The Fall of Troy
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In The Fall of Troy, acclaimed novelist and historian Peter Ackroyd creates a fascinating narrative that follows an archaeologist's obsession with finding the ruins of Troy, depicting the blurred line between truth and deception.Obermann, an acclaimed German scholar, fervently believes that his discovery of the ancient ruins of Troy will prove that the heroes of the Iliad, a work he has cherished all his life, actually existed. But Sophia, Obermann's young Greek wife, has her suspicions about his motivations — suspicions that only increase when she finds a cache of artifacts that her husband has hidden, and when a more skeptical archaeologist dies from a mysterious fever. With exquisite detail, Ackroyd again demonstrates his ability to evoke time and place, creating a brilliantly told story of heroes and scoundrels, human aspirations and follies, and the temptation to shape the truth to fit a passionately held belief.
the sun in motion. The great wheel, Frau Obermann. The fiery wheel.” As he spoke his dead eyes moved upwards, showing the milky retinas. “I have had that image in my mind all the time.” Obermann had been addressing Leonid and Kadri Bey, but now turned to Sophia. “Have I told you of it?” “Of the wheel, Heinrich?” “No, no. What are you thinking? It was an engraving in one of my schoolbooks. Aeneas is carrying his father, Anchises, on his shoulders away from the flaming ruins of Troy. There is a
Professor Brand. It is the original. My husband is very clear about that. It is the first city.” “That’s too much speculation for me, ma’am. I like to see the material with my own eyes. I like to feel the stone with my hands.” “Then look around you. You will see everything. In this trench, to your right, you will see signs of calcination. My husband believes that we have uncovered a portion of a tower from the second city. He believes it to be part of the burned and ruined city of Homer. The
“To stay here.” She leaned forward, and kissed him lightly on the cheek. “There. I am supporting you, Alexander.” LATER THAT AFTERNOON Kadri Bey, in high excitement, brought to Thornton a number of tablets that had been found undisturbed in one of the most recent excavations of a “kitchen” or “eating area” in which had already been found the bones of goats, sheep and aurochs. “I am happy to present these to you, Mr. Thornton,” he said. “If I may hazard my own poor opinion, they are considerably
starts a quarrel quotes from the eighth book of the Odyssey. ‘Farewell, respected stranger! If a harsh word has been spoken, may the winds at once catch it and carry it off!’ The other replies from the eighteenth book of the Iliad. ‘Let us let the past be over and done with, though it grieves me deeply. I will force back the anger that rises in my heart.’ Can you remember the words from the Odyssey?” “But I did not begin an argument, Herr Obermann. I simply stated the conclusions of my work.”
began to chant. “Be Zeus my witness, greatest and most glorious of the gods, and you Fates who beneath the earth wreak vengeance on false men, I call upon all the gods to avenge the wrongs committed against their laws. I name Alexander Thornton and Sophia Chrysanthis. May the gods give them many woes. If any have broken the divine laws, may they be punished.” It was the ritual formula he had memorised, and he knew that Homer had borrowed it from more ancient sources. Then he fell upon his knees.