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Useful weblinks: War With Troy, Episode 3

Paris Receives His Promised Reward / Paris Goes to Sparta
Troy to Sparta map
    300 miles over open sea and then up the river Eurotas to Sparta.
Ships at the time of the Trojan War 1: reconstruction
    A reconstruction by Peter Connolly based on literary and archaeological evidence of a ship that held 50 men with each man rowing at an oar. There are raised decks at the prow and the stern. The sail would have been used only when the wind was in the right direction. The hull was waterproofed with tar making the vessel a "black ship", a description often used by the poet Homer.
The stone anchors of ships of this time have been found on the sea-bed.
Ships at the time of the Trojan War 2: ancient painting
    A typical late Bronze Age ship is painted on a jewellery box (pyxis), dating to 1200 BC, from a tomb at Tragana in Greece.
Ships at the time of the Trojan War 3: ancient carving
    Drawing of a stone carving from a temple at Medinet Habu in Egypt shows a boat in a battle of 1186 BC.
This model is based on the carving. Raised decks at either end - but no oars - just plain sailing!
Ships at the time of the Trojan War 4: modern replica
    In 2008 Argo II, a modern reconstruction of a Bronze Age ship was launched in Greece. 50 rowers will power her when she's not under sail.
Here she is under sail and from above.
Menelaus' Palace at Sparta
    The throne room and feasting hall may have looked something like this reconstruction of the similar bronze-age palace at Pylos.
Another reconstruction showing a cut-away of the similar palace at nearby Mycenae.
Drinking Cup
    This beautiful cup dates some 400 years before our story, but it does come from near Sparta.
The so-called "Nestor's Cup" from Mycenae; in the National Archaeolgical Museum, Athens.
Paris and Helen in love: classical
    Ancient Greek oil-jar depicting Paris and Helen falling in love in the palace at Sparta. A tiny Aphrodite, the goddess of love, blesses the union as she flies through the air in a chariot drawn by cupids.
Dating c.420 BC, now in the Getty Museum, Malibu, USA.
Paris and Helen in love: neo-classical
    Detail of a 1788 painting by French artist Jacques-Louis David in the Louvre, Paris.
Paris and Helen in love: modern
    Orlando Bloom and Diane Kruger struck by Aphrodite's arrows...
The Island of Cranae
    Now linked by a causeway, this little island is where Paris and Helen spent their first night together.
It's not exactly paradise... but any port in a storm...
Paris and Helen sail away
    ...and live happily ever after... if only!
Classical sources for the above section:
> Homer, Iliad 3.441 (Greek epic poem, c.750 BC)
Homeric Cypria frag 1 (Greek epic poem, 8th c. BC)
> Ovid, Heroides 17.160ff
 
An Oath Remembered
Agamemnon: ancient image
    Agamemnon seated on a rock and holding his sceptre, identified from an inscription. This fragment of the lid of a Greek vase dates to 410-400 BC. In the Museo Nazionale Archeologico in Taranto, Italy.
Agamemnon: modern image
    Brian Cox played the mighty king of the Greeks in the 2004 movie Troy.
Agamemnon: the legendary image
    When this mask was found in 1876 covering the face of a body in a grave at Mycenae, the archaeologist famously stated that "I have gazed upon the face of Agamemnon". However, we now know that the mask - still known as the Mask of Agamemnon - dates to 1500-1550 BC, at least three hundred years earlier than the time of the Trojan War when Agamemnon may have lived.
In the National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Although not mentioned in War With Troy, Agamemnon ruled from the city of Mycenae. So great and powerful was the mythical Agamemnon and Mycenae, that nowadays archaeologists and historians call the southern mainland Greeks and their culture of this period (1600-1100 BC) "Mycenaean".
Agamemnon's Palace at Mycenae
    Reconstruction based on archaeological evidence.
How it looks today...
Mycenae: locator map
    Sparta to Mycenae is 50 miles as the crow flies...
Mycenae: the city rich in gold 1
    The most famous and imposing part of the city that still survives is the immense Lion Gate, built c.1250 BC, the main entrance to the city. The sculpture on top of the doorway shows two lions, whose heads were probably of precious stone or metal that have been long robbed.
Later Greeks and Romans, so impressed by the huge blocks of stone in the walls, believed giants known as Cyclops built them!
Mycenae: the city rich in gold 2
    Then and now images...
Mycenae: the city rich in gold 3
    A virtual visit.
Mycenaean Civilization 1
    A brief introduction to the history, art and architecture of the Mycenaeans.
Mycenaean civilization 2
    A slightly more detailed introduction.
Mycenaean civilization 3: the finds
    Wonderful collection of finds from Mycenaean sites that are now in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens.
Mycenaean civilization 4
    A more detailed look at the Mycenaeans from Wikipedia, suitable for older surfers.
Classical sources used in the above section:
> Euripides, Iphigenia in Aulis 78-85ff (Greek tragedy, 410 BC)
> Apollodorus, Library E.3.11-14, 28 (Greek book of myths, 1st C. AD)
 
