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Colluthus of Lycopolis, fl. c. 490–520 CE  

Laura Miguélez-Cavero

Colluthus (Κόλλουθος) of Lycopolis (modern Asyut, Egypt) is the author of the Abduction of Helen (Ἁρπαγὴ Ἑλένης), an epyllion of 392 lines narrating the events leading to the beginning of the Trojan War, from the wedding of Thetis and Peleus to the arrival of Paris and Helen at Troy. According to the Suda (K 1951), Colluthus was a contemporary of emperor Anastasius (reigned 491–518) and composed a Calydoniaca in six books (probably on the hunt of the Calydonian boar; perhaps celebrating the love of Meleager and Atalanta), verse encomia, and a Persica (most likely a verse encomium on Anastasius, celebrating the end of the war against the Persians in 505). The Suda does not mention the Abduction of Helen, Colluthus’s only extant work, which has been transmitted in a very poor state.1

The Abduction can be divided into three sections. After the initial invocation to the nymphs of the Troad (ll. 1–16), Eris retaliates for not being invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis by throwing a golden apple amongst the banqueters, which leads to the contest of Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, resolved by Paris in favour of the latter (ll. 17–191). Paris then voyages to Sparta and encounters Helen (ll. 192–325). Finally, a desolated Hermione tries to make sense of her mother’s absence (ll. 326–392).


Triphiodorus, of Panopolis  

Laura Miguélez-Cavero

Triphiodorus, who originated from Egypt and lived in the 3rd century ce, was an epic poet and teacher of grammar whose only extant work is The Sack of Troy (691 lines, narrating the final events of the Trojan War).Triphiodorus means “gift of Triphis,” a local deity of Panopolis (modern Akhmim) in Upper Egypt, and was a common name in Panopolis itself and all over Upper Egypt. This and the entry of the Suda (T 1111), calling him an Egyptian, have led to the conclusion that he originated from the area of Panopolis. The Suda actually includes two entries under the same name, the first (T 1111) calling him a poet and grammarian (γραμματικὸς καὶ ποιητὴς ἐπῶν) and attributing to him Marathoniaca (Μαραθωνιακά, on the battle of Marathon, or more likely on Theseus and the Marathonian bull, as in Callimachus’ Hecale), The Sack of Troy.


Sea People  

Louise Hitchcock

The term “Sea People” is a modern designation for some nine tribes known from Egyptian, Hittite, Ugaritic, and biblical texts. Their origins are uncertain, but they are associated with maritime activity that contributed to the destruction of many city-states in the Mediterranean during the era known as the Late Bronze–Iron Age transition. An outcome of this activity was the collapse or destruction of many Bronze Age sites and an emergence of new cultures.One of the great remaining mysteries in Mediterranean archaeology is understanding the identities of the Sea People and their role in contributing to the end of the Bronze Age (c.1200bce). This era of collapse was followed by a new Age of Iron that saw the emergence of the classical Greeks, biblical Israelites, and Romans. The term Sea People is misleading as it is a modern category first used in the 19th century to refer to a collection of different tribal groups wreaking havoc around the Mediterranean. Their tribal names include Denyen, Ekwesh, Lukka, Peleset, Shekelesh or Tjeker, Shardanu, Teresh, Meshwesh, and Weshesh. The origins of some of these groups are associated with particular places in the minds of many (for example, many of the authors in the bibliography and even myself), whereas the origins of others are completely uncertain or continue to be debated. Their names also have variant spellings, based on their being attested in different languages including, chiefly, Egyptian, but also .


Epic Cycle  

Jonathan Burgess

Epic Cycle refers to an ancient gathering of thematically linked epics of the Archaic Age on the origins of the gods, the Theban Wars, and the Trojan War. The poems are lost, with few fragments remaining; testimony for their contents and authors. The 9th-century ce Photius provides a general overview. Summaries of the Trojan War epics by Proclus, a 5th-century ce scholar (the date is disputed in modern scholarship), have survived in the manuscript tradition of the Iliad. The contents of the epics were popular throughout Greco-Roman antiquity.Epic Cycle (ἐπικὸς κύκλος) is the term given to a gathering of originally independent epics of the Archaic Age. The poems are mostly lost: less than a hundred and fifty lines of verse survive. Our primary source of information is a concise summary by Proclus of the Trojan war section of the Cycle, preserved in the famous 10th-centuryce manuscript of the .



Jonathan S. Burgess

Achilles is the grandson of Aeacus of Aigina and son of Peleus and the Nerei.d Thetis. He rules the Myrmidons of Phthia in southern Thessaly and is generally considered the best (aristos) of the Greeks in the Trojan War. In Homer’s Iliad he is said to have led fifty ships to Troy (2.681–685). The Iliad’s plot turns on his withdrawal from battle in anger at the Greek commander Agamemnon and his return to take vengeance on Hector for killing his close friend Patroclus. Many episodes in the life of Achilles, including his early life and death at Troy, were popular in Greek and Roman literature and iconography. Summaries of mythological events found in the life of Achilles can be found in the Epitome of Apollodorus and the Fabulae of Hyginus (1st century bce to 1st century ce). Reception of myths about Achilles has continued in post-antiquity.


Ilias Latina  

Steven J. Green

The Ilias Latina is a short poem composed in Latin hexameter that retells Homer’s Iliad. It is generally attributed to Baebius Italicus and dated to c. 54–65 ce. The analysis of the poem reveals how the Homeric Iliadic material has been reimagined to fit Roman, post-Virgilian and Neronian sensibilities, and to showcase the human emotions underlying the Trojan War.The Ilias Latina is a poem composed in Latin hexameter that retells Homer’s Iliad in 1,070 verses. Most commonly referred to as Ilias Latina [Latin Iliad], a title coined by Emil Baehrens in his 1881 edition, the manuscripts refer to the poem variously as Epitome Iliados Homeri [Epitome of the Iliad of Homer], Liber Homeri [Book of Homer], or Homerus (de bello Troiano) [Homer (concerning the Trojan war)]. It is popularly attributed to Baebius Italicus, following the manuscript Vindobonensis Latinus 3509 [Bebii Italici] and taking note of an apparent acrostic created (with small emendation) from the first letter of the opening and closing eight verses of the poem: .