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With emphasis given to the place and position of Odysseus and his epic poem. An Introduction to the Trojan War. SETTING: GREECE 1250 B.C. Review: Myths.

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An Introduction to the Trojan War

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review myths
Review: Myths

A myth is an explanation of something in nature; how everything in the universe came into existence (men, animals, trees, the sun, earthquakes, etc) and all that happens

Myths are early science but also entertainment

Greek mythology is made up of stories about gods and goddesses

greek pantheon
Greek Pantheon

The universe created the gods who lived on Mount Olympus.

Zeus, god of the sky

  • Athena: goddess of wisdom
  • Helen: most beautiful woman

Poseidon, god of the sea

  • Charybdis: devourer of land
  • Polyphemus: chief monster of the Cyclopes
  • Aeolus: keeper of winds

Hades, god of the underworld

  • Morpheus: god of sleep and dreams
origins of the trojan war
Origins of the Trojan War

Took place between approximately 1260-1250 B.C.

Archaeological remains provide evidence that there was a war but cause unknown.

Scholars believe the war began over control of the trade route between the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea between the Trojans and Greeks.

Ancient mythology states that the war began over a single woman, Helen, queen of Sparta.

marriage of peleus and thetis
Marriage of Peleus and Thetis

All gods on Olympus invited except ERIS, the evil goddess of Discord

Apple inscribed with “For The Fairest”

Apple Claimants:

  • Hera, queen of the gods
  • Athena, goddess of war and wisdom
  • Aphrodite, goddess of love

Paris, Prince of Troy, will be the judge

the bribe
The Bribe

Hera - POWER

Athena - WISDOM


Paris chooses Aphrodite

helen of troy
Helen of Troy

Helen- beautiful daughter of King of Sparta (in Greece)

Helen has many suitors- they swear oath to protect Helen and her new husband

Father chooses Menelaus- makes him King of Sparta also

Paris abducts Helen

1000 ships, including Odysseus & Achilles, leave for Troy

gods take sides trojans
Gods Take Sides: Trojans






Ares, god of war

Apollo, sun god

Artemis, goddess of the hunt

Zeus (neutral)

gods take sides greeks
Gods Take Sides: Greeks








trojan war the battle
Trojan War: The Battle

Ten years of

  • hand to hand combat.
  • periods of temporary truce to bury the dead
  • no fighting after sunset.
trojan war odysseus trick
Trojan War: Odysseus’ Trick

Greeks build a gigantic hollow horse and hide inside

Sinon chosen to tell a tale of the Greeks leaving

Priest Laocoon tried to warn Trojans “I fear the Greeks even when they bear gifts”

Poseidon sent serpent to kill Laocoon

trojan war surprise attack
Trojan War: Surprise Attack

Trojans thought they had won

Sinon tells them horse is an offering to Athena - big so Trojans wouldn’t take it

Trojans fall for it and drag horse into city gates to temple of Athena

trojan war the sacking of troy
Trojan War: The Sacking of Troy

In middle of night Greeks leave horse and attack

Troy is in flames before Trojans know what has happened

King of Troy dead

Women and Children become slaves

Helen is returned to Menelaus

odysseus mistakes
Odysseus’ Mistakes

Trojans were slaughtered and city sacked and burned

Greeks violated Trojan temples

Greeks did not offer sacrifices to the gods to thank them for their victory

Odysseus, creator of the Horse, will suffer the most

homer and the epic poem
The Illiad

First written record of Greece

describes the events of 51 days during the last year of the war when Achilles kills Hector

The Odyssey

Describes the 10-year journey of Odysseus as he tries to go home to Ithaca after the Trojan War

He and his men face monsters, giants, cannibals, temptation, and death

Homer and the Epic Poem

500 year gap between the actual war and when the story was written down in 725 BCE.

epic poems
Epic Poems

An epic is a story-poem about a great hero who performs daring deeds that require superhuman courage

Told orally, not written, recited from memory by minstrels (traveling entertainers)

In Greek epics the gods either help or hinder the hero, like in The Odyssey, Poseidon hinders Odysseus while Athena helps him

activity timed writing
Activity: Timed Writing

Using what you have learned in class, write a short tabloid-style story that highlights a character or event that is central to the Trojan War. Please pay attention to all standard writing conventions (i.e. spelling, capitalization, punctuation, etc.)

Paris is for Lovers

No, not that Paris

The King of Troy can’t seem to keep his boys in their chambers, as the impetuous and impulsive Paris, Prince of Troy, secreted himself off to Sparta for a Mediterranean jaunt. Hector, the busy-body older brother, followed “to keep him out of trouble.”

Hector’s best efforts failed, though, as he and his younger brother beat a hasty retreat to the war drums of 1000 Greek ships. Their misdeed: taking another man’s wife.

Helen, the princess of Sparta famed for her beauty and rumored to be an illegitimate child of Zeus, had been promised to the much older and battle-maimed Menelaus by her father. However, her tastes appear to favor the strength and vitality of youth, as she appeared to put up very little struggle while boarding the Trojan ship.

Mount Olympus presented a very divided front on the issue. The conservative block, led by Hera and Poseidon, demanded a swift and immediate return of the Spartan property. Meanwhile, the liberal faction of Apollo and Artemis expressed satisfaction with the choice. Zeus, who is rumored to be at an undisclosed location with the mortal Alcmene, refused to issue a statement.

When asked for her take on the story, Aphrodite, the goddess of love who recently received a prize of her own from Paris, exclaimed with delighted giggle, “Paris really is for lovers!”