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Trojan War

The Trojan War was a 10 year conflict between the Achaeans, of mainland Greece, and the people of Troy. The Trojan prince Paris had run away with Helen, who was the wife of Menelaus, the Achaean king of Sparta. The story of the Trojan War is told in Homers Iliad. The Trojan prince Aeneas escapes Troy after the Achaeans finally destroy the city and flees to Italy. According to legend, the descendants of Aeneas will found Rome. Aeneas journey is told in Virgil's Aeneid, which we will read.
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The Plan of Zeus

According to Greek mythology, Zeus had become king of the gods by overthrowing his father Cronus. Zeus wasnt faithful to his wife, Hera, and ended up having a lot of children. This gave birth to cause the war of Trojan.

Apple of Gold
All of the gods were invited to Peleus and Thetis' wedding and brought gifts. Except ,Eris who was stopped at the door by Hermes on Zeus' order.Insulted she threw gift of her own. It was a Golden Apple, inscribed of it was ,Ti Kallisti, To the fairest. The apple was claimed by Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. Eventually, Zeus ordered Hermes to lead the three goddesses to Paris, a prince of Troy. He was being raised as a shepherd in Mount Ida. Unaware of his ancestory.

The Prophet of the Downfall of Troy

The goddesses tried to bribe the shepherd. Athena offered Paris wisdom, skill in battle, and the abilities of the greatest warriors. Hera offered him political power and control of all of Asia. Aphrodite offered him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. Paris awarded the apple to Aphrodite, after several adventures, returned to Troy and was recognized by his family.

Idea from Odysseus

The most beautiful woman in the world was Helen, daughter of Tyndareus, king of Sparta. Her mother was Leda, who had been raped by Zeus in the form of a swan. Helen is usually given as Zeus' daughter. Helen had scores of suitors, and her father was unwilling to choose one for fear the others would retaliate violently. Finally, one of the suitors, Odysseus of Ithaca, proposed a plan to solve the dilemma. He suggested that Tyndareus allow Helen to choose her husband. Require all of Helen's suitors to promise that they would defend the marriage of Helen, regardless of whom she chose. The suitors duly swore. She chose Menelaus to wed.

Menelaus Promise to Aphrodite

He promised the goddess that if he won the marriage of Helen that he would sacrifice 100 oxen. But he FORGOT! This earned him her wrath. Menelaus inherited Tyndareus' throne of Sparta with Helen as his queen when her brothers Castor and Pollux became gods.

The Elopement of Paris and Helen

On a diplomatic mission to Sparta, Paris fell in love with Helen. Menelaus had to leave for Crete, to bury his uncle Crateus. Paris with Aphrodite's help, kidnapped Helen, and sailed to Troy carrying off part of Menelaus' treasure. Hera, still jealous over his judgement sent a storm. The storm made the lovers land in Egypt, where the gods replaced Helen with a likeness of her made of clouds, Nephele.

Zeus is the supreme ruler of Mount Olympus and of the gods who reside there.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice and skill. She is also Zeuss daughter. She frequently helps Odysseus, who was well-known for his clever mind.

the messenger of the gods. In addition to being the god of invention, commerce, and cunning, Hermes is also Zeuss son. Hermes helps Odysseus several times in The Odyssey.

a goddess and enchantress will use her magic to toy with Odysseus.

The sea goddess Calypso delays Odysseuss return home because of her desire for companionship.

Poseidon is the god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses. Poseidon is also the father of the one-eyed cyclopes. Odysseuss excessive pride angers Poseidon.

As the god of the Sun, Helios rides a chariot drawn by horses through the sky, bringing light to the earth. Odysseus angers Helios when his men ignore Helioss warnings.

The Heroic Story of Odysseus

Odysseus longs to return home after ten years of fighting in the Trojan War. He begins the trip home with 12 ships carrying 720 men. The gods and goddesses toy with Odysseus, creating obstacles which delay his journey home another ten years. Odysseuss intelligence set him apart from others.

Back in Ithaca
In Ithaca, all assumed Odysseus dead except his wife, Penelope and son, Telemachus. Penelope was receiving suitors at her door, but she stalled by claiming to be weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus father, Laertes, which had to be done before she could marry. She wove during the day and unwove it at night until the suitors found her out.

