The Trojan War

When Paris, prince of Troy, was living as a shepherd on Mt. Ida he judged the beauty contest between the goddesses Athena, Hera and Aphrodite. He gave the prize to Aphrodite, who promised him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, wife of Menelaos, king of Sparta. Paris stole her away to Troy. Greek forces, under the overall command of Menelaos' brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, set off to recover Helen, and thus the Trojan War began.

The ten year siege saw many acts of heroic valour and many deaths as the fighting raged on the Trojan plain. Patroklos, taking Achilles' place and wearing his armour, was killed by Hektor, the greatest Trojan hero. Achilles rejoined the fight and slaughtered Hektor, then subjected his body to indignities before finally allowing it to be ransomed by Priam, the old king of Troy. Achilles himself fell victim to the arrow of Paris that struck him in his one vulnerable spot - his heel.

The War ended when Odysseus, most resourceful of the Greeks, came up with the ruse of the Wooden Horse. Building a vast, hollow animal, the Greeks concealed their best fighters within it, then apparently left it on the plain of Troy and sailed away. The Trojans took the Horse into the city. At night the Greeks burst out and opened the gates to their comrades, who had secretly returned. By this means the city of Troy was taken.

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