By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (April 23, 2024) – In this edition of Fun with Maps we visit some Greek mythology.


Today is the traditional day in 1184 BC when the Greeks entered Troy after a 10-year siege. They did so using the famous Trojan Horse left at the gate.  It was mistaken by the defenders as a gift, so they took it in according to mythology.

It all started when Paris of Troy took Helen, the wife of the Spartan king back to Troy. The king was displeased, and the war followed, well, at least according to Homer’s Iliad. But the horse is not mentioned by Homer.

Did the war exist? Did Troy exist? Did the Horse exist? With mythology one cannot readily tell.

There is no concrete proof of the Trojan war, but most believe it represents combinations of various conflicts waged at the time and mythology weaved a fancy cohesive story.

Troy did exist. Multiple layers of various successive human occupations have been discovered at the site dating to 4000 years back. The Troy in question was unearthed in 1871 by an amateur German archaeologist.

The Horse, well, there is no direct evidence of a large wooden horse holding soldiers inside it. Some believe it was confused with a siege engine (catapult or ram) used at the gates in those times. The Greeks gave animal names to many of their weapons, so a “horse” is in play. 

While this 1831 Teesdale map of Turkey in Asia doesn’t show Troy, Troy is at the outlet of the Dardanelles to the Aegean Sea in northwest Turkey.

Turkey in Asia – 1831 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Fun with Maps here on Loveland Beacon.