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Achilles tending the wounded Patroclus
(Attic red-figure kylix, c. 500 BC)
Setting: Troy (modern Hisarlik, Turkey)
Period: Bronze Age
Traditional dating: c. 1194–1184 BC
Modern dating: c. 1260–1180 BC
Outcome: Greek victory, destruction of Troy
See also: Historicity of the Iliad
Iliad · Epic Cycle · Aeneid, Book 2 ·
Iphigenia in Aulis · Philoctetes ·
Ajax · The Trojan Women · Posthomerica
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
- He also took Lesbos and Phocaea, then Colophon, and Smyrna, and Clazomenae, and Cyme; and afterwards Aegialus and Tenos, the so-called Hundred Cities; then, in order, Adramytium and Side; then Endium, and Linaeum, and Colone. He took also Hypoplacian Thebes and Lyrnessus, and further Antandrus, and many other cities.
- For Aias took up and carried out of the strife the hero, Peleus'
- son: this great Odysseus cared not to do.
- To this another replied by Athena's contrivance:
- Why, what is this you say? A thing against reason and untrue!
- Even a woman could carry a load once a man had put it on her
- shoulder; but she could not fight. For she would fail with fear
if she should fight. (Scholiast on Aristophanes, Knights 1056 and Aristophanes ib)
The Greeks dedicate this thank-offering to Athena for their return home.
- Blood ran in torrents, drenched was all the earth,
- As Trojans and their alien helpers died.
- Here were men lying quelled by bitter death
- All up and down the city in their blood.
Agamemnon had made it back to Argos safely with Cassandra in his possession after some stormy weather. He and Cassandra were slain by Aegisthus (in the oldest versions of the story) or by Clytemnestra or by both of them. Electra and Orestes later avenged their father, but Orestes was the one who was chased by the Furies.
Nestor, who had the best conduct in Troy and did not take part in the looting, was the only hero who had a fast and safe return. Those of his army that survived the war also reached home with him safely, but later left and colonised Metapontium in Southern Italy.
Ajax the Lesser, who had endured more than the others the wrath of the Gods, never returned. His ship was wrecked by a storm sent by Athena, who borrowed one of Zeus' thunderbolts and tore it to pieces. The crew managed to land in a rock, but Poseidon struck it, and Ajax fell in the sea and drowned. He was buried by Thetis in Myconos or Delos.
Teucer, son of Telamon and half-brother of Ajax, stood trial by his father for his half-brother's death. He was disowned by his father and wasn't allowed back on Salamis Island. He was at sea near Phreattys in Peiraeus. He was acquitted of responsibility but found guilty of negligence because he did not return his dead body or his arms. He left with his army (who took their wives) and founded Salamis in Cyprus. The Athenians later created a political myth that his son left his kingdom to Theseus' sons (and not to Megara).
Neoptolemus, following the advice of Helenus, who accompanied him when he traveled over land, was always accompanied by Andromache. He met Odysseus and they buried Achilles' teacher Phoenix on the land of the Ciconians. They then conquered the land of the Molossians (Epirus) and Neoptolemus had a child by Andromache, Molossus, to whom he later gave the throne. Thus the kings of Epirus claimed their lineage from Achilles, and so did Alexander the Great, whose mother was of that royal house. Alexander the Great and the kings of Macedon also claimed to be descended from Heracles. Helenus founded a city in Molossia and inhabited it, and Neoptolemus gave him his mother Deidamia as wife. After Peleus died he succeeded Phtia's throne. He had a feud with Orestes (son of Agamemnon) over Menelaus' daughter Hermione, and was killed in Delphi, where he was buried. In Roman myths, the kingdom of Phtia was taken over by Helenus, who married Andromache. They offered hospitality to other Trojan refugees, including Aeneas, who paid a visit there during his wanderings.
Diomedes was first thrown by a storm on the coast of Lycia, where he was to be sacrificed to Ares by king Lycus, but Callirrhoe, the king's daughter, took pity upon him, and assisted him in escaping. He then accidentally landed in Attica, in Phaleron. The Athenians, unaware that they were allies, attacked them. Many were killed, and Demophon took the Palladium. He finally landed in Argos, where he found his wife Aegialeia committing adultery. In disgust, he left for Aetolia. According to later traditions, he had some adventures and founded Canusium and Argyrippa in Southern Italy.
