alone- a telling of the Trojan tale stripped bare of unnecessary `rabbit chasings'.

In 130 small pages Cline discusses in three parts, 1- The Trojan War; 2- Investigating the Literary Evidence; and 3- Investigating the Archaeological Evidence. More precisely, chapters include examinations of the Trojan tale in ancient Greek literature, the historical context of the war, the historicity of Homer and his tale (which is, to my mind, the heart of the matter), Hittite texts bearing on the story, early excavations of Troy, and later excavations. The volume also includes 10 illustrations (charts, maps and that sort of thing), a glossary of places and people (and deities), and finally, a bibliography for each chapter and an index.

I'll leave to you, the reader of the volume (which, by the way, you should be at some point) to decide if the evidence Cline assembles is enough to demonstrate the historical veracity of the Trojan tale. For Cline it is, with some hesitation. And that, I think, is the single greatest strength of both this book and Cline's scholarship in general: he refuses to go beyond the evidence and offer a definitive yea or nay.

Notice, for just one instance of many, the closing phrases of the book:

...the story [of the Trojan War, of course] still holds broad appeal even today, more than three thousand years after the original events, or some variation thereof, took place (p. 110).

Cline is a measured thinker who measures his words as he measures his evidence and, in authentically scholarly fashion, only and strictly says what his evidence leads him to say.

Readers of this, and other of his works, will be most impressed with that attribute- especially given the absurd and exaggerated claims of TV specials on archaeology, the Bible, history, and other such things.

This little book is worth its weight in gold. Trojan gold.

Jim West
The Philippines Baptist Theological Seminary
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