I was expecting Strauss’ The Trojan War: A New History to be a scholarly study of every detail we have about the Trojan world; basically an updated version of In Search of the Trojan War. Instead, it is a more scholarly Age of Bronze. The book is structured around the story of the Trojan War, which is then clothed in modern archaeology, and decorated with Homer.

And it works. Taking the view that the Trojan War is based on something that happened, the book gives the ‘history’ of the war, cross-referencing with what we know of other nearby Bronze Age cultures. There’s plenty of passages where something from the Iliad is compared to existing Bronze Age writings and shown how it is typical of the time. In fact, the book hides a fairly good overview of Bronze Age politics and warfare.

In all, it is a short but quite worthwhile book.