Wordsmith.org: the magic of words

Wordsmith Talk

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#187775 11/13/09 10:17 AM
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 21
R
stranger
OP Offline
stranger
R
Joined: Mar 2000
Posts: 21
I think the common conception of a Trojan Horse stems from a misunderstanding by Homer. In Caesar's history of the conquest of Gaul, which was written about a thousand years later but technology did not change quickly back then, he describes a siege tower, which was made of wood framing covered with horse-hides. It was built at a safe distance from the besieged city (Alesia = Arles), then carried to the wall by a large number of soldiers inside. They then swarmed up ladders inside and onto the wall. One can well suppose that the soldiers called it a wooden horse, and subsequently spoke of entering the city after being in it. Caesar does not describe its shape, but it probably even resembled a horse's head and neck, because it probably had a forward projection at the top, a vertical front wall, and a wide base for stability and to provide room for the carrying.

RonDavis #187778 11/13/09 01:35 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,295
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 5,295
Do you think the Gaules took an obvious siege tower for a horse?
Well, maybe they held on to the old saying: " Don't look a given horse in the mouth", meaning: don't scrutinize a present, just accept it.

RonDavis #187779 11/13/09 02:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
Carpal Tunnel
Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,290
I think the common conception of a Trojan Horse stems from a misunderstanding by Homer. In Caesar's history of the conquest of Gaul, which was written about a thousand years later but technology did not change quickly back then, he describes a siege tower, which was made of wood framing covered with horse-hides.

The Trojan War is usually dated to the 1300 century BCE, and the composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey to the 8th century BCE. Homer does not tell the story of the Trojan Horse: the Iliad ends with the death of Hector. The best description of the Trojan horse is in the second book of Virgil's Ćneid which was composed in the late 1st century BCE. Speculation that the Trojan Horse was a siege tower is based on the observation made by Pausanias in the 2nd century CE in his Ελλαδος Περιηγησεως (Ellados Periēgēseōs) 'Description of Greece'.
Quote:
There [in Brauron] is the horse called Wooden set up in bronze. That the work of Epeius was a contrivance to make a breach in the Trojan wall is known to everybody who does not attribute utter silliness to the Phrygians. But legend says of that horse that it contained the most valiant of the Greeks, and the design of the bronze figure fits in well with this story. Menestheus and Teucer are peeping out of it, and so are the sons of Theseus. (1.23.8..)
The oldest known siege towers were used under Ashurnasirpal II (Aššurnâṣirapli) in the 9th century BCE in Mesopotamia. While it is possible that they predated this Assyrian king, I am not convinced of it. I think Pausanias was just trying to make sense of the legend of the Trojan Horse, which may not have even taken place. (The speculation I have seen is that the Horse was not a siege tower bu a battering ram in the shape of an animal.) It's a pity that the Lesches' Little Iliad is lost, because we could have had an earlier description of the Trojan Horse.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.

Moderated by  Jackie 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Statistics
Forums16
Topics13,907
Posts228,451
Members9,161
Most Online3,341
Dec 9th, 2011
Newest Members
Silverfox, Red_Canoe, Merchant7, crusoe66, TheFilthyOre
9,161 Registered Users
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 96 guests, and 4 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Top Posters(30 Days)
Top Posters
wwh 13,858
Faldage 13,803
Jackie 11,613
tsuwm 10,542
LukeJavan8 9,863
AnnaStrophic 6,511
Wordwind 6,296
of troy 5,400
Disclaimer: Wordsmith.org is not responsible for views expressed on this site. Use of this forum is at your own risk and liability - you agree to hold Wordsmith.org and its associates harmless as a condition of using it.

Home | Today's Word | Yesterday's Word | Subscribe | FAQ | Archives | Search | Feedback
Wordsmith Talk | Wordsmith Chat

© 1994-2022 Wordsmith

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5