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Troy linked Greece and Rome. It was once the subject of the greatest of Greek poems and the mother city of the Romans. It gave the Romans a place in the mythical past of the Greeks, it gave Greeks a way of approaching Rome, and it gave the emperor Augustus, descendant of Aeneas, a suitably elevated ancestry. In this book Andrew Erskine examines the role and meaning of Troy in the changing relationship between Greeks and Romans, as Rome is transformed from a minor Italian city into a Mediterranean superpower. In contrast to earlier studies the emphasis is on the Greek rather than the Roman perspective. The book seeks to understand the significance of Rome's Trojan origins for the Greeks by considering the place of Troy and Trojans in Greek culture. It moves beyond the more familiar spheres of art and literature to explore the countless, overlapping, local traditions, the stories that cities told about themselves, a world often neglected by scholars.
Andrew Erskine is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics, University College Dublin.