Description: Today we are joined by Ryan Stitt of the History of Ancient Greece podcast to look at the history and myths of ancient Greece through the lens of the 2004 epic Troy starring Orlando Bloom, Brendan Gleeson and Brad Pitt. Ryan traces the earliest versions of the epic poem by Homer which is the basis of the movie, discuss the gods and characters involved and much more.
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This is part two of a two part conversation on Greek history and mythology through the lens of the [inaudible] movie. Troy, I highly encourage you to go back and listen to part one. Don't worry. We'll be waiting for you beyond the big screen. Now we're back. We're back at Sparta and Helen is going off to try. What was the deal with it because then this is another one where troy went by like 35 different names. How culturally similar to the. Were they to the Greeks or were they completely different? There's a lot to that too,
so troy was special in the sense that it sat right there on the periphery of the hittite empire. So like in the hittite empire was very land. It was not very landlocked. It was landlocked. So troy was kind of like it's c arm, so to speak, that the theory is it got very rich as it traded inland with the hittites and beyond. So Heinrich Schliemann was the archeologists who found my [inaudible] and troy there's a long history of a shaman and we could talk about and that could take several hours. But anyway, when he got to troy found that there was nine cities, so like they built on top of each other all the way right up until the Roman era. So even after troy was sacked and we'll get to that later on, the Greeks build over it. They built another city and then the Romans built on another city on top of it.
So he dug all the way down. And so like the bottom, the lowest layer would have been the earliest settlement. So you find that like in the bronze age or the early, the early bronze age for the most part, they were technologically ahead of mainland Greece because for the most part civilization came east to west. So you know, the cradle of civilization was Egypt or booze in the Mesopotamian Egypt. And then it spread up the Turkey and in Greece. And then as my professor if Roman history when I was an Undergrad, said the pig farmers. The Romans came on later, so they were, they were, they were right there at that crossroads of east meets Virginia sort of thing. So they were very, um, technologically ahead of mainland Greece initially. So you'll see that when Schliemann was doing archaeological digs, he got all the way down to troy [inaudible] layer, which is kind of about the 2000 BC roughly.
I'm mark or before 2,500 to 2000 and there was tons of wealth. There was tons of gold, had huge fortification walls, numerous towers and bastions and large central unit of the macron type, which is what you would find in the Mycenaean sites. And it's a lot of the imports found there. Showed a fairly wide range of trade contact and he was convinced that this was homer's Trojan. But the problem it's about 800 years too soon. And he was, he didn't care like it wouldn't be until like later archeologists went back and kept going through some of this stuff or sleeman was convinced that he had found that troy. So it was troy to. He was like, oh, this is really huge walls. It's exactly a homer describes it, so to speak, homer's descriptions, I mean it could have been based off of legends that came down from that we don't know.
So you have later archaeologists that went and found three, four and five and you basically see that there's no breaking culture. They start getting richer and richer, but the troy that would've been roughly analogous with 1200 or so BC, which there's so much so much scholar dispute over which layer it is or which sub layer of which layer it is, but it can be either choice six or six as the normal belief. It shows that there was an earthquake that hit this, hit the area and it was destroyed. Um, there's no, there's no absence of any traces of fire though, say, to reflect any sort of violence. That's why they think it's an earthquake. It is very large and important city for its day may believe that it helped around 10,000 people. It was a huge walled city, about 30 feet or so. Uh, I think it might have been 40 feet off the top of my head.
Anyway, 30 feet, we'll go with that. So after the earthquake the walls are stored, um, but they were not big like they were not, it wasn't anything like described in homer, but the houses were built very crowded to bring as many people. The assumption is they're bringing as many people in from the countryside as possible because warfare, as I mentioned earlier, possibly all those different raids in Troy seven a, which is the generally accepted a city of the Trojan war, he actually found human remains in the houses. A skeleton was found with skull fractures and a broken jaw bone amongst the degree. So the suggestion is there wasn't time to bury them and there's a bronze arrowheads and the Greek design there. So this is one of the evidence pointing to this as a part of the Trojan war. But like I mentioned earlier, this [inaudible] is nowhere near as impressive as described in homer and troy to the layer of troy too, for that matter.
