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the population of troy?

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THE POPULATION OF TROY

After having a general idea about the size of Troy, a question about the population of this small frotified settlement comes to mind. What was the population of Troy during the Trojan War? The lliad is the only source to find an answer for this question:

In Book II of the lliad, the verses between 510 and 750 tell us the names of the Greek chieftains and the number of their ships. In total we find 1200. Each of the ships could carry 120 warriors. That means according to the lliad roughly 144000 Greek warriors came to Troy. Again the second book we read as follows:

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"...if we and the Trojans made a truce and each side held a count, the enemy reckoning only native Trojans and we Achaeans numbering off in tens, with the idea that each of our squads should have a Trojan to pour out its wine, many a squad would go without a steward.
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Unfortunately, they have numerous and well-equipped allies from many towns, who thwart me and defeat all efforts to bring down the great stronghold of llium."

Iliad II. 125-134

That means the Trojans were less than one tenth of the Greeks in number. So the Trojans had an army of ten to fifteen thousand warriors. This can not be reliable because of the poetic exaggeration of the epics. Instead of making estimations about the population of Troy form those numbers, it is better to turn to the question of how many people could shelter in the fortress.

First of all this small settlement was an acropolis. In other words, it was a fortress which surrounded the temples, state buildings and palaces. That means the fortress was only for the king and his family and some other state dignitaries. Ordinary people lived outside the city walls in the lower city which is stilll unexcaveted. To say "500 or 1000 people lived in the fortress" would not bi the answer which the visitor would like to hear. Probably the most logical answer is that the Trojans, together with their Anatolian allies, resisted the Greeks with a force equal in number.

 

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