Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Touring Troy, Turkey

I guess you are very familiar about the dangerous computer virus called Trojan Horse or Trojan Virus. A Trojan Horse derives its name from the Trojan War. Legend has it that King Odysseus built a Trojan Horse as a gift to the city of Troy to signify surrender. He then ordered the Greek army to retreat and left the ‘gift’ outside the city gates. However it turned out that the Horse had more than 40 soldiers hidden in its belly. Once inside the city of Troy, these soldiers snuck out and opened the gates for their fellow soldiers who went on to attack the unsuspecting city with iron weapons.

It is an honor for me to visit this historical place named Troy in Turkey. I thought I can only see it on postcards or images in the internet but I was really there. Our tour guide explained to us about Troy, also called as Ilion and Troia in Greek, Wilusa in Hittite or Truva in Turkish.

Troia was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998.

Troy was a city, both factual and legendary, located in northwest Anatolia in what is now Turkey, southeast of the Dardanelles and beside Mount Ida. It is best known for being the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle and especially in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. Metrical evidence from the Iliad and the Odyssey seems to show that the name Ἴλιον (Ilion) formerly began with a digamma: Ϝίλιον (Wilion). This was later supported by the Hittite form Wilusa.

A new city called Ilium was founded on the site in the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. It flourished until the establishment of Constantinople and declined gradually during the Byzantine era.

The Trojan Horse during our vacation in Turkey last September 2011.

In 1865, English archaeologist Frank Calvert excavated trial trenches in a field he had bought from a local farmer at Hisarlık, and in 1868, Heinrich Schliemann, wealthy German businessman and archaeologist, also began excavating in the area after a chance meeting with Calvert in Çanakkale. These excavations revealed several cities built in succession. Schliemann was at first skeptical about the identification of Hissarlik with Troy, but was persuaded by Calvert and took over Calvert's excavations on the eastern half of the Hissarlik site, which was on Calvert's property. Troy VII has been identified with the Hittite Wilusa, the probable origin of the Greek Ἴλιον, and is generally (but not conclusively) identified with Homeric Troy. continue reading here.

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