Barry Strauss grew up in and around New York City. He received Bachelors,
Masters, and Doctoral degrees in history from Cornell and Yale Universities. He has
lived and studied in Greece, Germany, and Israel and has traveled extensively in Italy,
Turkey, Croatia, Cyprus, Jordan, and other countries with historic sites; he has
also taken part in archaeological excavations. He speaks and reads seven foreign
languages. Aside from a brief stint as a newspaper reporter, he has made his career as a
college teacher. Back at Cornell University, he is Professor of History and served as a
Director of the Peace Studies Program.
He boldly treats Achilles not as mythology or poetry but as history. To the epics of
Homer and other Greek sources, he adds a broad knowledge of the Bronze Age, of its
physical remains, and of written evidence from the Hittite and Egyptian archives. The
result is an exciting tale written in a lively style that brings Homer's heroes and the world
in which they lived to colorful life. He takes the story of the Trojan World
out of the literate Greek archaic age and places it in its context in the Bronze Age world
of Anatolia. He shows that Homer was in many areas recreating the ancient world even
when its mores conflicted with the world he knew. He also reminds us that Achilles
fighting in the Trojan War was over a woman seems a bit far fetched, but Strauss
explains that in the Bronze Age, personal causes were more valid than abstracts and,
the Greeks were much more than pirates or Vikings. Strauss reminds us that little has
changed in new warfare and that names and dates change but not combat its self .
He does pose the question a couple if times in the article if Achilles and the Trojan War even took place or if it did the times it took place. He makes a strong case and with
some facts to...