The Trojan Horse – A Cautionary Tale

trojan horse

According to tradition, on April 24, 1184 B.C., the Greeks left a large wooden horse for the people of Troy. While Troy thought the gift represented a win, secretly the Trojan Horse represented a victory for the Greeks.

Homer claims to tell the truthful tale about a war between the Greeks and Troy. In this story, the beautiful Sparta wife of a prominent Greek ends up in Troy. She either eloped or they kidnapped her. Still, in retribution, the Greeks attacked Troy. The battle lasted ten years. Well-built Troy could withstand the siege without too much difficulty.

Greek realizing that they could not win with straight attacks, came up with something different. The hero Odysseus came up with the plan. They would build a large, hollow, wooden horse and leave it as a surrender gift. Troy would take it inside the walls and celebrate. At night, men hidden in the horse would sneak in and let in the rest of the Greeks. They would have victory.

The Greeks decided to do just that. The daughter of the King of Troy warned her father that accepting gifts from the Greeks would bring disaster. Still, he did not listen and when the large horse appeared outside the gates, he brought it inside. The plan progressed and the Greeks emerged from the horse, let in the army, and destroyed Troy.

Is this story true? The only account we have is the account from Homer that includes the help of the Greek gods. Yet, archeology has uncovered evidence of war in the area of Troy. Who knows? Still, the story of the Trojan Horse warns to “Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts.” In other words, people take caution of gifts from enemies. It may bring their downfall.

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