Did the City of Troy Really Exist?

The great works of the Greek poet Homer, the Odyssey and the Iliad, tell of a war between the Greeks and the city of Ilium, which was also called Troy after the region in which it was located.

According to Homer, Troy was a fortified city in present-day Turkey, near the shore of the Aegean Sea. The Greeks attacked Troy to bring back Helen, the kidnapped wife of a Greek warrior. They laid seige to the city for ten years before they captured and destroyed it.

The city of Troy disappeared from history in the fourth century. In the centuries since then, there have been many disputes about the exact location of this city. People began to believe that there never was a city of Troy and that the story of the Trojan War was simply a legend. Some even said that Homer himself, who was supposed to have lived in the eighth century B.C., was a legendary figure.

Then in the nineteenth century, archaeologists began digging up a mound of earth in Turkey. The found not one city of Troy, but nine! The first five were small villages. But the sixth, built on top of the other five, was a walled city dating from the twelfth century B.C., the period in which the Trojan War was supposed to have been fought! And there were three more cities on top of that one!

The discovery of the ancient city of Troy didn’t prove that all the stories told in the Odyssey and Iliad were true. But it did much to prove that the Trojan War really happened.