It is perhaps the most famous war. It was intended by the gods, fought by men, and sung by poets. The Trojan War intertwines legend and history. 1200 years before Christ, the city of Troy was located on the Turkish side of the Dardanelles. It owed its power to its strategic location, which allowed it to control the traffic between the Black and the Aegean Sea. Its strength was also to be its undoing. The Achaeans, warriors and rulers of the people of Greece, were on the opposite shore of the same sea and wanted control of the strait. They developed a military league of states and besieged the city.
The events of the Trojan war are told in two epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, which are attributed to Homer, a Greek poet who probably lived during the eighth century. Both epics describe the siege of the city which lasted ten years, until Odysseus, the cunning king of Ithaca, an island in the Ionian Sea, suggested a ploy to seize it. The Greeks, pretending to retreat, left behind a wooden horse as an offering to the gods. Unbeknownst to the Trojans, the Achaean warriors were hiding inside. The Trojans, abandoning every precaution, brought the horse inside the walls of the city as a trophy. The trick enabled the Achean warriors to penetrate the insurmountable walls of the Trojan city. The city was looted and set on fire. It was the end of Troy. Scholars mostly thought that the Trojan War was the fruit of Homer’s imagination, until the German archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, located the ruins of the city of Troy in 1868 on a hill at Hissarlick, based on the poet’s descriptions.
It was an exceptional discovery. The ruins were composed of several layers, each dating back to very different periods in time. Not a single city, but nine cities of Troy arose from different eras. According to recent studies, the city the poet Homer was referring to was the sixth city of Troy. It is likely that the story did not take place as told in the epic poems of Homer, but certainly from the XI century BC, the people of the Mediterranean had to come to terms with a new emerging power: Greece.