Trojan War

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Trojan War,

in Greek mythology, war between the Greeks and the people of TroyTroy,
ancient city made famous by Homer's account of the Trojan War. It is also called Ilion or, in Latin, Ilium. Its site is almost universally accepted as the mound now named Hissarlik, in Asian Turkey, c.4 mi (6.4 km) from the mouth of the Dardanelles.
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. The strife began after the Trojan prince ParisParis
or Alexander,
in Greek mythology, son of Priam and Hecuba and brother of Hector. Because it was prophesied that he would cause the destruction of Troy, Paris was abandoned on Mt. Ida, but there he was raised by shepherds and loved by the nymph Oenone.
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 abducted HelenHelen,
in Greek mythology, the most beautiful of women; daughter of Leda and Zeus, and sister of Castor and Pollux and Clytemnestra. While still a young girl Helen was abducted to Attica by Theseus and Polydeuces, but Castor and Pollux rescued her.
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, wife of MenelausMenelaus
, in Greek mythology, king of Sparta, son of Atreus. He was the husband of Helen, father of Hermione, and younger brother of Agamemnon. When Paris, prince of Troy, abducted Helen, Menelaus asked the other Greek kings to join him in an expedition against Troy, beginning
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 of Sparta. When Menelaus demanded her return, the Trojans refused. Menelaus then persuaded his brother AgamemnonAgamemnon
, in Greek mythology, leader of the Greek forces in the Trojan War; king of Mycenae (or Argos). He and Menelaus were sons of Atreus and suffered the curse laid upon Pelops. Agamemnon married Clytemnestra, and their children were Iphigenia, Electra, and Orestes.
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 to lead an army against Troy. At Aulis, troopships gathered, led by the greatest Greek heroes—AchillesAchilles
, in Greek mythology, foremost Greek hero of the Trojan War, son of Peleus and Thetis. He was a formidable warrior, possessing fierce and uncontrollable anger. Thetis, knowing that Achilles was fated to die at Troy, disguised him as a girl and hid him among the women at
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, Patroclus, DiomedesDiomedes
, in Greek legend. 1 Son of Tydeus, he was one of the principal Greek warriors in the Trojan War. Previously he had avenged his father's death in the expedition of the Epigoni against Thebes. 2 A Thracian king, son of Ares and Cyrene.
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, OdysseusOdysseus
, Lat. Ulysses , in Greek mythology, son and successor of King Laertes of Ithaca. A leader of Greek forces during the Trojan War, Odysseus was noted (as in the Iliad) for his cunning strategy and his wise counsel.
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, NestorNestor
, in Greek mythology, wise king of Pylos; son of Neleus and father of Antilochus. In the Iliad, Nestor went with the Greeks to the Trojan War, and although he had lived three generations he was still a vigorous warrior and a respected adviser.
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, and the two warriors named AjaxAjax
, Gr. Aias, in Greek mythology. 1 Hero of the Trojan War, son of Telamon, thus called the Telamonian Ajax, also called Ajax the Greater. In the Iliad
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. In order to win favorable winds for the journey, Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to Artemis. The winds came and the fleet set sail for Troy. For nine years the Greeks ravaged Troy's surrounding cities and countryside, but the city itself, well fortified and commanded by Hector and other sons of the royal household, held out. Finally the Greeks built a large hollow wooden horse in which a small group of warriors were concealed. The other Greeks appeared to sail for home, leaving behind only the horse and Sinon, who deceitfully persuaded the Trojans, despite the warnings of CassandraCassandra
, in Greek legend, Trojan princess, daughter of Priam and Hecuba. She was given the power of prophecy by Apollo, but because she would not accept him as a lover, he changed her blessing to a curse, causing her prophecies never to be believed.
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 and LaocoönLaocoön
, in Greek mythology, priest of Apollo who warned the Trojans not to touch the wooden horse made by the Greeks during the Trojan War. While he and his two sons were sacrificing to Poseidon at the seashore, two serpents came from the water and crushed them.
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, to take the horse within the city walls. At night the Greeks returned; their companions crept out of the horse and opened the city gates, and Troy was destroyed. The gods took great interest in the war. Poseidon, Hera, and Athena aided the Greeks, while Aphrodite and Ares favored the Trojans. Zeus and Apollo, although frequently involved in the action of the war, remained impartial. The events of the final year of the war constitute the main part of the Iliad of Homer. The Trojan War probably reflected a real war (c.1200 B.C.) between the invading Greeks and the people of TroasTroas
or the Troad
, region about ancient Troy, on the northwest coast of Asia Minor, in present NW Turkey. Traversed by Mt. Ida (Kaz Daği) and strategically located on the Hellespont (Dardanelles), it was involved in various struggles to control the straits.
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, possibly over control of trade through the Dardanelles.

Bibliography

See C. Alexander, The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's "Iliad" and the Trojan War (2009).

Trojan War

 

according to the tradition of the ancient Greeks, the armed conflict between Troy and a coalition of Achaean kings led by Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, which ended in Troy’s defeat and capture by the Achaeans. The essentials of the tradition have been largely confirmed by archaeological excavations at the site of Troy. Scholars now believe that the city, after being subjected to a prolonged siege, was destroyed in about the mid–13th century B.C. The date of the Trojan War has been therefore put at circa 1260 B.C.

The cause of the Trojan War, according to the legends of the Greeks, some of which are recorded in the Iliad and the Odyssey, was the abduction of Helen, wife of the Spartan king Menelaus, by Paris, a Trojan prince. To win her back, Menelaus, after appealing for aid to the kings of the other Greek states, set sail for Troas with his brother, Agamemnon, and a large Achaean fleet. There, during the ensuing ten-year war, the Greeks laid siege to Troy and by means of a ruse—the Trojan Horse—succeeded finally in capturing the city. The conflict, which consisted mainly of two-man battles between outstanding warriors, produced many heroes. On the Greek side fought Achilles, the two Ajaxes, Patroclus, Agamemnon, and Odysseus; on the Trojan side, Hector, Glaucus, Sarpedon, and Aeneas.

The legend of the Trojan War reflects a historical stage in the Greeks’ penetration of Asia Minor, which began in the 16th cen tury B.C. and intensified in the 13th century B.C., as the power of the Hittites declined. With the defeat of the Trojans, the Achae ans were able to flee to Asia Minor after the Doric invasions of Greece.