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James P. Holoka

Troy and the Trojan War: A Select, Annotated Bibliography

General Works

  • Boedeker, Deborah, ed. (1997). The World of Troy: Homer, Schliemann, and the Treasure of Priam. Washington: Society for the Preservation of Greek Heritage.
  • Latacz, Joachim (2004). Troy and Homer : Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery. Oxford: Oxford U Pr. [Orig. Troia und Homer: Der Weg zur Lösung eines alten Rätsels. Munich/Berlin: Koehler & Amelang, 2001.]
  • Wood, Michael (1996). In Search of the Trojan War. 2nd ed. Berkeley: U California Pr.

Latacz (2004), one of Europe’s leading Homerists and a staunch champion of Manfred Korfmann’s work at Troy, has written the best-informed study of the current state of scholarship on the Trojan question <see review>. Michael Wood (1996) is an English journalist and historian, author of several high-quality popular works of the “In Search of ...” genre. His Trojan War installment, the basis for a BBC-TV program, is an excellent general treatment not only of Troy but of Bronze Age archaeology as a whole (Mycenae, Knossos, the Hittite Empire). The book is a well-written and lavishly illustrated page-turner; the second edition takes account of the recent Tübingen/Cincinnati excavations at Troy by Manfred Korfmann and others. The volume edited by Boedeker (1997) contains papers by six specialists (including Korfmann) delivered at a Smithsonian seminar “inspired by the reappearance of a remarkable group of objects some forty centuries old, ‘Priam’s Treasures’” (p. 1).

Troy before Schliemann

  • Cobet, Justus, et al. (1991). “From Saewulf to Schliemann: A Preliminary Bibliography of Travel Books about Troy and the Troad.” Studia Troica 1: 101-9.
  • Easton, Donald F. (1991). “Troy before Schliemann.” Studia Troica 1: 111-29.
  • Erskine, Andrew (2001). Troy between Greece and Rome. Oxford: Oxford U. Pr.
  • Rose, Charles Brian (1997). “Troy and the Historical Imagination.” In Boedeker (1997) 98-109.
  • Vermeule III, Cornelius C. (1995). “Neon Ilion and Ilium Novum: Kings, Soldiers, Citizens, and Tourists at Classical Troy.” In The Ages of Homer. Ed. Jane B. Carter and Sarah P. Morris. Austin: U. Texas Pr. Pp. 467-82.

Troy survived as a tourist destination throughout Greco-Roman antiquity. The site was refurbished by the clearing away of Bronze Age rubble and the building of walls, a temple to Athena Ilias, a theater, and other facilities for pilgrim lovers of Homer. It was also the venue of grand theatrical gestures and pensive reflections by a parade of important visitors (and benefactors) through the centuries: Xerxes, Alexander, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Hadrian, Julian, Mehmet II, to name only a few. A sometimes quite prosperous little town of perhaps 5-10,000 grew up below the citadel, perhaps in part to accommodate tourism. As Rose (1997), Vermeule (1995), and, in great detail, Erskine (2001) show, the symbolic significance of Troy as a flash-point for relations between East and West was fully exploited in both Greek and Roman artistic, literary, historical, and political traditions. The 150-item bibliography of travel writings dating from A.D. 1103 to 1873 by Cobet et al. (1991) is nicely contextualized by Easton (1991), who outlines the evolution of knowledge about the site of ancient Troy from Justinian up to Frank Calvert.

Heinrich Schliemann

  • Dörpfeld, Wilhelm (1894). Troja 1893. Leipzig.
  • ―――, ed. (1902). Troja und Ilion. Athens.
  • Schliemann, Heinrich (1869). Ithaque, le Péloponnèse, et Troie. Paris [German ed. Leipzig 1869; rpt. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1984].
  • ―――. (1875). Troy and Its Remains. London.
  • ―――. (1878). Mycenae. London.
  • ―――. (1881). Ilios: The City and Country of the Trojans. London. Rpt. Salem, NH: Ayer, 1989.
  • ―――. (1884). Troja. London. Rpt. New York: Arno, 1976.
  • ―――. (1885). Tiryns. London.
  • Schuchhardt, Carl (1891). Schliemann's Excavations: An Archaeological and Historical Study. Trans. Eugenie Sellars. London. Rpt. New York: Avenel Books, 1979, as Schliemann’s Discoveries of the Ancient World.

Schliemann's first book, Ithaque ..., was the fruit of a few days of sightseeing and (on Ithaca) a little exploratory digging; though laced with naive speculation, the book gained its author the grant of a doctoral degree from the University of Rostock. Of Dr. Schliemann's subsequent major publications, Ilios, which supersedes the 1875 volume, is an 800-page report on the results of the excavation campaigns of 1871-72-73-78-79; included are nine appendices contributed by experts on various special topics. Troja is devoted to the findings of the 1882 season. The volumes by Dörpfeld (“Schliemann's greatest discovery”) report on the results of his excavations (with Schliemann) in 1890 and (after Schliemann's death) in 1893 and 1894. Schuchhardt (1891) surveys Schliemann's life work for a more general audience.


