ARCH0270 Fall18 S01 Troy Rocks! Archaeology of an Epic

ARCH0270 Fall18 S01 Troy Rocks! Archaeology of an Epic

ARCH 0270

Troy Rocks! The Archaeology of an Epic

Fall 2018

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

Rhode Island Hall 008


Instructor: Georgia M. Andreou

Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

209 Rhode Island Hall

Office Hours: Tuesdays 11am-1pm, 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. In the second half of the course, we will see how the narrative and mythology of the Homer’s Iliad and Trojan War were adapted and used by later civilizations—especially Classical Greece and Rome—in justifying their rise to political and cultural hegemony in the Mediterranean. At the end of the course, we will discuss how the Trojan War still resonates in contemporary society.


Learning Goals

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.


Course Format

Over 13 weeks, students will spend 2.6 hours per week in class (approx. 35 hours). Required reading is expected to take up approximately 5 hours per week (70 hours). Preparing for discussions and assignments should take a further 5 hours on the students' assigned week. Studying for the midterm exam should take approximately 10 hours. Research, writing and/or putting together the final paper and its presentation (10-15 minutes) is estimated to take approximately 30 hours over the course of the second half of the semester.

The bi-weekly meetings will be a combination of instructor lecture and group discussion drawn from the readings assigned for each class. All students are expected to attend class regularly, actively participate in class discussions, and complete all of the readings and assignments outlined in the syllabus.

There will be several small assignments, one short map quiz and an in-class midterm exam that will both draw from visual material used extensively in this course (e.g. maps, plans, images) and address more thematic, historical issues discussed in the first half of the course.

Students will finally have one written assignment: A long research paper that analyzes an example of the reception of the Trojan War narrative (ca. 12 pp.)


Evaluation and Assessment

Attendance and Participation in Discussion: 10%

*Participation = Taking initiative to contribute to the class with insightful comments and productive critique as well as building on your peers’ presentations and remarks.

Class Assignments: 40%

Midterm Exam: 20%

Final Presentation: 10%

*The goal is to summarize the topic of your final project to your peers, who will be acting as an engaged audience

Paper: 20%

*Bonus Quizzes: +10%


Required Texts **All books are available at the Brown Bookstore**

  • Homer, The Iliad (translated by Robert Fagles), Penguin Classics, 1998 (ISBN 978-0140275360)
  • Michael Wood, In Search of the Trojan War, 2ndedition, University of California Press, 1998 (ISBN 978-0520215993)
  • Cline, The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, 2013 (ISBN 978-0199760275)


 Code of Academic Integrity: Students who submit academic work that uses others’ ideas, words, research, or images without proper attribution and documentation are in violation of the academic code. For more information please refer to:

**Please let the instructor know if you need special accommodations for the class. For additional information please refer to:


Week 1: Introduction

Thursday 9/6/2018: Overview of the Course: Approaching the Trojan War through Archaeology


Part I: Lines of Evidence, Chronological and Geographical Contexts

Week 2: Contextualizing the Iliad: Homer and Troy

Tuesday 9/11/2018: Homer’s Iliad

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

Thursday 9/13/2018: Chronological, Geographical and Archaeological Contexts

  • The Iliad, Books 2 and 3
  • Cline, The Trojan War, Chapters 2 and 3
  • Osborne 2004, Homer’s Society [PDF]


Week 3: Searching for Troy

Tuesday 9/18/2018: Mapping the Epic

  • The 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]

Thursday 9/20/2018: Digging the Epic

  • The Iliad, Books 5-6
  • Cline, The Trojan War, Chapter 5
  • Wood, In Search of the Trojan War, Chapter 2
  • Bryce, The Trojans and Their Neighbors, pp. 58-68 [PDF]
  • Korfmann, Troia and the Natural Sciences, Chapter 1 [PDF]


Week 4: The Mediterranean in the Bronze Age: The Mycenaean World

Tuesday 9/25/2018: Mycenae

  • The Iliad, Books 7-9
  • Biers, The Archaeology of Greece, Chapter 3 [PDF]
  • Wood, In search of the Trojan war, Chapter 5
  • Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean, Mycenae [PDF]
  • Tartaron, Maritime Networks of the Mycenaean World, Chapter 3 (pp.48-89) [PDF] - not mandatory

