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特洛伊战争真的发生过吗?

Did the Trojan War actually happen?
特洛伊战争真的发生过吗?

Assembling a new book of ancient stories translated by great writers, Of Gods and Men, I was surprised to discover how prevalent the tale of the Trojan War has been down the ages. Authors as diverse as John Dryden, Alexander Pope and Louis MacNeice have been moved to translate various versions of the classical myth. One reason the Trojan War has struck such a chord is that, besides being an excellent story, it has long been suspected to have actually happened.

我收集到一本新书,是伟大作家翻译的关于神和人的古代故事,我惊讶地发现特洛伊战争(Trojan War)的故事流传了这么久。约翰·德莱顿(John Dryden)、亚历山大·蒲柏(Alexander Pope)、路易斯·麦克尼斯(Louis MacNeice)等作家都曾热情地去翻译这个古典神话。特洛伊战争之所以引起如此强烈的共鸣,原因在于,除了故事本身很精彩外,它是否真的发生过一直是个谜。

For most ancient Greeks, indeed, the Trojan War was much more than a myth. It was an epoch-defining moment in their distant past.  As the historical sources – Herodotus and Eratosthenes – show, it was generally assumed to have been a real event.

事实上,对大多数古希腊人来说,特洛伊战争不仅仅是一个神话。在希腊远古历史上,那是一个划时代的事件。正如历史学家希罗多德(Herodotus)和埃拉托斯特尼(Eratosthenes)所言,这通常被认为是一个真实的事件。
 

According to Homer’s Iliad, the conflict between the Greeks – led by Agamemnon, King of Mycenae – and the Trojans – whose king was Priam – took place in the Late Bronze Age, and lasted 10 years. It began when Paris, Priam’s hapless son, judged Aphrodite to be the most beautiful goddess, for which she gifted him Agamemnon’s gorgeous sister-in-law, Helen in return. Determined to get Helen back and punish the Trojans, Agamemnon and his brother marched a mighty army against Troy, and eventually succeeded in bringing its people to their knees.

根据荷马(Homer)所著的《伊利亚特》(Iliad),由迈锡尼国王(King of Mycenae)阿伽门农(Agamemnon)领导的希腊人和由皮安姆国王(Priam)领导的特洛伊人之间的冲突发生在青铜时代晚期,持续了10年。故事开始时,皮安姆的儿子帕里斯(Paris)判定阿芙罗狄蒂(Aphrodite)是最美丽的女神;作为回报,阿芙罗狄蒂把阿伽门农美丽的弟媳海伦(Helen)送给了帕里斯。为了夺回海伦并惩罚特洛伊人,阿伽门农和他的弟弟率领一支强大的军队进攻特洛伊,并最终成功地使特洛伊人臣服。

In antiquity, even respected historians were willing to believe that this war actually happened. In the second half of the 5th Century BC, Herodotus, the so-called ‘Father of History’, placed the Trojan War almost 800 years before his own time. Eratosthenes, a mathematician, was more specific, dating the war at 1184/3 BC. Modern scholars, however, have tended to be more sceptical. Did the Trojan War happen at all?

在古代,有信誉的历史学家也愿意相信这场战争确实发生过。公元前5世纪下半叶,“历史学之父”希罗多德(Herodotus)认为特洛伊战争发生在他的时代之前近800年。数学家埃拉托色尼(Eratosthenes)更具体地指出,这场战争发生在公元前1184年至公元前3年。然而,现代学者对此持怀疑态度。特洛伊战争发生过吗?

The question is at the heart of Troy: Myth and Reality, a major exhibition at London’s British Museum. Greek vases, Roman frescoes, and more contemporary works of art depicting stories inspired by Troy are exhibited alongside archaeological artefacts dating from the Late Bronze Age. What emerges most palpably from the exhibition is how eager people have been through history to find some truth in the story of the Trojan War.

