Return to Troy

New Essays on the Hollywood Epic


Return to Troy presents essays by American and European classical scholars on the Director’s Cut of Troy, a Hollywood film inspired by Homer’s Iliad. The book addresses major topics that are important for any twenty-first century representation of ancient Greek myth and literature in the visual media, not only in regard to Troy: the portrayals of gods, heroes, and women; director Wolfgang Petersen’s epic technique; anachronisms and supposed mistakes; the fall of Troy in classical literature and on screen; and the place of the Iliad in modern popular culture. Unique features are an interview with the director, a report on the complex filming process by his personal assistant, and rare photographs taken during the original production of Troy.
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EUR €129.00USD $170.00

Biographical Note

Martin M. Winkler is University Professor and Professor of Classics at George Mason University. He has written and edited books and articles on Roman literature and the classical tradition. His latest book is Arminius the Liberator: Myth and Ideology, Oxford University Press. Contributors are: Horst-Dieter Blume, Eleonora Cavallini, Wolfgang Kofler, Bruce Louden, Daniel Petersen, Antonio M. Martín Rodríguez, Florian Schaffenrath, Jon Solomon, Barbara P. Weinlich, and Martin M. Winkler.

Review Quote

" The present volume is, however, distinguished from the first by the participation of two non-academics, namely Wolfgang Petersen and his son Daniel, who served as his father's personal assistant on Troy. Winkler's Chapter 1 ("Wolfgang Petersen on Homer and Troy"), records an interview with the director. It contains no revelations, but remains a useful assemblage of the director's views (...). Daniel Petersen's Chapter 2 introduces a refreshing note for a scholarly volume. Aptly titled "Live From Troy: Embedded in the Trojan War," it is journalistic, impressionistic, and breathless, providing an enjoyable "you are there" immersion in the down-and-dirty process of epic film-making. (One learns, for example, how to make blood spout effectively (33).)" Ruby Blondell, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2016.04.44.

Table of contents

Table of Contents List of Illustrations Notes on Contributors Editor’s Acknowledgments Introduction: Troy Revisited Martin M. Winkler Chapter 1 Wolfgang Petersen on Homer and Troy Martin M. Winkler Chapter 2 Live From Troy: Embedded in the Trojan War Daniel Petersen Photographs: Behind the Scenes of Troy Chapter 3 In the Footsteps of Homeric Narrative: Anachronisms and Other Supposed Mistakes in Troy Eleonora Cavallini Chapter 4 Petersen’s Epic Technique: Troy and Its Homeric Model Wolfgang Kofler and Florian Schaffenrath Chapter 5 Troy and the Cinematic Afterlife of Homeric Gods Martin M. Winkler Chapter 6 Achilles and Patroclus in Troy Horst-Dieter Blume Chapter 7 Odysseus in Troy Bruce Louden Chapter 8 A New Briseis in Troy Barbara P. Weinlich Chapter 9 The Fall of Troy: Intertextual Presences in Wolfgang Petersen’s Film Antonio M. Martín Rodríguez Chapter 10 Homer’s Iliad in Twentieth-Century Popular Culture Jon Solomon Coda: On Cinematic Tributes to Homer and the Iliad Martin M. Winkler Bibliography Index


This book is intended for scholars, teachers, students, and general readers interested in Greek myth, Homeric epic, the classical tradition, film and media studies, comparative literature, and classical receptions.