What Started the Trojan War

What Started the Trojan War

Length: 788 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
What Started the Trojan War

Most information that the world has today that deals with the history of ancient Greece is in the literature from the time. Great epics such as the Iliad and the Odyssey, from the unknown poet Homer, make up most of the literature that has even been found from this era. The problem with getting our history from literary sources is that when Homer first recited his Iliad he was actually trying to entertain, so all of the information might not be accurate, although based on actual events. Also, in the Greek culture it was common to allow the credit for certain kinds of deeds to go to their gods or goddesses, which today's historians just suppose to be allegorical references. But, if the gods or goddesses do not exist, then how did the Trojan War start in the first place? The story that most people know as to what started the war is a myth involving the goddesses and what archeologists have so far found; no one is exactly sure what started the war.
First, the Greek myth that most people have given credit for the history of how the Trojan War started:
A sea nymph, Thetis, was getting married to Peleus, a mortal. All of the gods and goddesses were invited to this great wedding, except Eris, a rather unpopular goddess. When Eris discovered that there was a wedding going on that she had not been invited to she decided to get back at all who went. She decided to roll an apple into the reception of the wedding, but she put an inscription on the apple that intended it for the most beautiful goddess at the wedding. When the apple rolled in and the inscription was read Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all felt that she, respectively, was the most beautiful and should get the apple. All three goddesses begged of the gathered gods to choose, but all of the gods refused to make an enemy of the other two that he did not choose. So finally, someone made the suggestion that the three goddesses should let a mortal choose; Priam's son, Paris, was designated to choose. The goddesses went to him and each begged him to choose her. Hera offered Paris, if he chose her, the chance at infinite wisdom; Athena offered to let him defeat the Achaeans if they went to war; and finally, Aphrodite offered Paris the love of the most beautiful woman in Greece, Helen.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"What Started the Trojan War." 123HelpMe.com. 02 Apr 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Taking a Look at the Trojan War Essay

- Helen is also known as “the face that launched a thousand ships” (mareinic.blogspot.com). In this paper I will teach you about the war that she started. I will also talk about the start of the war, the tactics, weapons, archeological proof, the end of the war, and lastly I will talk about the after math. Godly start of the war The godly start of the war started with the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, a sea nymph. They did not invite Eris, the goddess of discord, to the wedding but they did invite all of the other gods....   [tags: the war that Helen started, ancient history]

Research Papers
842 words (2.4 pages)

The Tale Of The Trojan War Essays

- An Epic Love Triangle For years, Greek literature has transitioned from ancient scrolls, to school textbooks, and oftentimes to the big screen. Stories about Oedipus, Hercules, and the Titans have been told throughout the years captivating generation after generation. These classics never go out of style. Greek mythological characters make for perfect movie stars; however, Hollywood doesn’t always stick to the script when portraying these legendary figures or their glorified stories. The tale of the Trojan War, is one of the most profound works of art, written by Homer, in his poem the Iliad....   [tags: Trojan War, Iliad, Homer, Helen]

Research Papers
819 words (2.3 pages)

Comparing Vietnam Soldiers During The Trojan War Essay

- Posttraumatic stress disorder is a psychological disorder that occurs after a person has been through a traumatic event, such as combat warfare. In this essay, I would like to compare Vietnam soldiers to soldiers in the Trojan War, and contrast the similarities and differences between the two, also analyze how soldiers’ lives have been affected similarly throughout two completely different wars. I would also like to show the irony of war, and how war doesn’t only dehumanize soldiers, but it also inspires valuable human qualities....   [tags: Iliad, Achilles, Trojan War, Greek mythology]

Research Papers
1104 words (3.2 pages)

Odysseus Is The Only Greek Survivor Of The Trojan War Essay

- Events like these are those that aren’t planned or even thought of but for some reason happen a lot in mythology. On the other hand we have Odysseus, a man who has experienced many twist and turns of fate and has suffered a numerous amount of hardships. According to the book Odysseus is the only Greek survivor of the Trojan War who had not yet returned home or died trying. They explained how he was captive in the island Ogygia by the “bewitching nymph” Calypso who wants him for her husband. Back in Mount Olympus Athena plead to her father to let Odysseus back and to return home....   [tags: Odyssey, Odysseus, Trojan War, Greek mythology]

Research Papers
1460 words (4.2 pages)

Trojan War in Homer´s The Iliad Essay

- Homer’s Heroes The epic poem called The Iliad written by Homer concerns the Trojan War. It shows Trojan and Achaean warriors’ courage, bravery and their attempt to become the best fighter to get fame, glory, and honor. The heroes in The Iliad follow Homer’s heroic code, striving for excellence. Hector and Achilles’ strength comes from their desire for fame, glory, honor and their acceptance of fate. These qualities are considered to be characteristics of Homer’s heroic code. However, the actions of Paris are not heroic causing trouble and conflict for many people....   [tags: fame, glory, hero, honor, fate, code]

Research Papers
854 words (2.4 pages)

Essay on The Trojan War

- The Trojan War The Trojan War took place in approximately the 13th century. The ancient Greeks defeated the City of Troy. The Trojan War started after an incident at the wedding feast of Peleus, the king of Thessaly, and Thetis, a sea goddess. All the gods and goddesses of Mt. Olympus had been invited except Eris, the goddess of discord. Eris was offended and tried to stir up trouble among the guests at the feast. She sent a golden apple inscribed “For the most beautiful.” Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite each claimed the apple as their own....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1290 words (3.7 pages)

