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Did the movie Troy do a good job in being accurate with history?

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December 14, 2009 12:15AM

Troy is a movie released on May 14, 2004 about the Trojan War, which is described in Homer's Iliad and other Greek myths as having taken place in Anatolia (modern Turkey) around the 13th or 12th century BC.

This is a difficult question to answer. Firstly the historical record is based on poems and myths. Secondly because much of the film revolves around action which is not described in the historical records.

The filmmakers claimed to have based their film on Homer's the Epic Cycle's original story. One main inconsistency is that according to the Iliad, the entire war from the time of Helen's abduction by Paris until the fall of Troy took ten years and not the few weeks depicted in the movie.

Some characters are missing (notably, Diomedes); others are killed differently than is described in the myth. There is also a lengthy romance between Achilles and his captive Briseis which is not existing in the original story.

There are other inconsistencies such as how Paris wooed Helen. In mythology Helen was given to Paris rather than wooed. Paris appears unmarried in the movie, whereas in mythology he is married.

Another notable difference is that the Gods are not physically present. In the Illiad, the gods are fully involved and considered real.

In final analysis it would be difficult to believe that the movie Troy accurately reflected History, however, it would be equally difficult to believe that everything in the historical record actually happened.