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ancient city made famous by Homer's account of the Trojan WarTrojan War,
in Greek mythology, war between the Greeks and the people of Troy. The strife began after the Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta. When Menelaus demanded her return, the Trojans refused.
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. It is also called Ilion or, in Latin, Ilium. Its site is almost universally accepted as the mound now named Hissarlik, in Asian Turkey, c.4 mi (6.4 km) from the mouth of the Dardanelles. Accepting Greek tradition and details in Homeric poems as reliable, Heinrich SchliemannSchliemann, Heinrich
, 1822–90, German archaeologist, discoverer of the ruins of Troy. He accumulated a fortune in the indigo trade and as a military contractor and retired from business in 1863 to dedicate himself to finding Troy and other Homeric sites.
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 identified the site and conducted excavations there beginning in 1871. Nine successive cities or villages have occupied the site, the earliest dating from the Neolithic period. Attempting to determine which stratum of the mound was the Troy of the Trojan War, Schliemann first gave this distinction to the third stratum and then to the second. Excavations conducted by Wilhelm Dörpfeld in the 1890s indicated that the sixth stratum, representing the sixth settlement of the city, was the Homeric Troy. However, later discoveries by the Univ. of Cincinnati expedition under C. W. Blegen indicated that the seventh level was the Troy of Homer's period. At any rate, it has been definitely established that the Troy of the Trojan War was a Phrygian city and the center of a region known as TroasTroas
or the Troad
, region about ancient Troy, on the northwest coast of Asia Minor, in present NW Turkey. Traversed by Mt. Ida (Kaz Daği) and strategically located on the Hellespont (Dardanelles), it was involved in various struggles to control the straits.
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. The culture of the Trojans dates from the Bronze Age. The Romans, believing that they themselves were descendants of AeneasAeneas
, in Greek mythology, a Trojan, son of Anchises and Aphrodite. After the fall of Troy he escaped, bearing his aged father on his back. He stayed at Carthage with Queen Dido, then went to Italy, where his descendants founded Rome.
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 and other Trojans, favored the city, and the ninth of the settlements on the site was of some importance in Roman times.


See H. Schliemann, Troy and Its Remains (1875) and Ilios: The City and the Country of the Trojans (1881, repr. 1968); J. L. Angel, Troy (1951); C. W. Blegen, ed., Troy (4 vol., 1950–58; supplementary monographs, 1961–63) and Troy and the Trojans (1963).


1 City (1990 pop. 13,051), seat of Pike co., SE Ala., on the Conecuh River; inc. 1843. Products include lumber and wood items, textiles, truck bodies, feed, plastics, and pecans. Troy Univ. and the county museum are there.

2 City (1990 pop. 72,884), Oakland co., SE Mich., a suburb of DetroitDetroit
, city (1990 pop. 1,027,974), seat of Wayne co., SE Mich., on the Detroit River and between lakes St. Clair and Erie; inc. as a city 1815. Michigan's largest city and the tenth largest in the nation, Detroit is a major Great Lakes shipping and rail center.
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; settled 1821, inc. 1955. Major suburban development and residential growth occurred in the city after 1975, as urban migration from Detroit became extensive. Its varied manufactures include automobiles and automobile parts, electronics, chemicals, and door systems. Troy contains many historic buildings and is the site of Walsh College.

3 City (1990 pop. 54,269), seat of Rensselaer co., E N.Y., on the east bank of the Hudson River; inc. 1816. Once known especially for its manufacture of collars and shirts, it now produces motor vehicle parts, garden tillers, instruments, and railroad supplies. Henry HudsonHudson, Henry,
fl. 1607–11, English navigator and explorer. He was hired (1607) by the English Muscovy Company to find the Northeast Passage to Asia. He failed, and another attempt (1608) to find a new route was also fruitless.
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 explored (1609) the area near Troy, and the site was included in the patroonship given to Kiliaen Van Rensselaer by the Dutch West India Company. The town was laid out in 1786. From 1812 to 1920 it was industrially prosperous and many inventions were made there. In the second half of the 20th cent. Troy suffered from the urban blight of many river towns and lost a large number of its industries. It is the seat of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Russell Sage College, and the Emma Willard School. Samuel Wilson of Troy, who was concerned with army beef supply in the War of 1812, is said to have been the original "Uncle Sam." Many buildings of architectural and historic interest are preserved.

4 City (1990 pop. 19,478), seat of Miami co., W central Ohio, on the Great Miami River, in a farm area; inc. 1814. Welding machinery, food-processing equipment, motor generators, paper products, and tools are manufactured. Growth and industrialization came with the arrival of the Miami and Erie Canal in 1837. A disastrous flood in 1913 resulted in the creation of the first flood protection district in the United States.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also known as Ilion), an ancient city in northwest Asia Minor; an important political center in the Troas during the third and second millennia B.C.

Known from ancient Greek epic works about the Trojan War, Troy was discovered in 1865 as a result of archaeological excavations made in the mound of Hisarlik. In the 1870’s and 1880’s further excavations were made by the German archaeologist H. Schliemann; Troy was later excavated by the German archaeologist W. Dôrpfeld in 1893–4 and by the American archaeologist C. Blegen from 1932 to 1938. Layers were uncovered dating from the Early, Middle, and Late Bronze Age and from the Iron Age.

From 3000 B.C. to 2500 B.C., Troy was a fortress with walls up to 3 m thick. The inhabitants engaged in land cultivation, stock raising, and the smelting of copper. After a fire that occurred around 2500 B.C., the walls of the fortress were rebuilt, made 4 m thick, and fortified with towers. From about 2500 B.C. to 2200 B.C. the city was the residence of the king, whose palace was situated on the acropolis; the homes of the nobility were located on the acropolis’s lower slopes. The casting of copper became widespread; beginning around 2400 B.C. pottery was made and the weaving of wool developed. The abundance of treasures excavated bore witness to Troy’s wealth, particularly the celebrated Treasure of Priam with its gold and silver jewelry, bronze and stone weapons, and gold and copper vessels.

Around 2200 B.C., Troy was destroyed by fire. The city’s local cultural traditions continued to develop until Troy was again destroyed, in 1800 B.C. In the Middle Bronze Age (1800–1300 B.C.), horses were brought to Troy; new construction techniques and the making of pottery became widespread. This caused Blegen to conjecture that the bearers of the new culture were Greek settlers. At this time the city was surrounded by a wall of hewn stone with towers and five well-defended gateways. Troy’s prosperity was great owing to the city’s manufacture of bronze.

Around 1260 B.C., Troy was again destroyed by fire, a catastrophe associated with the Trojan War. The city, rebuilt after the departure of the Achaeans, retained its former cultural traditions but lost its former importance. Around 1190 B.C. a group of settlers from the northern Balkan peninsula introduced new types of bronze weapons and pottery. Around 1100 B.C., Troy was attacked by military forces and destroyed. Four centuries later, around 700 B.C., the Greeks founded a new city on the site of Troy, calling it New Ilion.


Blavatskaia, T. V. Akheiskaia Gretsiia. Moscow, 1966.
Blegen, C. W. Troy and the Trojans. New York, 1963.




a city in the northeastern USA, in New York State. Population, 62,900 (1970). Troy, a port on the Hudson River, is located near the Erie Canal, which connects the Hudson with Lake Erie. Industries include metalworking and the manufacture of clothing and machinery.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


any of nine ancient cities in NW Asia Minor, each of which was built on the ruins of its predecessor. The seventh was the site of the Trojan War (mid-13th century bc)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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