Troy is a historical city from the Classical world, which became popular after the Trojan War, which was a glorious chapter in the history of the world. Troy was an Ancient Greek city that became beleaguered for more than 10 years and was finally conquered by the Ancient Greek forces after the Trojan War. This famous war took place when Helen, the queen of Sparta, was abducted by Paris, the son of Priam and king of Troy. Menelaus, Helen’s husband, launched a massive expedition to Troy in order to avenge the abduction of Helen. Troy and the Trojan War have been mentioned by Homer, the famous poet, in his works of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Troy to the Greeks

Location of Troy

Historians have argued that Troy was just a myth or a legend that has only been mentioned by Homer in his poems as one of the most important settlements of his time. Since antiquity, Troy is believed to be located in the area called Troad in the northwest corner of modern Turkey. Travelers and pilgrims have journeyed across Troad to believe that they have reached the place where once the heroes walked and fought. In the 19th century, Charles Maclaren, a Scot, and Frank Calvert, an English, were the first to link the ancient remains of a hill to the ancient remains of Troy. In 1870, Heinrich Schliemann, the German archaeologist, journeyed to Anatolia to discover Troy and validate the fact of Homer’s Iliad. Schliemann’s claimed site has been discussed and debated for a number of years. Most historians have agreed that Schliemann’s site was the Ancient city of Troy.

The Trojan War

The Trojan War took place when Paris came to Sparta as the guest of Menelaus and his wife Helen. When Menelaus had gone out for some time, Paris abducted Helen and went off to Troy. Menelaus in order to avenge this humiliation, assimilated a huge Ancient Greek army, with popular cult figures such as Achilles and launched a huge attack on Troy. After a long fought battle, Troy was finally defeated and Helen was rescued. Earlier, Menelaus had decided to kill his unfaithful wife, but later changed his mind and forgave her. The victorious Ancient Greek forces after the fall of Troy finally returned back.

The dramatic Trojan War was a stalemate for 10 years and was inconclusive in the beginning, since the Ancient Greeks were unable to capture the city of Troy and at the same time, the forces of Troy were also unable to drive the Ancient Greeks back. Finally, the Ancient Greeks played the trick of hiding under a huge horse, which was left outside the city of Troy. The people of Troy happily welcomed the gift, completely unknown of the fact that it had Ancient Greek soldiers inside the horse. It enabled the Ancient Greeks to launch the final expedition on the Trojans and brought about their downfall and finally brought forward the fall of Troy. This episode of the Trojan horse is a famous example that is also used in the present times, especially in the field of politics to denote an unreliable ally.

The Trojan Horse: A Special Mention

The Trojans initially thought that were successful in driving back the Ancient Greek forces and had successfully won the never-ending battle. When they found the horse outside, they became elated, unaware of the trick. As night fell and the city went off to sleep, the soldiers went out of the giant horse and captured the city of Troy by killing the Trojan king.
As mentioned earlier, the Trojan horse is a popular imagery today. Even the computer virus ‘Trojan’ gets its name from this very incident only.

How Troy became Lost

It is an astonishing fact that the site of Troy was lost. In the course of time, the remains of Troy crumbled away to become a low hill over a flat landscape. The area became sparsely populated. There were significant mounds around the Trojan plain and the ordinary hill. These were mostly burial sites, located not quite in the Bronze Age but made at different times in the Greco-Roman period. But despite this, the city of Troy, or Ilion, was lost from history.

Troy people home

The Excavations at Hisarlik

The Ancient Greek city of Troy has been left in the ruins for a long and has only been mentioned in the stories and events circulating around the legendary Trojan War. In the present times, an excavation site in northwest Turkey, now known as Hisarlik, is expected to be the same site as the Ancient Greek city of Troy. Excavations at Hisarlik have revealed an inhabited area that is 10 times the size of the citadel which was found in the earlier excavations at the same site. This is perhaps a Bronze Age site that greatly highlights the significance of Troy, even in this age.

Troy: A City of Immense Value

Troy is a unique city located between the East and the West and is a great center of dialogue and discourse. It was a bridge of cultures from the Ancient period which has been validated by the reports of UNESCO. Troy was also recognized as a site of “Outstanding Universal Value” by the World Cultural Heritage List in 1998.

Excavations at Troy started more than 150 years ago. After Frank Calvert discovered it in 1863, Heinrich Schliemann’s discoveries of 1870, made it more famous. It was however due to Schliemann’s discoveries that the story circulating Troy came to be regarded as true and resulted in renewed interest in the history and interest in Troy.
Around 24 excavations have occurred for over 150 years and have now revealed many levels of occupation of the site, starting from the Early Bronze Age to the Roman era.
“Troia Museum” is an award-winning project which has been opened by the cultural ministry of Turkey. The leading actors from the 2004 Hollywood movie “Troy” gave the event star power.
Whether the legendary beauty of Helen led to the departure of numerous ships to Troy is a debate open to question. But it is certain that in the decades to come, Troy will continue to develop into a great site for history and knowledge. Numerous editions and counter editions of Homer’s epics bear testimony to it.