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01.06.2015 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2015

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2/2015

Facial trauma in the Trojan War

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery > Ausgabe 2/2015
Ioanna Ralli, Panagiotis Stathopoulos, Konstantinos Mourouzis, Mara Piagkou, George Rallis



The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer represent the cornerstones of classical Greek literature and subsequently the foundations of literature of the Western civilization. The Iliad, particularly, is the most famous and influential epic poem ever conceived and is considered to be the most prominent and representative work of the ancient Greek epic poetry. We present the injuries that involve the face, mentioned so vividly in the Iliad, and discuss the aetiology of their extraordinary mortality rate.


We recorded the references of the injuries, the attacker and defender involved, the weapons that were used, the site and the result of the injury.


The face was involved in 21 trauma cases. The frontal area was traumatized in 7 cases; the oral cavity in 6; the auricular area in 4; the orbits and the retromandibular area in 3; the mandible and the nose in 2; and the maxilla, the submental and the buccal area in 1, respectively. The mortality rate concerning the facial injuries reaches 100 %.


Homer’s literate dexterity, charisma and his unique aptitude in the narration of the events of the Trojan War have established him as the greatest epic poet. We consider the study of these vibrantly described events to be recreational and entertaining for everyone but especially for a surgeon.

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