May 31st, 2012
Episode 216 of 537 episodes
Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the Trojan War, one of the best known events of Greek mythology. According to the traditional version of the story, the war began when a Trojan prince, Paris, eloped with the Spartan queen Helen. A Greek army besieged Troy for ten years before the city was finally overrun and destroyed. Some of the most familiar names of Greek mythology are associated with the war, including Achilles and Hector, Odysseus and Helen of Troy - and it has also given us the story of the Trojan Horse.The war is the backdrop for Homer's epic poem The Iliad, and features in many other works from classical antiquity. For centuries it was assumed to be a mythical event. But in the nineteenth century a series of archaeological discoveries provided startling evidence that Troy might really have existed, leading some scholars to conclude that there could even be some truth behind the myth. So does the Trojan War story have any basis in fact? And why has it proved such an enduring legend?With:Edith HallProfessor of Classics at King's College LondonEllen AdamsLecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at King's College LondonSusan SherrattLecturer in Archaeology at the University of SheffieldProducer: Thomas Morris.