argument top image

Where is the City of Troy?
Back to question

Hisarlik does not fit Homer's description of Troy

In 'The Troy Deception', John Crowe details 10 reasons why Hisarlik cannot be Homer's Troy, going on to give Pergamon as an alternative.


Hisarlik is widely considered to be the location of Troy, but there are some who believe the evidence isn't there. The authors John Crowe and John Lascelles both wrote books detailing why Hisarlik does not, in fact, fit the description of Troy, and they offer Pergamon as an alternative.

The Argument

In his book 'The Troy Deception', John Crowe gives ten reasons why Hisarlik cannot be the site of Troy as described in Homer's Iliad. It may seem initially that he is alone in theorising about this, but he was heavily influenced by two other theorists; John Lascelles who wrote 'Troy: The World Deceived', and Robert Bittlestone who wrote 'Odysseus Unbound: The Troy Deception'. The reasons John Crowe provided as evidence against Hisarlik being the site of Troy are as follows: Hisarlik has no natural acropolis. Hisarlik is perched on the edge of a plateau. The so-called citadel at Hisarlik is too small. The archaeology does not fit the legends. Hisarlik was a coastal fortress but Troy was described as 'far from the ships'. With Hisarlik being next to a beach, there is no room for the Trojan Plains. Besik Bay is not where the Greeks camped. Teuthrania was not near Hisarlik (Trojans were also known as Teucrians according to Herodotus). There are no hot springs at Hisarlik but two springs at Troy. The main river is in the wrong location.[1] In his book, John Lascelles also argues that some of these ideas are legitimate, particularly the theory that Hisarlik is not big enough to be the site of Troy. He suggests that the Greek invaders would have easily overrun the city with their huge force, and reminds the reader that Troy had to be big enough to contain palaces for the wealthy inhabitants, houses for all the people, public places, markets, streets, huge walls, and great fortifications. Hisarlik is only about 28,000 square meters, which is too small for all of this infrastructure and for the 5,000-12,000 Trojan inhabitants.[2]

Counter arguments

The theorists who have written books on the topic are not classicists or well-renowned scholars. John Crowe was a civil engineer who studied Ancient History during his retirement. This certainly creates some suspicion, particularly because of the lack of widely circulated information about this theory in the field of classics.[3] Some of these claims criticise elements of Hisarlik's topography, but it is important to remember that Troy existed thousands of years ago and the topography has changed enormously. Even with some knowledge of how the landscape has changed over time, it would be impossible to know exactly what Troy and all of its surroundings looked like. Even Homer described Troy hundred of years after the war, so may not have been accurate.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Saturday, 22 Aug 2020 at 23:10 UTC

Explore related arguments