T R O Y = T P O I A

******* T P O I A ******Ι Λ Λ Ι Ο Ν***** “T R O Y”

Posted on 

Trojan (alias Ilion) Historical facts vs. “Acces”, Pseudohistorians-“Scholars” etc..

H E R E: http://ebooks.edu.gr/ebooks/v/html/8547/1999/Istoria_G-Dimotikou_html-empl/index1_5.html


The Achaeans and Danaens, who lived, in West Greece at that time, united and with their ships and army went to conquer Troy.
Thus began the Trojan War which lasted ten years. It was the greatest war of antiquity and led to the death of countless Trojans and Achaeans. The occasion was a woman, the beautiful Helen, the queen of Sparta.
Many great lads fought in this war. Achilles, the son of Thetis, Hector, the leader of the Trojans, the fearless Diomedes, the strong Aedas, Menelaus, the husband of Helen, his brother Agamemnon, who was the leader of the Achaeans, the versatile Odysseus and many others. . We will meet
all of them in the following lessons. Also, we will meet Andromache, Hector’s beautiful wife, his respected parents, Hecabe and Priam, and many others!
What should one remember first of all that happened. The myths that mention them are so charming, that it is worth reading them and remembering them forever.

http://www.hellinon.net/NeesSelides/Trojan War.htm

1. The apple of ERIS
Many years ago , in ancient times, when the twelve gods lived in Olympus, Zeus decided to marry the king of Phthia, Peleus, to a sea fairy, Thetis, the daughter of Nereus. The wedding took place in Pelion and all the gods and goddesses were invited. Only Eris , the goddess of strife, was not invited, because wherever she went she sowed hatred and quarrels. She got very angry and went to the wedding unseen and left an all-gold apple on the table, on which she had written: “to the most beautiful”. Immediately Hera, Athena and Aphrodite began to argue about who was the most beautiful who would get the apple. They also asked Zeus, but he did not want to upset any of the three goddesses. That is why he told them to go to the mountain Ida, next to Troy, where Paris, the son of King Priam, was grazing his flock on a slope, so that he could choose the most beautiful goddess. So the three goddesses, together with Hermes, flew to Ida and stood in front of the startled king. Hermes told him the will of Zeus and gave him the golden apple of Eris. Then Hera ordered him to make him the greatest king, Athena the bravest and wisest warrior and Aphrodite to find him the most beautiful woman to marry. Paris, after thinking about it, gave the golden apple to Aphrodite. Hera and Athena left angry, while Aphrodite revealed to Paris that the beautiful Helen, the wife of Menelaus, the king of Sparta, was the most beautiful in the world and advised him to go and get her.

The Paris crisis. On the right is Paris, in the center the god Hermes, followed by the three goddesses:
Aphrodite, Athena, Hera. From an ancient Greek vase

The beautiful helen

. Paris prepared a fast boat and left for Sparta. He arrived at Menelaus’ palace bearing rich gifts. There everyone welcomed him and hosted him, as befits the king of Troy. However, Paris, with the help of Aphrodite, outwitted Helen and convinced her to follow him. And one day when Menelaus was away, they left for Troy.The abduction of Helen by Paris. Among them is the winged god Eros.
From an ancient Greek vase.

When Menelaus heard the news, that Paris took Helen from him, and he wanted to take revenge on him and bring her backhe left Crete and went straight to Mycenae to his brother Agamemnon. Then, together with the wise Nestor the king of Pylos, they decided to send an invitation to all the kings and heroes in every part of Greece, to take part in this campaign which was a matter of honor. The rapist had to be punished, or no one could henceforth be sure of his wife, when the sacred institutions of hospitality were thus violated. It was therefore necessary for everyone to consider the insult that Paris did to Menelaus as personal. However, the fates and the oracles of the oracles played their role here as well: those who knew their destiny, hardly decided to follow the campaign. Odysseus, the resourceful and brave son of Laertes and king of Ithaca, knew from then on that it would be twenty years before he would see his people again, so he pretended to be mad when Agamemnon and Palamedes went to call him. He was newly married and had just had a son, Telemachus. So, dressed funny and acting crazy they found him plowing his field. The cunning Palamedes revealed his pretense by placing the young Telemachus before the plough, Naturally, Odysseus did not step over the child’s body, but stopped ploughing. There went the old Nestor, the king of Pylos, Idomeneus from Crete, Aeandas from Salamis, the other Aeandas from Locris, Diomedes from Argos, Philoctetes, the friend of Herakles, from Magnesia, the Odysseus from Ithaca and Achilles, the son of Peleus and Thetis from Phthia with his friend Patroclus and the brave Myrmidons. They chose Agamemnon as their leader.

