The Trojan War: Literature and Legends from the Bronze Age to the Present

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Achilles landed in Scyros and married Deidamia. A new gathering was set again in Aulis.

Telephus went to Aulis , and either pretended to be a beggar, asking Agamemnon to help heal his wound, [59] or kidnapped Orestes and held him for ransom, demanding the wound be healed. Odysseus reasoned that the spear that had inflicted the wound must be able to heal it.

Troy | Geography, Archaeology, & Trojan War | Britannica

Pieces of the spear were scraped off onto the wound, and Telephus was healed. Some scholars have regarded the expedition against Telephus and its resolution as a derivative reworking of elements from the main story of the Trojan War, but it has also been seen as fitting the story-pattern of the "preliminary adventure" that anticipates events and themes from the main narrative, and therefore as likely to be "early and integral". Eight years after the storm had scattered them, [63] the fleet of more than a thousand ships was gathered again. But when they had all reached Aulis, the winds ceased.

The prophet Calchas stated that the goddess Artemis was punishing Agamemnon for killing either a sacred deer or a deer in a sacred grove, and boasting that he was a better hunter than she. The Achaean forces are described in detail in the Catalogue of Ships , in the second book of the Iliad.

They consisted of 28 contingents from mainland Greece, the Peloponnese , the Dodecanese islands, Crete , and Ithaca , comprising pentekonters , ships with 50 rowers. Thucydides says [68] that according to tradition there were about ships, and that the Boeotian ships had men, while Philoctetes ' ships only had the fifty rowers, these probably being maximum and minimum.

These numbers would mean a total force of 70, to , men. Another catalogue of ships is given by the Bibliotheca that differs somewhat but agrees in numbers. Some scholars have claimed that Homer's catalogue is an original Bronze Age document, possibly the Achaean commander's order of operations. Nothing is said of the Trojan language ; the Carians are specifically said to be barbarian-speaking , and the allied contingents are said to have spoken multiple languages, requiring orders to be translated by their individual commanders.

Philoctetes was Heracles ' friend, and because he lit Heracles's funeral pyre when no one else would, he received Heracles' bow and arrows. They stopped either at Chryse Island for supplies, [74] or in Tenedos , along with the rest of the fleet.

The Trojan War: Literature and Legends from the Bronze Age to the Present ...

The wound festered and had a foul smell; on Odysseus's advice, the Atreidae ordered Philoctetes to stay on Lemnos. While landing on Tenedos, Achilles killed king Tenes , son of Apollo, despite a warning by his mother that if he did so he would be killed himself by Apollo. The embassy was refused. Philoctetes stayed on Lemnos for ten years, which was a deserted island according to Sophocles' tragedy Philoctetes , but according to earlier tradition was populated by Minyans.

Calchas had prophesied that the first Achaean to walk on land after stepping off a ship would be the first to die. Finally, Protesilaus , leader of the Phylaceans , landed first.

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Hector killed Protesilaus in single combat, though the Trojans conceded the beach. In the second wave of attacks, Achilles killed Cycnus , son of Poseidon. The Trojans then fled to the safety of the walls of their city. The Achaeans besieged Troy for nine years. This part of the war is the least developed among surviving sources, which prefer to talk about events in the last year of the war.


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After the initial landing the army was gathered in its entirety again only in the tenth year. Thucydides deduces that this was due to lack of money. They raided the Trojan allies and spent time farming the Thracian peninsula. Reinforcements continued to come until the very end. The Achaeans controlled only the entrance to the Dardanelles, and Troy and her allies controlled the shortest point at Abydos and Sestus and communicated with allies in Europe. Achilles and Ajax were the most active of the Achaeans, leading separate armies to raid lands of Trojan allies.

According to Homer, Achilles conquered 11 cities and 12 islands. According to Apollodorus,. He took also Hypoplacian Thebes and Lyrnessus, and further Antandrus , and many other cities. Kakrides comments that the list is wrong in that it extends too far into the south. Among the loot from these cities was Briseis , from Lyrnessus, who was awarded to him, and Chryseis , from Hypoplacian Thebes, who was awarded to Agamemnon.

Patroclus sold him as a slave in Lemnos, [39] where he was bought by Eetion of Imbros and brought back to Troy. Only 12 days later Achilles slew him, after the death of Patroclus. Ajax son of Telamon laid waste the Thracian peninsula of which Polymestor , a son-in-law of Priam, was king.

