Greek Mythology Wiki

The Trojan Horse, a ruse conducted by the Greeks to sneak past the Trojan Walls.

The Trojan War is a popular legend, weaving the tale of a feud between Greece and Troy. A great deal of historians have debated whether or not it occurred. Like many wars of that era, it is not without surrounding stories and myth, granting an aura of unbelievable stature and importance. Homer wrote two famous epics regarding the tales the war and its epilogue, The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Course of the War

The Beginning

Although the factual and certified opening of the Trojan War cannot be brought to light, many a myth have been weaved to fill the gap. One of the most well known myths speaks of a mortal named Paris. Paris eloped with the beautiful queen of Sparta, Helen, to be his wife. However, Helen belonged to another, king Menelaus. Raging at the insult and betrayal, Menelaus called to arms many kings, including his brother Agamemnon. The Greeks spent time preparing, and eventually attacked the walled city of Troy. And thus, the war was started.

Notable Deaths

Achilles tending Patroclus wounded by an arrow, identified by inscriptions on the upper part of the vase. Tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, ca. 500 BC. From Vulci.

There were many notable deaths in the Trojan War. One of these deaths was Hector, a Trojan warrior. After Akhilleus had fought with Agamemnon, Hector went and slew Patroklus, Akhilleus' closest companion.Before Patroklus died he predicted the death of Hector by the hands of Akhilleus. Akhilleus got new armor from the blacksmith of Mt. Olympus, Hephaestus, in which his mother, Thetis requested. With Akhilleus' new armor, he took on Hector in front of the inhabitants of Troy. Akhilleus had the force of Athena on his side, so when Akhilleus lifted his spear and attacked, Hector was slain. Before Hector died he predicted Akhilleus' death in front of the Scaean Gates by the hand of his brother.

Another notable death was Akhilleus. When Paris (the man said to have started the war), heard of his brother Hector's death, he became enraged at Akhilleus. Paris took out his bow. He hid behind a rock until Akhilleus came by. Paris put poison on the bow so that Akhilleus would die. Paris's shot was poor, luckily, Paris had Apollo (the god of archery), on his side. Apollo directed the arrow at Akhilleus' right heel, the one place his mother Thetis didn't dip him in the River Styx. Akhilleus died in front of the Scaean Gates (The Gates of Troy) just like Hector predicted.

How it Ended

The war ended thanks to a plan conceived by the smartest of the Greek Heroes, Odysseus. With the help of Athena (the goddess of wisdom), Odysseus devised a plan to defeat get passed the impregnable Walls of Troy and defeat the Trojans. He had his soldiers construct a wooden horse (now commonly known as "The Trojan Horse") which was hollow on the inside. The Greeks brought the Horse to the walls of Troy supposedly it was a gift representing surrender. Odysseus and a small group of Greeks hid inside the hollow. Odysseus then had all of the remaining Greek soldiers pack up their things and sail away. This led the Trojans to believe they had won. The Trojans who had thought the horse merely a gift opened the walls of Troy and brought the horse in. They did so despite the warnings against doing so by not only the prophet Laocoon who said "be wary of Greeks baring gifts" (an antidote written by Virgil in The Aeneid) but the prophetess Kassandra . As nightfall came and the Trojans went to sleep, the group that had hidden in the horse emerged and opened the walls of Troy so the Greek soldiers (who had doubled back and returned) entered Troy. The Greeks slew all the sleeping and unarmed Trojans (with the exception of Aenis who escaped) and burned down Troy. They rescued Helen (also known as Helen of Troy) and the war ended.