“Troy and Homer”

Joachim Latacz

I enjoyed this book about the references to Troy (modern Hisarlik, Turkey) in contemporary documents (Hittite tablets, etc.) and the internal evidence in the Iliad for the antiquity of the story (names used that were antique even in Homer’s day, for example). Despite its deliberate and methodical pace it’s a fascinating book. Latacz makes a good case that the Iliad — written around 800 BC — contains elements that predate Homer and that it’s plausible that the city known as Wilusa to the Hittites was invaded by Greeks circa 1300 BC. I do wish that there was more in the book about the identification of the Troy VII layer at Hisarlik with the Troy of the Trojan War; Latacz does write about Manfred Korfman’s thesis that Troy VII is part of a larger city than previously thought.

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