Today, the Troy of Homer’s epic poems is believed to be on a site known locally as Hisarlik. This is in western Turkey near Cannakale, at the southern end of the Straits of the Dardanelles. It lies due north of the island of Lesbos. Hisarlik is also known to be the site of Ilion in Classical times.
There are four main clues in the Iliad which point to Troy at Hisarlik. These are that Troy must be:
- Beside the Hellespont, known as another name for the Straits since 5C BCE.
- Near the island of Imbros.
- Near the island of Tenedos.
- Visible from the mountain top on Samothrace.
Enter John Lascelles in 1980. Long dissatisfied with Troy at Hisarlik, he went to look at the magnificent acropolis of Pergamon. This bears the name ‘Pergamos’ given by Homer to the topmost precinct of Apollo on Ilios, the holy acropolis of Troy. There, in ancient Mysia beside the Kaikos river, where legend claims the Greeks once fought by mistake thinking they were at Troy, he discovered a landscape which almost perfectly matched the landscape of the Trojan plain. Could this really be the site of the Trojan War?
My studies in support of John Lascelles show beyond reasonable doubt that he really has found the plain of Troy, as described in the Iliad, in the plain below Bergama. The collective evidence suggests that it was the Athenians in 6CBCE, with the help of a team of hired poets, who assembled and compiled the Iliad from the collected works of Homer. Within this compilation they inserted a major role in the Trojan War for themselves by claiming that the hero, Ajax, King of Salamis, was one of their own. They also added in the geographical clues which pointed to Troy being at Ilion. They then claimed that they were entitled to the lands of Troy as their share of the spoils of the Trojan War. Thus, after they had captured it by force from Lesbos, they were allowed to keep the territory around Hisarlik, called Sigeum. Thus the tyrants of Athens in 6CBCE won this much needed colony for Athens.
My findings are to be published in two volumes, under the overall title ‘The Troy Deception.’ Volume 1 will be published in August 2011 & Volume 2 to be announced.
Volume 1, ‘Finding the plain of Troy’, explains why the plain of Troy as described in the Iliad cannot be found at Hisarlik. Yet an almost perfect match for this plain can be found in the lower Bakir Cayi valley between Pergamon and the sea. This region was known in ancient times as Mysia. Here the Trojan War legends tell us that the Achaeans first fought on Asian soil by mistake, believing they were at Troy. According to the Mysian War myth, the Achaeans were driven off by a local hero called Telephos, whereupon they returned to Greece, and reached Troy some years later after a second sailing from Aulis.
Volume 2, ‘The truth about Troy’, is in two parts. The first shows that the magnificent acropolis of Pergamon was the Trojan’s holy acropolis of Ilios, and that Troy lay in what are now the northern suburbs of Bergama, close to the ancient and once famous thermal spring at the Asklepion. The second part presents evidence to support my claim that the Pisistratid tyrants, rulers of Athens from c560 to 514 BCE, were responsible for the ‘Troy deception’.
This deception would probably have been discovered quite quickly, but fate decreed otherwise. After the Persian invasion of Greece in 480-479BCE was repelled, the Athenians began to celebrate their freedom and their new democracy. Later it became fashionable to denigrate some achievements of the era of the tyrants by crediting them to a different age. For example, the introduction of coinage was credited to the earlier Solon. Stories then arose that the colony at Sigeum was first won in c630BCE by the Athenians, thus depriving the Pisistratids of their role in gaining this invaluable colony for Athens. With its motivation thus obscured, the Troy deception has remained undetected for some 2,500 years. In short, the truth about Troy was hidden largely because early Athenian history was revised more than once, first by the Pisistratids, and again by later generations of Athenians. If these findings are accepted, the world will gain new and much more credible sites for both Troy and Ilios. The integrity of Homer will be much restored. Many of the famous features that he described in the landscape of the Trojan plain, missing at Hisarlik and therefore assumed invented by Homer, are now there for all to see and enjoy at Bergama. Also, some new light is shed upon the history of Athens during the tyranny, allowing the Pisistratids more credit for their achievements.