《特洛伊:神话与现实》(Troy: Myth and Reality)是伦敦大英博物馆(British Museum)的一个大型展览。希腊花瓶、罗马壁画以及更多描绘特洛伊城故事的当代艺术作品,与青铜时代晚期的文物一起展出。从展览中明显地体现出,人们是多么渴望通过研究历史来寻找特洛伊战争故事的真相。

The Romans went so far as to present themselves as the descendants of the surviving Trojans. In his poem, the Aeneid, Virgil described how the hero Aeneas escaped the burning citadel with a group of followers after the Greeks entered in their wooden horse. John Dryden, England’s first official poet laureate, translated superbly the part where the horse was made: “The Greeks grew weary of the tedious war,/ And, by Minerva’s aid, a fabric rear’d,/ Which like a steed of monstrous height appear’d”. Aeneas and his men left to found a new home in Italy.

罗马人甚至认为自己是幸存的特洛伊人的后代。在维吉尔(Virgil)的诗歌《埃涅伊德》(Aeneid)中,描述了在希腊人藏在木马里攻入城堡后,英雄埃涅阿斯(Aeneas)如何和一群追随者逃脱。英国第一位官方授予的桂冠诗人约翰·德莱顿出色地翻译了这匹木马的制作过程:“希腊人厌倦了冗长乏味的战争,在密涅瓦的帮助下,一个东西出现,就像一匹巨大的骏马。”埃涅阿斯和他的伙伴离开,去意大利寻找新家。

Grim realities

严酷的现实


It isn’t surprising that people have been convinced of the reality of the Trojan War. The grim realities of battle are described so unflinchingly in the Iliad that it is hard to believe they were not based on observation. A soldier dies by the water and “eels and fish make busy around him, feeding upon and devouring the fat around his kidneys”. Achilles spears Hector “at the gullet, where a man’s life is most quickly destroyed”, as Martin Hammond translated it. Troy, too, is portrayed in such vivid colour in the epic that a reader cannot help but to be transported to its magnificent walls.

人们相信特洛伊战争的真实性并不奇怪。《伊利亚特》毫不含糊地描述了战争的残酷现实,以至于很难相信这些细节不是根据观察得来的。一个士兵死在水边,“鳗鱼和鱼在他周围忙碌,吃他肾脏周围的脂肪”。阿喀琉斯用矛刺在赫克托尔(Hector)的食道,“一个人的生命很快就被毁灭了”,马丁·哈蒙德(Martin Hammond)这样翻译。特洛伊城也是如此,在史诗中被描绘得如此生动,以至于读者不得不身临其境,被带到它宏伟的城墙上。

It was in fact the prospect of rediscovering Homer’s Troy that led the rich Prussian businessman, Heinrich Schliemann, to travel to what is now Turkey in the late 19th Century. Told of a possible location for the city, at Hisarlik on the west coast of modern Turkey, Schliemann began to dig, and uncovered a large number of ancient treasures, many of which are now on display at the British Museum. Although he initially attributed many finds to the Late Bronze Age – the period in which Homer set the Trojan War – when they were in fact centuries older, he had excavated the correct location. Most historians now agree that ancient Troy was to be found at Hisarlik. Troy was real.

事实上,正是因为要发掘荷马史诗中的特洛伊城,19世纪末富有的普鲁士商人海因里希·施利曼(Heinrich Schliemann)前往如今的土耳其。当得知这座城市可能位于现代土耳其西海岸的希沙里克(Hisarlik)时,施利曼开始在当地组织挖掘,并出土了大量古代珍宝,其中许多如今在大英博物馆展出。尽管他最初认为这些文物属于青铜时代晚期(荷马认为特洛伊战争发生的时期),但实际上它们比荷马时代早几个世纪。他挖掘出了正确的地点。现在大多数历史学家都认为古代特洛伊城就在希沙里克,特洛伊战争是真实的。

Evidence of fire, and the discovery of a small number of arrowheads in the archaeological layer of Hisarlik that corresponds in date to the period of Homer’s Trojan War, may even hint at warfare. There also survive inscriptions made by the Hittites, an ancient people based in central Turkey, describing a dispute over Troy, which they knew as ‘Wilusa’. None of this constitutes proof of a Trojan War. But for those who believe there was a conflict, these clues are welcome.