Odysseus' Cunning Plan
Odysseus : ancient image - painting
    Lovely depiction of the hero on a red-figure vase which was made by the Dolon Painter in Greece in the 300's BC; now in the Cabinet des Médailles de la Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France.
Odysseus : ancient image - sculpture
    Now-famous statue of Odysseus, found in 1957 in a sea-cave at Sperlonga in Italy that was once a fancy Roman dining-room, perhaps belonging to Emperor Tiberius.
Roman copies or adaptations of original Greek sculptures.
Odysseus : modern image - movie star
    Played by Sean Bean in the 2004 blockbuster film Troy.
Skyros
    Here's a map showing where Odysseus had to go...
Looks quite nice really!
Odysseus discovers Achilles: Roman painting
    Achilles, disguised as a girl at the court of Lycomedes on Skyros, can't help himself and picks up weapons - and so is discovered/uncovered by Odysseus who devised the cunning plan. Fresco from the House of the Dioscuri, Pompeii. In the National Archaeological Museum, Naples.
Odysseus discovers Achilles 2: neo-classical painting
    "Hold on a moment..." says Odysseus to his friend, "that's no girly...! You're nicked, sonny!"
The "real" girls delight in the new clothes and jewels, while Achilles reveals himself by showing a "manly" interest in the helmet and sword. Painting of 1656 by Nicolas Poussin. In the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, USA.
Achilles on Skyros
    Terrific 6-minute movie, using cartoon Greek pots, about the life of Achilles. The main, central part is about Achilles in disguise on Skyros. You'll see that the girls he hangs around with all have white skin - because in ancient Greek times they were supposed to remain indoors most of the time!
SPOILER WARNING: if you continue watching after Achilles' discovery you'll find out what happens to him ... which will come much later in Episode 11 of our story.
Seriously good stuff!
Achilles goes to his father's palace: map
    Achilles travels from Skyros to his father King Peleus' palace on the island of Aegina.
Classical sources for the above section:
> Hyginus, Fabulae 96 (Latin book of myths, 1st-2nd C. AD)
 
Troy Enchanted / Paris and Helen enter Troy
Troy towering above the plain
    Troy sits on a natural ridge above the plain that stretches to the sea. This view is something like that which Helen and Paris would have seen approaching the city.
The Scaean Gate
    The Scaean Gate may well have been the southern gate of Troy, as reconstructed in this drawing.
By comparison, to create a more imposing structure, the movie Troy had the city not on the ridge, as it really is, but sitting directly on the beach with a single, enormous gateway (3 or 4 times the actual size).
Paris and Helen enter Troy
    Everyone and everything falls in love immediately with the new girl...
Paris and Helen's entry to Troy is largely a creation for this version of the Trojan War story. Few, if any, ancient sources elaborate on the couple's arrival.
1000 ships
    Helen was the "face that launch'd a thousand ships" - a phrase from the play "Doctor Faustus" by Christopher Marlowe.
Impressive shot from the 2004 movie Troy.
Homer, in his Greek epic poem The Iliad, written c.750 BC, catalogues 1,186 ships in Book 2;
The pleasing, round number of 1000 ships is first(?) given by the Greek playwright Aeschylus in his play Agamemnon (line 46), written 458 BC.
Classical sources for the above section:
> Aeschylus, Agamemnon l.46, 737-743 (Greek tragedy, 458 BC)

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