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The Adventures of Ulysses


The Greek war with Troy started with an apple and ended with a horse, it was fought by a thousand kings for the love of a single woman.
It left an ancient city in flames that still burn in mans imagination after three thousand years.

Greece and Troy were traditional rivals, their quarreling finally led to a long and bitter war. The war started when Peleus was married to Thetis. It was a magnificent wedding and all of the gods of Olympus attended. Unfortunately Thetis neglected to send an invitation to Eris, the sister of Mars and the Goddess of Discord!

It was a grave mistake and would cost a river of blood.

Eris came to the wedding and threw on the table a golden apple inscribed To the Fairest. Three goddesses claimed the apple:
Hera- queen of the Gods Athene- the Goddess of Wisdom Aphrodite- the Goddess of Love

The goddesses fought so much that it was decided that a young shepherd/prince named Paris would make the final decision. All three goddesses offered Paris bribes. Hera offered him power Athene offered wisdom Aphrodite offered him any woman he wanted. Of course he chose Aphrodite!

Aphrodite recommended that Paris choose Helen, the queen of Sparta. However Helen was already married to the Spartan King Menalaus. This didnt stop Paris and he set sail for Sparta. Paris and Helen met, Helen fell in love with Paris and that night they left for Troy.

Helens Story
Helen had been courted and pursued by all of the princes of the Greek islands. Her father waited to find the perfect husband for her. He was afraid that all the rejected suitors would join together and destroy him and his kingdom.

Enter Ulysses
Ulysses, who was one of the suitors, offered a plan. All of Helens suitors would swear an oath of loyalty to refrain from murdering the successful suitor and defend Helen and her husband in case they were attacked. Helen chose Menelaus, King of Sparta, and the most powerful of the Greek Chieftains.

The Oath Upheld

Thus it was, when Paris abducted Helen, thousands of kings and their armies were summoned to destroy Troy and save Helen. The Greek armies camped outside the walls of Troy and for ten years tried to fight their way into the city.

The Trojans were led by Hector and Greeks by the great hero Achilles. The Trojans refused to be defeated until one night

Ulysses, the sharpest tactician, proposed a plan. The Greeks pretended to stop fighting. They packed up their camp, boarded their ships and sailed away. Behind them on the beach they left a large wooden Horse.

After seeing the Greeks leave the Trojans began to celebrate. They thought the wooden horse was an offering to Poseidon left by the Greeks; to anger Poseidon against the Greeks and spoil their journey home, the Trojans dragged it into the gates of the city.

But the wooden horse was hollow and inside were Ulysses and a group of armed warriors. That night when the drunken Trojans slept, Ulysses and his men crawled out of their hiding place, killed the Trojan sentries and opened the Gates of Troy. Troy was taken by surprise and every man was killed, the women and children enslaved.

Ulysses and his men loaded up their ships with booty and set sail for home.
Now we are ready to begin our journey with Ulysses.

Used with permission from Britannica Image Quest Groening, Matt, The Simpsons