Page:The Outline of History Vol 1.djvu/240

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comers into the Mediterranean, the barbaric Greeks, a group of Aryan tribes, who may have wiped out Cnossos as they wiped out the city of Troy. The legend of Theseus tells of such a raid. He entered the Labyrinth (which may have been the Cnossos Palace) by the aid of Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, and slew the Minotaur.

The Iliad makes it clear that destruction came upon Troy because the Trojans stole Greek women. Modern writers, with modern ideas in their heads, have tried to make out that the Greeks assailed Troy in order to secure a trade route or some such fine-spun commercial advantage. If so, the authors of the Iliad hid the motives of their characters very skilfully. It would be about as reasonable to say that the Homeric Greeks went to war with the Trojans in order to be well ahead with a station on the Berlin to Bagdad railway. The Homeric Greeks were a healthy barbaric Aryan people, with very poor ideas about trade and "trade routes"; they went to war with the Trojans because they were thoroughly annoyed about this stealing of women. It is fairly clear from the Minos legend and from the evidence of the Cnossos remains, that the Cretans kidnapped or stole youths and maidens to be slaves, bull-fighters, athletes, and perhaps sacrifices. They traded fairly with the Egyptians, but it may be they did not realize the gathering strength of the Greek barbarians; they "traded" violently with them, and so brought sword and flame upon themselves.[1]

Another great sea people were the Phœnicians. They were great seamen because they were great traders. Their colony of Carthage (founded before 800 b.c. by Tyre) became at last greater than any of the older Phœnician cities, but already before 1500 b.c. both Sidon and Tyre had settlements upon the African coast. Carthage was comparatively inaccessible to the Assyrian

  1. This is, I think, too dogmatic about Helen. True, raids on women were a real cause of war, but they were also a very favourite ficelle of fiction. A war with Troy might easily arise by the carrying off of a woman. But why was Troy destroyed six several times? It looks to me as if there was some strong motive for building just there, and an equally strong motive for great confederacies destroying the city when built. — G. M.
    Walter Leaf in his Homer and History is in agreement with G. M. on this point. — G. Wh.