  • Allen, Susan Heuck (1999). Finding the Walls of Troy: Frank Calvert and Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik. Berkeley: U. California Pr.
  • Bloedow, Edmund F. (1996). Review of Traill (1995). Bryn Mawr Classical Review 96.03.09 <link>.
  • Calder, William M. III (1972). “Schliemann on Schliemann: A Study in the Use of Sources.” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 13: 335-53.
  • ―――, and David A. Traill, edd. (1986). Myth, Scandal, and History: The Heinrich Schliemann Controversy. Detroit: Wayne State U. Pr.
  • Easton, Donald F. (1984). “Schliemann's Mendacity—A False Trail?” Antiquity 58: 197-204.
  • ―――. (1997a). “The Excavation of the Trojan Treasures, and Their History up to the Death of Schliemann in 1890.” In Simpson (1997) 194-99.
  • ―――. (1997b). “Heinrich Schliemann: Hero or Fraud?” In Boedeker (1997) 5-17.
  • Goldmann, Klaus (1997). “The Trojan Treasures in Berlin: The Disappearance and Search for the Objects after World War II.” In Simpson (1997) 200-203.
  • Ludwig, Emil (1932). Schliemann of Troy: The Story of a Goldseeker. Trans. D.F. Tait. New York: Putnam.
  • Moorehead, Caroline (1994). Lost and Found, The 9000 Treasures of Troy: Heinrich Schliemann and the Gold That Got Away. New York: Viking.
  • Simpson, Elizabeth, ed. (1997). The Spoils of War. New York: Abrams.
  • Traill, David A. (1995). Schliemann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit. New York: St. Martin's.
  • ―――. (1999). “Priam’s Treasure.” Archaeology Odyssey 2.3: 15-27, 59.
  • ―――, and Igor Bogdanov (1999). “Heinrich Schliemann: Improbable Archaeologist.” Archaeology Odyssey 2.3: 30-39.
  • Turner, David (1990). “Heinrich Schliemann: The Man behind the Masks.” Archaeology 43: 36-42
  • ―――. (1996). Review of Traill (1995) in Journal of Hellenic Studies 116: 235-37 <link>.
  • Urice, Stephen K. “Claims to Ownership of the Trojan Treasures.” In Simpson (1997) 203-6.

Heinrich Schliemann has been the subject of some forty biographies, none definitive. Those published in the first eighty years after his death tend to be uncritical and heroizing. Ludwig’s (1932) is a readable exception. Beginning with Calder (1972), scholars have dug beneath the veneer of self-promotion, sensationalism, and romanticism to reveal a very complex, elusive, often devious personality. Traill’s book (1995), which might have been entitled Lies and the Lying Liar Who Told Them, marks the culmination of the debunking trend in Schliemann biographies. Traill and Calder have used Schliemann’s own voluminous writings, published and unpublished, including, besides his books and articles, letters, journals, excavation notes, newspaper articles, etc. to convict him of inconsistencies, misleading accounts, and outright falsehoods in matters large and (sometimes very) small. The tone of their prosecutorial work has been harsh, even vicious: “He was ill, like an alcoholic, a child-molester or a dope-fiend” (Calder 1986.37). Much of the controversy has centered on the Schliemann-dubbed “Treasures of Priam” excavated from Level II of Troy in 1873. Schliemann concealed the find from Turkish authorities and smuggled it out of Turkey to Athens, had published a now-famous photograph of his young Greek wife, Sophia, modeling the “Jewels of Helen,” exhibited the treasure in London for three years, and then, after flogging it to European museums, finally donated it to the Ethnological Museum in Berlin. Moved to a flak tower for safe-keeping during World War II, in May 1945 it was spirited away by the Soviets, to languish in the storerooms of the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. Russian possession of the treasure was only acknowledged in 1993. Following an exhibition in 1996, authorities in Russia, Germany, and Turkey have been wrangling over rightful ownership (Urice [1997]). Moorehead's book (1994) is an entertaining journalistic account of Schliemann's career and the fate of the Troy treasures.

Essays and reviews by Bloedow (1996), Easton (1984), and Turner (1990, 1996) are a welcome correction to the over-enthusiasm of Schliemann vilifiers. For them, Schliemann was “a flawed human being, sometimes confused, sometimes mistaken, dishonest, inadequately equipped, who [set] all his energies to one great end and who, despite his faults, [changed] the picture in a whole subject and [left] behind a lasting legacy of information and enthusiasm” (Easton [1997b] 15).

In the thick of these disputes about Schliemann’s place in the history of archaeology, Susan Allen (1999) has produced a fine book that rehabilitates the claim of Frank Calvert to credit for identifying Hisarlik as ancient Troy and for facilitating the excavations there by Schliemann, who consistently dissembled Calvert’s importance to his own achievements. Despite her (entirely justified) championing of Calvert, Allen gives Schliemann his due in a balanced account.

Carl Blegen

  • Blegen, Carl (1963). Troy and the Trojans. New York: Praeger.
  • ―――, et al. (1950-58). Troy: Excavations Conducted by the University of Cincinnati, 1932-1938. 4 vols. Princeton: Princeton U. Pr.
  • Finley, M.I. (1978). “Schliemann’s Troy—One Hundred Years After.” Appendix II in The World of Odysseus. 2nd ed. New York: Penguin. Pp. 159-77.

Blegen (1963) offers a valuable, often entertaining synopsis of the material presented in thorough detail in the four-volume official report of his excavation campaigns at Troy; it is still the best single introduction to archaeological Troy, one that has not been made entirely obsolete by Korfmann’s campaigns at the site fifty years on. Finley (1978) is a trenchantly skeptical reaction to Blegen’s conclusions about the historicity of the Trojan War and a needed reminder that Homer was a poet, not a historian.

Troy and the Hittites

  • Bryce, Trevor (1998). The Kingdom of the Hittites. Oxford: Clarendon Pr.
  • Güterbock, Hans G. (1983). “The Hittites and the Aegean World: Part 1. The Ahhiyawa Problem Reconsidered.” American Journal of Archaeology 87: 133-38; with responses by Machteld J. Mellink (138-41) and Emily T. Vermeule (141-43).
  • Latacz, Joachim (2001). “Wilusa (Wilios/Troia): Centre of a Hittite Confederate in North-West Asia Minor.”
  • MacQueen, J.G. (1996). The Hittites and Their Contemporaries in Asia Minor. Rev. ed. New York: Thames & Hudson.
  • Niemeier, Wolf-Dietrich, and Hershel Shanks (2002). “Greeks vs. Hittites: Why Troy Is Troy and the Trojan War Is Real.” Archaeology Odyssey 5.4: 24-35, 53.
  • Page, Denys L. (1959). History and the Homeric Iliad. Berkeley: U. California Pr.

Page (1959) is an early attempt by a classical philologist (Regius Professor of Greek at Cambridge) to sort out the relevance of Hittite documents regarding the Ahhiyawa (=Achaeans?) for the reconstruction of the Mycenaean world. Bryce (1998) and MacQueen (1996) offer valuable current discussions of the Hittites, the former scholarly, the latter shorter, more popularizing, and very well illustrated. Shanks’ interview (2002) with Niemeier, the head of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens, addresses more specifically the Korfmann vs. Kolb conflict (Niemeier favors Korfmann). Latacz’s paper (2001) defending the Greek Wilios = Luwian Wilusa equation was written to accompany a Hittite exhibition in Bonn in 2002.

Manfred Korfmann

  • Easton, D.F., et al. (2002). “Troy in Recent Perspective.” Anatolian Studies 52: 75-109.
  • Korfmann, Manfred (1991). “Troia—Reinigungs- und Dokumentationsarbeiten 1987, Ausgrabungen 1988 und 1989.” Studia Troica 1: 1-34.
  • ―――. (1997). “Troia, an Ancient Anatolian Palatial and Trading Center: Archaeological Evidence for the Period of Troy VI/VII.” In Boedeker (1997) 51–73.
  • Latacz, Joachim, “Manfred Korfmann [obit.],” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (12 Aug 2005), Eng. trans. J.P. Holoka. <link>.
  • Project Troia: Troia and the Troad—Archaeology of a Region. <link>
  • Raaflaub, Kurt (1997). “Homer, the Trojan War, and History.” In Boedeker (1997) 74-97.
  • Siebler, Michael (1990). Troia—Homer—Schliemann: Mythos und Wahrheit. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag P. von Zabern.
  • ―――. (1994). Troia: Geschichte, Grabungen, Kontroversen. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag P. von Zabern.
  • Studia Troica. 1 (1991)–14 (2004).

The evidence gathered during the Tübingen-Cincinnati excavations begun in 1988 is being published in the yearbook Studia Troica. Each volume contains reports and articles on the significance of new finds both in specific details and in general conclusions. In the thirteen installments published thus far, scores of archaeologists, including specialists in soil analysis and cesium magnetometry, as well as botanists, geologists, ceramics experts, ancient historians, including Hittitologists, linguists, and philologists have contributed reports and studies relevant to Troy. Siebler’s books (1990, 1994), produced to summarize the new excavations for a wider audience, are excellent short accounts of the present state of knowledge and feature superb maps, plans, and color illustrations. The paper by Easton et al. (2002) is a systematic (and convincing) response to critics of the methods and results of Korfmann (1991, 1997) and others on the Troia Project team. Raaflaub’s essay (1997) is, like Finley’s (1978) vis-à-vis Blegen (1963), a cautionary reminder that, in our excitement over the new finds, we should nonetheless recognize that Homer’s Iliad is in fact distinctively a product of its time of composition in the late eighth or early seventh century and has not been historically “authenticated” by the recent archaeological work: “neither the archaeological evidence nor the contemporary documents tell us who destroyed Troy and why” (p. 84). “Project Troia” is the official website of the new excavations at Troy. Besides up-to-the-minute news about the project and information about team members, sponsorship, and publications, there are links to illustrations of and other materials on the German Troia Exhibition of 2001-2002 and to “virtual reconstructions” of Bronze Age Troy.

Eastern Michigan University

—updated 9 Sep 2005