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TROAS

TROAS (Τρῳάς, Τροίη, Τροία, or Ἰλιὰς γῆ, Adj. Troianus, Adj. Τρωικός, Eth. Τρωιός), the territory ruled over by the ancient kings of Troy or Ilium, which retained its ancient and venerable name even at a time when the kingdom to which it had originally belonged had long ceased to exist. Homer himself nowhere describes, the extent of Troas or its frontiers, and even leaves us in the dark, as to how far the neighbouring allies of the Trojans, such as the Dardanians, who were governed by princes of their own, of the family of Priam, were true allies or subjects of the king of Ilium. In later times, Troas was a part of Mysia, comprising the coast district on the Aegean from Cape Lectum to the neighbourhood of Dardanus and Abydus on the Hellespont; while inland it extended about 8 geographical miles, that is, as far as Mount Ida, so as to embrace the south coast of Mysia opposite the island of Lesbos, together with the towns of Assus and Antandrus. (Hom. Il. 24.544; Hdt. 7.42.) Strabo, from his well-known inclination to magnify the empire of Troy, describes it as extending from the Aesepus to the Caicus, and his view is adopted by the Scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius (1.1115). In its [p. 2.1234]proper and more limited sense, however, Troas was an undulating plain, traversed by the terminal branches of Ida running out in a north-western direction, and by the small rivers SATNIOIS, SCAMANDER, SIMOIS, and THYMBRIUS This plain gradually rises towards Mount Ida, and contained, at least in later times, several flourishing towns. In the Iliad we hear indeed of several towns, and Achilles boasts (Il. 9.328) of having destroyed eleven in the territory of Troy; but they can at best only have been very small places, perhaps only open villages. That Ilium itself must have been far superior in strength and population is evident from the whole course of events; it was protected by strong walls, and had its acropolis. [ILIUM]

The inhabitants of Troas, called Troes (Τρῶες), and by Roman prose-writers Trojani or Teucri, were in all probability a Pelasgian race, and seem to have consisted of two branches, one of which, the Teucri, had emigrated from Thrace, and become amalgamated with the Phrygian or native population of the country. Hence the Trojans are sometimes called Teucri and sometimes Phryges. (Hdt. 5.122, 7.43; Strab. i. p.62, xiii. p. 604; Verg. A. 1.38, 248, 2.252, 571, &c.) The poet of the Iliad in several points treats, the Trojans as inferior in civilisation to his own countrymen; but it is impossible to say whether in such cases he describes the real state of things, or whether ther he does so only from a natural partiality for his own countrymen.

According to the common legend, the kingdom of Troy was overturned at the capture and burning Ilium in B.C. 1184; but it is attested on pretty good authority that a Trojan state survived the catastrophe of its chief city, and that the kingdom was finally destroyed by an invasion of Phrygians who crossed over from Europe into Asia. (Xanthus, ap. Strab. xiv. p.680, xii. p. 572.) This fact is indirectly confimed by the testimony of Homer himself, who makes Poseidon predict that the posterity of Aeneas should long continue to reign over the Trojans, after the race of Priam should be extinct.

[L.S]

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