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Thread: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

  1. #1

    Default "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    Hey there. In my ever-developping search to expanding knowledge I was wondering what exactly in the movie 'Troy' is historically incorrect. I'm not talking about the actual mistakes - you know, the plane in the background and the guy with the watch or whatever, but actual historical twists.
    This could be anything from twisted relationships - IDK, like between Menelaos and Aggamemnon - to complete incorrect events.

    Of course, 'historical' is very relative - but I mean when comparing the movie to Homer's Odyssee.

    Thanks in advance. I want to rewatch this film with a more critical aproach, that's why I'm asking this.

  2. #2
    Phoebus's Avatar εις οιωνος αριστος...
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    This is a tough question, since it's very hard to distinguish what may have been truly historical about the Trojan War, as depicted in the Iliad, from what was fantasy.

    That having been said, here are a few major things I can think of, right off the top of my head:

    1. Achilles' death--it's supposed to occur prior to the Trojan Horse incident.

    2. Agamemnon's death--it's supposed to occur when he returns home, when he is murdered by his wife. This one I feel somewhat strongly about, since his death and the revenge-murder committed by his son, Orestes, against his own murderous mother forms the central basis for the Orestiad, which itself was a fairly prominent legend among Greeks. Had Agamemnon died in Troy, there would have been no basis for this latter legend.

    3. Andromache (Hector's wife) does not escape with Aeneas. Tragically, her son was slain (I'm almost sure of this) and she herself was taken by Agamemnon as a slave (in the same manner that he wanted to take Briseis, if you catch my drift).

  3. #3
    vizi's Avatar Vicarius Provinciae
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    I think you should watch the movie for entertainment...not for 'historical' purposes.

  4. #4

    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    It's much easier to spot the historically correct aspects in this movie! The movie butchers the Iliad so that it can be a 2.5 hour movie. From memory the only movie scenes that felt somewhat close to Homer's Iliad are the duel Achilles vs Hector and Priam's actions (Peter O'Toole is superb actor)! Yet again, these scenes are still differentiated from Homer's Iliad...
    Check wikipedia for some differences between the movie and the myth.
    Last edited by Demetrios of Messene; January 28, 2009 at 03:25 AM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    I watched the movie for entertainment, now I want to rewatch it with this new knowledge - I find that entertaining.
    Thanks for the help!
    If anything more springs to mind, feel free to share : )

  6. #6

    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    Also, it worth bearing in mind that many aspects of the film (architecture, aspects of dress, weaponary etc.) often do not reflect anything like the styles of the late Bronze age, when the events are said to take place, or the early-mid iron age, when Homer is said to have lived.
    Also, be aware of the fact that the version of the Iliad was amended repeatedly for several centuries after earlier version are reffered to in our oldest records. Even if there was a historical Homer, the Iliad is not all his work.

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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    Behind the fact that "great actor" Brad Pitt was lived those times...,my son(11 years old) find it very entertainment...

    as for historical inaccuracies...

    check this out...


    "In the first scene of Troy, you can see Llamas. These animals are originally from South America and did not exist in Troy."

    "Most equipment used by the Greeks, such as the large round shields and Achilles helmet, is from the Classical Period (5-4th centuries BC). At the time when the epic is set, the Greeks used small bowl-shaped helmets and light leather shields shaped like the number 8."

    "At the time of the Trojan War (circa 1260BC) the inhabitants of Greece did not refer to themselves as Greeks but as Achaians, Danaans or Argives."

    and many more here...

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  8. #8
    D.B. Cooper's Avatar Tribunus
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    I found some off of

    When the Trojans flee inside the walls at the arrival of the Greeks, you can see some llamas. Llamas were only known in Latin America and not in ancient Troy.
    Probably the most common mistake in all the ancient warfare movies like Troy. The thick leather armour that soldiers wear is almost impossible to pierce with such crudely sharpened swords but they always seem to pierce the armour with effortless ease.
    At least one riding pad includes a pair of visible stirrups - not invented until sometime in the fourth century A.D.
    The boy who is sent to retrieve Achilles, refers to Boagrius as the Thessalonian, speaking of those from Thessaly. Thessalonians are people from the Greek city of Thessalonika - which is settled about 1000 years AFTER THE BATTLE People from Thessaly were/are called Thessalians. The term Thessalonian should never even have been known to the boy, much less used by him.
    When King Priam is showing Paris the Sword of Troy we get a close-up view of the blade and it looks suspiciously like steel or polished iron, as do a lot of the weapons which we see in this film. However, at the time of the Trojan War, civilization was still very much rooted in the Bronze Age and iron weapons would not have been available. Iron weapons were first used by the Philistines around 1100 BC, some years after the Trojan War, and it was still another several hundred years before this technology was ever used.
    I'd also like to add that the siege took well over a decade (14 years I think?) while the movie began and ended in the span of a few weeks. Obviously some of these are liberties taken for the sake of a movie, like the dangers of riding without stirrups, but if you want inaccuracies there they are.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    also, in some parts, like when paris goes out to fight agamemnon(i think, maybe it was someone else), it has helen pleading him not to go. in reality, he didnt want to go and she threatened to leave him if he didnt fight. same with hector and his wife, only he intended to go, and she was just supportive of it.
    and the relationship between achilles and briseis was completely fake.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    for the most accurate description you should probably just read the Iliad. If you skip the begats and roll calls it's just blood, guts, and bluster. a good read.