So at that point it's hard to say, um, it could have had a bunch of destruction towards the end and it just wasn't as magnificent as it used to be, like back in the day sort of thing. But at one point troy had massive walls and that's why Schliemann was convinced with them and that was the way the myth, the myth of the walls of troy. I mean even in the myths of Poseidon and Apollo were said to have built them as punishment for trying to overthrow Zeus. I'm on Mount Olympus. They had to go down and build the walls of troy so they couldn't be breached. And as long as there was the palladium, which was this a statue that was sacred to Athena, as long as it remained in the city, it couldn't be breached. And that was either in the Elliot and this wasn't in the movie at all.
I don't remember the Elliot. There was a bunch of like recon raids from the Greeks to try to get in the city to still the statue because it was, it was a fade. It, here's the fate playing a role. Again, it was faded that the city couldn't be taken as, as long as that statue was in the city. That wasn't in the movie as well. I think that would be pretty cool if they had the recon rates and movie, but it was already a, what, a two and a half hour movie. I Elliot and add all the cool scenes. It would have been like a seven hour movie. So I understand the artistic license. Um, I really wish diabetes would've been in that too. But that's an aside.
So where are you basically saying like these trojans were something halfway in between Greeks and hittites because the hittites were obviously like an 800 pound gorilla in the room where they were trading with the Greeks, like linguistically and culturally. How to. Were they more hittite or were they more Greek? Basically.
OK. So this is a very complicated question. Uh, there's been a lot of argument over like the origins of the trojans and so to speak there and under European peoples. So they were more hit height and they work Greek. I would say I'd been speaking to people I don't know much about Louis and it's under ciphered, uh, but it was, it was an indo-european language. They weren't ethnically Greek. They weren't really hittites. They were just a nor. They were just an Anatolian people. There was a bunch of them Anatolian peoples on the west side of Anatolia that weren't hittites, but they weren't a Syrians because they hit the Syrians were east more east. They were just in at Anatolian peoples who came during the indo-european, a migrations. As the theory goes,
there was a lot of fights and that's like one on one fights and they were all pretty cool. The one of the first one was the fight between mental Laos and Paris and this was basically another one of those champions, showdowns what you said are very accurate, but basically they were going to fight it out to see if one or the other one. Then they would just take off and trade helen and everything would be good, but it didn't work out quite that way. Where Paris, a flat away behind hector and then hector wound up killing men. Allow us. And I'm torn on how I felt from hector from both the Iliana and in the movie. What are we supposed to think about hector? Is he supposed to be a protagonist in this epic or. Yeah, I just, I was totally confused about how I was supposed to be all about hector.
I should say that this was probably the most fictitious fight scene in the entire movie. If you go off Elliot. So in the film, as you mentioned, um, my parent, Paris, gets beaten pretty badly by mental place and then he calls back to the legs of his brother Hector, who feels remorse for him. And so after mentalist chases after him, he, he intervenes and kills men allies, which then leads to the Cannes attacking the curtain walls. Well, that is actually not at all, Neil Elliott. Um, first off, mentally as doesn't die. He's not ever attacked by hector and that sense. Um, he's actually, he survives the entire war. I mean, in the Odyssey when Odysseus. So his son goes to Sparta to find out the whereabouts of his father. Uh, so he doesn't die at troy. But like in the early adobe, Paris gets whisked away, as we mentioned by Aphrodite, um, as he's being drug around by men, allies who has vivid description, he's like dragging him by his helmet, scraps, like him sort of thing.
His cowardliness and then they have like a on Mount Olympus. The gods play a role because there's a cease fire. And Zeus is like, he wanted to honor the pact of use. I, well they made a pact, a zoo says let God have a treaties sort of thing like that. He was like, well, it should be big. Greek should get the stipulations. Choice should be the Greek sort of thing. Para who hates the Trojan, wanted to see troy burn. So eventually they decided the gods decided to intervene again. Tina goes down and she persuades the, I'm a Trojan Archer to shoot malaise which only wounds him not significantly, but you know, got shot with an Arrow to hurt, which then provoked the key ends to attack the wall. So this is another case of them taking. They took the gods out of the play and they, instead of Athena persuading a persuading in a I'm in quotes, is more like the gods forced to church and archer to shoot metalize instead of that happening and take the gods out and it's like, oh, hector does it as he goes to try and kill his brother.
