The Fall of Troy is widely considered to be the defining moment of Western Civilization, yet it is poorly understood, especially in relation to the Near Eastern Civilization of that time. About all that can presently be said is that the winners went on to establish the greatness of Greece, which ultimately gave rise to Alexander and his conquest. The losers, including Aeneas (a potential successor of Priam) were believed to influence what would later become Rome.
It's going to take a little time for me to muster up all the resources available to me for this enterprise. I've spent much of the last week looking over my existing inventory and looting new and used books while in Dallas on business. They have some great Half-Price Bookstores there! It's coming together, but even so, as in the quest to find the true identities of Hasmoneans, we will keep things at a relatively high level of detail. If it takes even a thousand pages, we are bound to fail. The answer, if one is to be had, is in reading the larger political context.
With that in mind, Chart 27 shows the basic political situation at the time of Homer’s Troy (See also footnote at bottom):
In the final decade of the long reign of Ramses the Great, four major candidates for the succession had emerged. Prince Setne-Khamemwaset (Sheshonq V) was the oldest true son of Ramses II. Until his death in Year 55, he was the heir apparent. His leading son was also called Ramses (Tefnakhte). However, because Khaemwaset predeceased Ramses II, the eldest surviving true son of Ramses II, that being Meremptah, was designated as successor and co-regent in Year 55 instead of the leading grandson Ramses. It did not seem to matter that Meremptah was himself an old man by this time.
Nevertheless, there is strong indication that Meremptah (a.k.a. Menerptah/Merneptah) was set up as co-regent in order to serve as a convenient "fall guy". Tradition and the prevailing circumstances demanded a Moses figure and Meremptah was tagged as the victim. Like the earlier election of Akhenaten, Meremptah was destined to be deposed and to be associated with some kind of Exodus. But who would replace him?
The highest ranking prince next to Setne Khaemwaset was Hori (Iuput II/Kashta). He outlived his father Ramses II as did his leading son Pi-ankhy (Rudamun/Piye). What's more, despite having been younger than Khaemwaset, the pedigree of Hori was equally impressive, and that of his son was arguably even greater than Khaemwaset's son. (See Charts 17 & 26)
The "eldest son" of Ramses II was Amen/Seth-hir-khepeshef (Osorkon III). Despite being the true son of the vanquished Ipy/Nakhtmin (Aper-el?/Pedubastet), he remained in favor with Ramses the Great and spent decades consolidating foreign territories from Ethiopia (as Alara) to Greece (as Attarissiya) to Persia (as Achaemenes). His leading son Amenemope/Bay (Takelot III/Shabaka) was powerful enough to disregard the will of Ramses II and “carry off the kingship” from Egypt. And in fact he did just that to both Nubia (as Shabaka) and Assyria (as Tiglath-Pileser III).
A basic thesis leaps out:
The two location names used by Homer, Ilios and Troy, are thought to derive from the two names given by the Hittites to the area in question, namely Wilusa and Taruisa. (Ref.: Bettany Hughes, “Helen of Troy”, pp 197-198) It seems to me however that Ilios or Ilion also made for a useful word play in signifying “city of the gods” (-ili- was the Sumerian word for “the gods”). The battle of Troy was in essence a fight for control of the realm and seat of the gods. It represents the far-off conflict that initiated decades of warfare to determine the successor of Ramses II as Great King of that Empire, the protracted struggle itself, or some combination of both.
Old Priam (“redeemed”) was the beleaguered king of Troy. He and his leading son Hector associate well with the rehabilitated but ultimately struck-down Meremptah (hetephermaat) and his aggressive but short-lived successor Amenmesses (heqa-waset). Another of Priam's sons, Paris/Alexander, had temporarily gained the love of Helen (generic for the heiress or Egyptian “God’s Wife”), but after the demise of Priam she eventually returned agreeably to Menelaus, who was likely the expected successor all along.
Paris is possibly Seti II (Seti being the equivalent of the Gk. name Perseus), who did not long out-live Amenmesses. The bland Menelaus (“might of the people”) represents Pi-anky/Piye son of Hori. His more captivating “brother” Agamemnon did most of the fighting for him. Agamemnon represents Bay/Shabaka, who usurped the kingdom from Meremptah only to be assassinated at a banquet. The plot was hatched by his father-in-law Hori/Kashta. Similarly, Agamemnon, after his triumph, was murdered at a banquet and at the instigation of his wife and Aigisthos (a name resembling Egypt and Kush).
That's how the problem of Troy would be “solved by inspection”. Perhaps it is somewhat off the mark, yet the overall context dictates that the solution be along those lines. That is, the Trojan War was related to the horrific succession battle that took place just before and after the death of Ramses the Great and that took the lives of so many princes and paupers.
(Greek name definitions from Robert Graves, "The Greek Myths")
Chapter 37, Note 6 reads:
“Without any supporting archaeology, Tudhaliyas IV, Arnuwandus III and Suppiluliumas II are attributed with reigns in round numbers of 30, 20 and 20 years, respectively. (Macqueen, pp 50-51) Within the conventional chronology, this is necessary in order to "postpone" the fall of the Hittite capital Hattusus until after the close of the Egyptian 19th Dynasty, and eleven years into the 20th Dynasty (Year 8 of Ramses III). "The LH IIIB pottery found at the two sites permits the conclusion that the destruction of both Thebes (in Greece) and Troy VI occurred toward the end of the long reign of Ramesses the Great." (Robert Drews, The End of the Bronze Age, p 215)”
Note that scholars such as Robert Drews are increasingly rejecting the conclusion that Troy VII was the city memorialized by Homer. Drews writes (pp. 41-42):
“Blegen’s dogma that [majestic] Troy VI was destroyed by an earthquake is still orthodox, but heresy grows. The pre-Blegen view, put forward by Wilhelm Dorpfeld, was that Troy VI had been sacked. Dorpfeld had found evidence for fire or fires at various places in the destruction level of Troy VI and had interpreted the destruction as the work of men. Blegen acknowledged the evidence for fire at the destruction of Troy VI but argued that this proud settlement was the victim of a catastrophic earthquake; the humdrum VIIa, on the other hand, was destroyed by attackers. Blegen’s arguments were long accepted without much question but were given close scrutiny and much publicity in Michael Wood’s ‘In Search of the Trojan War’. Following up some of Wood’s ideas, Donald Easton reviewed in detail the arguments on which Blegen based his theory that Troy VI was the victim of an earthquake. Easton’s conclusion was that there is little or no evidence for such a quake.” Drews continues, “Blegen’s dates for the destruction of both cites are now regarded by even conservative critics as at least thirty or forty years too high. … Troy VI may therefore have been destroyed as late as ca. 1220.” [1220 is late in the reign of Ramses II according to the standard chronology.]
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