Thursday 9/27/2018: RISD Museum visit

  • The Iliad, Books 10-13
  • Oxford handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean, Chapter 31 [PDF]
  • Mountjoy 1993, Mycenaean pottery, an introduction – select readings [PDF]


Week 5: Late Bronze Age Globalization in the Mediterranean

Tuesday 10/2/2018: The spread of Mycenaean culture

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

 Thursday 10/4/2018: Frenemies: Political and Economic Relations and Conflict in the Late Bronze Age

  • The Iliad, Books 19-21
  • Bryce, Troy and its Neighbours, Chapter 5 [PDF]
  • Wood, In Search of the Trojan War, Chapter 5, pp. 164-168; Chapter 6 (pp. 169-188, 205-209)
  • Cline, The Trojan War, Chapter 4 and Epilogue


Week 6: Troy and the Epic Scholarly Battles

Tuesday 10/9/2018: Epic Battles in Troy and Beyond

  • The Iliad, Books 22-24
  • Cline, The Trojan War, Chapter 6

Assignment Specific Readings:

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


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

 Thursday 10/11/2018: Mid-term exam


Part II: The Legacy and Reception of the Trojan War

Week 7: The Trojan War and Classical Greece

Tuesday 10/16/2108: Troy in Early Greek Art

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

Thursday 10/18/2018: The Trojan War 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 8: Finding Achilles—Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic Period

Tuesday 10/23/2018: Alexander at Troy

  • Cohen, “Alexander and Achilles, Macedonians and Mycenaeans” [PDF]
  • Bryce, The Trojans and Their Neighbors, pp. 158-160 [PDF]

Thursday 10/25/2018: The Site of Troy under the Hellenistic Kings

  • Bryce, The Trojans and Their Neighbors, pp. 161-168 [PDF]
  • Rose, 20147, The Archaeology of Greek and Roman Troy, Chapter 8 [PDF]


Week 9: The Myth of Troy in the Roman Period

Tuesday 10/30/2018: From Troy to Rome: Aeneas and the Foundation of Rome

  • The Aeneid, Introduction [PDF]
  • Bryce, The Trojans and Their Neighbors, pp. 166-175 [PDF]
  • Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars, pp. 48-68 [PDF]
  • Casali, 2010, The Development of the Aeneas Legend [PDF]

Thursday 11/1/2018: Romans at Troy

  • Sage, “Roman Visitors to Ilium in the Roman Imperial and Late Antique Period: The Symbolic Functions of a Landscape” [PDF] 
  • Rose, 2014, The Archaeology of Greek and Roman Troy, Chapter 10 [PDF]


Week 10: The Legacy of Troy

Tuesday 11/6/2018: Reception and Use of Troy in the Augustan Age

  • Rodriguez-Mayorgas, Romulus, Aeneas, and the Cultural Memory of the Roman Republic [PDF]
  • Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus – selection [PDF]

 Thursday 11/8/2018: The Legacy of Troy Beyond Rome

  • Thompson, The Trojan War: Literature and Legends from the Bronze Age to the Present, pp. 102-110 [PDF]
  • Harper, “Turks as Trojans, Trojans as Turks” [PDF]
  • Webb, 2006, Homer and the Romantics [PDF]


Week 11: Troy Today

Tuesday 11/13/2018: Troy in the 20th and 21st century

  • Graziosi and Greenwood, Homer in the 20th century [PDF]

Thursday 11/15/2018: Troy in contemporary film, fiction and art

  • Flack, 2015, Chapter 1, “To have gathered from the air a live tradition”: Pound, Homer, modernism [PDF}
  • Winkler, 2009, Troy from Homer’s Iliad to Hollywood Epic, Introduction [PDF]

*Petersen’s movie Troy


Week 12: Student Presentations

Tuesday 11/20/2018: Presentation Prep

Thursday 11/22/2018: NO CLASS (THANKSGIVING BREAK)


Week 13: Student Presentations

Tuesday 11/27/2018: Student/Group Presentations

Thursday 11/29/2018: Student/Group Presentations


Course Summary:

Date Details Due