And he gives us like human emotion to it. Like, Oh, I love my brother sort of thing that's not in there at all. But uh, but like I said, mentally has actually survived the war. So in terms of hector's behavior, it's not, it's not an alien that, uh, that particular scene, most of his behavior in the Iliad is pretty honorable when he's about to fight Achilles. And I guess what, we can talk about that later when we get there. But when he's about to fight Achilles, he does do a few dishonorable things out of fear I would imagine. But for the most part he's a fairly honorable guy in the movie. So I think it's a, I think it was more of the, the film was trying, the director was trying to humanize the people more and take the gods out of the element. It's like, oh, the brotherly love sort of thing. Save my, save my brother
if that seems to be a big thing that hector and the movie is. He's always doing something for somebody else. He's either doing it for troy or his dad or he's doing it for his brother, but the one fight that he gets in to in the movie that's really from south is when he fights. Keith thinks he's fighting Achilles, but he's fighting pro-truck loss. Let's before we even talk about that fight, who is petroc less and his relation to a Kelly
in the film. He's showed as a much younger cousin of Achilles and is a very novice fighter, like a young, but in the Iliad and throughout most myths he's was Achilles best friend. Some perhaps would say he was even his lover, like there are more than just best friends. They were that close. Kind of like a Alexander and fst on would be later in history. And he was a very skilled fighter and an alien. He killed many trojans until he was finally slain by hector. Uh, so he, he was very, very close with, uh, with uh, caylee's. They grew up together, best friends. They weren't cousins, they could've been lovers. It depends how you want to read it. I mean, that was common in Greek in ancient Greece. So it's possible this fight scene to was a little off as well. I mean, it was a great fight scene, but in the film you get Patrick please.
He goes behind it, Achilles is back and he leads the charge against the trojans sort of thing. And then he was pursued by hector who killed him, not realizing who it was. And then when he realized that he immediately ended the battle for the day and both sides have turned to their camps. But in the Elliot Patrick [inaudible], he's actually got Achilles permission to go and fight and to even where's armor Achilles was saltiness tent. But he's, he, uh, he was like, you can wear my arm or you can go and fight, you're just not allowed to go pursue the trojans once they, once you push them away from their ships, because the charges at that point had made it all the way to the Greek camp and they were about to press down on them and pushing them back into their ship sort of thing. So he actually got, is a permission to go out there and do that.
And Patrick Lee, Patchouli is, helps push them away. But then he also disobeyed his Achilles wish and he pursues them back to the walls, kills many Trojan soldiers along the way, including scarpered on who is a mortal son of Zeus. And there's this whole scene in the Iliad where Zeus is like, saddened by the death of his son, one of his favorite hundreds of signs, I guess on a. and then he was fine until he was eventually hunted down and killed by hector knowingly. You knew like he knew who it was. Uh, and then there was a long fight over the armor, which agriculture is, is wearing, which was a killer. He's armor and hector ended up getting that and he ended up taking Achilles armor and at the same time there was a fight tremendously over the body of Patrick [inaudible] and somehow ended up back with the Greeks. And this was, I believe this is a book <unk>. This is like towards the end of the Iliad [inaudible] maybe they aren't a. yeah, something like that. Twenty two or 23. This is towards the end. Um, and then they bring the dead body of patch please back to Achilles who mourns him. And I know it's not [inaudible], it's a little whatever. It doesn't matter who mourns him in. And he basically goes ape shit
more. Patrick, a little bit too much to so much to the point where like, his soul can't go to wherever souls are supposed to go.
Yes. Um, he mourns him significantly, which was another reason a lot of people are of the belief that they were more than just best friends. He was grieving tr tremendously. Like as if he was like his companion, so to speak, like his life companion, but he just lost a husband or you know, you know what I mean, like uh, like he just lost someone that meant the world to him and he basically just lost it and he, he doesn't have armor so past it fastest makes them new armor. They wait a, I forget, I forget the length of time that they have to wait, but he just goes off and he just kills many, many groups in the movie. It's portrayed as he just enters this chariot the next day and well he does in the book. He doesn't eat until he kills. He liked him. Like that's what you're talking about.
