ancient Homeric-era city in northwest Asia Minor

Troy (Turkish: Troya, Greek: Τροία) or Ilion (Greek: Ίλιον, Latin: Ilium) was an ancient city located in present-day Hisarlik, Turkey. The place was first settled around 3600 BC and grew into a small fortified city around 3000 BC. During its four thousand years of existence, Troy was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. As a result, the archaeological site that has been left, is divided into nine layers, each corresponding to a city built on the ruins of the previous. Archaeologists refer to these layers using Roman numerals. Among the early layers, Troy II is notable for its wealth and imposing architecture. During the Late Bronze Age, Troy was called Wilusa and was a vassal of the Hittite Empire. The final layers (Troy VIII-IX) were Greek and Roman cities which in their days served as tourist attractions and religious centres because of their link to mythic tradition.


  • I’ll play the orator as well as Nestor,
    Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
    And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
  • And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
    Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.

Classical and Foreign Quotations

W. Francis H. King, ed. Classical and Foreign Quotations, 3rd ed. (1904), nos. 882, 1169, 1825, 2743, 2884
  • Hectora quis nosset, si felix Troja fuisset?
    Publica virtuti per mala facta via est.
    • Had Ilium stood, who’d known of Hector’s name?
      Misfortune is the royal road to fame.
      • Ovid, Tristia, 4, 3, 75.
  • Jam seges est ubi Troja fuit, resecandaque falce
    Luxuriat Phrygio sanguine pinguis humus.
    • The scythe now reaps the corn where Ilion stood,
      And fields that fatten on the Trojans’ blood.
  • Nullum est sine nomine saxum.
    • Not a stone but has its history.
      • Lucan, 9, 973.
      • Said of the ruins of Troy.
  • Tota teguntur
    ergama dumetis: etiam periere ruinæ.
    • The straggling wild-thorn covers all the ground
      Where once was Troy; its very ruins are gone.
      • Lucan, 9, 968.
      • The last words are often quoted of the rapid disappearance of old buildings, monuments, societies, or associations of former years.
  • Venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus
    Dardanie. Fuimus Troes; fuit Ilium, et ingens
    Gloria Teucrorum.
    • 'Tis come, the inevitable hour,
      The supreme day of Dardan power;
      Our history’s ended: Troy’s no more,
      And all her mighty glory o’er.
      • Virgil, Aeneid, 2, 324.
      • The Fall of Troy.