*******’*************T H E T R O J A N S = OI Τ Ρ Ω Ε Σ

The fortress of Troy was located on the Ida mountain, beyond the Hellespont. Poseidon and Apollo had built it for Laomedon. At the time when the events that will be mentioned next took place, Laomedon’s son Priam, who had Hekabe as his wife, reigned in Troy. Priam was originally called Podarkis (good-footed) and was the brother of Isione who had followed Telamon to Salamis, married him and gave birth to Teucros and Aedes who both took part in the Trojan War. Achaeans and Trojans seem to have been members NOT only of the SAME branch of Greeks race (same language, religion and customs) BUT ALSO THE SAME FAMILY In the fortress of Troy Priam raised a royal family with so many children that no other like it is mentioned. He gave birth to fifty sons, besides daughters. The first-born was Hector, followed by Paris, Diiphobus, Helen, Polydoros, Troilus, etc. Of the daughters, the most famous are Kreusa, Laodiki, Polyxeni and Cassandra who had fortune-telling abilities.

Troy, the hero who gave his name to the Trojan people, is the son of Erichthonius, the grandson of Dardanus, and his mother was Astyochus. He married Callirroi, daughter of Scamandros and had a daughter Cleopatra (the name Cleopatra is Greek) and three sons: Ilos who founded the citadel of Ilium, Assarakos and Ganymede whom Zeus loved.

.Priam had originally married Arisbe from whom he had fathered Aesacus. He then abandoned her and proceeded to marry Hekavi. Hekabi was extremely fertile. Although ancient writers do not agree on the number of children she bore, the family she raised with Priam was very large.Hector, King Priam and Queen Hecuba – Trojan War – Red Figure AmphoraPriam had originally married Arisbe from whom he had fathered Aesacus. He then abandoned her and proceeded to marry Hekavi. Hekabi was extremely fertile. Although ancient writers do not agree on the number of children she bore, the family she raised with Priam was very large.

Opposite page: Peleus assigns the Centaur Chiron to educate the young Achilles. (Black-figure lekythos around 500 BC, Athens, Archaeological Museum).


Sitting on their throne, Priam and Hecabe accept with lively gestures the sad news of the murder of their son Troilus. (Clazomenian hydria shell, around 540 BC, Athens, Archaeological Museum)
Paris and Helen of Menelau

AgamemnonThe king of Mycenae, had married Clytemnestra and Menelaus had married Helen. Menelaus reigned in Sparta and there he received Paris and his entourage when he visited, bringing with him rich gifts. When Paris saw Helen, he was dazzled by her beauty. Menelaus honored the foreign king according to the customs of hospitality, but on the tenth day he was forced to leave for Crete. Then Paris found the opportunity and approached Helen who could not resist the power of Aphrodite. So she accepted the treasures that Paris gave her and followed him at night. The couple left secretly and arrived in Troy where their wedding was celebrated. Then Iris, the messenger of the gods, brought the news to Menelaus who was in Crete.

Helen and Paris in a design by the French Nadar.

The Achaean campaign in Troy Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world at that time was desired by all the princes of Greece. Tyndareus, her father, had a hard time deciding. Then, according to Odysseus’ idea, Tyndareus decided to bind all prospective grooms with an oath, that they would accept the election of Helen herself and that they would rush to help if the honor of the husband happened to be threatened. This oath was invoked by the Atreides in requesting the participation of so many heroes in the campaign. On the subject of Helen the Fair, Euripides wrote in 412 BC. the tragedy “Helen”. The Italian neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova created the “Helen of Troy” statue.

But also the brave Achilles, the greatest figure of this war, was sent by his mother to hide in the palace of the king of Skyros, Lycomedes, dressed as a woman, among his cousins. This was revealed by the trick of Odysseus, who went with women’s dresses and ornaments to the palace, gifts for the king’s daughters among whom were hidden a spear and a shield. As Odysseus showed the lyuses to the maidens, he caused the war trumpet to sound the sound of battle. Then Achilles, unrestrained, grabbed the weapons he had been wandering around before and prepared for an attack. This is how the expeditionary force was revealed and followed to Avlida. It took ten years for the flower of valor and martial art to be concentrated in the port of Avlida at that time. Among the heroes were the king of Pylos the wise Nestor, Diomedes the hero of Aetolia, Aedas the son of Telamon, Aedas the Locros, Idas, the king of Crete Idomeneas and others.

Achilles prepares for the great Trojan campaign: he wears his shins and Thetis holds his spear and shield. (Black-figure plaque, 560 BC, Athens, Archaeological Museum).

Hephaestus, who made Achilles’ weapons, gives them to Thetis.

