1. Education

The Trojan War and the Trojan Horse

Crafty Odysseus devises a plan to win the Trojan War by a Trojan Horse

By

Odysseus

Odysseus

Clipart.com

[Summary: The greatest of the Greek heroes -- Achilles -- was dead. The 10-year Trojan War, which had begun when the Greeks set sail to retrieve Menelaus' wife, Helen, form the Trojans, was at a stalemate.]

Crafty Odysseus devised a plan that ultimately doomed the Trojans. Sending all the Greek ships away or into hiding, it appeared to the Trojans that the Greeks had given up. The Greeks left a parting gift in front of the walls of the city of Troy. it was a giant wooden horse which appeared to be an offering to Athena -- a peace offering. The jubilant Trojans dragged the monstrous, wheeled, wooden horse into their city to celebrate the end of the 10 years of fighting.

But beware of Greeks bearing gifts!

That night, while the Trojans were more than a little comatose from too much drinking, the Greeks slipped quietly out the trap door Odysseus had had built in the Trojan horse's belly. Killing Trojans and setting fire to the city, they quickly won the war.

Having won the war, the filicidal King Agamemnon went back to his wife for the reward he so richly deserved. Ajax, who had lost out to Odysseus in the contest for Achilles' arms, went crazy and killed himself. Odysseus set out on the voyage (Homer, according to tradition, tells in The Odyssey, which is the sequel to The Iliad) that made him more famous than his help with Troy. And Aphrodite's son, the Trojan hero Aeneas, set out from his burning homeland -- carrying his father on his shoulders -- on his way to Dido, in Carthage, and, finally, to the land that was to become Rome.

Were Helen and Menelaus reconciled?

According to Odysseus they were, but that's part of a future story.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.