Where did the battle of Troy occur?
For a long time, historians, scholars, and archaeologists have argued and disputed about Homer’s epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey. The debates have centered on whether or not these poems were based on fact and if they were, where the massive battle of Troy took place. Many people have posed their own theories about the location of Troy. Recently, one new theory has surfaced that is supported by archaeological, cultural, and geographical evidence. The battle of Troy did happen, but not for the same reasons that many people think. Also, contrary to popular belief, this legendary battle did not occur in Turkey, but rather in England (Wilkens par. 7).
The legend of Troy states that the war started when the Greek goddess of discord, Eris, was not invited to the wedding between the god Peleus and the goddess Thetis. Eris was angry and stormed into the wedding banquet tossing a golden apple onto the table and proclaiming that it belonged to the fairest. Paris, a Trojan and the fairest man alive was to be the judge. He chose the Greek goddess Aphrodite because she promised him the most beautiful woman on Earth. That woman was Helen, a Greek and the wife of Menelaus. Paris sailed to Sparta and abducted Helen, who might have been willing to go, and sailed back to Troy. This happened around 1200BC (Wood 16). Menelaus, angered by this action called upon many Greeks to gather and form an army. Many heroes such as Odysseus and Achilles sailed with Agamemnon, Menelaus’ brother and king, in the Greek fleet to Troy. They laid siege to Troy and in the tenth year, the clever Odysseus devised a plan to overtake and destroy Troy. The Greek army built a huge wooden horse that housed some of the army’s finest warriors. The rest of the army pretended to sail away. That day, the Trojans foolishly pulled the horse into their city and left it unattended. Under cover of darkness, the Greek warriors inside the horse crept out and opened the city gates for the rest of the army to march in. Troy was destroyed that night.
Assuming that Homer was a real poet, and assuming that his epic tale is based on fact, there are many questions that need to be answered. First, who were the people fighting in this war? In Homer’s poems, he mentions Achaeans as being the army opposing Troy and Trojans as being the men native to Troy. This is difficult to understand because Homer takes for granted that his audience knows about this war and who it was that fought. The myth Troy states that this war was between the Greeks and Trojans because it includes references to Ancient Greek gods being present. Many historians assume that the Achaeans are Greeks, or Mycenaeans who lived in Greece. They then assume that when Homer mentions Trojans, he is meaning the people group native to Asia Minor. Iman Wilkens and others believe that Homer was speaking about Ancient Celts (Wilkens par. 3-5).