Polymestor surrendered Polydorus , one of Priam's children, whom he had custody. He then attacked the town of the Phrygian king Teleutas, killed him in single combat and carried off his daughter Tecmessa. Numerous paintings on pottery have suggested a tale not mentioned in the literary traditions. At some point in the war Achilles and Ajax were playing a board game petteia. Odysseus was sent to Thrace to return with grain, but came back empty-handed. When scorned by Palamedes , Odysseus challenged him to do better.

Palamedes set out and returned with a shipload of grain. Odysseus had never forgiven Palamedes for threatening the life of his son. In revenge, Odysseus conceived a plot [] where an incriminating letter was forged, from Priam to Palamedes, [] and gold was planted in Palamedes' quarters. The letter and gold were "discovered", and Agamemnon had Palamedes stoned to death for treason. However, Pausanias, quoting the Cypria , says that Odysseus and Diomedes drowned Palamedes, while he was fishing, and Dictys says that Odysseus and Diomedes lured Palamedes into a well, which they said contained gold, then stoned him to death.

Palamedes' father Nauplius sailed to the Troad and asked for justice, but was refused. In revenge, Nauplius traveled among the Achaean kingdoms and told the wives of the kings that they were bringing Trojan concubines to dethrone them. Many of the Greek wives were persuaded to betray their husbands, most significantly Agamemnon's wife, Clytemnestra , who was seduced by Aegisthus , son of Thyestes.

Near the end of the ninth year since the landing, the Achaean army, tired from the fighting and from the lack of supplies, mutinied against their leaders and demanded to return to their homes. According to the Cypria, Achilles forced the army to stay. Chryses , a priest of Apollo and father of Chryseis , came to Agamemnon to ask for the return of his daughter.


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Agamemnon refused, and insulted Chryses , who prayed to Apollo to avenge his ill-treatment. Enraged, Apollo afflicted the Achaean army with plague. Agamemnon was forced to return Chryseis to end the plague, and took Achilles ' concubine Briseis as his own. Enraged at the dishonour Agamemnon had inflicted upon him, Achilles decided he would no longer fight.

He asked his mother, Thetis, to intercede with Zeus, who agreed to give the Trojans success in the absence of Achilles, the best warrior of the Achaeans. After the withdrawal of Achilles, the Achaeans were initially successful. Both armies gathered in full for the first time since the landing. Menelaus and Paris fought a duel, which ended when Aphrodite snatched the beaten Paris from the field. With the truce broken, the armies began fighting again. Diomedes won great renown amongst the Achaeans, killing the Trojan hero Pandaros and nearly killing Aeneas , who was only saved by his mother, Aphrodite.

With the assistance of Athena, Diomedes then wounded the gods Aphrodite and Ares.

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During the next days, however, the Trojans drove the Achaeans back to their camp and were stopped at the Achaean wall by Poseidon. The next day, though, with Zeus' help, the Trojans broke into the Achaean camp and were on the verge of setting fire to the Achaean ships. An earlier appeal to Achilles to return was rejected, but after Hector burned Protesilaus' ship, he allowed his close friend [] and relative Patroclus to go into battle wearing Achilles' armour and lead his army.

Patroclus drove the Trojans all the way back to the walls of Troy, and was only prevented from storming the city by the intervention of Apollo. Patroclus was then killed by Hector, who took Achilles' armour from the body of Patroclus. Achilles, maddened with grief, swore to kill Hector in revenge. He was reconciled with Agamemnon and received Briseis back, untouched by Agamemnon. He received a new set of arms, forged by the god Hephaestus , and returned to the battlefield. He slaughtered many Trojans, and nearly killed Aeneas, who was saved by Poseidon. Achilles fought with the river god Scamander , and a battle of the gods followed.

The Trojan army returned to the city, except for Hector, who remained outside the walls because he was tricked by Athena. Achilles killed Hector, and afterwards he dragged Hector's body from his chariot and refused to return the body to the Trojans for burial. The Achaeans then conducted funeral games for Patroclus. Afterwards, Priam came to Achilles' tent, guided by Hermes , and asked Achilles to return Hector's body. The armies made a temporary truce to allow the burial of the dead. The Iliad ends with the funeral of Hector.