The Troy deception explained – for KLDAFS 16/01/2014

The Troy deception explained 150114r3

1. The authorship of the Iliad.
In 1713 the British philologist Richard Bentley was perhaps the first to claim that Homeric poetry originally consisted of loosely connected songs that were gathered together in an epic poem under the direction of the Athenian tyrant Pisistratos, [c546-527 BC] long after they were composed.

In 1849-51, the great Smith’s dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology tells us: ‘The unanimous voice of antiquity ascribed to him (Pisistratus) the merit of having collected the disjointed and confused poems of Homer and of having first committed his arrangement of them to writing.’ Smith goes on to explain: ‘In carrying out the task of compiling the works of Homer, sorting them out, correcting, editing and assembling them into a coherent order, Pisistratus was assisted by a team of [four] poets that he brought together for the purpose of rescuing Homer’s works and preserving them for posterity.’ These persons, Smith informs us ‘may have interpolated [i.e. added in] some passages, as it suited the pride of the Athenians or the political purposes of their master Pisistratus… We owe to him the first written text of the whole of the poems…’

In 1900, a leading British Homerist, Walter Leaf, argued that the Iliad consists of series of older Mycenaean songs,
handed down little changed, and newer songs, all gathered together into their final form under the direction of Pisistratos. The ‘kernel’ of the poem was the ‘wrath of Achilles’ (Greek – The ‘Menis’). Other epic material, 400yr in
the making, was made to fit around this central core. Leaf separated earlier and later strata in the epic. He assumed the
songs were orally composed and transmitted, but could be attributed to different authors of differing abilities.

Today, a web site, called the Baldwin Project, gives more information: ‘There were no public schools or libraries in Athens, but Pisistratus did his best to give the people a chance to read and to educate themselves. Books in his days were not printed, but written, and they were so expensive that few people could buy them. Pisistratus had a large collection and he invited all persons, rich or poor, to go to his library and read. He did another thing for which the Greeks were grateful. For more than two hundred years before his time the poems of Homer had been recited all over Greece. Travelling minstrels sang them before guests in banquet halls, or before public gatherings. Everyone loved these poems, and many people knew parts of them by heart. Pisistratus employed learned
men to help him write them and put them in proper order. The verses about the Trojan War were arranged to make up
the poem called the Iliad, and those about the wanderings of Ulysses to make up the poem called the Odyssey.’

2. The political purposes of Pisistratus – a seldom asked question.
Why did Pisistratus go to so much trouble and expense to secure and distribute so many written copies of the Iliad and
Odyssey? Firstly because it contained a great deal of pro-Athenian political propaganda. Secondly, with Homer’s authority recognised throughout the Greek-speaking world, he could use this authority to help gain a much needed colony, called Sigeum, for Athens. And thirdly, he wanted to establish a Homeric heritage for Athens, and make it a centre of culture and learning.

Examples of pro-Athenian political propaganda.
The Trojans and Athenians were given an ancestral link through a very early king of Athens called Erechtheus. The city protector god of Athens was Athene, and she was given a temple in Troy. This provided another link with Troy, and made her much more ancient than she probably was, thus increasing her stature. Athens was given an important role in the Trojan War, doubted by many scholars. Salamis, with its famous king Ajax, was made a sort of vassal king to Athens, so Athens could claim some credit for the many heroic deeds performed by Ajax during the Trojan War. They also added in some geographical clues, such as Troy being visible from Samothrace and beside the Hellespont, which pointed to Troy being at Hisarlik, ancient ‘Ilion’, in the region called Sigeum.

