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Trojans and Their Neighbours: An Introduction (Peoples of the Ancient World) Paperback – December 14, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0415349550 ISBN-10: 0415349559 Edition: 1st
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Trojans and Their Neighbours: An Introduction (Peoples of the Ancient World) + The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) + 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Turning Points in Ancient History)
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About the Author

University of Queensland, Australia
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Product Details

  • Series: Peoples of the Ancient World
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (December 14, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415349559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415349550
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,372,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Petrushka on October 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
Many of the other customer reviews for this book use the word "cautious". It may not be obvious, though, that Bryce has very strong reasons for caution.

The first reason is that Bryce is keenly aware of a tremendous controversy that erupted in 2001-2002 (still ongoing in some quarters) over the importance of Troy VI/VII in the late Bronze Age. On one side, figures like Korfmann, Pernicka, Jablonka (the excavators), and Latacz (a philologist) argued that it was a significant trade centre and the most important political force in its region; on the other side figures like Kolb and Hertel (ancient historians) argued that there was no evidence that Troy VI/VII was anything more than a village of minor importance. In some ways this seems to have been more a political debate than an archaeological one. So, although the archaeological debate has been very firmly settled -- excavations continue to find fortifications around a large area, indicating that the population was closer to 10,000 than to Kolb's figure of 1000 -- the topic is still a bit of a hot potato.

The second reason is that there was a need for a book to act as a counterbalance to J. Latacz's very exuberant book "Troy and Homer". Latacz's and Bryce's books are far and away the most important books in the 2000s decade that have outlined the status of Troy in the late Bronze Age. Latacz, the Homerist, is tremendously optimistic about what he thinks the archaeological evidence can prove about the relationship between Bronze Age Troy, and the poetic/mythical Troy of the Homeric epics. Bryce, the Hittitologist, is less carried away, and sticks to what can actually be securely demonstrated.

As a result, probably the best way to go about it is to read both books.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Shydler on September 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
Trevor Bryce is cautious about over-romanticising Troy and its related issues. This book is a careful examination of the latest archaeological evidence (including comments on the recent dispute about Troy's "Lower City")but also covers the overall history of attitudes towards Troy. At least as interesting, however, is Bryce's coverage of the Aegean and Anatolian neighbors of "Priam's" Troy. Bryce is a competent writer, although parts of the book are a bit dry. All in all, a very good near total (but general) coverage of Troy and the Bronze Age Aegean. Recommended.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on October 19, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Trevor Bryce's "The Trojans and Their Neighbours" seeks to place ancient Troy in the context of other peoples of the same time. And, important to note, although extra emphasis is given to the era which might fit with the city of Homeric epics, Troy before and after is not neglected. The narrative is based upon archaeological research even of very recent date, and Bryce adopts a cautious approach rather than unreservedly embracing the most sensational interpretations of that evidence. He openly pronounces himself an "agnostic" on several matters of Homeric Era Troy, including the questions of whether the city and possibly its war are identified in Hittite clay tablet archives. Although Bryce adopts such matters {including a large "lower" city attached to the citadel known since Schliemann's time) as being established for purposes of his narrative, he is careful to point out that these ideas are based on less than ironclad evidence and remain yet to be fully proven. It is in the quetion of the historiocity of the Trojan War of Greek epic where Bryce is most openly skeptical, pointing out the lack of convincing evidence found to this point; he does not deny that a war (or wars) of some type may have occurred, but he also points out that there is still a long way to go before accepting the reality of Agamemnon and Helen and a ten year siege. Bryce's book is a useful supplement to recent books less restrained in their acceptance of recent dramatic interpretations of archaeological work.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Cheryl A. Bullock on November 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
This work contains a thorough discussion of Troy's history both before and after the time attributed to the Trojan war. There is also a valuable treatment of the peoples who inhabited the area and its surrounds. However the author is reluctant to draw many conclusions and in my opinion is far too cautious. One point he makes is that Homer may have made the Iliad favourable to both the Greeks and the Trojans as by Homer's time the descendants of both were living in Homer's region. I would have thought pandering to both sides (whose past was involved) was a strong indication that there was some truth in a story about the war. The book is also a little too detailed for the casual reader.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By William Walderman on November 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is the history of an archeological site in northwestern Anatolia that is generally believed to be the Troy of Greek mythology. The history begins with Troy's earliest settlement in the late fourth or early third millenium BC, continues though its apogee during the Bronze Age, its destruction at the end of the Bronze Age, its rebirth as a tourist destination with important cultural (and propagandistic) significance for Greeks during the Classical and Hellenistic periods of Greek civilization, and, later, for Romans during the Imperial Period, and ends with Troy's gradual decline and extinction sometime during the Byzantine period.

The primary focus of the book is Troy's role in Bronze Age Anatolia, and, in particular, its relationship with the Hittite empire, the dominant political power in the region at that time. The author also surveys the other ethnic groups and political entities in Anatolia during the period in question, and raises the question of the ethnic identity or identities and language(s) of the Trojans themselves, while acknowledging that a firm conclusion can't be reached on the basis of the available evidence.

The author is a leading Hittite specialist, and he reviews the archeological evidence with scrupulous neutrality. He lays out the arguments that have been made critically, being careful to present alternative explanations for the evidence, and to avoid reaching speculative conclusions that the evidence doesn't support.

Of course, many readers will be interested in whether there is any historical basis for the myth of the Trojan War.
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