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In Search Of The Trojan War [Paperback]

Michael Wood
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

7 Jun 2001
For thousands of years we have been enthralled by tales of Troy and its heroes. Achilles and Hector, Paris and the famed beauty Helen remain some of the most enduring figures in art and literature. But did these titanic characters really walk the earth? Was there ever an actual siege of Troy? In this new, extensively revised edition Michael Wood takes account of the latest dramatic developments in the search for Troy. A new preface, a new final chapter and an addendum to the bibliography bring his wide-ranging study of the complex, archaeological, literary and historical records up to date. Detailing the rediscovery in Moscow of the so-called jewels of Helen and the re-excavation of the site of Troy begun in 1988, which continues to yield new evidence about the historical city, this superbly illustrated book takes a fresh look at some of the most exciting discoveries in archaeology.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; Rev Ed edition (7 Jun 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 056353415X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563534150
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,038,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A dazzling and exhaustive analysis."--"Washington Post Book World --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Michael Wood is a writer and historian living in England. He is the author of several highly acclaimed books including In Search of the Trojan War (California, 1989). --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
It took me years to track this book down having seen the BBC documentary as a child - I was not disapointed. I'm a complete newcomer to Greek History and found the size of the subject daunting. However, Michael Wood's book on the Trojan War conveys his enthusiasm, which is contagious, and couldn't be any clearer in setting out the arguments regarding the siting and dating of the Trojan War and the questions raised by Homer's 'Iliad' (eg. is it a literal account? Is the poem the work of one man or a several poets over a period of time?)
The unravelling of such a mystery should be exciting and he conveys this easily. The results of the original excavations by Schlieman in the late 1800's and the implications for later generations of archaeoligist's in the way he worked are explained and the story is brought right up-to-date with more recent digs by Manfred Korfman and also the discovery of the so-called 'Jewels of Helen' which disappeared in the Second World War.
It's a huge subject and he clearly explains how it also links into Arthur Evans' work in Crete with the Palace of Knossos and the search by others for the Palace of Agamemnon at Mycenae (One of the key-players in the Trojan War).The book also dispelled my initial worry that I would not be able to follow the arguements relating the dating of the finds and different civilisations. Simple diagrams and tables are included for easy reference.
It has formed an excellent platform for me to explore further in this field of history. I have gone on to read Homer's 'Iliad', Leonard Cottrell's 'Bull of Knossos' and 'The Lion Gate' alongwith Schliemann's 'Troy and It's Remains' and Susan Heuck Allen's 'Finding the Walls of Troy'.
Best of all these though, is still my loveworn copy of this particular book. Thank-you Michael Wood for bringing this subject to life!
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Imaginative, lucid and vivid. 8 May 2002
Michael Wood is brave enough to take the necessary leap of imagination to bring all the mythical elements together and make real sense of them. Throughly researched, he provides common sense reasons for the cause of the Trojan war but at the same time the book is totally compelling and moving. It is also very well produced and illustrated.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compulsory reading for history buffs 18 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Michael Wood tackles this complicated subject with his usual panache. The book is excellent for the fascinated amateur but is sufficiently scholarly for the academic. It traces the subject matter and sources of the Trojan myth and possible implications for factual history. Named sites and individuals are investigated minutely. Mr Wood follows a carefully thought out route to his conclusions. An excellent read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought the original hardback edition (1985) when the TV series was shown. I bought the latest (2008) paperback edition in order to catch up with the latest developments. The book contains much more than appeared in the series - the six episodes are expanded into eight chapters - but whilst the first edition was profusely illustrated with figures and photographs, the paperback has just a solitary map. This is a serious drawback for those coming to this book for the first time. For instance, the hardback edition has an extremely useful diagram showing the layers of the city from 3600 BCE to 1500 CE, as well as details of Spratt's map of 1839, helpful plans, and a rich source of archive photographs. When Wood describes the gold objects that Schliemann uncovered at Mycenae, one craves for a view but only the hardback has the colour plates that will satisfy.

In his new preface Wood notes that, "The first edition of this book told the story of the three great excavations ... Each claimed to have answered the riddle of the Trojan War, though each found a different war in a different level of the site. None has been universally accepted as solving the mystery." The last dig was in 1938, but an extensive new excavation led by Manfred Korfmann - Wood writes that his name "will now take its place alongside the greats of the past" - commenced at the site in 1988. Wood notes that, "Already, it is safe to say, a number of outstanding problems about Troy seem likely to be resolved." And it is with relief that Wood points out that these new excavations have not disproved his speculations of twenty year before; "indeed, if anything they seem more, rather than less likely to be correct." Wood has added a final chapter to his original book and the bibliography has been updated too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Trojan War holds a grip on the imagination like few other events in mythology. Part of the modern interest in the myth is due to the startling confirmation over the past century that Troy was a real place, located exactly where the legend puts it, with even minor details of topography from Homer's text backed up by archaeological evidence. This makes Troy a fascinating subject to discuss, but also a dangerous one: it's too easy to let the imagination run riot and conclude that perhaps the legend is a true story, that Agamemnon and Achilles were real people, and the survivors of Troy did go on to found Rome.

Back in the mid-1980s Michael Wood produced a TV documentary for the BBC based on the premise that the Trojan War was a real even that took place approximately in the 12th Century BC. This accompanying book and its later second and third editions expanded on the idea: Wood proposes that Troy was a client-state of the Hittite Empire that fell prey to a series of incursions into Asia Minor by the Greeks, at that time dominated by Mycenae. Mycenae was reaching the zenith of its power and in fact would soon face a rapid decline and collapse. In one of its last expansions of power it tried to expand its empire into the Near East whilst the Hittites were distracted by clashes with the Egyptians, Assyrians and other neighbouring powers, and Troy was one of the cities destroyed in the process.

Wood outlines the 'discovery' of the site of Troy (a hill in Turkey a few miles from the Dardanelles called Hisarlik) by the early archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in the mid-19th Century and the work by Schliemann and others in uncovering the site and other notable contemporary locations, including Mycena.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Distant Horizon, Flattish Sea
This is an excellent history book not so much about the Trojan War as the historiography of the subject. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Charles Vasey
5.0 out of 5 stars To the walls of Troy where ere they be.
This is a fantastic detective story and Michael Wood energises it as only he can .I got the DVD which is superb. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alan
5.0 out of 5 stars Tip Top Trojan Trip
Even better the 2nd time 'round. well done Michael for making history so accessible.
Looking forward to catching up on the DVD.
Published 6 months ago by Mr M K Brooks
4.0 out of 5 stars Updated version of classic
Decent although not too extensive update of classic book of brilliant tv series. Michael Wood does a great job of telling the tale through the various believers and unbelievers in... Read more
Published 11 months ago by M J Reardon
4.0 out of 5 stars In Search of the Trojan War Michael Wood
Excellent book I would recommend it. The history of the Trojans is fascinating and the book was mesmerising, the author is extremely good at keeping your attention, also very... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mrs.C.M.Nurse
4.0 out of 5 stars Trojan War: CSI
So did the Siege of Troy actually happen?

I have to confess I had the wrong impression of this book when it arrived, expecting a 'history of the Trojan War'. Read more
Published on 3 Jun 2010 by Filthy Raider
3.0 out of 5 stars review of transaction
Book described as new, but was average to poor and even had a number of written comments by readers in it. Item came quickly though.
Published on 28 Jun 2009 by David J. Best
5.0 out of 5 stars Wood continues to strike home
This is the book of the TV series that first brought Michael Wood to public attention. His style is eminently readable and he provides a very succint guide to the history of Trojan... Read more
Published on 17 May 2009 by Paul Burton
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