Trojan War

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Trojan War: Trojan Horse, Troy, Achilles

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.
..... Click the link for more information.
. 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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
..... Click the link for more information.
 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
 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
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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
..... Click the link for more information.
. 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, 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.
..... Click the link for more information.
, possibly over control of trade through the Dardanelles.


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.

References in periodicals archive ?
This was so when I made the In Search of the Trojan War documentary series for the BBC in 1985.
Hector of Troy is billed in Greek mythology as the greatest fighter in the Trojan War, which in turn is billed by the museum as the "first line of Anatolia's defense" throughout history, leading to the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915, which is often referred to by Turkish historical sources as a legendary resistance by the Ottomans during World War I.
The young Trojan makes his way through Greece looking for his lost sister--in the process encountering the nasty intrigues among the victors of the Trojan War and visiting the Oracle at Delphi--and finally finds himself in Ithaca along with Telemachus, the young son of Odysseus.
That the Trojan War was the oldest memory of the classical age Greeks is no surprise, but the authors also fully examine why Romans, Etruscans, the Veneti, and other Mediterranean peoples found it in their interest to create ties with ancient Greece.
Expect a battle - not on the same scale as the Trojan War, perhaps, but the stuff of legends.
Star performance Sean Levey for his enterprising ride on Trojan War of the 5f two-year-old maiden in the hands of Michael Hussey.
Cheek By Jowl have joined forces with Theatre du Nord, Lille, for a the tale about the aftermath of the Trojan War.
The paper examines how historians such as Herodotus and Thucydides, playwrights such as Aeschylus and Euripides, the Athenian essayist Isocrates, and the Spartan king Agesilaus and Alexander the Great regard and use the Trojan War.
Using clues from star and sun positions mentioned by the ancient Greek poet Homer, scholars think they have determined the date when King Odysseus returned from the Trojan War and slaughtered a group of suitors who had been pressing his wife to marry one of them.
Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, concerning the Trojan War, he is also anxious to present the war as an historical event and, using new archaeological discoveries, to show Troy not as a Greek city-state but as Anatolian with ties to Hittite civilisation.
Ithaka retells the story of the family left behind while Odysseus is journeying home from the Trojan War (the stuff of Homer's Odyssey).
Barry Strauss' new book on the Trojan War is representative of the special category of history that reinterprets old and familiar stories.