Friday, March 20, 2015

Who Were The Trojans?

We all know the famous story of the Trojan War (City of Troy VII), how the Greeks and Trojans across the sea, fought each other for ten years, until the Greeks, led by Odysseus, tricked the Trojans with the famous Trojan Horse. The story is enshrined in the human imagination, and thanks to Heinrich Schliemann, is also embedded in the books of human history. But who were the Trojans of this time, really? Has that question ever been successfully answered? 

The first possibility is that they were a group of Greeks themselves. The Greeks came from the east and settled in mainland Greece. Troy is also in that direction. Remember, the Greeks had differently named settlements. Homer doesn't even call the invaders of Troy "Greeks," but rather Argives and Achaeans. So it's entirely possible that Troy itself was a Greek settlement, just called by its name instead of identifying with an entire ethnic category. It's also possible that the Trojans were Hittites, as the Hittite Empire was in Asia Minor, which is also where Troy was located. 

Some people think that the Trojans went on to become the Romans. Legend has it that, when Troy fell, a Trojan named Aeneas, fled the city and founded what would become Rome, which, as Karma would have it, later conquered Greece. However, if it's true that the Romans were the remnants of the Trojans, it would be very, very early Rome. Remember, Rome became a mighty empire, and many different bloodlines lived and populated there. Even today, a Roman citizen might not be the same as a Roman even five-hundred years ago. I think it would be very far-fetched to go to Rome today, point to someone and say, "you're a Trojan." I think the Trojan bloodline is basically extinct, that it died out a long time ago, certainly as history knew it.

Who were the Trojans of the famous war? I think the fair answer is that we don't really know. But we do know that there was a Troy, and we know it as a fact because it was excavated by Schliemann, proven to the world, and we do know it was one of the greatest times of Gods and Heroes ever written about in the history of humanity. The brave men on both sides live forever in history and in our hearts.

In the Goodness of the Gods,

1 comment:

  1. Now that's an interesting question! I have wondered this myself. The Trojan War took place about 400 years earlier then when the Iliad was written and no one knows for sure who Homer was or if he in fact was a real person, I've heard conjecture that the actual author of the Iliad might have been a woman because there are some errors when describing the ship, and it makes mention to things most Ancient Greek men would give three flying fudge balls about such as laundry. lol I'm not saying I agree with that theory, my point is that we can't take it's content as being 100% accurate so anything we can extrapolate from it must be taken with a grain of salt. Not that I think a woman are less capable of writing an accurate account of events then a man is, but it's funny to think that the source detailing the events in question is itself shrouded in mystery. Also the Iliad is an epic poem, the composer took a lot of creative liberties the poem is full of religious and mythological symbolism, it was never intended to be a historical documentary.

    That being said, the Iliad doesn't seem to treat the Trojans like their very alien or foreign to the Greeks, they seem to share the same religion and naturally in the Iliad they're going to be talking Greek although I doubt that they actually did, due to the fact that the Names e.i. Paris are not Greek. I personally think that they might descend wholly or partly from a common culture. The Ancient Greeks used a phrase Pelasgians to describe either the ancestors of the Greeks or peoples native to the Aegean region that predated the Greeks. It's possible that the Trojans' could be categorized as such, it's also realistic to think that they might have been specifically Hittites since Troy was found in Turkey.

    The thought that the Romans are descendants of the Trojans sounds a little sensational, it would make a great plot for a Hollywood movies (series maybe a trilogy), then again truth is stranger then fiction. The Romans liked to portray Ulysses Odysseus' Roman counterpart as villainous character rather than a clever hero. They also thought themselves descendents of Aeneas, but that doesn't mean that they actually were it's not uncommon for families or populations of people to claim erroneous linage with someone famous for political reasons or to increase their own prestige, then again they might have been. We just don't know right now. It'd be awesome if they found preserved tissue somewhere in Troy to run DNA tests lol.