The Trojan War Essay

1519 words - 6 pages

Most information that the world has today that deals with the history of ancient Greece is in the literature from the time. Great epics such as the Iliad and The Odyssey, from the unknown poet Homer, make up most of the literature that has even been found from this era. The problem with getting history from literary sources is that when Homer first recited his Iliad he was actually trying to entertain, so all of the information might not be accurate, although based on actual events. Also, in the Greek culture it was common to allow the credit for certain kinds of deeds to go to gods or goddesses, which today's historians just suppose to be allegorical references. But, if the gods or goddesses do not exist, then how did the Trojan War start in the first place? This paper will look at the events of the Trojan War and will describe how we can or cannot know what actually happened with the sources that we have.The Trojan War was fought between the Greeks and the peoples of Troy. A blind poet named Homer wrote of this war in two of his epic poems, Iliad and the Odyssey. Most of what we know of the war comes from Iliad. The Odyssey talks about the return trip of Odysseus as he returns home after the Trojan War. The Greeks believed Homer's writings to be descriptions of historical events. They believed the war took place sometime in the 12th or 13th century BC.When most people hear of the Trojan War they usually think of the Trojan Horse. According to Homer, the Greeks devised a new ploy - a giant wooden hollow horse. It was built by Epeius, a Greek soldier, and was filled with Greek warriors led my Odysseus, a Greek general. As the Greeks left the soldier filled horse at the city gates, the Trojans brought in within the city thinking it was a peace offering ending the war. Soon after it was brought in, the Trojans got drunk and fell asleep after hours of celebration. At this point the soldiers came out from the horse and let the Greek army through the city gates. All the Trojan men were killed and the women were taken as slaves.The cause of the war that most people understand to be true is a myth involving the goddesses, but with what archeologists have found so far; no one is exactly sure what started the war. This Greek myth, presented by Homer, is the most widely accepted account of the events of the Trojan War. A sea nymph, who is a kind of goddess, named Thetis, was getting married to Peleus, a mortal. All of the gods and goddesses were invited to this great wedding except Eris, a rather unpopular goddess. When Eris discovered that there was a wedding going on that she had not been invited to she decided to get back at all who went. She decided to roll an apple into the reception of the wedding, but she put an inscription on the apple that intended it for the most beautiful goddess at the wedding.When the apple rolled in and the inscription was read Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all felt that she, respectively, was the most beautiful and should get...

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