Like he doesn't eat, he doesn't do anything. All he thinks about his killing Greeks and getting revenge in the movie. He's, he enters his chariot and he goes alone up to the walls and he starts screaming for her to come out. And that's not really how it happens in the Elliot's this is book 23 actually. So what their fight happens in book 23 doesn't quite happen that way when he challenges hector and Hector has this like goodbye speech to is um, to his wife and his son Stan acts. His wife had dropped Andrew. I'm gonna, I'm sorry, Andrea Maki. Uh, and he goes down, he accepts his fate and he goes down and he's like, oh, he knows he's going to die. And, but he's a proud person and he goes out and fights Achilles a wants to kill his, kills him. There's an epic fight scene.
And then once they, Kelly's kills him, he attached them to his charity and drives them back to the camp. But in the Iliad, Achilles goes off on this like crazy. Like kinda like how diabetes does. Earlier as we were mentioning, he goes off in this crazy god-like frenzy and he even like fights nearby river God. And he just starts fighting people. He even a, almost attacks, you know, almost even he attacks and nice and he just goes off this like rage. I'm like this big just rage and eventually pushes everybody. This is all happening outside of the the true choice walls and then everybody eventually just become scared and they run within the city and Achilles is chasing after them and hector fight. He doesn't go back in and he doesn't have like that touching. Seeing mothers in the movies. He does have a scene earlier but not right before.
He's about to fight Achilles. Hector fights Achilles outside the walls. He tries to reason with him, like once you realize that's not going to happen and then he kind of gets scared and he starts running around the. He runs around the walls of troy. I think it's like three times I think. I think it's like three times until he finally like Athena to Athena. Athena shows up and she's like, Hey, you need to fight him and I will help you sort of thing. And so he stops. He turns around and then he goes to fight Achilles and the God disappears and then he's killed. Yeah. Yeah. So like he, he doesn't have that touching and with his wife. I mean, there is this touching scene like I mentioned earlier in the book where she pleads him not to risk his life even though a bio because he knows he's going to die and that troy and if he dies, Troy's going to be destroyed and then the thought of his wife's enslavement by the Greeks and then what will happen to his son, which comes to fruition later causes him lots of grief, but he knows he has to fight Achilles at some point.
It's his destiny and he even says that he would rather die than be thought of as coward and dishonor his name. So it's like that whole persona. That right there is the hector that's portrayed throughout the movie, not the one that gets scared and runs around way
was he was really the only one who didn't have a lot of gods in his corner. Any wasn't at all. He was really just his own man, his own show, which probably wasn't the best thing to be up there.
Yeah, exactly. I didn't. I guess I never really thought about that. Um, yeah. He didn't really have, it wasn't his brother. Parents who didn't have aphrodite and this corner, but then again, he also didn't have the other two goddesses spiting him either. So he didn't. He had aphrodite's Paris at Africa. He's blessing, but he had heron Athena's hatred. So I guess it depends if you're feeling lucky that day. Yeah. He didn't have a. He didn't have a divine backing in his corner. You're right,
he's hector as killed in that battle. And then Kelly's pretty much desecrates his body. What was the whole purpose of desecrating his body and then not allowing him to get the proper funerary rights?
Well, not only Achilles does it. The other Greek commanders also take stabs at his body to an alien, not in the movie, but in the earlier, the whole point of not giving him proper funerary rights is a until he's buried or until he gets the proper funerary rights. He's not allowed to cross the river styx and Haiti's and Aaron in the underworld and enter hades. So we basically like to use a more modern term. He's kind of in purgatory. Like he, uh, he can't enter the underworld and tell his body's buried. There's famous myths about this where like, um, I'm sure you've heard of a service, the myth of sisyphus though in Iraq where he tricked his wife and told her not to bury his body when he died so that way, and then he convinced for Stephanie to let him go back to the, uh, to the, to the land of the living, to basically lambast his wife and get her to bury his body so he can enter and instead of doing that, he just goes back and he lives a normal life.
