The Battle of Troy

The Battle of Troy is an integral part of the Trojan War - which has its roots in Greek mythology. The Greeks believed that the war started because of a dispute between the Gods. Two Gods got married and did not invite the Goddess of Discord, Eris, to their wedding. She gatecrashed the wedding and cast a golden apple on the table which, she claimed, belonged to the fairest of the guests.

The Goddesses present could not agree on who should have the apple so Zeus announced that the fairest living mortal - Paris of Troy - should choose. Each of the three Goddesses told Paris that they would give him something if he chose them to have the apple. Aphrodite told him he could have the most beautiful woman in the world, Hera that he could have power and Athena that he could have wealth.

Paris choose Aphrodite and, as part of their deal, she told him he could capture Helen, the wife of Menelaus. He did this and took Helen back to Troy. Her husband then brought together all of Helens’ suitors from before her marriage who had sworn an oath to defend her honour at all times. Some of her suitors, with the Greek army, then sailed to find Helen in Troy.

It took the Greeks a long time to find Troy and, when diplomatic efforts failed, they were forced to declare war on the Trojans. The war went on for nine years. Troy was under siege by the Greeks who also had to fight Troy’s neighbours who were supplying the city. However, they could not find a way to enter Troy itself.

It is said at this point that the Goddess Athena told Odysseus to build a large and hollow wooden horse and to hide some of his soldiers inside it. Once this was done the rest of the Greeks made it look like they had sailed away. They left behind one man who told the Trojans that the Greeks had indeed left. He also told them that the horse was an offering to Athena and that it would protect them if they took it into the city.

The Trojans started celebrating the end of the war and, that night, the Greeks came out of the wooden horse, opened the gates of Troy to their army and destroyed the city and slaughtered many of its inhabitants.