Athenas forgiveness
In the end, Athena made it possible for Calypso to release Odysseus so he could go home. She also decided to send Telemachus on a journey of his own to seek news of his father. Athena went to Telemachus disguised as an old man and told him to go to Nestor and Menelaus to find news.

Aphrodite goddess of love

Aphrodite is the mother of the Trojan prince Aeneas, and fights for the Trojans during the war. She also won the Apple of Discord from Paris by promising him the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife. Aphrodite neglects to mention to Paris that this woman, Helen, is already married to Menelaus.
Venus de Milo, Louvre


Ares god of war

Ares is a rash and unpredictable god, who enjoys war for the sake of war. He fights for the Trojans during the war because he is in love with Aphrodite and he appreciates that Paris could cause a war so wide-spread.
Ares, red-figure vase, Leagros Group, British Museum


Odysseus is an intelligent and tricky character in mythology. He helps Tyndareus by devising the oath sworn by Helens suitors, and gained one of Helens sisters as his own wife. He was the mediator in the dispute between Agamemnon and Achilles. Odysseus also devised the Trojan Horse and the plot to infiltrate and destroy Troy.
Odysseus, red-figure vase, unknown, Louvrre

Odysseus famous 10-year journey home is chronicled in The Odyssey.


Trojan Horse
The Trojan Horse was planned by Odysseus to infiltrate Troy and end the war. The Achaeans built a massive wooden horse and hid a contingent inside of it. They left one of their own, Sinon, behind to tell the Trojans that is was a gift to Poseidon to ensure their safe passage home. The Trojans take the horse into their city in hopes of gaining the favor of Poseidon.

The Trojans threw a grand party. After the Trojans had gone to sleep, the Achaeans slipped out of the horse and opened the gates of Troy to the rest of their army.
Trojan Horse, clipart. COM


Poseidon god of the seas

Poseidon is one of the gods who takes human form and fights alongside the Achaeans during the Trojan War.

Poseidon battles against the Trojans because when Troy was founded the first king, Laomedon, promised to reward the god for building the citys wall. Laomedon refused to pay after the walls were complete and Poseidon carried a grudge.
Poseidons priest, Laocoon, realizes that the Trojan Horse is dangerous and so Poseidon sends massive sea-snakes to carry off Laocoon and his sons.

Poseidon, Oceanus, Thetis, mosaic, unknown, Louvre


Hera queen of the gods

Even before the Judgment of Paris, Hera hated the Trojans. Her hatred stemmed from Zeus choice of the Trojan boy Ganymede as his cup-bearer, casting aside Heras own divine son, Hephaestus.

Hera fights for the Achaeans during the Trojan War. After Troy is destroyed, Hera continues her quest to annihilate the Trojans by attempting to shipwreck Aeneas.
Hera, unknown, Capitoline Museum


Athena goddess of wisdom

Athena fights on the side of the Achaeans during the Trojan War for two reasons: She did not win the golden apple at the Judgment of Paris and she is the patron goddess of the Achaean hero Odysseus. As the goddess of wisdom, Athena appreciates Odysseus crafty approach to problems and his unique solutions such as the Oath of Tyndareus and the Trojan Horse.
Athena, unknown, Capitoline Museum

Book I: Odysseus is stranded.

Poseidon has decided to impede Odysseus journey home (well find out why later). Odysseus is languishing on Calypsos island: Ogygia. Calypso has fallen in love with him and refuses to let him leave.

Trouble at Home.
Meanwhile back at home in Ithaca, Penelope is dealing with a mob of suitors, who insist that she must marry one of them.

Athena Inspires the Prince

Meanwhile back in Ithaca, his son, Telemachus, believes that Odysseus is dead. Athena travels to Ithaca to speak to him.

Disguised as the warrior Mentes, she advises Telemachus to tell the suitors to leave and to take a journey to find his father. She predicts that Odysseus will soon be home.

