ANKARA (Reuters) - Archaeologists in the ancient city of Troy in Turkey have found the remains of a man and a woman believed to have died in 1,200 B.C., the time of the legendary war chronicled by Homer, a leading German professor said on Tuesday.
Ernst Pernicka, a University of Tubingen professor of archaeometry who is leading excavations on the site in northwestern Turkey, said the bodies were found near a defense line within the city built in the late Bronze age.
The discovery could add to evidence that Troy's lower area was bigger in the late Bronze Age than previously thought, changing scholars' perceptions about the city of the "Iliad." (Continued)
I'd like to think this is Hector and Andromache, but we know from Euripedes that she made it out of Troy alive (carried out, kicking and screaming, on the shoulder of some Greek warrior), along with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, Hecuba and Cassandra. Helen survived and returned to Sparta to live happily ever after with Menelaus, apparently, but maybe she was just putting on a good show for Telemachus, at any rate, it's definitely not her and Paris.
Troilus and Cressida, maybe? Do any of the myths say whether or not she lived? If she didn't, though, it's unlikely Troilus would have appreciated sharing a grave with her. I suppose Pandarus might have arranged it anyway. Good public relations, especially since his pandering business took a real black eye on that bit of matchmaking.
But wouldn't Patroclus have been in there with them?
All this reminds me---you knew it was going to remind me of something, didn't you?---back in high school, my friend Bob was cast as Troilus in a community theater production of Tiger at the Gates, Jean Giraudoux's take on the Trojan War. Troilus is a relatively minor character in that play, but the director decided to put him in as many scenes as she could find a dramatic excuse for putting him in. The director was fortysomething, married, and embarrassingly head over heels in love with Bob, who was seventeen at the time. Bob was very good looking and in great shape and the director made strategic use of him as eye candy. She had him dressed in the skimpiest of tunics and had him assuming various statuesque poses. In one scene she had him sitting far downstage center left, his right leg dangling over the edge of the stage, showing quite a lot of thigh. "Swing your leg, Bobby," was her direction. "Not too much, and slowly."
This weirded Bob out. I thought it was hilarious. Bob was the guy every freshman and sophomore girl swooned over in the halls. (Juniors and senior seemed more immune to his charms, which perplexed me at the time. But maybe they sensed something. See tomorrow's post.) Thinking back on it, though, it's not that funny. I used to think there was a short story in this, but I could never find the right angle. Maybe because I kept thinking of it as sitcom funny. Now I'm thinking there's an Elmore Leonard novel here.
On the other hand, why should I find the director's using Bob as eye candy odd? His age, I guess. A friend of mine from college played Helen in a professional production of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida and her director used her as eye candy. He had her wearing leather, for some reason, and not much of it. Less than Red Sonja wears. My friend, who had done nude scenes on stage, said she felt more naked in her leather than she'd felt in her skin. She thought of it as her most difficult and challenging role, not for what she had to do and wear on stage, but on what she had to do on her own time to look good in her little bits of leather. She spent three hours at the gym every day during rehearsals and the run of the play. I've always been sad that I missed that production.
But speaking of plays about the Trojan War, I think I'd like to see Tiger at the Gates done in repertory Troilus and Cressida, a compare and contrast between irony and out and out cynicism. I read recently that Shakespeare may not have written all of Troilus and Cressida. I was disappointed, and I'm not sure why.
One of my fantasies of heaven is that it's not a single place, it's every place you'd like to visit, anywhere in space and time, so you could---well, I could. This is my fantasy. If you're nice to me, I'll invite you along. I'll even buy the beers.---go to every game of the 1921 World Series or attend the opening of Picasso's first exhibit or go see my friend in Troilus and Cressida or Bob in Tiger at the Gates.
While I'm at it, I think I'll go back to 1956 and see this production of Troilus and Cressida. Sherlock Holmes as a young love interest? I wonder if his director used him as eye candy.
Minus ten points to the first wise-acre commenter who shows up to point out that Brett played the young love interest, Freddy Eynsford-Hill, in My Fair Lady.
Was that really him singing On the Street Where You Live?
Related archaeological digs around the archives: