Bloodaxe's Realm     The Medieval World  

Schliemann, Heinrich

Pronunciation: [hIn´rikh shlE´män] (key)

1822–90, German archaeologist, discoverer of the ruins of Troy. He accumulated a fortune in the indigo trade and as a military contractor. A student of Homer from childhood, he retired from business in 1863 to dedicate himself to his dream of finding Troy and other Homeric sites. After several years of study and travel, in 1871 he undertook at his own expense excavations at Hissarlik which resulted in his discovery of four superimposed towns. Schliemann related every object he found to the verses of Homer, which he knew by heart. He made other notable excavations at Mycenae (1876–78), Ithaca (1878), Orchomenus, Boeotia (1881–82), and Tiryns (1884–85), and was assisted by Wilhelm Dörpfeld from 1882. Schliemann wrote several books describing his discoveries and left a vast collection of personal papers, records, and an autobiography published in 1892. He acquired American citizenship because he was living in California when it became a state (1850).


See biographies by Emil Ludwig (1931), Robert Payne (1958), and A. C. Brackman (1974); Carl Schuchhardt, Schliemann's Excavations and Archaeological and Historical Studies (1977).