A sign of the goddess’s favor, was sacrificed amid the cheers of the troops. Immediately the winds blew the sails of the ships and the Greek fleet set sail from Avlida bound for Troy to wash away Helen’s shame.

Menelaus against Paris. Paris, Louvre

Trojan War – Iliad

The Achaeans, faithful to their religion and traditions, made a sacrifice before the start of the Trojan war so that the gods would reveal signs about the future and its outcome. During the sacrifice, a snake was presented whose spine was red as blood. This snake came out of the altar and climbed the plane tree that was nearby. On the highest branch was a sparrow with her young. The snake swallowed the eight sparrows in turn and then their mother. Once he had swallowed all nine birds, he was turned into stone, by Zeus. The seer Calchus interpreted this unnatural event as follows: the siege of Troy would last nine years and in the tenth it would fall.

Troy or Ilion was the site of these deadly battles, protected by Apollo with the silver bow. The first dead of the war was Protesilaus, on the side of the Achaeans, to whom they erected a monument and honored him. The goddesses Athena and Hera helped the Achaean troops. In Homer’s epic, the Iliad, many of the events that took place in the Trojan War are mentioned. The most important of these have as their protagonist the brave Achilles whose fame of exploits has spread far and wide.

Protesilaos, the first casualty of the Trojan War, was a Thessalian and indeed one of Helen’s potential suitors. He took part in the war with a fleet of forty ships. While jumping off the ship, he was struck by Hector.

ACHILEUS and AJAX.-NEPHEW OF PRIAM) Two heroes with a lot in common, in morals, bravery and mental cultivation. The great Heracles once passed through the kingdom of Telamon and begged Zeus to make invulnerable the new-born AJAX he had wrapped with his lioness. AJAX indeed became invulnerable except for the shoulder, the ribs and the armpit, that is, the points corresponding to those covered by the quiver on the body of Hercules.

Zeus was warned of a prophecy that Thetis would have a son who would grow up to be greater than his father. Worried by this, Zeus arranged for Thetis to marry a mortal man so that her child couldn’t challenge his power. In another version of the story, Thetis rejects Zeus’s advances and a furious Zeus decrees that she will never marry a god. Either way, Thetis ends up married to the mortal Peleus and Achilles is born.
Standing figure of woman with man and lion either side pressing against her
Terracotta relief showing Peleus and Thetis, c. 490–470 BC. Thetis tries to resist marriage to Peleus by transforming her body into powerful elements such as fire and wild beasts, here a lion

Thetis attempts to make the baby Achilles immortal, by dipping him in the River Styx (the river that runs through the underworld), while holding him by his heel. The one part of his body left untouched by the waters becomes his only point of weakness, hence the phrase ‘Achilles heel.

The learned centaur Chiron instructs the boy Achilles in the playing of the lyre. He rests upon his equine haunch and wears an animal-skin cloak and wreath of laurel.

Achilles and Ajax Playing a Board Game
540-530 BCE.
Terracotta amphora. Height 2 feet
Achilles and Ajax Playing a Board Game
540-530 BCE.
Terracotta amphora. Height 2 feet

(Musei Vaticani, Rome)
An example of black-figure painting is Achilles and Ajax Playing a Board Game on an amphora signed by Exekias as both potter and painter (at left is written: Exekias epoiesen = ΕΞΕΚΊΑΣ ΕΠΟΊΗΣΕΝ =
“Exekias made [me or it].” At right is also written, less relevantly, O Netorides kalos = Ο ΝΕΤΟΡIΔHΣ ΚΑΛΟΣ =
“Onetorides is beautiful”).
The central image is a narrative scene, with geometric patterns subsumed into border devices. In the panel framed by a lustrous black “glaze,” Ajax (Aiantos = “of Ajax [Aias]”) and Achilles (Akhileos = “of Akhilleus”) are depicted playing a board game during a lull in the Trojan War. In a symmetrical and deceptively tranquil scene, the Homeric heroes bend over a table and call out the scores of the game (which are written before their lips – tesara = 4, for Achilles, tria = 3, for Ajax) 

Achilles prepares for the great Trojan campaign: he wears his shins and Thetis holds his spear and shield. (Black-figure plaque, 560 BC, Athens, Archaeological Museum).

Hephaestus, who made Achilles’ weapons, gives them to Thetisa doe, a sign of the goddess’s favor, was sacrificed amid the cheers of the troops. Immediately the winds blew the sails of the ships and the Greek fleet set sail from Avlida bound for Troy to wash away Helen’s shame.

The father Peleus advises his son, Achilles,
as he leaves for war.

“Aien exceletuein…”, that is,
“always be first and surpass all in battle”

Peleus, because Achilles was still very young, sent with him and his teacher, the Phoenix, to advise him:

“Be able in words and worthy in deeds” /Homer, Iliad

Achilles.From an ancient Greekvase.

