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The Trojan War: Did It Happen?

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0795
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This online program is presented on Zoom.
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The Burning of Troy by Johann Georg Trautmann, (1759/62)

Calamitous battles, breathtaking Helen, love-struck Paris, cuckolded Menelaus, and a giant wooden horse: the Iliad, Homer's famous account of the Trojan War has fascinated humankind for centuries and has given rise to countless scholarly articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, epic movies, television documentaries, plays, art, and sculpture. 

Archaeologists and historians have struggled to answer questions about Homer’s magnificent tale. Did Troy really exist? Where was it located? Was there an actual Trojan War or is Homer’s tale simply a good yarn? Is there any historical truth in a face that launched a thousand ships or was there simply a 10-year struggle for political hegemony in the Aegean?

Eric Cline, professor of classics and anthropology at George Washington University, presents a thesis based on the latest archaeological and textual discoveries that a Trojan War, or several such wars, did indeed take place during the Late Bronze Age. Although many questions remain that have ignited scholarly controversies and even most-unscholarly fistfights, Cline has no doubt that there’s a kernel of truth in Homer’s story. 

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