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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    3. Andromache (Hector's wife) does not escape with Aeneas. Tragically, her son was slain (I'm almost sure of this) and she herself was taken by Agamemnon as a slave (in the same manner that he wanted to take Briseis, if you catch my drift).
    Agamemnon got Cassandra.
    Andromache was given to Achilles' son.
    Odysseus did the job on Hectors' kid.
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  12. #12
    rusina's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    Brad Pitt.

  13. #13

    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    It's hard to say historically inaccurate since there's really know actual evidence of all the heroes in Troy besides what we see in Epic cycles.

    The movie is based on the Illiad, but the Illiad itself only covers up until the death of Hector. The fall of Troy is depicted in later Epic cycles.

    From what they think they gathered from the ruins of Troy was that the battle that destroyed Homer's Troy was around 1200-1100 BC. So no Iron Age weapons, just Bronze.

    Some things I can remember of the top of my head that differ;

    Agagmemnon was killed by his wife when he returned to Mycenae.

    Ajax the Greater was not killed by Hector, but instead killed himself. After fighting with Odyseuss over the late Achilles armor he was so angry to lose that in the night while he was induced by a God, I don't remember which, he killed a bunch of sheep thinking it was the Kings of the Argives. He then woke up and in his shame killed himself.

    In the movie Briseis is kind of an amalgamation of Cassandra and herself.

    Achilles knew Patrocolus was leading the Myrmidon in his armor, and charged Eudorus with protecting him. There also were said to be like 2,500 Myrmidon and not just 50, including five other Captains besides Eudorus such as Achilles mentor Phoenix.

    After Patrocolus' death Nestor's son Antilochus became Achilles closest friend. He was killed by the Trojan hero Memnon and in a fit of rage very much the same as with Patrocolus Achilles wanted to fight Memon. Except in the cycle Memnon is the son of a Goddess, and couldn't be killed by Achilles. Memnon of Ethiopia isn't even shown in the movie.

    Menelaus was not killed by Hector either. Instead he defeated Paris who was then whisked into the city by Aphrodite or some such, and he survived the war and took back Helen.

    Paris was killed by Philoctetes, friend of Hercules. He had been wounded and later died of his wounds because his former lover wouldn't heal him despite pleas from Helen.

    There are many heroes left out such as Ajax the Lesser, Diomedes, Philoctetes, Deophobus (Paris' brother who married Helen after the death of Paris and was then mercilessly killed by Menelaus when Troy fell), Aeneas (only briefly mentioned at the end as some random kid, instead he is a younger brother to Paris and Hector and is known as quite a hero of Troy. He escapes Troy and later it is said with the survivors travels to Mount Ida then escapes to Italy and founds Rome), and many many others.

    Of note is that Diomedes was left out, since he was one of the Greeks greatest heroes, in rival to Achilles himself.

    Andromache is taken by Neoptolemus, son of Achilles, who is also the one that killed Priam, not Agammemnon.

    Her son is killed by the herald Talthybius. Thrown from the city walls by Odysseus' urging. It was feared he would grow up, rebuild Troy, and avenge his father.

    The Greeks constantly call themselves Greeks. No unified Greece or name Greece existed then. Instead they'd call themselves Argives, Achaeans, or Danaans.

    The movie makes Agammemnon look mostly like a coward that doesn't care for the deaths of his own men. He may not see any reason why not to sacrifice his troops to destroy Troy, but he does take part in the fighting. And in fact fights quite heroically when defending the ship against the Trojan attack, only to be wounded and forced to withdraw.

    The movie itself is filled with 'inaccuracies' in regards to the Iliad and other Epic cycles, but that's okay because those themselves are really just 'movies' of the ancient times and the destruction of 'Homer's' Troy could have been in anyway.

    I like the movie a lot myself, and am actually writing a story that parallels the movie in many ways. The movie tried to show the Trojan war as a more realistic occurance rather than that presented in Epic Cylce. And what I mean by that is the way things transpire is without the help of the Gods. If you read any Epic Cylce including the Iliad there is tons and tons of interaction by the Gods, as certain Gods fought on different sides. It's a fun movie and I enjoyed it.
    Last edited by Captain Jin; January 28, 2009 at 09:14 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    Since Troy was set in the 12th Century BCE, I would say that the directors were not particularly imaginative when it came to reconstructing Bronze Age Greece. They didn't take the time to research it properly.

