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The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 30 May 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (30 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199760276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199760275
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.3 x 11.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

The author's writing is so clear and his arguments so well structured and complete that this book will appeal to both interested amateurs and those familiar with the extensive literature on this subject ... Highly recommended. (D.A. Slane, CHOICE)

About the Author

Chair, Department of Classical and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations; professor of classics, Anthropology, and History; director, Capitol Archaeological Institute, The George Washington University. Author, Biblical Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2009), winner of the 2011 Biblical Aracheology Society Publication Award for the Best Popular Book on Archaeology; editor, The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean (forthcoming) et al.


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"The Trojan War" is part of the OUP's "Very Short Introduction" series. These are slim volumes, each would fit in a jacket pocket, covering a wide variety of topics, each written by an expect in the relevant field. (Some are reissues of the OUP's old "Past Master" series). Each is about 100+ pages long, complete with maps, illustrations, a bibliography and an index. This one has a glossary also.
The author begins by telling the tale of "The" Trojan War as recounted in various Greek epics. These he puts in the context of the likely timeframe of the Late Bronze Age in the Aegean.
Then he addresses the questions of whether Homer existed and was the Iliad an accurate account of "The" war before dealing with what we've learnt from those Hittite texts that have been translated to date (there are more still to be worked on). These show that, if as seems likely Hittite Wilusa was (W)Ilios/Troy then there were a number of Trojan Wars which leads on to the question - which of these is "The" war? He goes on to show that there is internal evidence that the Iliad may amalgamate stories about more than one of the wars.
Having dealt with the literary texts the author goes on to discuss the archaeological evidence.
As someone who grew up reading of Schliemann's exploits I was a bit taken aback to see him described as "apparently a scoundrel", even though I knew he didn't have an unblemished record. I didn't know the half of it and a few pages later I had to concur with Mr Cline's assessment of him.
The work of later, more honest, archaeologists is then reviewed and the question asked - which Troy was Priam's Troy, Dorpfeld's prosperous Troy VIh or Blegen's post-earthquake ravaged VIIa?
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Format: Paperback
Thoroughly enjoyable.
Not a precis of Homer's Iliad, as I thought or was expecting it to be (Having ordered online, it wasn't terribly clear what it was going to be about!) but actually far more interesting. Chapters are divided into the Epic Cycle as a whole, Homer's identity and the search for the 'real' Trojan War, including short explanations of the evidence for Mycenaean and Hittite cultures as well as an investigation into the tablets at Hattusa which possibly identify Troy, as well as the excavations at Hisarlik and various interpretations of evidence.
Peronally I really enjoyed the evaluation of evidence, and thought there could have been even more on this, as of course with perhaps such a topic, some statements were made that could be challenged (or so my students have informed me, they want more answers than Cline gives them!)
Some of the structure can be a little jumpy - Cline tends to summarise the main issues/findings, then the rest of the chapter explains this, summarises, and explains some more - but I think most people will find it helpful given the large amount of names and dates to keep track of.
Nevertheless, very pleased I bought the back, a bargainous introduction to the world of Troy and the debates over its peoples.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book, so concisely written and a very easy read. I am currently doing a course about the Ancient Greeks and reading Homer. I am also an archaeologist and this book brings together the historical and archaeological evidence for the period of the Trojan War in the Bronze Age. I found it fascinating and it really helped to put Homer's writing in context. I would recommend it to anybody studying Ancient Greece.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really excellent book written in a clear entertaining style. Would recommend it to both adults and children
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