Today on April 24th 1184 BCE, Greek warriors sneak through the gates of Troy inside their wooden Trojan Horse.
According to Greek mythology, the Trojan War was a major military conflict between the Achaeans (Ancient Greeks) and the powerful city-state of Troy. Much of our knowledge and detail about the war are based on Homer’s famous poem called The Iliad. Another poem, known as The Odyssey also provides a description of the Greek’s return voyage home with additional facts. According to legend, the war was ignited over a quarrel between Menelaus (King of Sparta) and Paris (a Prince of Troy). While on a diplomatic mission to Sparta, Paris suddenly fell in love with Helen, the wife of Menelaus. By all accounts, Helen has been described as the most beautiful woman in the world and Paris believed Aphrodite had chosen her to be his wife.
Paris foolishly brought Helen back to Troy with him. In retaliation for this grave insult, Menelaus asked his brother Agamemnon (King of the Greeks) to help him get his wife back. Agamemnon united all of the Greek city-states under his banner and launched one of the greatest military expeditions in history. After assembling a massive navy with thousands of ships, they sailed towards the beaches of Troy (located in present-day Turkey). The Greek army besieged the heavily fortified city but was unable to break through its impregnable walls. Some of the famous Greek heroes to fight in the war include Achilles, Ajax, and Odysseus.
The siege raged on for over ten years and the two sides were effectively at a stalemate. As a result, the Greek’s devised a secret plan to sneak their way through the city gates. They constructed a huge wooden horse (known as the Trojan Horse) and concealed a select group of elite warriors inside the structure (between 30 to 50 soldiers). Next, the Greeks pretended to abandon and sail away from their camp. The Trojans discovered the horse and pulled it into the city as a victory trophy. During the night, the Greek’s crept out and opened the gates for the rest of the army. Agamemnon pillaged and burned the entire city, which effectively ended the war. Note: this is an estimated date.