Since the origin of Homer’s Illiad, the Trojan war was influencing the minds of artists all over the history and world. Also for centuries it was considered as a myth until 1870 when the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann inspired by Homer’s art began excavations all over the hellenic part of Asia, and finally found the ruins believed to be a famous city.
Pretty much everybody knows the mythical version of the Trojan war. But now let’s look at it from the historical point of view. We will use the book series of David Gammel, which may be considered as fiction, but it’s supported by many researches of this journalist and history professor.
In Homer’s Illiad the reason for creating Hellenistic coalition against Troy was kidnapping the Spartan princess Helen by the Son of Priam- Paris. The fact is that the true reason was the same thing as always- money. The golden mines in Myken’s which were used to cover expenses of Agamemnon’s many military efforts, started to be empty. The fighting king searched for solutions of his problems, and his sight finally landed on Troy- one of wealthiest trading cities in this part of the world. Additionally thanks to contempt policy of Priam, Troy had many opponents in continental Hellad.
In Mythical version there’s a great story about how the biggest fleet yet departed from Greece to conquer Troy, at the road there, overcoming many obstacles putted there by gods. But this kind of route would be ineffective, too risky and it would require too much logistic effort. Also Dardanians – one of Troy’s close allies – had very powerful fleet, and it would be an extreme danger for the Greeks if they’d meet them in open sea. Such great strategists like Odysseus or Agamemnon would never allow this. First of all the Greek army travelled north toward Thrace, one of the traditional Troy allies. It had few main military reasons. Most of all creating a land route for a marching army; provocating Troy elite troops to go in aid of their allies and destroying them in an uneven match; consolidating Greek coalition in fight against the relatively easy opponent.
After conquering Thrace and securing the land route for their troops it came time for the sea part of the operation. One part of the army attacked Dardanian’s capital forcing their fleet to leave way between Greece and Troy, leaving it open for Greek ships.
At night at Troy’s shore near one of the further forts started to land Greek assault. It’s possible that Helen was killed by her own fellow compatriot while she spent time in that fort. So much about war in defending her honour.
When morning came, surveyors at Troy tower saw two armies approaching. One from north, which gained a lot of experience conquering both Thrace and Dardania; and one which was still landing on the shore eager to fight after the long voyage.
Troy of course wasn’t helpless. One of the strongest fortifications in the known world, a lot of elite formations experienced in combat against Egyptian armies in aid of their ally Hepacyt empire, and of course enormous wealth that can be used to buy services of many mercenary companies.
It started a long, brutal war that no one could get any advantages. The fight was held under the city’s walls, all over the country where Trojan elite cavalry tried to paralyse enemies efforts, and on the sea where the Dardanian fleet along with the rest of the Trojan and mercenary ships quickly gained advantage against the bigger but less modern Greek fleet. Casualties were counted in thousands.
At last the famous “Trojan Horse”. In the myth it is giant wooden statue hallow inside which was used to smuggle Greek troops inside the city. In fact it was a much more common way. Trojan Horse was the name of elite Trojan cavalry mentioned before. Greeks captured some of their units and in disguise of their uniforms pretending that they were escaping from chasing enemies. Trojan gatekeepers opened the gate to let their fellow soldiers inside as soon as they saw that. They were caught in Odysseus trap. Once the disguised soldiers got inside they attacked the defenders and opened the gate for rest of the Greek army.
Even if Agamemnon’s plan to capture city was successful he fell miserably. The whole city’s treasuries were spend on war efforts; the economy was ruined and he didn’t get a chance to restore it due to the Hepacyt Emperor that came in the last moment with an army of his own. Much greater in number and more rested than the Greeks. Agamemnon didn’t have a choice and he was forced to leave the city without any of the expected loot. The city was destroyed because Hellens weren’t allowed to stay, and Hepacyt’s were busy fighting with Egyptians on the south.
That’s how one of the most beautiful cities of the Antique met it’s sad end. It’s legacy lasts to this day in image of Rome which were built by descendants of Trojan Exiles.
– by Blaise L. –