ARCH0270 Fall17 S01 Troy Rocks! Archaeology of an Epic

ARCH0270 Fall17 S01 Troy Rocks! Archaeology of an Epic


ARCH 0270: Troy Rocks! The Archaeology of an Epic

Fall 2017

Tues/Thurs, 9:00-10:20 am

Rhode Island Hall 008


Instructor: Eva Mol

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

Office Hours: Tuesday 10- 11.30,  Wednesday, 10-11.30 or by appointment  


Overview and Description

What do Brad Pitt, Julius Caesar, Dante, Alexander the Great, and countless sports teams have in common? The Trojan War! This course will explore the Trojan War not only through the archaeology, art, and mythology of the Greeks and Romans but also through the popular imaginings of cultures ever since, to figure out what "really" happened when Helen ran off and Achilles got angry and the Greeks came bearing gifts.


The first half of this course will focus on the actual events of the "Trojan War" at the end of the second millennium B.C.E. We will study the site of Troy and the cities of the opposing Greeks, as well as the evidence for contact, cooperation, and conflict between the Greeks and Trojans. Students will get an introduction to the history of archaeology and the development of archaeological fieldwork. In the second half of the course, we will see how the narrative and mythology of Homer’s Iliad and the "Trojan War" were adapted and used by later civilizations—from Classical Greece to 21st-century America—in justifying their rise to political and cultural hegemony in the Mediterranean and the West. 



By the end of the semester, students will have a good understanding of both the “Trojan War” as depicted by Homer and the “real” nature of Greeks, Trojans, and their relationship as reconstructed from archaeological and historical evidence. Students will thus gain experience in analyzing archaeological sites and evidence and in handling actual ancient objects and artifacts. Students will also learn to evaluate the expression and reception of ancient narratives through different media and within different cultures, and to appreciate how ideas and memories are altered and reshaped within varying political and cultural contexts. Through readings, students will learn to analyze primary sources for ancient history, as well as how secondary sources construct historical arguments using ancient evidence. Students will also get a basic understanding of how archaeologists work to interpret ancient sites and material.



The class will meet for two 80-min. sessions each week. These meetings will be a combination of instructor lecture and group discussion drawn from the readings assigned for each class. The course will make significant use of visual material and spatial analysis, relying heavily on maps, plans, and images of ancient sites and the Mediterranean. There will several assignments and an in-class midterm exam that will draw from the archaeological material and address more thematic, historical issues discussed in the first half of the course. Finally, each student will carry out a research paper (ca. 12 pages) that analyzes an example of the reception of the Trojan War narrative and give a short (10-15 minutes) in-class presentation on the topic and result of their project at the end of the semester.



Attendance and Participation in class: 10%

Class Assignments: 40%

Midterm Exam: 20%

Final individual Presentation: 10%

Paper: 20%


Over 14 weeks, students will spend 2.6 hours per week in class (36.4 hours total). Required reading is expected to take up approximately 5 hours per week (70 hours). In addition, preparing for discussions and assignments should take a further 5 hours on the student's assigned week. Studying for the midterm exam should take approximately 7 hours. Research, writing and/or putting together the final paper and its presentation is estimated to take approximately 30 hours over the course of the second half of the semester. 



Required Texts

1) Homer, The Iliad (translated by Robert Fagles), Penguin Classics, 1998 (ISBN 978-0140275360)

 2) Michael Wood, In Search of the Trojan War, 2nd edition, University of California Press, 1998 (ISBN 978-0520215993)

3) E. Cline, The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2013 (ISBN 978-0199760275)


**All books should be available at the Brown Bookstore**






Course Outline - Troy Rocks! The Archaeology of an Epic








Week 1


Course introduction





Thursday 9/7

Course introduction






Week 2

The Iliad in context: Homer and Troy

Tuesday 9/12

The context of the myth I: the Iliad and Homer

  • Iliad book 1
  • Wood, In Search of the Trojan War, Prologue and Chapter 4
  • Cline, The Trojan War, Chapter 1 


Thursday 9/14

The context of the myth II: the archaeology

  • Iliad books 2-3
  • Cline,The Trojan War, Chapters 2 and 3
  • Osborne 2004,Homer’s society [PDF]



Week 3


Digging the Epic

Tuesday 9/19

Maps, myths, and reality in the Troad

  • Iliad book 4
  • Luce, 2003, The Case for Historical Significance in Homer’s Landmarks at Troia [PDF]
  • Wilkens, 1991, Chapter 3: The location of Troy [PDF]

Assignment 1: Mapping the Iliad


Deadline: 9/19- 9AM post on Canvas before class starts and/or bring to class

Thursday 9/21

The archaeology and archaeologists of Hisarlık

  • Iliad books 5-6
  • Cline, The Trojan War, Chapter 5
  • Wood, In Search of the Trojan War, Chapter 2
  • Korfmann,  Troia and the Natural sciences Chapter 1 [PDF]



Week 4


Troy and the ‘Wars of Wisschenschaft’

Tuesday 9/26

The ‘Wars of Wisschenschaft’

  • Iliad books 7-9
  • Cline Chapter 6

Camp Korfmann:

  • Easton et al. 2002, Troy in Recent Perspective
  • Jablonka 2004, Response to Kolb [PDF]

Camp Kolb:

  •  Kolb and Hertel 2003, Troy in Clearer Perspective [PDF]
  • Kolb 2004, Troia 6 [PDF]