The Trojan War and its Heroic Heroes Essay

- The epic poem, The Iliad by Homer depicts the Trojan War and its Heroic Heroes. Heroism is the qualities of a character of a person that makes them great. Two Characters seen as heroic are Achilles and Hector, however; Hector is more heroic because he is decisive, his perseverance and personality. In the course of the Trojan War, Paris, who initiated the war by stealing Helen from her husband, Menelaus, challenged the Achaeans to single combat with any warrior. Paris is a Trojan warrior and a prince while Menelaus is an Achaean or Greek warrior and a king....   [tags: The Iliad by Homer, epic poems]

Free Essays
594 words (1.7 pages)

Odysseus and the Trojan War Essay

- Oh how I wish I were home. I miss my wife Penelope deeply. The Trojan War is finally over after 10 long years of lonesome battle. Praise Zeus for his ending of the war. A lot of my men are lost. They died a painful death. We buried our dead today and made a cairn for remembrance. Six benches, six lonely oars are empty. This is one of the many heart-breaking scenes I've seen. Now those lonely spirits for a journey uplift me back to my homeland. But I solemnly vow to relay the heroics of those men who died to save the queen....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
935 words (2.7 pages)

The war between the Trojans and the Achaeans, which resulted in the Fall of Troy

- A war is a behavior patterned of organized violent conflict, which the causes are extreme aggression, societal disruption and high mortality. It involves two or more groups which has found a conflict which may not be resolved, only through war. In all cases, there is always one participant or group which remains successful at the end. Leaders always enter a war with their nation even though they say their actions were defensive; however when viewed objectively, their actions may more closely be due to a sign of disrespect....   [tags: War, Trojans, Achaeans]

Research Papers
1095 words (3.1 pages)

The Epic The Iliad Written By 800-700bce Displays A War Between The Trojans And The Greeks

- Homer 's epic The Iliad written in 800-700BCE displays a war between the Trojans and the Greeks. Achilles and Hector are two of the main characters in the poem who are caught in this war. Hector is on the Trojan side and Achilles is a part of the Greek army. In the poem Homer uses rage to uproot the fate of both men and also included the God’s as the story is being told. “In the Absence of God, fate becomes the agent of retribution. Hector has to pay for Patroclus’ inglorious death, just as Achilles, later on will pay for the death of Hector” (Bespaloff 43)....   [tags: Iliad, Achilles, Trojan War, Greek mythology]

Research Papers
2561 words (7.3 pages)

Paris chose Aphrodite, she received the apple and he got Helen, the wife of an Achaean chieftain, Menelaus. The war started as an expedition to recover the stolen Helen.
This could all be looked at allegorically, and the decision could be made that in all actuality Paris, of his own free will, fell in love with Helen and stole her away to Troy. But, does anyone really want such a simple explanation to say what started a war that killed so many people and ended a part of civilization? According to today's archeological findings know one knows from true detail exactly what caused the downfall of Troy. As of now the modern world even knows the location of King Priam's city, but they do not necessarily know what caused it to be destroyed.
There is of course the possibility of taking the writings of Dictys of Crete into account. As the known story of Dictys goes, he was a person alive during the Trojan war. He accompanied the leaders Idomeneus and Meriones with the armies against Troy, these leaders, supposedly, asked Dictys to keep a record of their campaign. After Dictys returned from the war he was old and requested on his death bed to have his books buried with him. Long after his death shepards were walking past a tomb that had been broken open by an earthquake; the shepards noticed a locked tin box and took it, expecting treasure. When they opened the box, the shepards found linden tablets with Phoenician writing on them. The tablets were then passed between various hands until they reached Nero who had them translated to Greek.
The story that the tablets held only briefly speaks of the beginning or the start of the war. Technically Dictys was not involved in the start and he states that what he knows of the start is "accurate as possible, Ulysses being my source." The story, as told by Dictys, goes that King Priam's son Alexander was staying as a guest with Menelaus, when he fell in love with Menelaus's wife, Helen. While Menelaus was away, Alexander took Helen away to Troy, along with all of her belongings. After Menelaus found out about what Alexander had done, he went to Sparta and called a meeting of all of the rulers of Greece. At the meeting it was decided to send envoys to Troy to request the return of Helen. The envoys actually reached Troy before Alexander, and although they tried to convince King Priam to see the folly of his son, he refused to here the condemnation of his son, who was not there to defend himself. The envoy waited until Alexander arrived and then they tried again to talk to the council of Troy, but this time Alexander burst in with Helen and asked them to allow her to choose. Helen chose to stay at Troy because she had left Menelaus willingly. Angered, the envoys left and both countries prepared for war.
The only problem with this account, which could possibly be the best interpretation of what started the Trojan War, is the authenticity. The story of how it was found is actually in the preface to the surviving Latin texts, and the only piece of the Greek papyrus that still exists dates from 206 CE, and no longer do any of the linden tablets exist. So, some scholars believe that the story is a fake and that Dictys of Crete never existed.
Once again it is still not entirely known as to what exactly started the Trojan war. Some probably do not care, but the Trojan War based on other legends could possibly be what later helped populate Rome. Supposedly, the survivors of Troy, after the city finally lost, found their way to where Rome began and started over. Also, great heroes, legends, and stories have developed because of the Trojan War. So, if the origin of the war cannot be truly defined how can the facts of what happened during or after be truly established? Dictys of Crete may or may not have existed as his story tells and the poet Homer may or may not have been a blind Ionian; but these people have helped present historians to dig deeper into the mystery that is the Trojan War.
Return to 123HelpMe.com