So he checked the, like, that was one of the many things he did that angered the gods. So, uh, so yeah, like we can't have a proper burial. Your, your shade can't go on. I'm the underworld. And the, in the Greek sense is not a lot of like what we have in the monotheistic religions nowadays with like this heavenly hell, hell, hell. And you have a heaven. It's sort of this kind of like more neutral sort of stance. There wasn't really, it was an afterlife, but it wasn't really an afterlife, a now some of the divine heroes, they went to the LSC and fields which were kind of basically like this glorious afterlife for the spawn of the gods, so to speak. So that was one of the benefits of being a hero, but for the normal everyday people, it was kind of like this, I mean Achilles when, uh, odysseus goes down into the underworld and the Odyssey, he, he's like, I'd rather be a, the lowliest person on earth than B, a k in the underworld, so to speak. It wasn't a tormenting hell as we think and like the modern western tradition, but it wasn't this jury existence kind of like a, you know, kind of in the sense of like if it's in the Disney movie where they just have like these shades just floating about
your life experience. Hector's body and was as dad pri, um, went through pretty extraordinary means to get him his funerary rights and to get his body back. What was the whole purpose of that story?
As you mentioned earlier, Patrick, his body wasn't worried either Achilles didn't do that until he got his revenge and so that night he appeared in a dream and he was telling him like, you need to hold his funeral so soul can enter the underworld on the next day. Achilles does that. He sacrifices some church and captives and then he lights a funeral pyre. This is all in like book 23. He holds a series of funeral games which include a lot of the stuff that you would find in a mod later Olympics, kind of like boxing, wrestling or tree chariot racing, sort of stuff like that. So while this is all happening in hector still dead and Apollo, who's the god of medicine sort of thing, he protects hector's corpse and keeps it from rotting and from being attacked by animals. He puts special spells on it. Finally, on the Twelfth Day, then Apollo gets pay, persuade Zeus, that hector's body must be returned and receive proper funeral rites by the trojans.
So Zeus Instructs Prom through his messenger, Goddess Iris, to um, to, to go and see Achilles that night. And nothing's going to happen to him. He's going to have protection prion that night. He sets out on a chariot full of all these treasures that he's going to give to Achilles. He's guided by the Messenger, God Hermes, and he's disguised as a mermaid on which is the people who kill these people that he was in charge of a leader of a so on the chariot arrives, prom reveals himself to Achilles and he's kind of like in the movie heat, I was talking about the book now, but in the movie kind of like starts begging and supplicating and for Hector's body. And he asks Achilles to think of his own father and the love that he had for his dad and 3m moves Achilles like his speech and like the fact that he risked to come in to see him at moves achilles. And he starts weeping for his own father and he agrees to finally accept the ransom first corpse. Um, so then Hermes guys pre-op back to the camp on unnoticed. And then all of the Trojan women start weeping when they see hector's body. And then Achilles promised a reprieve from the battle so that they could prepare their own funeral pyre for nine days and do the games that he did. So to speak, for Patrick [inaudible]. And that's how billy it ends.
That's interesting you say that, but that's where it happens. Where does the whole other idea of the Trojan horse and the destruction of troy in a near miss and all these other things are not in the hill yet. They are in troy though. Is it first off? Did the ancient authors think that it was odd where it ended?
I don't know if they thought it was odd, but it fit into the. It was part of the epic cycle. So it was. It was only telling that specific event. So the entire theme of the Elliott was the wrath of Achilles and his wrath was now over subsided. So it the, the movie started, and this didn't even show up in the film, like the movie or the book started with the Greeks in the last year of the war, sacking one of Apollo's temples and pulling off to females, [inaudible] and member say back and per s who was completely wrong in the movie. She is not a Trojan princess. She was actually a daughter of the priest of Apollo. So the character of Chris and Troy in the movie is pretty wrong in the film. She's, she's this Trojan priestess with royal blood and she's given to [inaudible] when they sack the temple of Apollo and she was then taken by Agamemnon to anger, Achilles out of spite, but was given back a few days later and she stayed with [inaudible] until preamps saw her while recovering with hector's body.
