Fact, Fiction or Something Else? Did the Trojan War happen?
Why isn't this a simple yes or no question? Explain. 1) Because the answer is unknown, that is a lot of speculations and theories, but nobody has been able to answer this question.
2) There is really no proven evidence that really can link back to during those times, just myths passed down generation to generation.
3) The reason it isn't a clear cut yes or no is because there is no clear cut evidence. There are not things that could be looked at and say for sure one way or the other. It is possible to draw a conclusion from the facts that are known, but no real way to know for sure that the conclusion is for sure or not. There are many facts out there but they could go either way.
4) Evidence shows that in the Mediterranean world it was common for the seizure of women on overseas raids. This may be clues to whether it was possible if in fact Helen existed for her to be carried off. Which became grounds for starting a war. All we can really say is that we don't have any evidence to prove a definite yes or no. The evidence we do have can only bring us to the conclusion that the Trojan War was possible.
5) In the research of the Trojan War, there have been findings that may support its occurrence. For example, in Linear B tablets, historians have found twenty names matching with Trojan warriors. The Greeks gave Greek names to warriors from Troy, for example, Hector. Another supportive find was that the taking of women across seas was possible because women were prized in Greek society, the prettier, the better. So if Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world was taken, there would probably be cause for an attack. However, some important factors are still unfound that would greatly support this war. The Trojan horse, for example, or traces of it, have not been found in the area of Troy. It is hard to say yes or no to the question of the Trojan War because, while information is found to support it, it is not enough to prove it.
6) The Trojan War continues to be a mystery. We cannot say for sure if it ever happened or not. The places Homer talks about the Trojan War occurring did actually exist, and according to Linear B tablets this was a militarist and aggressive area, which would explain the ruthlessness of kings such as Agamemnon. Following 1300 BC the Mediterranean had been raided and was unstable. This could explain Homer's description of fighting between the rival city states. Homer's tale of a Mycenaean expedition can be supported by the Thera frescoes which show what could be a Mycenaean expedition to the Libyan coast. There is evidence to support his story, but it depends on your interpretation of the evidence as to whether it is really valid.
7) Did the Trojan War really happen? Maybe the question should be more specific as to which Trojan War it's asking about. Is it asking about the one that is told in the Homeric poem with the characters such as Achilles, Hector, and Helen? Or is it asking if there was a war at Troy, without these characters and their story. Because of historical evidence, or lack thereof, it makes for a difficult question to answer with just a yes or no. There is evidence to show that there was a city of Troy, and the Greek cities of that time tended to conquer other cities to take their riches and make them slaves. So did the Greeks that lived in the Peloponesus go to Troy to conquer it for riches and slaves? This is very possible. But was there a Helen who was kidnapped, and was there a great fight between Achilles and Hector, was there a wooden horse? These seem less likely since the only evidence is the poem.
Which of these answers are better? Rank them, top down.
What makes some answers better than others? Be specific.
Jean de Berry (ca. 1390-1400)
Greek fragment, TheIliad (2nd c. A.D.)
Helen of Troy (1898)
by Evelyn de Morgan
Helen & Menelaos reunited (ca. 450 B.C.)
http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa090198.htm [Images of the Trojan War]