This is perhaps the fourth book I’ve read about Schliemann and this one is distinct in that it was written very shortly after the man’s death and as a result has a different, more topical view of the man and his discoveries.
Schliemann was an extraordinary fellow who made a fortune in the business world and then retired to pursue his dream of searching for the ancient site of Troy. Against all the odds, he simply read Homer’s books and followed them to the site. He was successful beyond anyone’s thoughts. While his methods were at times a bit crude, they were in keeping with the “state-of-the-art” at the time. These were still the days of “slash and burn” archeology. And find Troy he did. Later examinations were to prove that the specific layers in the city that he identified as Troy were not in fact the right city.
But…he trusted the ancient writers and was rewarded for his trust. We can all learn something from that…..
The excavations in process:
His wife with part of the findings:
After Troy, he went on to conduct additional excavations in Greece where he made exceptional discoveries. At Mycenae, he likely found the burial site of Agamemnon…a pretty neat find.
The strength of the book lies in its discussion of the discoveries. There are also a very large number of pictures that are nice. Many of them could have been improved upon but they are excellent overall.
I bought 2 copies of this book…the first broke apart as I read it. The second, a nice hard-back survived the experience well.