But in the Elliot, she was more booty that was given to Achilles after they sack <unk>. Troy's allies, not a Trojan temple as it's portrayed in the film, but when I'm Agamemnon, last is prize per se. This was a process of Apollo, the daughter of a priest of Apollo. When agamemnon took her, they brought a, they sent down a plague. This is what the book starts with. So when Agamemnon took her, the Apollo sent down a play, he's also the god of medicine and got a play sort of thing and the sears sears came up to agamemnon and they're like, you need to get rid of this, you need to send her back. Uh, this is why Apollo was angry with us. That's why they had that whole big thing in the beginning of the film, even if it's kind of not the, even if it's not the way it goes in the book, they still talk about the reverence of Apollo in the beginning of the film, because that's how the Elliot starts with like, Apollo just shooting down this plague.
So that's how he takes per say. So he gives her status back not wanting to begrudge begrudgingly, but then he takes [inaudible], which infuriates Achilles and that's his rap. He's like, this was such a strict to his honor. And that's what the, the, the homeric Greek hero was there. Claire asked their honor because he won this as a in his part of his body that he wanted. It was his material possessions meant the world to them in the sense that like he earned this when he was doing such a great deed, it was his and he was angry and he backed out and he would not receive her back until he agreed to fight again, which happened after the death of Patrick Lee. So you have this whole throughout the Iliad, he, there's no per se with Achilles, they do that, I think to humanize a killer.
He's like that whole humanizing, getting rid of the gods sort of thing. They, uh, they kind of bring out a softer side to show is more human characteristics in the film. It's the Senate on the, like the modern need for the hero and there's a love interest sort of thing, you know, modern cinema. So like that, that was a twist that was not in the Iliad, but like, but getting back to the original point, the Elliot was about that wrath of Achilles and his anger and his stubbornness and Claire Bnb being discussed by Agamemnon and may what it caused. My belief is that the reason that ended there is because he got his wrath. I mean, he was still hurt over the Patrick Lee staying, but he gave a hector's body back. He entered the war again. He on his back, his anger subsided. His anger towards me. He was so angry and Agamemnon, they never really got along. Um, but you know, like his, his wrath towards that whole dissing him subsided.
So what's you're saying is the narrative arc of the Iliad is not what we would traditionally think of as the Trojan war. It's really the slice of a police,
but the protagonist in every way he is. It's, it's, it also gives you this insight into the home, Eric or dark age, your worldview of things. His whole like Claire Aussie, that, that word is found throughout. It's the Greek word. It's for honor. It's found throughout the book and it's him losing that or that whole respect, respect due to him. So it wasn't really the aliens, not really about the Trojan war. Um, that's what the whole epic cycle kind of thing was about. This was just about that incident in his life.
Where does the rest of the story come out of and where does the sack of troy and the Trojan horse and all those other pieces come from? Are they from one narrative or are they pulled in from different sources?
Airport in front of a lot of different sources. So in addition to the homeowners do poems, you, we mentioned the epic cycle, um, those epic cycle. We, I'm not quite sure when those were lost, but they would've been available to St Virgil's and need his book to, when a nice arrives at the court of Dido, he relays to hear the story of the fall of troy. That's where a lot of this information comes from. And then also the later, the late Roman author, acquaintance of SMYRNA has a fall of troy. I think it's third century, a d that's actually pretty good read for like later he, he brings together some of the traditions and then there's also summaries in that late antiquity and Byzantine period. There's some hints, audits, Metamorpho Season [inaudible] or stay in trilogy. Talk about some of the sort of things you have to pull all of it together. There's fragments from different poet Pindar mentions a few of it that, yeah, there's just, there's fragments all over the place, but for the sack of troy specifically, the most commonly one is virtual book too.
That's interesting because we tend to traditionally think of. But I, you know, I'm saying this from a layman's perspective that the Iliad leads into the Odyssey, but that doesn't seem to be true.
So the Odyssey actually starts in. I'm stuck on the, uh, on a remote island with the goddess Calypso. So it's, I think, I'm not sure how long after it happens, but it's a huge time period between huge in the sense of like several years time period from the end of the Iliad to, to the beginning of the Odyssey. He is already with Calypso. He has fallen in love with her and he's refusing to leave this book one and uh, and then you flashback and you find out that there's a mob of suitors coordinating his wife and Athena visits telemachus and tells him that he needs to go see his old friends and pile loss nested pile loss and malaise and Sparta to get further news on his father. So basically you find out throughout the book like what happened and how he got there kind of like piecemeal.
