The Truth of Troy

The Truth of Troy

2004, History  -   9 Comments
Ratings: 6.58/10 from 19 users.

The Truth of TroyIt's one of the greatest stories ever told. The legend of Helen of Troy has enchanted audiences for the last three thousand years. In May this year a Hollywood film staring Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom will be launched in Britain. But is there any reality to the myth? Horizon has unprecedented access to the scientist with the answers.

Since 1988 Professor Manfred Korfmann has been excavating the site of Troy. He has never before spoken at this length. He has made amazing discoveries - how large the city was, how well it was defended and, crucially, that there was once a great battle there at precisely the time that experts believe the Trojan war occurred.

But who had attacked the city and why?

Horizon then follows a trail of clues - the ancient tablets written by a lost civilisation, the sunken ship rich in treasure, and the magnificent golden masks and bronze swords of a warrior people. The film reaches its climax in a tunnel deep beneath Troy, where Korfmann has made a discovery that may reveal, once and for all, the truth behind the myth.

The story that emerges is one of great passion - but not, it seems, about love.

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9 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Petr Kratoska

    legends are almost always based on some factual elements. The best explanation of the actual wooden horse is to look at the siege engines of the time, such as the covered battering ram. It looks like a giant animal on wheels containing the ram and fighting men.

  2. viny

    at the end the narrator had his statement based on the evidence presented by the documentary itself.they presented evidences (a compromise) between literature (fiction) and to david, trying to comment on what he said about "there is no face that launched a thousand ships" is to tacky... think before you comment

    1. DRA2010

      @viny - I disagree. @David made the valid point that the makers of this documentary made assumptions that weren't absolutely supported by the evidence presented. Of course, while it IS almost impossible to prove something DIDN'T happen, they were being sloppy when they stated this as if they they had hard proof. I also noticed a considerable bias towards their believing that the Hittite script was more truthful than the Greek script. Why should we choose one 3000 year-old story over another?

      As far as the story about Helen is concerned, it's very possible that both versions were true - Helen's story could have been the propaganda Agamemnon used to stir up the Mycenaeans (so he could get his hands on those Trojan gold & bronze ingots) in the same way that Abolitionists used the issue of chattel slavery to justify the invasion and destruction of the Southern states (where in reality, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation didn't free a single slave, as it only applied to those living in the states that had seceeded, and NOT to those living in the states still in the Union - it wasn't until the NEXT president that this changed). The TRUE cause of this conflict were the excessive tariffs (see the US 1858 Tariff Act) that applied ONLY to the exports of the [then] wealthy Southern states (which weren't repealed until the 1980's). In those days, the American government was funded by tariffs, not with income taxes.

      A similar bit of propaganda was levelled against the original occupants of Britain. Everyone "knows" that when the Romans invaded they brought civilization to our barbarous Celtic residents. Recent (within the past 30 years) archaeology in Wales, Cornwall, and Dover has demonstrated that civilizations were present here 4000 YEARS before the Roman invasion, and a thriving international mercantile economy was in place well before their arrival.

  3. Jawadullah Khan

    good documentary

  4. David

    I would have to question two statements from the last minute of the video. The narrator stated that "there was no face that launched a thousand ships." Just because the war was most likely fought for the very reasons that the evidence points to doesn't mean that there was not an additional reason to go to war, such as the smuggling of a woman named Helen. And just because there is no evidence of a trojan horse doesn't mean that there wasn't one. Would future generations find evidence of 2 planes in the spot where the Twin Towers were once located. It is very likely that Homer's story is just that, but to say with any authority that there was never a woman at stake or a trojan horse is assumption.

  5. cess


    what an interesting and fresh perspective!
    andseeing as metephors are the language of the poetic..and Homer being a poet..

    i think u may be on to something..

  6. Skye-hook

    Wonderful doc video! Very satisfying! I'd love to see much/many more like this! :) To say it is interesting is an understatement! I enjoyed it immensely! If you love archeology, you'll love this! One of the best, most interesting documentaries I've ever seen!
    Thanks so much for bringing it to us! :)

  7. Dale

    I have been watching a wide range of documentaries and reading up on different accounts of the trojan war. No one has ever suggested that Helen of Sparta could actually be the metaphorical horse. Would a strong woman from Sparta really be turned by love when Sparta women of the time were near equals to men. Could it not be that Helen (by the will of husband)seduced Paris while he was conveniently away. Could she not have helped to open the doors of Troy and be the person of an inside job? For a traitor to her nation she certainly had nothing done to her after the war and in fact was in the end worshipped as a goddess.

  8. Courtney

    Don't know why this one hasn't been commented on yet, but here goes:

    I don't know much about ancient Trojan/Mycenaean history so I'm not sure how much of this is validated academically, but off-hand I think the information presented in this doc was new and eye-opening. Seems like everyone did their research and cam to some solid conclusions. It makes you think about how history has been 'revisioned' since history has been recorded (whether orally or written).
    The one piece of evidence that I would like more information on is the use of geological 'layers' to date the dig site. I know that this is true that over a geological area the soil layers will remain somewhat constant. Just wanted a bit more on how they came to date those layers.
    Overall I enjoyed the doc and learned a bit about this period in history. 4/5