The History of the Trojan War
Thesis The Trojan War started in c.1200 BC when Aphrodite offered Paris of Troy Helen of Sparta for the apple of discord, He accepted her offer. Aphrodite made a plan to make Helen of Sparta fall in love with Paris; She disguised Paris as a diplomatic emissary. Then he went to Sparta, Helen welcomed him with open arms, while Menelaus was away in Crete, The god of love Eros, shot an arrow at her making her fall in love with Paris. They married and left for Troy. When Menelaus returned home from Crete, he realized that Helen had run off with Paris. He and Odysseus went to Troy to retrieve Helen, But all diplomatic attempts failed So Menelaus invoked the oath of Tyndareus and with help from his brother Agamemnon, Called all Greek leaders who had previously been in line to marry Helen to fulfill their pledge. They also needed the help of Achilles, because of the prophecy that Troy would only fall with his help. Odysseus, Telamonian Ajax, and Phoenix went to Skyros where they knew Achilles was hidden. Achilles was disguising himself as a woman, Then there, they either blew a warhorn, on the sound of which Achilles was the only woman that took a spear in hand; or they appeared as merchants selling jewels and weapons. Achilles was the single woman interested in the weapons
The reason the war started is technically that of Menelaus; he failed to sacrifice one hundred oxen to Aphrodite which began her wrath. The story of Trojan War highlights how deeply the Greeks and Trojans believed that the Gods and the rituals used to appease them affected everything they did in their daily lives.The Cause Of the Trojan WarIt started at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis where Eris, The goddess of discord, threw a golden apple to Aphrodite, Hera and Athena addressed “To the Fairest.” The reason Eris had thrown the apple was that all the Gods and Goddesses were invited attend except Eris. Zeus refused to judge the goddesses and gave the task to Paris, A mortal prince, to choose who was the fairest; He couldn’t decide between the three, so The Goddesses bribed him with gifts. Hera offered to make him king of all men if she had been chosen as the fairest, Athena promised him victory in war, and Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman in the world. Because of her offer he selected Aphrodite, she told him that she would get him, Helen of Sparta, the only catch was that she was married to Menelaus, King of Sparta. Paris went to Sparta while Menelaus was in Crete, Helen welcomed him with open arms. Eros, God of love, shot an arrow at Helen and made her fall in love with Paris, They eloped immediately and went back to Troy.
When Menelaus came back from Crete and found out what happened, He had Odysseus go to Troy with him to retrieve Helen, When all diplomatic attempts had failed he invoked the oath of Tyndareus and with the help of his brother Agamemnon. He called all the Greek leaders who had been in line to marry Helen to fulfill their pledge. They had also needed the help of Achilles because of a prophecy that Troy would only fall with his support. Phoenix, Telamonian, Ajax, and Odysseus went to Skyros where they knew Achilles was hidden. Achilles was disguising himself as a female, Then there, they either blew a warhorn, on the sound of which Achilles was the only woman that took a spear in hand; or they appeared as merchants selling jewels and weapons. Achilles was the only female intrigued by the weaponry. The Siege Of TroyMenelaus’s brother happened to be Agamemnon, who was the most powerful king amongst the Greeks. Menelaus and Agamemnon visited all of the Greek Chieftains and persuaded them to take part in a colossal expedition which they were preparing to take down Troy, Agamemnon had been chosen as commander-in-chief; next to him were the most important Greek heroes, his brother Menelaus, Patroclus, and Achilles. Two unrelated men named Ajax, Nestor and his son Antilochus, Teucer, Idomeneus, Diomedes, Odysseus, and Philoctetes, who, however, at the very start of the expedition had to be left behind. They didn’t appear on the scene of action right until the fall of Troy.
The entire army consisted of 100,000 Greek warriors and 1,186 ships assembled in the harbor of Aulis. Before they left for the expedition, they made sacrifices to secure the favor of the gods for the voyage to Troy. While making the sacrifice, a snake darted out from under the altar, went up a tree, devoured eight young sparrows, and the mother had finally turned into stone. This omen Calchas, the seer of the host, interpreted that it meant the war would last nine years and end in the tenth year with the fall of Troy. Agamemnon had previously met an oracle from Delphi that Troy would fall when the heroes of Greece fought amongst each other. In Homer, the crossing to Troy starts immediately, but in the following story, the Greeks accidentally land in Mysia, in the country of Telephus, They’re scattered by a storm and driven back to Greece, and then assemble anew at Aulis. Once they had arrived, they learn divine disfavor is preventing them from crossing into Troy until Agamemnon agrees to sacrifices his daughter, Iphigenia, to appease the enraged gods, this was an incident that was entirely unknown to Homer. After landing, skirmishing, and setting up their camp. Odysseus and Menelaus proceed as ambassadors to Troy, to demand the surrender of Helen, in spite of the inclination of Helen herself and the warning of the Trojan Antenor, never takes hold, owing to the opposition of Paris.
