The Trojan War
by Carol G. Thomas, Craig Conant
January 2005, 240pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-32526-7
$52, £39, 44€, A75

The Trojan War is an event that stands at the very foundation of the Western and the epic tradition, and this volume provides readers with an opportunity to experience it in as direct and as varied a manner as is possible.

For Ancient Greece as well as Ancient Rome, the Trojan War provided a history that seemed possessed of a power as magnetic as it was malleable; thus, in this single source these two great civilizations were able to find two distinct sets of heroes, two distinct sets of virtues, and two eternal poets. But different as Greece and Rome’s experience of the Trojan War may have been, they united in an identical longing for a heroism that was attainable in the present only by reaching out for an impossible past. In Carol Thomas and Craig Conant’s broad and varied account, the reader will have the opportunity to investigate the shadowy historical foundation that underlay the poetic environment of Achilles and Aeneas; as well as examine how the poetic experience altered the understanding of the Trojan War for the many cultures and civilizations that were touched by its expansive forces.

Designed as an accessible introduction to this critical event in the Western tradition, The Trojan War offers readers and researchers an engaging mixture of descriptive chapters, biographical sketches, and annotated primary documents. An overview of Troy and the world of the late Bronze Age is presented in the first chapter, followed by sections on: finding Troy and the Trojan War, Homer and the epic tradition, the force of legend, and Troy in the 21st century. An annotated bibliography and index are also included in this work.


"Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and two-year technical program students; general readers"—Choice, October 1, 2005

"Was it Iphigeneia or Penthesileia whom Achilles slew in battle? Is Memnon just a nickname for Agamemnon? And how did all those Hittites get in there? For those of us who have trouble telling Antenor from Andromache, Thomas and co-author Conant sort out the events and characters of Homer's account, and give us the background to appreciate his themes. They describe the contexts of the late Bronze Age, the efforts by scholars to find what turned out to be the real Troy, the influence of Homer in the epic tradition, the force of legend, and the implications of the story of Troy for the present day. They include a photo essay, a chronology, compilations of biographies of characters and original documents, a glossary, and an annotated bibliography."—Art Book News Annual, January 1, 2006

"This is an accessible book, admirably suited to its target readship. A copy in a school or departmental library would provide an excellent introduction to the nature of oral epic and to the problems (with some possible solutions) of identifying places, events and characters in Homeric epic, and a valuable resource for students researching coursework."—Journal of Classics Teaching, January 1, 2005

"This guide provides an in-depth discussion of the ancient civilizations of the Aegean. The main focus is to explain plausible evidence that supports the growing body of scholarship, which holds that Troy and the Trojan War existed not only in oral tradition, but also in fact....Although this guide will certainly not be light fare for the casual reader, those studying the ancient and classical worlds, will not be disappoined. Recommended."—Library Media Connection, December 1, 2005
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