The Trojan War

By Felicia McSweeney

Backstory

Together, the Greek gods Apollo and Poseidon built the city of Troy as a punishment. They built the city for the father of the future king of Troy, Laomedon. However, when it was finished it was captured by Hercules, Telamon and Peleus because Hercules had not received his gift of immortal horses from Laomedon. Then, Telamon killed Laomedon and took his daughter as a concubine.
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Later on, Priam, Laomedon's son, had a son named Paris. The prophet Cassandra proclaimed that Paris must be killed or else when he grew up he would destroy Troy, his father's kingdom. He was taken to be killed, but rescued by shepherds. He grew up by Mount Ida and away from the city, but returned as a young man to compete in athletic games. He was recognized and returned to his parents.


The aforementioned Peleus, the father of Achilles, fell in love with the sea nymph Thetis. Zeus also was interested in her, but then he heard that if Zeus and Thetis had a child it would overthrow him so he gave Peleus and Thetis his blessing. At their wedding, Eris, the goddess of strife, showed up uninvited. She brought a golden apple "for the fairest." The task of choosing the most fair was put upon Paris. Aphrodite said that if he chose her, she would give him the most beautiful wife. He chose Aphrodite.

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Helen, Paris and Menelaus

Helen, daughter of Tyndareus and Leda, was most famous for her beauty. Her father would not allow anyone to marry her until all the Greek warrior leaders promised they would avenge Helen if she was ever insulted. Once this had been accomplished, she married Menelaus, the king of Sparta.


Paris, who was now back in the royal family of troy, took a trip to Sparta when Menelaus was out of town. Him and Helen fell in love and escaped with a large amount of the city's treasure to Troy via Cranae, and island. When the Spartans heard of this, they sent out to demand Helen's return along with the treasure. The Trojans refused, and the Greeks assembled an army to invade Troy, upholding their previous oath to Helen.


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Achilles

Achilles, the son of Peleus and Thetis, was educated by Chiron, the centaur. One of the terms of a mortal and a sea nymph's marriage was that their son would die in battle. To protect him from this, Thetis bathed Achilles in the river Styx as an infant, making him invincible. Then they hid him at Sycros, and while he was there the prophet Calchas with the Greek army said to Agamemnon that they could not beat Troy if they did not have Achilles. Odysseus tricked Achilles so that he could find him, and Achilles was sen into the expedition of the war.


The Greek fleet of ships was being delayed for a long time by strong winds caused by Artemis. Agamemnon, the commander-in-chief, had offended her and she sent the winds in retaliation. Tired of this happening, Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter to appease her. the winds stopped, and the fleet continued to Troy.

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Greeks land at Troy

Finally, the Greek army arrived at the beaches of Troy. The first man ashore was killed by the leader of the Trojan army, Hector. The Greeks sent out someone new to recover Helen and the treasure. The Trojans denied them, and the conflict ensued.
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