Book II: Telemachus Sets Sail

Prince Telemachus takes his fathers seat in the courtyard and addresses the suitors and all the nobles of Ithaca. In despair, he cries out to Athena, who is actually standing right by him. She assures him that he has ALL of the qualities that his father does. They set sail for Pylos in search of news of Odysseus.

Book III: King Nestor Remembers

Telemachus and Athena arrive in Pylos as the king and others are sacrificing to Poseidon. He tells them of Athenas anger toward the Greeks for not giving thanks after the war. He encourages them to sail on to Sparta to speak with King Menelaus for more information.

Book IV: The King and Queen of Sparta

Telemachus arrives by chariot to Menelaus palace.
No one but Helen recognizes him as Odysseus son because he looks so much like his father.

In the morning, Menelaus tells his homecoming story and the vague rumors that he has heard of Odysseus
and the suitors begin planning Telemachus death

Homers Iliad
Homer is said to be the first teller of adventures of all times. He was not the first author because in his day stories were passed down--they were told. He was a blind man whose date of birth is unknown.

Eris, Goddess of Discord

Angry because she was not invited to the wedding of the Sea Goddess Thetis to King Peleus, Eris tossed the Golden Apple marked To the Fairest into the banquet. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena wanted the apple Zeus would not choose, he did not want the goddesses angry with him Paris was asked to make the decision

The Fairest

The Decision
Hera offered to make Paris ruler of Europe and Asia Athena offered to let him lead Sparta in a victory over the Trojans Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman in the world

Paris Chooses Aphrodite

The most beautiful woman in the world is Helen, the wife of King Menelaus Aphrodite helps Paris seduce and kidnap Helen

The Beginning of War

King Menelaus called on all those who were loyal to him. They gathered a huge army, and built a thousand ships to carry the army to Troy Helen of Sparta was now called Helen of Troy She was The face that launched a thousand ships

The Trojan War

The battle raged for 10 years Many great heroes lost their lives A prophet predicted that Troy could be captured only with the help of Achilles.

The Hero Achilles

Knowing of the prophecy, and worried that her son would be killed in war, Achilles mother dipped him in the river Styx to make him immortal. His only weakness was the place on his heals where she held him. During the war, Achilles is forced to give up his war prize, a slave girl, to Agamemnon, and so he refuses to fight. Patroclus, his friend, asks Achilles if he may ride out in his armor so the Trojans would lose heart.

Achilles agreed to allow his friend Patroclus to wear his armor. The next day Patroclus was killed and stripped of the armor by the Trojan hero Hector, who mistook him for Achilles. Achilles was overwhelmed with grief for his friend and rage at Hector. Achilles kills Hector. He desecrated the body, dragging it behind his chariot before the walls of Troy. Finally Paris, aided by Apollo, wounded Achilles in the heel with an arrow; Achilles died of the wound.

10 Years of War
The Gods are tired of watching men kill each other, and decide to help end the war. Athena whispers an idea in the Spartan hero Odysseuss ear.

The Trojan Horse

Odysseus tells them they will build a huge horse of wood. Some would climb inside and hide. The rest would sail around the tip of the island, where they could not be seen. One would stay behind and tell the Trojans that he had been abandoned by the Greeks, and that the horse was an offering to Athena.

The Fall of Troy

The Trojans believed the trick. They had a huge banquet to celebrate the end of the war. At night the men from inside the horse came out and unlocked the gates to the city.

The Burning of Troy

The city is invaded by the army. The Trojans are drunk and spent from their night of revelry, unable to fight back. The Spartans destroy and burn the city. Aphrodite saves Helen from the destruction.

The War Ends

King Menelaus accepts Helen back. The Warriors can now return home. Odysseus leaves for home, and his wife and son.

Why did Odysseus object to the Trojan War?

He believes no war should be fought over an unfaithful woman (Helen) He wants to stay at home with his wife and newborn son

Odysseus attempts to Draft Dodge

Tried to appear insane by planting salt instead of seeds. Draft recruiters throw his son in front of his plow Odysseus reveals his sanity by avoiding running over Telemachus

The Epic Begins

Odysseus been gone 20 years Telemachus is 20 years old Suitors have invaded his house, robbing him of his inheritance, and attempt to marry his mother Penelope (Odysseuss Wife)