New book features accounts of the Trojan War by Dictys of Crete and Dares the Phrygian

The work presents two military accounts, from the perspectives of the Trojans and the Greeks, which do not mention any interference by the gods in the international war that marked the real birth of Greek identity.
Social Sciences
29 April 2024
New book features accounts of the Trojan War by Dictys of Crete and Dares the Phrygian

The Trojan War is one of the most recounted and celebrated episodes of ancient history. The conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans dragged on for at least a decade, ultimately resulting in the complete destruction of Troy. In this context, FGV Press is launching a Portuguese version of “The Trojan War: The Chronicles of Dictys of Crete and Dares the Phrygian” by R. M. Frazer Jr. The book will be launched at the FGV Cultural Center in Rio de Janeiro on May 6, at 6 p.m.

The basic narrative follows Homer’s Iliad, which immerses the actions of the real world in an expanded poetic world where the gods interact freely with men. For centuries, the epic poem influenced everything written about the conflict, going down a path diametrically opposed to that proposed by Thucydides: that of analysis of real events based on observed facts.

This new publication, translated and annotated by Martha de Aratanha and published by FGV Press, takes a more scientific approach, in which there are no intervening gods and all the forces at work are the result of human will.

The accounts of Dictys of Crete, who fought on the side of the Greeks, tell of the struggle for control of the army by Palamedes (who is not even mentioned by Homer) and Achilles against Agamemnon. It also explains why it took Odysseus 10 years to return to the island of Ithaca. This section of the book is titled “A Diary of the Trojan War by Dictys Cretensis.”

On the other hand, Dares the Phrygianrecounts the same events from the Trojans’ point of view and describes the first destruction of Troy by Jason and Hercules, the abduction of Helen, the diplomatic dealings between the Trojans and Greeks, and the reason why Agamemnon expelled Aeneas from Troy. This part of the book is called “A History of the Fall of Troyby Dares the Phrygian.”

These are military accounts, which do not mention any interference by the gods, but provide valuable information about the social and military life of the Greeks during the time of the Trojan War, including aspects such as military organization, the daily life of soldiers, their respective beliefs and diplomacy between the Greeks and Trojans.

FGV Press invites you to the book launch at the FGV Cultural Center in Rio de Janeiro, which will be attended by the translator, Martha de Aratanha, on Monday, May 6, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

To obtain the book, click here.

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