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(also Danai), the name of the most ancient Greek tribes that inhabited Argos; in Homeric epic literature, one of the names for the Greeks that besieged Troy. According to legend, after the Danaans had lifted their siege of Troy, they left a wooden horse at the walls of the city, inside of which were hidden armed warriors. Despite the warning of the priest Laocoön (“I fear the Danaans, even those bearing gifts,” Vergil, Aeneid, II, 49), the Trojans brought the horse into the city. At night the warriors came out of the horse and opened the gates to the detachments that had returned. Troy was captured and destroyed. The proverbial expression “gifts of the Danaans” signifies gifts that are destructive to those who receive them.