使用火的证据,以及在希沙里克考古层发现的少量箭头,这些都可以追溯到荷马认定的特洛伊战争时期,甚至可能暗示着战争。这里也保存着土耳其中部古代民族赫梯人(Hittites)的铭文,描述了一场关于特洛伊的争端,他们称之为“未路撒”(Wilusa)。虽然这些都不能构成特洛伊战争的证据,但对于认为战争存在的人来说,这些线索是有利的。

A historic Trojan War would have been quite different from the one that dominates Homer’s epic. It is hard to imagine a war taking place on quite the scale the poet described, and lasting as long as 10 years when the citadel was fairly compact, as archaeologists have discovered. The behaviour of the soldiers in Homer’s war, though, seems all too human and real.

历史上的特洛伊战争与荷马史诗中的描述或许截然不同。很难想象一场战争会以诗人所描述的规模发生,并持续10年之久。正如考古学家所发现的,当时城堡规模相当局促。然而,在荷马笔下,战争中士兵们的行为似乎太人性化、太真实了。

Homer’s genius was to elevate universal conflict into something more profound so as to highlight the realities of warfare. There would have been no gods influencing the course of action on a Bronze Age battlefield, but men who found themselves overwhelmed in a bloody fray could well have imagined there were, as the tide turned against them. Homer captured timeless truths in even the most fantastical moments of the poem.

荷马的天才之处在于把普遍的冲突提升为更深刻的东西,从而突出战争的真实。在青铜时代的战场上,不会有神来影响行动的方向。但是,因为形势不利,那些被血战压垮的人很可能会幻想神的存在。荷马甚至在诗歌最奇幻的时刻也捕捉到了永恒的真理。

The Greeks found in the legacy of the Trojan War an explanation for the bloody and inferior world in which they lived. Achilles and Odysseus had inhabited an age of heroes. Their age had now died, leaving behind it all the bloodthirstiness, but none of the heroism or martial excellence, of the Trojan War. Even the immediate aftermath of the war was full of violence. In a play inspired by Homer, and translated by Louis MacNeice, the Greek tragedian Aeschylus described, after the war, Clytemnestra murdering her husband, Agamemnon, “Who carelessly, as if it were a head of a sheep/Out of the abundance of his fleecy flocks,/Sacrificed his own daughter”, Iphigenia, to appease a goddess so he might have a fair wind for his voyage to Troy. Regardless of how connected it is to fact, The Trojan War myth had a lasting impact on the Greeks and on us. Whether it was inspired by a war waged long ago, or was simply an ingenious invention, it left its mark on the world, and remains as such of monumental historic importance.

希腊人从特洛伊战争的遗产中找到了对其所生活的血腥凡尘的理解。阿喀琉斯和奥德修斯所在的英雄时代已经逝去,之后留下的只有对血腥的渴望,却没有特洛伊战争的英雄主义和尚武精神。即使战争结束后,也充满了暴力。受荷马作品的启发,希腊悲剧作家埃斯库罗斯(Aeschylus)所著、路易斯·麦克尼斯翻译的戏剧作品中,在战争后,克吕泰涅斯特(Clytemnestra)谋杀她的丈夫阿伽门农,“谁不小心,就好像它是一只领头的绵羊/失去了广大的羊群,/牺牲自己的女儿”。迎合女神伊菲革涅亚(Iphigenia),所以他可能顺风航行去特洛伊。不管特洛伊战争神话是否真实历史,它对希腊乃至世界文化都产生了持久的影响。无论它是一场真正的古代战争,或仅是巧妙的幻想,都为后世留下了印记,具有不朽的历史意义。
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