So kind of starts. Odyssey starts in the beginning of action and kind of like how I'm dido of the follow troy. He kind of tells other people how he got to where he was going. Like we learn that it's kind of like a piecemeal. So yeah, it doesn't, it doesn't end. Like the Elliot doesn't end in the Odyssey starts like, that's not how, that's not how it works. There's a lot missing in between there. You have the whole Trojan horse episode which is found in a virtual book to which we can circle back to that because we didn't. I didn't answer that in your last part of the question. So a lot of the earlier references of it on face paintings. Um, we have a fairly famous one, I want to say from the seventh century. There's been a lot of hypothesis on the Trojan war where it came from. Well, how's inspired.
There's been a lot of speculation that it may have been a battering ram that resembled a horse in that description was then transformed into a myth by later historians, ancient who shore ins, who weren't like homer weren't present at the battle unaware of the meeting. So, you know, amateur telephone, like they called it the Trojan horse. It was the battering Ram. They thought it was an actual horse. Another interesting theory is that the Trojan Horse was a horse and myth is symbolic of poseidon who's not only the god of the sea, but the god of earthquakes and the god of horses. Basically things that strike the earth. The water strikes the earth, the sea earthquakes. Horses strike it when they're running sort of thing. So the horse was his favorite animal and speculation that perhaps the Trojan horse was a banks offering by the Greeks to deciding for sending an earthquake, destroyed the city walls, which allowed them to deliver the final blow. As we mentioned there, science earthquakes in the archaeological record. There's no way to prove any of this is true, but these are some interesting theories that they have. Anyway,
was the first one who started to piece these things together into a narrative of a Trojan.
He wasn't the first one. He's the source that we have. There were people in the epic cycle who had poems similar to homer, but they're just lost two. Like I mentioned earlier, we have so much of what was actually written in ancient Greece and the Romans and the majority of a lot of civilizations at the time is not lost to us, so it's just lost. Like it wasn't preserved. There wasn't any monk furiously copying it in the Middle Ages or if they did, the library has got burned. Alexandria was one of them that that's a big tragic story of history. It was the loss of all the information and Alexandria, the same with a in Babylon when they were, uh, they were sacked. Um, so we just, we have lost a lot of stuff. So when Libby was writing the Roman history, he was using things that were seven. He was using things that are like 500 years old that we no longer have. Luckily Livy, things like that. So there were earlier sources. Just Virgil is, is the earliest complete source of the story that we have survived. So we don't know what the other people before him thought about it, if that makes sense. We don't know what he
putting his own twist
need is basically giving a Roman connection to the Trojan war. Cause like I mentioned earlier, the Greeks like to harpined back to the significant founder to a lot of places. The Romans wanted a significant founder with Romulus and remus in Rome and then he says the Latin race and they wanted to connect it back to even greater to the Trojan war so they could trace their lineage back to this August time period. That was famous. So it was a lot of propaganda too,
wrapping up the whole war part of it. They say that it was 10 years long. Did people literally think it was 10 years that they were camped outside of Troy for 10 years, or was 10 years? So I'm sort of literary device.
It was, um, from all the sources I saw, it was about 10 years. They didn't really, they weren't really camped out per se, is not the phrase they use. They did go in a lot of raiding expeditions in a lot of, uh, even in Illiad and mentions billion starts. They sacked a neighboring town of, uh, who is an ally of the trojans. Uh, they did go off on. They didn't fight the trojans for most of the trojans were behind their walls. There wasn't a whole lot of fighting going on. They also tried, they tried different tactics. So they were there for 10 years. Uh, they just went off and attack different people in the region to basically when Hannibal a entered Rome, you know, how he didn't eat it in March upon room and attack the city, he tried to attack its allies to, to kind of weaken them up because they wouldn't have those resources come in and sort of thing. So it's kind of like that in a very, very not equal terms, but you know what I'm trying to say. Yeah,
yeah. Now that makes more sense that, that the whole elite eds basically focused on that last year because they're basically. Are you saying they're tying the new surround troy itself at that point? Yeah,
but you have to think of it from like, the homeric mindset is about rating and getting booty and capturing and capturing slaves, capturing gold, capturing whatever you can capture. You know, what was valuable to them. So like restless soldiers are not good. Even the Romans thought that like, you don't want restless soldier, so if you're not getting behind the walls of troy, you need to get your shoulders out doing something and killing something or getting something you need. You need happy soldiers, happy soldiers is a happy army sort of thing.
