The Trojan War and the iliad
- The story of the Trojan War—the Bronze Age conflict between the kingdoms of Troy and Mycenaean Greece–straddles the history and mythology of ancient Greece and inspired the greatest writers.
- According to classical sources, the war began after the abduction (or elopement) of Queen Helen of Sparta by the Trojan prince Paris. Helen’s jilted husband Menelaus convinced his brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, to lead an expedition to retrieve her.
- The siege lasted more than 10 years until the morning the Greek armies retreated from their camp, leaving a large wooden horse outside the gates of Troy. After much debate, the Trojans pulled the mysterious gift into the city. When night fell, the horse opened up and a group of Greek warriors, led by Odysseus, climbed out and sacked the Troy from within.
- The story covered by “The Iliad” begins nearly ten years into the siege of Troy by the Greek forces. The Iliad itself does not cover the early events of the Trojan War. Likewise, the death of Achilles and the eventual fall of Troy are not covered in the poem.
- The major events in The Iliad are battles and deaths, such as Hector and Achilles.