The Authenticity Of Homer's Illiad Year 11 Essay

993 words - 4 pages

To what Extent was Homers Account of the Trojan War Historically Accurate?
Homer’s Iliad, written in the 8th century B.C., recounts a ten yearlong war fought in the city of Troy. The Iliad was written five centuries after the conflict, where the stories had been handed down through the oral practice. The Iliad's historical accuracy has been challenged for centuries due to the lack of evidence supporting it. However, through archaeological studies the truth can be deciphered. Archaeologists found a site in which they thought to have been ‘Troy’ destroyed by the powerful country of Mycenae. They also found pottery, engravings, murals and clay tablets, which helped them to understand the culture of the Trojans. There are however shortcomings to the accuracy of Homer's Iliad such as his partially inaccurate historical references and the Iliad’s medium as an epic poem. Due to the archaeological evidence supporting Homer's account of the Trojan War, it is historically accurate to moderate extent.
In A1870 in North Western Turkey, Heinrich Schliemann excavated the site believed to be Troy. This phenomenal break through supported the historical accuracy of Homer's Iliad to a moderate extent through stratigraphical evidence. The site contained nine layers of cities, and one layer was highly likely to be Troy. After examining the debris found in each of the nine layers, it was found that the sixth or seventh layer was Troy. The seventh oldest city at the site fits the description of a city under siege and destroyed by war in 1175 B.C. Archaeologists have found arrowheads in the streets to support this claim, but the city itself was not as grand as the one described by Homer. Archaeologists believe Homer took an element of poetic licence when writing the Iliad by using the stratigraphy of layer six and the destruction of layer seven, and blurred the two into one ten-year-long war. However, recent archaeological findings from Manfred Korfman in 2004 support Homer's account of a 'grand' Troy. Korfman's excavations uncovered far more buildings, 75 more acres of settled land, and remains that suggest Troy at the time of the Trojan War was home to 10,000, just as Homer suggested in his Iliad. These archaeological findings support Homer's account of the Trojan War, making the Iliad historically accurate to a moderate extent.
The Troy from the Trojan War was described in Homer's Iliad to have detailed weapons and armour. Homer also described artefacts that have later been found by archaeologists. These discoveries support the historical legitimacy of Homer's account of the Trojan War. The seventh layer of Troy, when excavated, was found to have many household artefacts such as storage jars, housing plans, building materials and jewellery which all correspond to those used by people in Homers tale. Storage jars set into the floor suggests a state of siege was upon Troy in the seventh layer, which means Homer's account of the Greeks and Trojans at war would...


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