    I think Achilles and the others used Corinthian armour or else similar to the hoplites of Hellenic Greece. But they wore bronze armour during Helladic Greece.

    Not that armour would matter to Achilles, because he swam in the Styx River, so all but his heels were invincible.

    Here are some examples:

    Actual suit of armour

    Bronze armour.

    Closeup of helmet.

    Depiction of Mycenaean troops in Troy.

    Chariot soldiers

    The man on the left is Egyptian. Minoan-Mycenaean men in their breezy short-shorts are on the right.

    Mycenaean women.

    These are Minoan, but the Mycenaeans dressed the same way, since they adopted Minoan culture following the Greek conquest of Crete in 1450 BCE. So basically, Helen should have been depicted with an open bodice...
    Last edited by Zawisza; January 29, 2009 at 05:30 AM.

  15. #15

    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    Well I for one am happy they didn't design the armor that way in the movie cause that armor is ugly. It's stylized you know? In fact that was their award nomination was for costume design. Most troops at the time used big shield shaped like eights too.

    Achilles looks much cooler in this costume then he would if he was wearing that ridiculously cumbersome bronze armor.

    Edit- That's an interesting design for women's clothing. The Greeks are genius!
    Last edited by Captain Jin; January 28, 2009 at 10:03 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    It might be of interest to the initial poster.
    Last edited by Blau&Gruen; January 28, 2009 at 10:13 AM.
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    It is something of a pet-peeve for people with a pedantic streak to go to town on movies like Troy, flaunting comparisons with the Iliad -- and by implication, their own deep erudition. However, the fact of the matter is, that within the constraints of a mytho-poetical perspective, and within the constraints of trying to get Homer's deepest points and get them across, Troy is hardly very inaccurate at all, and gets those points very well. You get an excellent feel of living in a Homeric world; the pathos of Priam, and of Andromache is done superbly, the Achilles/Priam duel is stupendous, and Achilles is done best of all. I wish Brad Pitt would enunciate a little better, but as a physical persona of someone who is larger-than-life, a person who is a hero among heroes, he is excellent.

    Eric Bana is a great Hector, valiant and everything, but you still get the feeling that he's just the best from among regular people, just an average guy who really tries to be the best. Pitt's Achilles is on a whole another level entirely, slaying monstrous warriors, putting down children who dream of mediocrity, obliterating his enemies, and becoming a human in the end. Those same people with the pedantic streak would like to disqualify Pitt from his role just because he may sometimes star in pop movies.
    Last edited by SigniferOne; January 28, 2009 at 11:22 AM.

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    Garrigan's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    I still havent seen Troy, I've seen one of the first scenes near Troy (when Achilles and his men storm a temple) but not much else. Must see it sometime.

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    Ringeck's Avatar Lauded by his conquests
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    I think Troy tried to strike a balance between a "realistic" possible real story "behind the myth" (which could be fun) and a the real, completely unrealistic (and sort of fun), magic-is-everywhere-demigods-are-plentiful-and-gods-walk-the-earth Illiad.

    I think that was a very bad idea, and created a movie that I had mercifully forgotten until I read this. Damn you all.

    There is no point (as I see it) in trying to point out the "historical inaccuracies" of Troy, because the Iliad is not really a historical poem nor does the movie attempt to depict anything close to history. It would be like attempting to criticize the biology of "Beowulf"
    Last edited by Ringeck; January 28, 2009 at 02:50 PM.
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    Phoebus's Avatar εις οιωνος αριστος...
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    Default Re: "Troy" - historical inaccuracies

    Also, Menelaus does not die in the Iliad.

    Quote Originally Posted by John-117 View Post
    and the relationship between achilles and briseis was completely fake.
    No--Achilles' loss of Briseis to Agamemnon is the lead-in to the Iliad and the entire basis for the Achaeans' suffering at the hands of the Trojans. The only inaccuracy on the matter is that the movie Briseis is an amalgam of the Iliad's Briseis*, and Polyxene*.

    * Briseis was the daughter (or daughter?) of Briseus, a seer or king (or both?) from a city allied to Troy. Said city was sacked by the Achaeans and Briseis was taken by Achilles as his prize. Agamemnon, who has been forced to give up his own trophy girl on account of her being the daughter of a priest of Apollo, decided to get even with Achilles (since it was he that called for the god to be appeased by the girl being released) by taking Briseis. Hence the wrath of Achilles and his decision to sit out the war.

    * Polyxene was a niece of Priam's who had fallen in love with Achilles and vice-versa (post the Briseis debacle). After Achilles died, she volunteered to be sacrificed on his burial pyre so as to be with him in the Elysian fields.

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