The Trojan War | Fact of Fiction? [Deeni Mitchell]

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Have you heard of the Trojan War? If you have, you will hopefully learn more about it in this post. If you have not, you are in for an adventure! Woven and spun between battles are stories of bravery, feat, love, hatred and victory.

According to Ancient Greek legend, Zeus, the chief god, married a goddess. To his dismay, however, an oracle (prophet) informed him that his son would be mightier than he. Angered, Zeus (also named Jupiter) sent his son to earthy and made him marry a mortal. The couple had a son whom they named Achilles. You will soon find out how this long war started, some of the battles involved and how it finally ended.

Hector farewells Andromache
Hector farewells Andromache


The Trojan War, between the Greeks and the Trojans, began when Paris, a Trojan Prince, kidnapped the beautiful wife of the King of Sparta. This king asked for the Trojans to return her, but they refused. With that response, the King enticed his brother to lead an army against the city of Troy. The King of Sparta's brother, Agamemnon, was the king of Mycenae. Troopships gathered at Aulis, capably led by some of the greatest Greek heroes.

In order to get favourable winds for the ships, Agamemnon sacrificed his own daughter tragically. The winds arrived and the fleet set sail for Troy. For nine years the Greeks pillaged the cities and countryside surrounding Troy, but the city itself, well fortified and commanded by Hector himself, held firmly. Nine years of the men's lives were wasted - all because a young proud prince kidnapped the wife of Sparta's king.

There were many smaller battles within the long war. An oracle (prophesy) was thought to have said that the earliest man to leap ashore on Trojan land would be the first to die. Protesilaus, a Greek prince, took this burden upon himself and was later shot by an arrow during a skirmish with Prince Hector.


The Greeks quickly drove back the enemy, who were not prepared for such a great army. After that, there were no real battles for a full nine years because the Greeks knew very little of siege warfare; and the Trojans, ruled by an old king and a council of old men, for the most part remained inside their walls, not venturing out to attack.

In the ninth year Agamemnon and Achilles became angry at one another and Achilles refused to fight. As the story goes: Thetis, Achilles immortal mother, prevailed upon Zeus, on the behalf of Achilles, to punish Agamemnon by making the Trojans beat the Greeks until he was forced to apologise. Achilles had a friend who was very dear to him. His name was Patroclus. Patroclus tried to persuade Achilles to fight because only he could turn the tide of the battle; but Achilles refused, so Patroclus went to the battle dressed in Achilles armour. Sadly, he was killed by Hector. It was the last straw for Achilles, who changed his mind promptly.

This was just one of many battles fought during the long war.

The Trojans bring the wooden horse into their city
The Trojans bring the wooden horse into their city


The Trojan War ended in quite an unusual fashion, as you may have heard. But first, Odysseus, a leader in the Greek army, disguised himself as a beggar to get into the city of Troy. When he was in the temple, Odysseus stole the Luck of Troy, which was a black object in which the Trojans took strength and comfort. When they found the Luck stolen, the Trojans felt that their last hope was gone.

A few days later though, Achilles himself was killed by Paris - shot in the ankle with an arrow. Paris was, in turn, killed by a Greek poison arrow.

One day, however, Odysseus had an idea. The plan was to get into the city by making a wooden horse and hiding brave fighters in it. The Trojans took the wooden horse into their city. The Greek men inside, letting the other Greeks in through the gate, destroyed the city and brought Helen back safely to her rightful husband.

Thus ended the Trojan war. Now you know the unusual way it ended. While the story of the Trojan war was very exciting, the tragedy was that so many people were killed. It started by Paris kidnapping Helen, resulting in many battles and, ultimately, the destructon of Troy. The most difficult question to answer is: what parts of the legend were fact and which were fiction? Now you know everything you need to know about the Trojan War.


This post was written by Deeni Mitchell and edited by Cody Mitchell

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