3. Gaining the colony of Sigeum for Athens, and the Sigean war deception.
Once Troy was located at Hisarlik / Ilion, the region around Hisarlik must once have been the land of the Trojans. The Athenians then claimed that, from the authority of Homer, they were entitled to the lands of Troy as their share of the spoils of the Trojan War. Croesus, king of Lydia, was in effect the overlord of the Greek settlers in western Asia Minor. When his empire fell to Cyrus the Great of Persia in c546BC, Pisistratus took this opportunity to invade Sigeum, with a force which quickly overcame the weakened Lesbians. An arbitration panel later awarded Sigeum to Athens. Yet Pisistratus was not allowed to gain any lasting glory for this victory. A century later, in the era of the New Democracy, the era of tyranny became discredited, and their achievements were diminished. The Athenians rewrote their history, and the Sigean war was backdated by some 75 years, denying Pisistratus any credit for this initiative. While this confused historians, the archaeological evidence from Sigeum dates the Athenian occupation from around the time of the fall of Lydia. The story of finding Troy has therefore involved uncovering two major deceptions. Firstly moving Troy from Bergama to Hisarlik, and b) backdating the Sigean war. This explains why, until the plain of Troy was found by John Lascelles in 1980, the story of Pisistratus and the Troy deception could not be revealed.

4. Why Hisarlik cannot have been Troy.
It has long been known that Hisarlik, unlike Homer’s Ilios, has no natural acropolis. It is much smaller than the Ilios described by Homer. Also the Trojan battlefield below Hisarlik offers a very poor match with Homer’s descriptions of the Trojan plain. Such famous features as the Wall of Herakles and the beautiful hill Kallikolone are absent at Hisarlik. By 1982, soil studies in what was thought of as the plain of Troy showed that, in Trojan times, there was actually a large bay at the mouth of the river Mendere. In Trojan times, some 3,200 years ago, Hisarlik was in reality a coastal fortress. There was no great battlefield here between Troy and the sea, upon which Homer’s heroes fought the Trojan War. If the story is not to be condemned as a fairytale we must try a different approach.

5. Finding the Trojan plain below Pergamon in ancient Mysia.
The Iliad gives us a much better picture of the plain of Troy than it does of Troy and Ilios. So logically the best way to
find Troy is to start by looking for the Trojan plain. Once the plain of Troy is found, it will lead us to Ilios and Troy.
Volume 1 of my Troy Deception book, called ‘Finding the plain of Troy’, does exactly that. In Volume 1 I present much evidence that Hisarlik cannot be the site of Homeric Troy. The Iliadic descriptions are used to draw a reconstruction of the layout of the Trojan plain. This at once reveals that the river valley between the Greek Camp, wherever this may have been, and Hisarlik offers a very poor match when compared with the descriptions in the Iliad. The powerful image of Samothrace being visible from ‘Troy’ has blinded everyone to the possibility that this mention, along with mentions of Imbros and Tenedos, were later additions. In Book 24 of the Iliad, the poet tells us exactly where to find the lands of Troy. They lay between Lesbos and Phrygia ‘in the uplands’, and were therefore due east of the island of Lesbos. Here we find both Pergamon and Bergama. All the features of the Trojan landscape are there, in the Bakir Cayi (Greek Kaikos) valley in what was ancient Mysia, exactly where and as described in the Iliad. And at Pergamon archaeologists have found pottery identical to that found at Hisarlik in the assumed Trojan strata. All the famous features of the Trojan plain, such as Kallikolone and the Wall of Herakles, the seats of the gods as they watched the war, are still there in the plain for us to see and enjoy.

6. The Mysian War story.
The story of the Mysian war is not the best known of the Trojan War stories. It should be. Mysia is the only other place where, according to these stories, Homer’s Achaeans fought on Asian soil. This story tells us that, when they first sailed for Troy, they got lost and landed in Mysia. Once there, and thinking they were at Troy, they attacked, captured and destroyed Teuthrania in the Kaikos valley before realizing their mistake. They were then driven off by a local hero called Telephos. It was only some years later, after a second sailing from the Greek harbour at Aulis, that their fleet of over 1,000 ships reached the ‘real’ Troy. Is it a coincidence that the Trojan plain described by Homer exactly fits the Mysian plain below Pergamon? Is this new discovery evidence that here was the real Trojan War, and that its site was moved from Pergamon to Hisarlik by the poets who laboured to achieve the political purposes of Pisistratus?

7. More discussion and information:
See my web site,