Ancient Mythology

The Trojan War | Greek Mythology

(also The Battle of Troy)

The Trojan war was a mythological battle between the people of Greece and the people of the city of Troy. Prince Paris of Troy abducted the wife of Menelaus of Sparta (Helen), and refused to return her. Then, Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus, gathered troops to attack the Trojans. Several Greek heroes led the army in the battle: Achilles, Ajax, Diomed, Nestor, Odysseus and Patroclus.

The city of Troy was surrounded by tall walls which the Greeks could not penetrate. The battle raged for nine years, and although the Greeks destroyed the surrounding Trojan territory, they could do little damage to the city.

Many of the Greek gods were involved in the war. Athena, Hera and Poseidon frequently helped the Greeks, while Aphrodite and Ares defended the city of Troy.

To end the battle, the Greeks constructed a large, hollow wooden horse, as a token. Sinon remained with the horse to deliver it to the Trojans, while the rest of the troops apparently sailed home. Sinon persuaded the Trojans to take the horse and bring it within their city. That night, several warriors emerged from within the horse and opened the city gates, allowing the Greeks, who had returned and been waiting, to enter the city of Troy and destroy it.

Some experts suppose that the stories of the Trojan War may have been distorted history, telling of a real war which happened between Greece and Troas in approximately 1200 BCE.

The story of the Trojan war is known mostly from Homer's poem, The Iliad.


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