Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Background of Troy

I posted this accidentally here. It was intended for, and now is posted to, the blog about Ovid. But given the date and theme of the fallen city, I'll leave it here as well.

With the story of Laomedon's scam of the gods, Ovid touches on the tale of Troy:

Sigeum, Rhoeteum, Troy

Latona’s son left Mount Tmolus and, flying through the clear air, he came to earth in the country of Laomedon, this side of the narrows of the Hellespont, named from Helle, daughter of Nephele. To the right of the deeps of Sigeum, and to the left of those of Rhoeteum, there was an ancient altar of Jupiter the Thunderer, ‘source of all oracles’. There, Apollo saw Laomedon building the foundations of the new city of Troy. The great undertaking prospering with difficulty, and demanding no little resources, he, and Neptune, trident-bearing father of the swelling sea, put on mortal form, and built the walls of the city for the Phrygian king for an agreed amount in gold. The edifice stood there.

A few helpful links for the location and genealogy of the city's rulers:

Troy - Parada has fine maps and a fairly detailed genealogy from Dardanus down through the Roman kings.

Hesione - adds some details to the Troy story.

Peleus - for the background of Aeacus's sons.

Dardanus - sire of Erichthonius, who was father of Tros.

The Dardanians split into two ruling houses of Troy:
Ilus - Ilus founded the city of Ilium (Troy) that he called after himself. Ilus went to Phrygia, and taking part in games that at the time were held by the king, he won victory in wrestling. As a prize he received fifty youths and as many maidens; and the king, obeying an oracle, gave him also a cow and asked him to found a city wherever the cow should lie down. This took place when the cow came to the hill of Ate, and in that spot Ilus built the city which he called Ilium. Then he prayed to Zeus that a sign might be shown to him and he saw the Palladium, fallen from heaven and lying before his tent. Ilus was blinded, since the Palladium was not to be looked upon by any man. But later, when he had made offerings to the goddess, he recovered his sight
Assaracus - brother of Ilus and Ganymede, father of Capys, grandfather of Anchises.

Parada situates the Trojans within the descendants of Atlas (father of Electra and the other Pleiades). Parada's charts arguing that nearly everyone (except Athenians) can be traced back to one of three ancestors -- Atlas, Deucalion, or Io -- can be found here.

Model of Troy layer 1000 years before its destruction

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