The Trojan War is one of history's most famous conflicts, a ten-year-long war waged over the beautiful Helen. For more than two thousand years this story has been a source of artistic inspiration. But is it true?
In The Trojan War historian and classicist Barry Strauss explores the myth and the reality behind the war, from Homer's accounts in The Iliad and The Odyssey to Heinrich Schliemann's discovery of ancient Troy in the late nineteenth century to more recent excavations that have yielded intriguing clues to the story behind the fabled city. The Trojans, it turns out, were not ethnic Greeks but an Anatolian people closely allied with the Hittite Empire to the east. At the time of the Trojan War the Greeks were great seafarers while Troy was a more settled civilization. And while the cause of the war may well have been the kidnapping of a queen and, more significantly, the seizure of her royal dowry the underlying cause was a conflict between the Trojans and the Greeks for control of the eastern Aegean Sea.
Through vivid reconstructions of the battles and insightful depictions of its famous characters, The Trojan War reveals the history behind Homer's great epic, without losing the poetry and grandeur of the epic myth.
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Barry Strauss is Professor of History and Classics, Bryce and Edith M. Bowmar Professor in Humanistic Studies at Cornell University, and a military and naval historian and consultant. As the Series Editor of the Princeton History of the Ancient World and author of seven books on ancient history, Professor Strauss is a recognized authority on the subject of leadership and the lessons that can be learned from the experiences of the greatest political and military leaders of the ancient world (Caesar, Hannibal, Alexander among many others). These lessons apply to the corporate leaders of today who are faced with complex issues that are both challenging and often defy easy solutions.
Professor Strauss has spent years of researching and studying the leaders of the ancient world and has written and spoken widely of their mistakes and successes. He is also a widely acclaimed military and naval historian whose analyses of the strategies and campaigns of some of history’s great commanders reveal the successful rules of engagement that were true on the battlefield and resonate in today’s boardrooms and executive suites.
He is a former director of Cornell’s Judith Reppy Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, where he studied modern engagements from Bosnia to Iraq and from Afghanistan to the streets of Europe. Professor Strauss is an expert on geopolitics including the Middle East, terrorism, Europe, the Mediterranean and US alliances. He is currently director as well as a founder of Cornell’s Program on Freedom and Free Societies, which investigates challenges to constitutional liberty at home and abroad. He holds fellowships from the American Academy at Rome, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, the German Academic Exchange Program, the Korea Foundation, the MacDowell Colony and the National Endowment for the Humanities, among others, and is the recipient of Cornell’s Clark Award for Excellence in Teaching.
He is the author of seven books on ancient history, including “The Death of Caesar” (now available in paperback) “The Battle of Salamis”, named one of the Best Books of 2004 by the Washington Post, and “The Trojan War: A New History” (2006). Writing in the Washington Post, Tom Holland hailed his “The Spartacus War” (2009) for having “all the excitement of a thriller.” Books & Culture named it one of its favorite books of 2009. His books have been translated into ten foreign languages, from French to Korean. Professor Strauss holds a B.A. from Cornell University and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University.