Trojan Horse

Detail from The Procession of the Trojan Horse in Troy by Aeneid

The Trojan Horse is a tale from the horse, and hid a select force of men inside. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, decisively ending the war.

The main ancient source for the story is the Ionic dialect).

“malware” computer programs presented as useful or harmless to induce the user to install and run them.


[edit] Literary accounts

Sinon is brought to Priam, from folio 101r of the Roman Vergil

According to Athena, meant to atone for the previous desecration of her temple at Troy by the Greeks, and ensure a safe journey home for the Greek fleet. The Horse was built on such a huge size to prevent the Trojans from taking the offering into their city, and thus garnering the favor of Athena for themselves.

While questioning Sinon, the Trojan priest [4]

Trojan War

(Attic red-figure kylix, ca. 500 BC)

The war

Setting: Turkey)
Period: Bronze Age
Traditional dating: ca. 1194–1184 BC
Modern dating: between 1260 and 1240 BC
Outcome: Greek victory, destruction of Troy
See also: Historicity of the Iliad

Literary sources

Aeneid, Book 2 ·
Iphigenia in Aulis · Philoctetes ·
See also: Trojan War in popular culture


Judgement of Paris · Seduction of Helen ·
Trojan Horse · Sack of Troy · The Returns ·
Wanderings of Odysseus ·
Aeneas and the Founding of Rome

Greeks and allies

See also: Catalogue of Ships

Trojans and allies

See also: Trojan Battle Order

Related topics

Bronze Age warfare

This incident is mentioned in the Odyssey:

What a thing was this, too, which that mighty man wrought and endured in the carven horse, wherein all we chiefs of the 4.271 ff
But come now, change thy theme, and sing of the building of the horse of wood, which Samuel Butler)

The most detailed and most familiar version is in Virgil’s Aeneid, Book II [1] (trans. A. S. Kline).

After many years have slipped by, the leaders of the Greeks,
opposed by the Fates, and damaged by the war,
build a horse of mountainous size, through Pallas’s divine art,
and weave planks of fir over its ribs:
they pretend it’s a votive offering: this rumour spreads.
They secretly hide a picked body of men, chosen by lot,
there, in the dark body, filling the belly and the huge
cavernous insides with armed warriors.
Then Laocoön rushes down eagerly from the heights
of the citadel, to confront them all, a large crowd with him,
and shouts from far off: ‘O unhappy citizens, what madness?
Do you think the enemy’s sailed away? Or do you think
any Greek gift’s free of treachery? Is that Ulysses’s reputation?
Either there are Greeks in hiding, concealed by the wood,
or it’s been built as a machine to use against our walls,
or spy on our homes, or fall on the city from above,
or it hides some other trick: Trojans, don’t trust this horse.
Whatever it is, I’m afraid of Greeks even those bearing gifts.’

Book II includes Equo ne credite, Teucri. Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.” (“Do not trust the horse, Trojans! Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bringing gifts.”)

Well before Virgil, the story is also alluded to in Greek classical literature. In Euripides‘ play Trojan Women, written in 415 B.C., the god Poseidon proclaims, “For, from his home beneath Parnassus, Phocian Epeus, aided by the craft of Pallas, framed a horse to bear within its womb an armed host, and sent it within the battlements, fraught with death; whence in days to come men shall tell of ‘the wooden horse,’ with its hidden load of warriors.”[5]

[edit] Men in the horse

Thirty soldiers hid in the Trojan horse’s belly and two spies in its mouth. Other sources give different numbers: The Bibliotheca 50;[9]

[edit] Factual explanations

According to Homer, Troy stood overlooking the Hellespont – a channel of water that separates Asia Minor and Europe. In the 1870s, Heinrich Schliemann set out to find it.[10] Following the advice of Frank Calvert, he began digging at Hisarlik in Turkey and uncovered the ruins of several cities, built one on top of the other. Several of the cities had been destroyed violently, but it was not clear which, if any, was Homer’s Troy. In his enthusiasm for digging down into the lowest (and therefore oldest) layer of settlement (Troy of 2500 B.C.) Schliemann actually destroyed a large portion of the preceding layers, including the Troy of the Homeric Iliad.

Pausanias, who lived in the 2nd century AD, wrote in his book Description of Greece “That the work of Epeius was a contrivance to make a breach in the Trojan wall is known to everybody who does not attribute utter silliness to the Phrygians[11] where, by Phrygians, he means the Trojans.

There has been modern speculation that the Trojan Horse may have been a battering ram resembling, to some extent, a horse, and that the description of the use of this device was then transformed into a myth by later oral historians who were not present at the battle and were unaware of that meaning of the name. Assyrians at the time used siege machines with animal names; it is possible that the Trojan Horse was such.[12]

It has also been suggested that the Trojan Horse actually represents an earthquake that occurred between the wars that could have weakened Troy’s walls and left them open for attack.[13] The deity Poseidon had a triple function as a god of the sea, of horses, and of earthquakes. Structural damage on Troy VI – its location being the same as that represented in Homer’s Iliad and the artifacts found there suggesting it was a place of great trade and power – shows signs that there was indeed an earthquake. Generally, though, Troy VIIa is believed to be Homer’s Troy (see below).

Some authors have suggested that the gift was not a horse with warriors hiding inside, but a boat carrying a peace envoy,[15]

The south-west gate to the Pergamos appears to have been blocked up at the beginning of Troy VIIa, indicating that it may have been widened just as Virgil described, perhaps supporting the factuality of the Trojan Horse story.[16]

[edit] Images

The Mykonos vase, with one of the earliest known renditions of the Trojan Horse

There are three known surviving classical depictions of the Trojan horse. The earliest is on a [19]

[edit] Notes

  1. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  2. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, Epitome, Epit. E.5.18
  3. ^ Homer, Odyssey, 4. 274-289.
  4. ^ Virgil. The Aeneid. Trans. Robert Fitzgerald. New York: Everyman’s Library, 1992. Print.
  5. ^ “The Trojan Women, Euripides”. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  6. ^ Epitome 5.14
  7. ^ Posthomerica 641–650
  8. ^ Posthomerica xii.314-335
  9. ^ “THE WOODEN HORSE – Greek Mythology Link”. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  10. ^ “Image”. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  11. ^ “1,XXIII,8”. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  12. ^ Michael Wood, in his book “In search of the Trojan war” ISBN 978-0-520-21599-3 (which was shown on BBC TV as a series)
  13. ^ “Earthquakes toppled ancient cities: 11/12/97”. 1997-11-12. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  14. ^ See pages 51-52 inTroy C. 1700-1250 BC,Nic Fields, Donato Spedaliere & Sarah S. Spedalier, Osprey Publishing, 2004
  15. ^ See pages 22-23 in The fall of Troy in early Greek poetry and art, Michael John Anderson, Oxford University Press, 1997
  16. ^ The Lords of Avaris, David Rohl, Arrow Books, 2007, page 405
  17. ^ Sparks, B.A. (April 1971). “The Trojan Horse in Classical Art”. Greece & Rome. Second series 18 (1): 54–70. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  18. ^ Caskey, Miriam Ervin (Winter 1976). “Notes on Relief Pithoi of the Tenian-Boiotian Group”. American Journal of Archaeology 80 (1): 19–41. Retrieved 26 October 2010.
  19. 978-0-563-20161-8.

[edit] External links

Media related to Trojan horse at Wikimedia Commons

Source: Wikipedia

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