The Trojan War: A New History.
Simon & Schuster, 288 pages, $26
Somewhere around 1200 B.C. a group of Greek raiders attacked a prominent Hittite town in northern Asia Minor. After a prolonged siege, they sacked Troy and left. Shortly after returning to the Greek mainland, the victors saw their own cities suffer a similarly catastrophic destruction.
That’s about all we surmise with any certainty about the great Trojan War and its aftermath—the most famous but least known of ancient Greek conflicts, one that predated the well-recorded Persian and Peloponnesian Wars of the city-states by over 700 years.
Each generation of classical scholars has a different take on the historicity of the shadowy Trojan saga, always reinterpreting our various sources of information in light of new evidence. There nevertheless remain still three complementary...