Was there some idea that they were physically gone from their kingdoms for 10 years? Yes,
it would have been in certain areas. I know that Odysseus in Ithica is suitor. They didn't think he was coming back and the suitors try to get penelope to find a new husband to become the new king of Africa in the escalators or stay. You can stay. The play opens up with a, like quite a master brooding. She's been brewing for a decade, a waiting for her husband to return. Um, she was brooding because he had to sacrifice their daughter in order for them to leave. That's an entirely different story. Like the Greek army assembled at all this and Uva in that area and accidentally killed one of artemis is sacred deer. So in order to appease her, she sent, she sent these wins against them that wouldn't let them sale. And you know, at that time you need it. The winds to sale. They didn't have modern equipment and it just kept, it kept badgering them. So in order to appease them, they had to sacrifice their daughter Agamemnon steider if a Jiniah she did pissed off at anger to Astra and that led to the whole or style where when he comes home she murders him sort of thing. So like he came back to this conquering hero only to be killed in the bathtub by his wife
after all this and really f. But if you summarize your studies of all of this, I mean this is really an appeal to the wider listen to your podcast. Why should we learn about these myths and these, the Greeks and ancient Greece. Why? What is it something that. Is it a lot of people who love history, love literature. What do you think is the big appeal to listen to your podcast and to learn about this?
Well, my podcast in particular, the Greeks are the cornerstone of the Western civilization. That's where we got a lot of our ideas in terms of government philosophy, that sort of stuff, that drama, that sort of stuff. So this is always a keel to me. I was always a fan of origins of things. So like why we do things way we do that is I'm also a fan of ancient near eastern history for that specific ancient Roman history, things like that. Like why are we, why do we do the things that we do and why and how do they change over time. So I was always fascinated by that and I was particularly fascinated by the ancient Greeks because they had such a heavy influence on our thought, our government apparatus, the way we do things, our constitution. They were heavily influenced the founding fathers up until like the last century or so, maybe a century and a half, I don't know, a Greek and Latin was learned by all a lot of people in school and they don't listen in America like the upper-class schools at least they don't do that as much anymore.
It's kind of lost. Its. It's kind of lost his zeal towards more modern languages, but at the same time I feel that classics, you can learn a lot. You can learn a lot about where you're going by knowing what happened and where you're coming from, sort of thing. Myth in particular, myth fascinated me even before I got into history, I remember learning in grade school about the different Greek myths and they were just fascinating stories and then when I got into college I took math classes as just out of happenstance because I needed credits and I was just fascinated to understand like the, the mindset, the psyche of humans because every culture has different myths but they kind of and may tell you about that culture, but they can't. There's like a university reality. Like it just tells you about the human spirit, like why we, why people thought the way they did before the advent of science, how they, how they saw the world, how they, how they viewed their place in the world.
Like we take it for granted. Like we grow up in a lot of predominantly Christian or Jewish or monotheistic religious places that were posting a lot of these thoughts and science own and a lot of these societies that in the ancient world, they. There's different religions everywhere. There was different. There wasn't really the scientific thought yet that came later. So like the way they. The way these myths come from their understanding of why things are happening, like light means coming from the sky. It must be a sky. God is angry, sort of thing, sues the sky. God is angry. He's sending lightening like it always just fascinated me to learn that sort of insight into the human spirit. Thank you again for listening to beyond the big screen part of the history of ancient Greece podcast for joining us today as links to learn more about Ryan and his podcast. The history of ancient Greece can be found at w, W, w dot history of ancient Greece, dock or in the show notes. Brian has a very lively and active facebook group. First podcast. I highly recommend you join the group to see more fascinating articles, pictures, and conversations now, a great way to support beyond the big screen as to leave a rating and review on apple podcasts. These reviews really helped me know what you think of the show and help other people learn about beyond the big. We
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