Philoctetes, due to a sedition, was driven from his city and emigrated to Italy, where he founded the cities of Petilia, Old Crimissa, and Chone, between Croton and Thurii. After making war on the Leucanians he founded there a sanctuary of Apollo the Wanderer, to whom also he dedicated his bow.
- According to Homer, Idomeneus reached his house safe and sound. Another tradition later formed. After the war, Idomeneus's ship hit a horrible storm. Idomeneus promised Poseidon that he would sacrifice the first living thing he saw when he returned home if Poseidon would save his ship and crew. The first living thing he saw was his son, whom Idomeneus duly sacrificed. The gods were angry at his murder of his own son and they sent a plague to Crete. His people sent him into exile to Calabria in Italy, and then to Colophon, in Asia Minor, where he died. Among the lesser Achaeans very few reached their homes.
Apollodorus, Gods & Heroes of the Greeks: The Library of Apollodorus, translated by Michael Simpson, The University of Massachusetts Press, (1976). .
- Apollodorus, Apollodorus: The Library, translated by Sir James George Frazer, two volumes, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press and London: William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Volume 1: . Volume 2: .
Euripides, Andromache, in Euripides: Children of Heracles, Hippolytus, Andromache, Hecuba, with an English translation by David Kovacs. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. (1996). .
- Euripides, Helen, in The Complete Greek Drama, edited by Whitney J. Oates and Eugene O'Neill, Jr. in two volumes. 1. Helen, translated by E. P. Coleridge. New York. Random House. 1938.
- Euripides, Hecuba, in The Complete Greek Drama, edited by Whitney J. Oates and Eugene O'Neill, Jr. in two volumes. 1. Hecuba, translated by E. P. Coleridge. New York. Random House. 1938.
Herodotus, Histories, A. D. Godley (translator), Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1920; . Online version at the Perseus Digital Library].
Pausanias, Description of Greece, (Loeb Classical Library) translated by W. H. S. Jones; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. (1918). Vol 1, Books I–II, ; Vol 2, Books III–V, ; Vol 3, Books VI–VIII.21, ; Vol 4, Books VIII.22–X, .
- Proclus, Chrestomathy, in Fragments of the Kypria translated by H.G. Evelyn-White, 1914 (public domain).
- Proclus, Proclus' Summary of the Epic Cycle, trans. Gregory Nagy.
Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica, in Quintus Smyrnaeus: The Fall of Troy, Arthur Sanders Way (Ed. & Trans.), Loeb Classics #19; Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA. (1913). (1962 edition: ).
Strabo, Geography, translated by Horace Leonard Jones; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; London: William Heinemann, Ltd. (1924)
- Burgess, Jonathan S. 2004. The Tradition of the Trojan War in Homer and the Epic Cycle (Johns Hopkins). .
- Castleden, Rodney. The Attack on Troy. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen and Sword Books, 2006 (hardcover, ).
Davies, Malcolm (2000). "Euripides Telephus Fr. 149 (Austin) and the Folk-Tale Origins of the Teuthranian Expedition" (PDF). Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. 133: 7–10.
- Durschmied, Erik. The Hinge Factor:How Chance and Stupidity Have Changed History. Coronet Books; New Ed edition (7 Oct 1999).
- Frazer, Sir James George, Apollodorus: The Library, two volumes, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press and London: William Heinemann Ltd. 1921. Volume 1: . Volume 2: .
- Graves, Robert. The Greek Myths, Penguin (Non-Classics); Cmb/Rep edition (April 6, 1993). .
- Kakridis, J., 1988. Ελληνική Μυθολογία ("Greek mythology"), Ekdotiki Athinon, Athens.
- Karykas, Pantelis, 2003. Μυκηναίοι Πολεμιστές ("Mycenean Warriors"), Communications Editions, Athens.
- Latacz, Joachim. Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery. New York: Oxford University Press (USA), 2005 (hardcover, ).
- Simpson, Michael. Gods & Heroes of the Greeks: The Library of Apollodorus, The University of Massachusetts Press, (1976). .
- Strauss, Barry. The Trojan War: A New History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2006 (hardcover, ).
Thompson, Diane P. The Trojan War: Literature and Legends from the Bronze Age to the Present. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. ISBN .
Troy: From Homer's Iliad to Hollywood Epic, edited by Martin M. Winkler. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2007 (hardcover, ; paperback, ).
- Wood, Michael. In Search of the Trojan War. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998 (paperback, ); London: BBC Books, 1985 ().
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