Painefull Peregrinations

William Lithgow, The Totall Discourse of The Rare Adventures & Painefull Peregrinations of long Nineteene Yeares Travayles from Scotland to the most famous Kingdomes in Europe, Asia and Affrica (1640), III, 122–125
  • In Tenedos I met by accident, two French Merchants of Marseills, intending for Constantinople, who had lost their ship at Sio, when they were busie at venereall tilting, with their new elected Mistresses, and for a second remedy, were glad to come thither in a Turkish Carmoesalo. The like of this I have seene fall out with Seafaring men, Merchants, and Passengers, who buy sometimes their too much folly, with too deare a repentance. They and I resolving to view Troy, did hire a Jenisarie to be our conductor and protector, and a Greeke to be our Interpreter. Where when we landed, we saw here and there many relicts of old walles, as we travelled through these famous bounds. And as we were advanced toward the East part of Troy, our Greeke brought us to many Tombes, which were mighty ruinous, and pointed us particularly to the Tombes of Hector, Ajax, Achilles, Troylus, and many other valiant Champions, with the Tombes also of Hecuba, Cresseid, and other Trojane Dames: Well I wot, I saw infinite old Sepulchers, but for their particular names, and nomination of them, I suspend, neither could I beleeve my Interpreter, sith it is more then three thousand and odde yeares agoe, that Troy was destroyed.
    Here Tombes I viewd, old monuments of Times,
    And fiery Trophees, fixd for bloody crimes:
    For which Achilles ghost did sigh and say,
    Curst be the hands, that sakelesse Trojanes slay;
    But more fierce Ajax, more Ulysses Horse,
    That wrought griefes ruine; Priams last divorce:
    And here inclosd, within these clods of dust,
    All Asiaes honour, and cros’d Paris lust.
    • The Tombes of Trojanes.
  • He shewed us also the ruines of King Priams Palace, and where Anchises the father of Æneas dwelt. At the North-east corner of Troy, which is in sight of the Castles of Hellesponte, there is a gate yet standing, and a peece of a reasonable high wall; upon which I found three peeces of rusted money, which afterward I gave two of them to the younger brethren of the Duke of Florence, then studying in Pretolino: The other being the fairest with a large Picture on the one side, I bestowed it at Aise in Provance upon a learned Scholler, Master Strachon, my Countrey man, then Mathematician to the Duke of Guise, who presently did propine his Lord and Prince with it.
    • Priamus pallace.
  • Where the pride of Phrygia stood, it is a most delectable plaine, abounding now in Cornes, Fruites, and delicate Wines, and may be called the garden of Natolia: yet not populous, for there are but onely five scattered Villages, in all that bounds: The length of Troy hath been, as may be discerned, by the fundamentall walls yet extant, about twenty Italian miles, which I reckon to be ten Scottish or fifteene English miles; lying along the sea side betweene the three Papes of Ida, and the furthest end Eastward of the River Simois: whose breadth all the way hath not outstripd the fields above two miles: The Inhabitants of these five scatterd Bourges therein, are for the most part Greekes, the rest are Jewes, and Turkes.
    • A description of Troy.
  • And loe here is mine Effigie affixed with my Turkish habit, my walking staffe, & my Turban upon my head, even as I travelled in the bounds of Troy, and so through all Turkey: Before my face on the right hand standeth the Easterne and sole gate of that sometimes noble City, with a piece of a high wall, as yet undecayed: And without this Port runneth the River Simois (inclosing the old Grecian Campe) downe to the Marine, where it imbraceth the Sea Propontis: A little below, are bunches of grapes, denoting the vineyards of this fructiferous place; adjoyning neare to the fragments and ruynes of Priams Pallace, surnamed Ilium: And next to it a ravenous Eagle, for so this part of Phrigia is full of them: So beneath my feet ly the two Tombes of Priamus & Hecuba his Queene: And under them the incircling hills of Ida, at the West South west end of this once Regall Towne; & at my left hand, the delicious and pleasant fields of Olives and Figge-trees, wherewith the bowells of this famous soyle are interlarded: And here this piece or portracture decyphered; the continuing discourse, inlarging both meane & manner.
    • The Authors portracture.
  • Troy was first built by Dardanus sonne to Corinthus King of Corinth, who having slaine his brother Jasius, fled to this Countrey, and first erected it, intituling it Dardania: Next it was called Troy of Tros, from whom the Countrey was also named Troas: It was also termed Ilion of Ilus, who built the Regall pallace surnamed Ilium: This City was taken and defaced by Hercules, and the Greecians, in the time of Laomedon, himselfe being killed the latter time: Lastly, Troy was reedified by Priamus, who giving leave to his sonne Paris to ravish Helena, Menalaus wife, enforced the Greekes to renew the auncient quarrell: Where after 10. yeares siege the Towne was utterly subverted, Anno Mundi 1783.{{pb}]Whence Princely Homer, and that Mantuan borne,
    Sad Tragicke tunes, erect’d for Troy forlorne;
    And sad Æneas, fled to the Affricke Coast,
    Where Carthage groand, to heare how Troy was lost:
    But more kind Dido, when this wandring Prince,
    (Had left Numidia, stole away from thence)
    Did worser groane; who with his shearing sword,
    Her selfe she gor’d, with many weeping word.
    O deare Æneas! deare Trojane, art thou gone?
    And then she fell, death swallowed up her mone:
    They land at Cuma, where Latinus King
    Did give Æneas, Lavinia, with a Ring.
    Where now in Latium, that old Daidan stocke
    Is extant yet, though in the discent broke.
    • Homer and Virgil upon Troy.
  • On the South-west side of Troy, standeth the Hill Ida, having three heads. On which Paris out of a sensuall delight, rejecting Juno, and Pallas, judged the golden ball to Venus, fatall in the end to the whole Countrey. The ruines of which are come to that Poeticall Proverbe:
    Nunc seges est ubi Troja fuit.
    Now Corne doth grow, where once faire Troy stood,
    And soyle made fat, with streames of Phrygian blood.
    • Rash Judgement.
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