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The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction par [Cline, Eric H.]
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Descriptions du produit

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

The Iliad, Homer's epic tale of the abduction of Helen and the decade-long Trojan War, has fascinated mankind for millennia. Even today, the war inspires countless articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, movies, television documentaries, even souvenirs and collectibles. But while the ancients themselves believed that the Trojan War took place, scholars of the modern era have sometimes derided it as a piece of fiction.

Combining archaeological data and textual analysis of ancient documents, this Very Short Introduction considers whether or not the war actually took place and whether archaeologists have really discovered the site of ancient Troy. To answer these questions, archaeologist and ancient historian Eric H. Cline examines various written sources, including the works of Homer, the Epic Cycle (fragments from other, now-lost Greek epics), classical plays, and Virgil's Aeneid. Throughout, the author tests the literary claims against the best modern archaeological evidence, showing for instance that Homer, who lived in the Iron Age, for the most part depicted Bronze Age warfare with accuracy. Cline also tells the engaging story of the archaeologists--Heinrich Schliemann and his successors Wilhelm D?rpfeld, Carl Blegen, and Manfred Korfmann--who found the long-vanished site of Troy through excavations at Hisarlik, Turkey.

Drawing on evidence found at Hisarlik and elsewhere, Cline concludes that a war or wars in the vicinity of Troy probably did take place during the Late Bronze Age, forming the nucleus of a story that was handed down orally for centuries until put into final form by Homer. But Cline suggests that, even allowing that a Trojan War took place, it probably was not fought because of Helen's abduction, though such an incident may have provided the justification for a war actually fought for more compelling economic and political motives.

About the Series:
Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects--from Islam to Sociology, Politics to Classics, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume in this series provides trenchant and provocative--yet always balanced and complete--discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject has developed and how it has influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all students an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever the area of study that one deems important or appealing, whatever the topic that fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 3514 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 153 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0199760276
  • Editeur : Oxford University Press; Édition : 1 (12 avril 2013)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.6 étoiles sur 5 21 commentaires
15 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 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."
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 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.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Anything but a short introduction. 22 avril 2015
Par Petros Koutoupis - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Despite the name of this publication, it is anything but a short introduction as it provides a great wealth of information pertaining to the story we have come to know as the Trojan War, all packed into less than 120 pages.

What may catch most readers by surprise is that Homer’s Iliad covers no more than fifty days of the tenth year of the Trojan War. It is the later written and fragmentary Epic Cycle that fills the gaps leading up to the Iliad (and the Odyssey) and its aftermath. Cline begins this volume by introducing the reader to the entire Epic Cycle; that is, their titles, assumed authors, estimated timeframes for compilation, and a high level summary of each, some of which are a second and possibly third hand retelling of the tale as the complete manuscript has since been lost to time. By the end of the initial chapter, a much clearer picture is painted of this epic battle and the heroes that fought in it.

The following five chapters (six in total) dive straight into the archaeology and known history of ancient Aegean during the Late Bronze Age Period, focusing predominantly between the 15th to 12th centuries BCE. He tells of the discovery of Troy at modern day Hisarlik in Turkey, to the discovery and identification of the Mycenaean Greeks and their capital centered at Mycenae, in the Argolid in Greece, by Heinrich Schliemann, a simple man driven by his passion for Homer. Following its discovery, archaeologists and historians alike would attempt to locate Homer’s Troy buried within the location’s multiple settlement layers, and its fatal battle that pitted two almost legendary forces; each layer providing clues to its end whether it be through mother nature or the ravages of war. It would not be until the translation of various Hittite tablets that scholars would start to piece the details together.

Dr. Cline then shifts the focus to the Hittites, a kingdom that ruled to the East of Troy and over most of Anatolia, centered at Hattusa, near modern day Boğazkale (formerly, Boğazköy), Turkey. Following the decipherment of the Hittite language (an early Indo-European subset), historians identified a kingdom by the name of Wilusa (Greek: Ilios), another name for Troy and an ethnic group referred to as Ahhiyawa (Greek: Achaeans), Homer’s name for the Greeks. It immediately became clear that there existed a conflict between the Mycenaean Greeks and various locations on the Western coast of Asia Minor. It is these clues that Eric Cline uses to showcase the events that would later inspire poets to compile and retell the narrative later identified as the Trojan War.

It is difficult to believe that such a large amount of detail could be summarized into such a small volume, but Cline is successful in his efforts and provides the reader with a single and concise publication around Homer’s timeless epic.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 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.
11 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 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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