War was declared, the amount of the Trojans numbered less than one-tenth of the Greeks. Even though they had many brave heroes such as Glaucus, Aeneas, Sarpedon, and especially Hector, in fear of Achilles, they didn’t dare to engage a general attack and remained holed up behind massive walls protecting the city. The Greeks couldn’t do anything against the well-fortified and defended town, and see themselves confined to laying ambushes and devastating the surrounding area, and compelled by the lack of provisions, had to resort to foraging expeditions in the surrounding by sea and land by general Achilles. As the last decisive tenth year reaches, The Iliad narrates the events of this year, restricting itself to the space of fifty-one days. During the war, the Greeks have taken multiple war prizes from the encompassing countryside. One of these prizes is Chryseis, the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. He came in priestly garb into the camp of the Greeks to redeem his daughter from Agamemnon. He is rudely put down, and Apollo consequently visits the Greeks with a plague. In an assembly of the Greeks requested by Achilles, the seer Calchas declares the only means of the appeasing the god to be the surrender of the girl without ransom.
Agamemnon consents to the general wish. But, in the way of compensation, takes from Achilles, who he considers to be the instigator of the whole lot, his favorite slave Briseis. Achilles withdraws, furious, to his tent and implores his mother, Thetis to attain a promise from Zeus that the Greeks should meet with disaster in fighting the Trojans until Agamemnon returns the girl and restores Achilles” honor. The Trojans immediately take the open ground, and Agamemnon is induced by a promise of victory, conveyed in a lying dream from Zeus, to start the fight. The armies are standing opposing to one another, prepared to fight when they agree to a treaty that the entire conflict will be decided by a battle fought between Paris and Menelaus. Paris is defeated in the battle and is only saved from death by the interference of Aphrodite. When Agamemnon presses for the attainment of the treaty, the Trojan Pandarus breaks the truce by shooting an arrow at Menelaus, and the treaty breaks apart. The first open pact in the war begins, in which, under the safeguard of Athena, Diomedes performs marvels of courage and damage even Ares and Aphrodite. Diomedes and the Lycian Glaucus are on the verge of fighting when they recognize one another as genealogical guest-friends and stop their fight, an indicator of how important the concept of hospitality, XENIA, in Greek. The day ends with a tentative duel between Hector and Ajax son of Telamon. They make a truce to bury their deceased, and the Greeks, acting on the input of Nestor, surrounding their camp with a wall and trench.
Once the battle begins again, Zeus forbids the gods to take part in it and imposes that the fight shall end with the defeat of the Greeks. On the following night, Agamemnon already begins to think about fleeing, but Nestor advises reconciliation with Achilles. Agamemnon sends an embassy, including Odysseus, to make amends with Achilles. The efforts of ambassadors are, however, fruitless. Then Odysseus and Diomedes go out on a night-time reconnaissance mission, kill many Trojans, and capture a Trojan spy. On a succeeding day, Agamemnon’s bravery drives the Trojans back to the walls of the town; but he, Odysseus, Diomedes, and other heroes leave the battle wounded, and the Greeks retreat behind the camp’s walls. The Trojans advance and attack the Greek walls. The resistance of the Greeks is daring, but Hector breaks the rough gate with a rock, and the stream of enemies pours itself free into the camp. Once again the Greek heroes who are still adequate and can take part in the battle, especially the two Ajaxes and Idomeneus. They become victorious with the help of Poseidon in repelling the Trojans, while Telamonian Ajax makes Hector dash to the ground with a stone; but the latter soon reappears on the battlefield with the new strength given to him by Apollo at the order of Zeus. Poseidon is obliged to leave the Greeks to their fate; they retire again to the ships, which Ajax in vain defends. The Trojans advance still further to where they can begin torching the Greek ships. Hector and Achilles this point, Achilles allows his friend Patroclus to borrow his armor and enter the battle with their set of soldiers to help the distressed Greeks. Supposing it to be Achilles himself, the Trojans in fear flee from the camp before Patroclus, who chases them to the town and lays low vast numbers of the enemy, including the brave Sarpedon, whose corpse is only rescued from the Greeks after a relentless fight.
At last Patroclus himself is killed by Hector with the help of Apollo; Achilles” arms are lost, and even the corpse is with difficulty saved. And now Achilles repents of his anger, reconciles himself to Agamemnon, and on the following day, furnished with new and splendid armor by Hephaestus at the request of Thetis, avenges the death of his friend on countless Trojans and finally on Hector himself. The Iliad closes with the burial of Patroclus and the funeral games initiated in his honor, the restoration of Hector’s corpse to Priam, and the burying of Hector, for which Achilles allows an armistice of eleven days. Immediately after the death of Hector, the following legends bring the Amazons to the help of the Trojans, and their queen Penthesilea is killed by Achilles. Then arrives Memnon at the head of an Ethiopian contingent. He slays Antilochus son of Nestor but is also killed by Achilles. Death of Achilles now comes to the fulfillment of the oracle given to Agamemnon at Delphi; for at a sacrificial banquet a violent quarrel arises between Achilles and Odysseus, the latter declaring craft and not valor to be the only means of destroying Troy. Soon after, in an attempt to force a way into the hostile town through the Scaean gate, Achilles falls, killed by the arrow of Paris, directed by the god. After his burial, Thetis offers the arms of her son as a prize for the bravest of the Greek heroes, which provokes a fight among the Greeks for the title and the arms. Odysseus wins, and his main competition, the Telamonian Ajax, kills himself.
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