We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more


Primary Sources | Secondary Sources | Music | DVD

Primary Sources

See Primary Sources for chapters on Greek saga and legend, especially 18, 19, and 23.

Primary Sources | Secondary Sources | Music | DVD

Secondary Sources


Ackroyd, Peter. The Fall of Troy. New York: Doubleday, 2007. This acclaimed author’s novel of romance and mystery evokes the period of Schliemann and his excavations, exploring issues of truth and deception and fact and fiction. The famous German archaeologist, Heinrich Obermann, with his young Greek wife Sophia excavates the ruins of Troy at Hissarlik.

MacGillivray, Joseph Alexander. Biography. Minotaur: Sir Arthur Evans and the Archaeology of the Minoan Myth. New York: Hill & Wang, 2000. The life and excavations of Evans, born into wealth, a mediocre journalist, and then excavator of Knossos in 1900.

Robinson, Andrew. The Man Who Deciphered Linear B: The Story of Michael Ventris. Biography. New York: Norton, 2002.

Biographies of Heinrich Schliemann

Schliemann’s life and career are the material for a bizarre and exciting success story. He amassed a fortune so that he could prove the validity of his convictions, which he pursued with passion. Earlier biographies tend to be romantically sympathetic:

Brackman, Arnold C. The Dream of Troy. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold co. 1979 [1974].

Ludwig, Emil. Schliemann: The Story of a Gold-Seeker (Boston: Little, Brown, 1931).

Payne, Robert, The Gold of Troy (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1959).

Poole, Lynn and Gray. One Passion, Two Loves (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell, 1966).

Stone, Irving. The Greek Treasure: A Biography of Heinrich and Sophia Schliemann. New York: Penguin, 1976.

More recent scholarly works have characterized Schliemann as a liar and a fraud:

Traill, David A. Schliemann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995).

Caroline Moorehead. Caroline, Lost and Found: The 9,000 Treasures of Troy: Heinrich Schliemann and the Gold That Got Away. New York: Viking Press, 1996 [1994]. Less scholarly than Traill, but nevertheless critical and more balanced.

Allen, Susan Heuck. Finding the Walls of Troy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999), another detractor, argues that Schliemann obscured his debts to the British archaeologist Frank Calvert for the identification and the excavation of the mound of Hisarlik as the site of Troy.


Bittlestone, Robert, with James Diggle and John Underhill. Odysseus Unbound: The Search for Homer’s Ithaca. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005.

Blegen, Carl W. Troy and the Trojans. New York: Praeger, 1963.

Cambridge Ancient History. 3d ed. Vols. 1 and 2. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1970–1975. The standard work of reference in English, with chapters by various authorities. These volumes cover the early history of the Aegean world and the Near East and Bronze Age Greece.

Castleden, Rodney. Minoans: Life in Bronze Age Crete. New York: Routledge, 1993. This book follows upon Castleden’s previous work The Knossos Labyrinth (1990), in which he postulates a new view about the palace.

Chadwick, John. The Mycenaean World. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1976.

Dalby, Andrew. Rediscovering Homer: Inside the Origins of the Epic. New York: Norton, 2006. In his study of the origin, nature, and date of the composition of the Iliad and Odyssey, Dalby argues (not convincingly) that both poems were composed by a woman. The theory that a women composed the Odyssey has been promulgated by two famous authors, Samuel Butler (The Authoress of the Odyssey,1897) and Robert Graves  (Homer’s Daughter, 1955). The opera Nausicaa by Peggy Glanville –Hicks (premiere 1961) is based on Graves’ novel and scenes have been recorded, starring Teresa Stratas (CRI CR685.)

Dickinson, Oliver. The Aegean Bronze Age. Cambridge World Archaeology. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

Drews, Robert. The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 B. C. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996.

Ellis, Richard. Imagining Atlantis. New York: Vintage Books, 1999. Out of the countless books about the legendary Atlantis, this must be one of the best. Entertaining and reliable, Ellis surveys the archaeological evidence and the many theories (fiction and film are included) of authors ranging from Plato to Arthur Conan Doyle.

Fields, Nic. Troy c. 1700–1250 B C. New York: Osprey Publishing, 2004. A well-illustrated, up to date, and concise discussion.

Fitton, J. Lesley. The Discovery of the Greek Bronze Age. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1996. An excellent survey of the excavations and their historical interpretation.

Latacz, Joachim. Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery. Translated by Kevin Windle and Rosh Ireland. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. The most up-to-date survey of the continuing excavation, which includes analysis of the most recent important and exciting finds.

