(Editor’s Note: The painting above is titled “The Procession of the Trojan Horse” by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo. I had to look up the meaning of the words “Paladi Votum” written on the flank. It means: “An offering to Pallas Athena.”)
(Small burst of trumpets)
An ancient city at Hissarlik, in present day Turkey. A powerful kingdom of the Heroic Age. A participant in the Trojan War, a power that ruled the Troad, an historical land and sea region,
Take a close look. Google the map.
Put a kingdom where you can bottleneck the movement of adventurers. Own the land, the sea, and the highest hill and you are a power to be reckoned with. In that age, the riches were to the east, kingdoms of unimaginable power. Control the sea, the approach, and you can force tolls upon sea farers going east.
Troy is the fountainhead for literature, for mythology, for Heroes and Gods. Battles are not just fought with armies but with the intervention and manipulation of gods. At least in those days. What is more tragic than TROY itself? It is a plot of a great city about to end, and characters that are caught up in the action that cannot be stopped. Is that not tragedy? Troy was destined to fail, its walls to fall, and how tragic to give momentary hope to a citizenry while with their own hands pulled the instrument of their destruction inside their walls.
After all, who could possibly imagine a wooden horse filled with Greeks?
Laocoön! That’s who! The scale of tragedy increases with a warning that is ignored.
With my Cassandra like hindsight I declare with self-assurance, “How could anyone ever imagine that Troy was mythology?” Heinrich Schliemann may have proved its existence by finding its stones, but Troy is steeped in human nature. Look at the history books and the news: Berlin, Warsaw, Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and now Kiev itself (I hope fervently that Kiev’s ‘walls’ will hold). There are others, going back over the years, as always, the same tune with slightly different notes.
Troy is immortal because it’s familiar.