Based on the latest archaeological research and written by a leading expert on ancient military history, the true story of the most famous battle in history is every bit as compelling as Homer's epic account - and confirms many of its details. "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" are cornerstones of Western literature. But did the war they describe really happen? Spectacular new archaeological evidence suggests that it did. Recent excavations and newly translated Hittie texts reveal that Troy was a large, wealthy city allied with the Hittie Empire. Located at the strategic entrance to the Dardanelles, the link between the Aegean and Black Sea, it was a tempting target for marauding Greeks, the Vikings of the Bronze Age. The war may have been the inevitable consequence of expanding Greek maritime commerce. Troy was destroyed by fire between 1200 and 1180 B.C.; large piles of sling stones, arrowheads and spearheads (not to mention skeletons that had been hacked by swords) suggest that it had prepared for a siege, but may have suffered a sudden conquest. At the end, some ploy - which has come down to us as the Trojan horse, and may have been just that - allowed the Greeks to breach its walls. In "The Trojan War", master storyteller Barry Strauss puts legend into its historical context - without losing it poetry and grandeur.
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