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Commemoration and Pilgrimage in the Ancient World: Troy and the Stratigraphy of Cultural Memory

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 April 2012

ELIZABETH MINCHIN
Affiliation:
ELIZABETH MINCHIN is Professor of Classics in the Classics and Ancient History Program at the Australian National University. Elizabeth.Minchin@anu.edu.au

Extract

This article takes up the subject of shared memory and its interaction with landscape, with specific reference to Troy, to Homer's Iliad, and to the tradition of ‘pilgrimage’ to Troy and its environs that evolved in the ancient world in response to the Trojan War story. Over the course of centuries this particular location on the Hellespont, a Bronze Age site, exercised a particular fascination, thanks to memories – no doubt gravely distorted – of a great siege by combined Greek forces eager to avenge, as legend tells it, the abduction of Helen. A few centuries later, the site became a destination for ‘pilgrims’ who were eager to see for themselves the landscape of Troy and the Troad and to experience for themselves, physically and emotionally, certain actions that were attributed to the heroes of the so-called Trojan War.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Classical Association 2012

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