Did king Priam of Troy exist?

root

Member
Not exactly about the language. I'm reading a book by two Russians on the archeological history of Troya, published in 2015. I've collected some facts:

1. Composition of the Iliad: 8th and 7th centuries.

2. Ilion (Troy) is on the Hirsalik hill. Here are the nine Troys, Troy 7a being the authentic (layer 7 is divided into three sublayers). Troya 9 is nearest the top.

3. It is firmly established that there is no relation at all between Troy 7a and Micenean Greece. Another thing: Micenean Greece belongs to the Bronze Age. What is the authentic Troy? I do not know. I know two things: the arms mentioned by Homer are made of iron. Two: It seems Homer sang Micenean Greece, which had disappeared long ago in his time, but that as deeply he ignored it that his heroes bear iron arms.

A question seems in order: did Priamus exist? If not, in what sense is Troy 7a the authentic one? The author says a reading of the Iliad is a safe recipe to fall sound asleep. I've read it, and the Odyssey too, and found it fascinating. I could perhaps ask directly Wikipedia, but I prefer making use of the forum (so I don't get erased, joke). Recently I read a Schliemann's life from 1931, quite adorned (Emil Ludwig).
 

AoM

nulli numeri
I guess you could ask the same question about Aeneas, Odysseus, Achilles, etc. I'd say all these men existed, but some of their exploits/characteristics have been exaggerated by Homer, Virgil, and others. I can't really say anything when it comes to the archaeology, though.
 

Araneus

Umbraticus Lector
It is not at all likely that characters and places the Greeks firmly believed to have existed, were entirely made up. Their stories and context have changed, and become exaggerated over time, though. Different stories may have merged, etc.

The author says a reading of the Iliad is a safe recipe to fall sound asleep.
If that's his/their view on Homer and his works, I'd rather believe this book is a recipe for sleeping.

Maybe you could try and find what Bernard Knox has written about this. I remember reading an excellent and very interesting introduction he wrote to Robert Fagles' translation of the Iliad, where he touches upon many of these things.
 

malleolus

Civis Illustris
Recently I read a Schliemann's life from 1931, quite adorned (Emil Ludwig).
If there is one thing one has to be extra careful when referring to Troy it's Schlieman's ddiary about his excavations.
 

root

Member
Thanks a lot. I knew before hand there was not such a Priam king of Troy. Everywhere I read Troy 7 is the Homeric Troy, but what can that possibly mean when we know his characters are all poetic fiction? Despite the thousands of writings about Troy and Homer I find a lack of clarity regarding the fundamental facts that amazes the profane who is trying to find his way among the multitude of statements.The matter is very complex, of course.

As the subject matter of the Iliad is a war, I should look for military facts as the connecting link. But what are these?
 
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