Barry Strauss

Topics: Trojan War, Iliad, Achilles Pages: 3 (1220 words) Published: March 6, 2013
In Barry Strauss’, “The Trojan War: A New History”, he discusses a topic that has been talked about for thousands of years, yet is able to bring new interpretations and arguments about it. While Strauss shows that many of the accepted ideas about the Trojan War can be disproved, he also fails to support his claims with adequate historical references and analyzes. To begin the book, Strauss introduces Helen of Troy. Helen was the wife of King Menelaus and had attracted the attention of the Prince Priam of Troy. Strauss introduces that the reason that Helen left Sparta could have been for two reasons: one idea was that Menelaus was oppressive and Paris was a good looking prince, while the other idea that Strauss explores is that Anatolian women had more power than Greek women. Paris probably thought that the Greeks would not attempt to bring Helen back, but agamemnon was able to convince them of this risky war in order to profit from the wealth that Troy contained, “Helen was not the cause of the war but merely the occasion of the war. By seducing a Greek princess, Troy had interfered in the politics of the Greek kingdom and humiliated a powerful man” (Strauss p 28). In order to beach their ships at Troy the Greeks had to fight to win their spot. The Greeks did not win their first fight for a spot though, because Hector of Troy was able to prevent them from establishing camp. In order to be able to land the ships, Achilles goes into Trojan territory and kills Cycnus, Son of Poseidon. The Greeks were soldiers who fought with swords and spears at close range while Trojans fought mostly with their many chariots. If Priam had returned Helen, he would be admitting that his son was at fault. He could not afford to admit this because it would have sparked a civil war and the overthrow of his power. In order to keep the allies happy, the Trojans were forced to fight on the defense and minimize casualties. In the ninth year of war Achilles was said to have destroyed 23...
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