Luce, J. V. Homer’s Landscapes: Troy and Ithaca Revisited. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1998. A gratifying study that restores one’s faith in the maligned historicity of Homer. Luce shows the accuracy of Homer’s geography of Troy and the Troad in the Iliad, and convinces us that the modern islands of Lefkas, Itháki, Kephalonia, and Zante, off the Gulf of Corinth, correspond to the descriptions in the Odyssey for Doulichion, Ithaca, Samos (Samê), and Zakythos. Although archaeology confirms Mycenaean evidence on the islands, the palace of Odysseus remains to be discovered.

Mellersh, H. E. The Destruction of Knossos: The Rise and Fall of Minoan Crete. New York: Weybright & Talley, 1970.

Nilsson, Martin P. The Mycenaean Origin of Greek Mythology. A new introduction and bibliography by Emily Vermeule. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972.

Papadopoulos,  John K. The Art of Antiquity: Piet de Jong and the Athenian Agora. American School of Classical Studies. New York: David Brown Book Co., 2007. Includes discussion and illustrations of de Jong’s work for the Minoan and Mycenaean periods.

Pomeroy, Sarah  B., Stanley B.M. Burstein, Walter Donlan, and Jennifer Tolbert Roberts. Ancient Greece: A Political, social, and Cultural History. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. A helpful survey for background to the study of mythology.

Wade-Gery, H.G. The Poet of the Iliad. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1952. A cogent argument is made for connecting Homer with the invention of the Freek alphabet. See also Barry B. Powell, Homer and the Origins of the Greek Alphabet, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Wood, Michael. In Search of the Trojan War. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. Originally based on the BBC Television series and now updated, this is a good survey of the excavators, the excavations, and the interpretation of the evidence. It now needs to be updated further for the most recent finds and interpretations. See DVD.

Back to top

Primary Sources | Secondary Sources | Music | DVD


Falla, Manuel de (1876–1946). Atlantida. Opera. Stratas and Simionato et al. La Scala Theater Orchestra & Chorus, cond. Schippers. Opera d’Oro OPD-1307. The libretto by the composer is an adaptation of the poem. L’Atlàntida by the Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer. Alcide (Hercules) raises the Pyrenees, founds Barcelona, and is convinced by Geryon that he can rule the continent of Atlantis, which is destroyed in a great flood.  The Christian Christopher Columbus, inspired by the story of his counterpart Heracles, sets out to discover a new world.

Back to top

Primary Sources | Secondary Sources | Music | DVD


In Search of the Trojan War. TV Documentary, written and directed by Michael Wood. By far the best film documentary about Troy and should be seen by everyone interested in the subject. Excellent interviews with major archaeologists, biographies of important excavators (Schliemann, Dörpfeld, Evans, and Blegen), tours of the major sites, surveys of the excavations, discussion of Homer and the oral tradition that includes recitations by modern bards, and even more. BBC Video.

Heinrich Schliemann: The Rediscovery of Troy. Documentary. Films for the Humanities.

Helen of Troy. PBS Home Video. Bettany Hughes travels to Sparta and Troy as she explores the historical reality of Helen.

Minoan Civilization. Historical and archaeological survey that may be brought to bear upon the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. Films for the Humanities.

Minotaur’s Island: The History of Minoan Civilization and its Mythical Monster. Bettany Hughes narrates this documentary. Acorn Media.

The Odyssey of Troy (Ancient Mysteries). A&E Home Video. AAE-12307. Despite minor flaws, this is an excellent introduction, especially to the history of the excavations of Troy. We only wish visuals would always accurately depict what is described in the script and that someone (perhaps one of the professors involved) could have told the narrator Kathleen Turner how to pronounce Menelaüs.

The True Story of Troy. History Channel. Documentary.

Troy: Battlefield of Myth and Truth. Documentary that includes commentary from Manfred Korfmann and focuses upon his recent excavations. Films for the Humanities.

Troy: Myth or Reality. Eagle Media. Documentary.

Troy: Unearthing a Legend. The History Channel. The second disc of this DVD set (which contains: “Ancient Mysteries: The Odyssey of Troy: Treasure! The Ancient Gold of Troy; and The Trojan City”) provides some worthwhile material. The first disc, however, has nothing to do with Troy but deals with “The Rise and Fall of the Spartans” and the Persian Wars.

Back to top

See also the Bibliography for Chapter 19.

Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy
Please send comments or suggestions about this Website to custserv.us@oup.com