Class assignment 2: The New Trojan war


Deadline: 9/26 9AM

Bring to class

Thursday 9/28

No class




Week 5


The Bronze Age Mediterranean I: Mycenae and the Mycenaean world

Tuesday 10/3

Mycenae I: the city and its people

  • Iliad books 10-13
  • Biers, Mycenaeans , Chapter 3 [PDF]
  • Wood,  In search of the Trojan war, Chapter 5
  • Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean, Mycenae [PDF]


Thursday 10/5

Mycenaean pottery-

RISD Museum visit

  • Iliad books 14-15
  • Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean, Chapter 31: Mycenaean pottery [PDF]
  • Mountjoy, 1993, Mycenaean pottery, an introduction selection[PDF]



Week 6


The Bronze Age Mediterranean II: wider relations

Tuesday 10/10

Mycenae II: the spread of Mycenaean culture

  • Iliad books 16-18
  • Bryce, Troy and its Neighbours,  Chapter 5 [PDF]
  • Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean –Linear B [PDF]


Thursday 10/12

Trojan War or Trojan Wars? Mycenaeans, Trojans, and Hittites

  • Iliad books 19-21
  • Bryce, Troy and its Neighbours,  69-86 [PDF]
  • Wood  in search of the Trojan war, Chapter 6 and pp.169-188
  • Cline chapter 4



Week 7


Tuesday 10/17

Recap: Troy between Myth and Reality

  • Iliad books 22-24
  • Cline, The Trojan War, Epilogue
  • Dickinson 2017, Why Troy cannot be true in any meaningful sense [PDF]

Class assignment 3: 500 word- take home question: discussion on the Trojan war


Deadline: hand in via Canvas before 10/17 9AM and bring to class

Thursday 10/19












Week 8


The Trojan War after the Bronze Age

Tuesday 10/24

Visualizing myth: the Trojan war in Early Greek art

  • Lowenstam, As Witnessed by Images: The Trojan War Tradition in Greek and Etruscan Art,” Chapter 1 [PDF]
  • Snodgrass, “Beyond the Geometric,” in Homer and the Artists, pp. 66-100 [PDF]



Thursday 10/26

Troy in Classical Greece

  • Aeschylus, Oresteia- Agamemnon [PDF]
  • Shapiro, Myth into Art: Poet and Painter in Classical Greece, Chapter 2 [PDF]
  • Rose, 2014, The Archaeology of Greek and Roman Troy, Chapter 7 [PDF]



Week 9


From Greece to Rome

Tuesday 10/31

Troy in the Hellenistic world

  • Cohen, 1995, Alexander and Achilles, Macedonians and Mycenaeans  [PDF]
  • Bryce pp. 158-168 [PDF]
  • Rose, 2014, The Archaeology of Greek and Roman Troy, Chapter 8 [PDF]


Thursday 11/2

The beginnings of Rome: foundations in stone  

  • Aeneid books 1-2
  • Cornell, 1993,The origins of Rome, Chapter 3 [PDF]
  • Casali 2010, The Development of the Aeneas Legend [PDF]


Class assignment 4: Iliad versus Aeneid


Deadline: 11/2-9AM

Bring to class


Week 10


The Myth of Troy in the Roman Period


Tuesday 11/7

Romans at Troy

  • Rose, 2014, The Archaeology of Greek and Roman Troy, Chapter 10 [PDF]
  • Tesoriero 2005, Trampling over Troy: Caesar, Virgil, Lucan [PDF]


Thursday 11/9

Troy in Roman art

  • Petrain 2014, Homer in Stone- seletion [PDF]
  • Doherty, 2012, The Judgment of Paris in Roman Painting [PDF]

Hand in Preliminary Topic Paper


Deadline: before 11/9 6PM- in person or by email


Week 11


Troy receptions in Rome and beyond

Tuesday 11/14

The Republic and the Augustan Age: reception and use of Troy

  • Rodriguez-Mayorgas Romulus, Aeneas, and the Cultural Memory of the Roman Republic [PDF]
  • 2 articles from the list depending on your assignment subject

Class assignment 5: discussion on the making of myth in Rome


Deadline: 11/13-10PM

Post on Canvas and bring to class

Thursday 11/16

Class in the RISD: Troy re-imagined

  • Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus-selection [PDF]
  • Thompson, The Trojan War: Literature and Legends from the Bronze Age to the Present, pp. 102-110 [PDF]
  • Webb, 2006, Homer and the Romantics [PDF]



Week 12


Modern perceptions of Troy

Tuesday 11/21

Troy and Homer in the 20th and 21st century

  • Graziosi and Greenwood, Homer in the 20th century[PDF]
  • Harper 2005, Turks as Trojans, Trojans as Turks[PDF]

 project update

Thursday 11/23

No class (Thanksgiving)







Week 13





Troy’s significance in contemporary fiction, film and art

Tuesday 11/28

Troy and Homer in contemporary fiction and art

  • Flack 2015, Ch. 2: “To have gathered from the air a live tradition”: Pound, Homer, modernism [PDF]

Class assignment 6: modern relevance of Troy in art and thought


Deadline: 11/28-9AM bring to class

Thursday 11/30

Troy in cinema and the movie ‘Troy’

  • Petersen’s movie Troy
  • Winkler 2009, Troy From Homer's Iliad to Hollywood Epic, Introduction [PDF]

Class assignment 7: review of the movie Troy


Deadline: 11/30-9AM

bring to class and post on Canvas


Week 14


Student presentations

Tuesday 12/5




Thursday 12/7






Week 15






Tuesday 12/12




Thursday 12/14



Paper deadline, 12/14-10PM via Turnitin/Canvas




Course Summary:

Date Details Due