The Trojan War and The Illiad

The Trojan War and The Illiad

The Trojan War is one of the best known of the Ancient Greek Wars especially the story of the Trojan Horse and Helen of Troy. Lets take a look at some of the facts and how Homer's The Illiad portrayed the war.

The Two Sides

The Trojan War was fought between the Greeks and the ancient city of Troy. The war began in response to the kidnap of Helen, who was the wife of the Greek king, by Paris of Troy. This was one of the most important events in Greek mythology with the final year of the war and the Seige of Troy featuring in the genius work that is Homer's Illiad. The Ancient Greeks believed that the Trojan War took place in the 12th century BC, while historians are still not in agreement as to whether it actually took place at all. Archaeological finds seem to support the legend, while some do not consider this conclusive. 

The Trojan Horse

The Trojan Horse is one of the better known stories from the Trojan War as it captured the imagination of story tellers who found the subject fascinating and of course it is. The Trojan Horse was to be the final card to be played in this war and was the brain child of Odysseus. The horse was viewed by the trojans as a sacred animal so what better way to get into the city than by constructing a giant hollow wooden horse that Greek soldiers could hide inside in order to penetrate the Trojan defences.

The Trojans thought that the Greeks had retreated and opened the gates of Troy to bring in the giant wooden horse in order to offer it up in the temple. Little did they know that inside the horse was the Greek enemy waiting to pounce. The Greeks emerged from the wooden horse at midnight and massacred the people of Troy while they slept. The battle continued the next day but battling against the Greeks was futile and the Trojans were defeated that very day. 

Homer's Illiad

Illiad Book

The Ancient Greek poem The Illiad by Homer is a work of epic proportions that is a world classic. The poem is set during the Trojan War and charts the battles between Achilles and the enemies of the Greeks during the reign of King Agamemnon. The poem also covers many of the wars' battles plus the prophesied death of Achilles. Written around the 8th century BC it is one of Europes oldest and greatest literary works. The Illiad is of course written in Greek but has been translated into many languages. The sequel to this wonderful piece of literature is the Odyssey also penned by Homer.

Main Characters Featured in The Illiad

  • Greek King Agamemnon
  • Achilles son of Thetis
  • Odysseus Greek Commander
  • Diomedes King of Argos
  • Hector Trojan Warrior
  • Paris Helens Kidnapper
  • Priam King of Troy
  • Agenor Trojan Warrior
  • Sarpedon son of Zeus
  • Helen daughter of Zeus
  • Plus many of the Greek Gods

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