And the gods looked on from Olympus. Poseidon, Hera, Athena were with the Achaeans. Ares,

Aphrodite, Apollo with the Trojans. And Zeus sometimes with the Achaeans and sometimes with the Trojans.
In the last year of the war, when food was scarce and the army was starving, Agamemnon sent a ship to bring the Oenotropics to Troy. They, however, leaving Delos, begged the god Dionysus to help them. And Dionysus turned them into doves and they flew away and returned to DELOS

 The father of the Oinotropes, Anios.
From an ancient Greek vase.

 The Achaeans reach Troy
Traveling to Troy, the Achaeans passed through Delos. There, in the temple of Apollo, Anios was a priest who had three daughters, the Oinotropes. The soil that Spermo touched became wheat. The soil touched by Oino became wine and the soil touched by Elaida became oil. Anius, who was also a soothsayer, told the Achaeans that in ten years they would take Troy and invited them to stay nine years in Delos and in the tenth year to go to Troy. However, they did not accept.
So the Achaeans left Delos and in a few days they reached Troy. There reigned Priam and Hecabe who had fifty sons and many daughters. One of their daughters was Cassandra who was a fortune teller. However, Apollo had punished her and no one believed her words.
The Trojans, seeing the countless ships of the Achaeans, took their weapons and ran to the shore to fight them. Their leader was Priam’s eldest son, Hector, the brother of Paris. None of the Achaeans dared to set foot on land. Thetis had told them that the first one to set foot on Troy’s soil would fall dead. Then Odysseus threw his shield on the land and with one leap stood on it. Fooled by his trick, Protesilaos jumped second and stepped on the ground. And immediately he fell dead from Hector’s pole. Then began a terrible battle. The Trojans were defeated and shut up in the city walls. The Achaeans pulled their ships ashore and made a camp which they closed with a wooden wall, because they understood that it would take a long time before they could conquer Troy
The anger of Achilles
For nine years the Achaeans fought in Troy, but Priam’s castle was unoccupied and the Trojans, led by Hector, defended it bravely. In the tenth year , however, Achilles and Agamemnon quarreled over two beautiful slaves, Chrysis and Briseis. This brought many calamities to the Achaeans. Chrysis was Agamemnon’s slave . Chrysis`s father, who was a priest of Apollo, came supplicating to the Achaean camp, bearing rich gifts, the golden rod and the god’s sacred wreaths. He fell at Agamemnon’s feet and begged him to give Chrysis back to him. Agamemnon did not respect the old man and angrily kicked him out. Chrysis then begged Apollo to punish the Achaeans severely. Apollo heard him from Olympus and immediately took his bow and went to the camp of the Achaeans . He sat aside and, unseen, he shot animals and people with his arrows. Then a terrible disease fell among them and the Achaeans died, one after the other.

. Apollo shoots his arrows. From an ancient Greek vase.

The evil lasted nine days . On the tenth day the kings asked the soothsayer Calchas to tell them why such calamity befell them. He said that Apollo was angry because Agamemnon did not respect Chrysis. To stop the evil, Agamemnon sent Chryseis back to her father. However,Chrysis, her father, who was a priest of Apollo, came supplicating to the Achaean camp, bearing rich gifts, the golden rod and the god’s sacred wreaths. He fell at Agamemnon’s feet and begged him to give Chryseis back to him. Agamemnon did not respect the old man and angrily kicked him out. Chrysis then begged Apollo to punish the Achaeans severely. Apollo heard him from Olympus and immediately took his bow and went to the camp of the Achaeans . He sat aside and, unseen, he shot animals and people with his arrows. Then a terrible disease fell among them and the Achaeans died, one after the other he ordered Achilles’ slave, Briseis, to be brought to his tent. Achilles became very angry, hatred and rage filled his soul. He wanted to kill Agamemnon for insulting him, but the goddess Athena ran and restrained him. However, embittered, he closed himself in his tent and swore never to fight again.

Chrysis leaves Achilles’ tent to surrender to Agamemnon.
The seated figure on the right is Achilles. From an ancient Greek vase.

The death of Patroclus
Achilles was no longer fighting and the Trojans took courage. Fierce battles took place outside Troy’s walls and countless Achaeans fell dead.
Desperate then, Agamemnon sent to Achilles the old Phoenicus, Achilles’ teacher, Aiades, the strongest warrior of the Achaeans, and the versatile Odysseus, to beg him to return to the battle and would give him back Brisida and countless gifts. But Achilles did not accept and said that he would fight only if the Trojans reached his ships.
The fighting continued more fiercely. The Trojans chased the Achaeans to their camp. Hector smashed the wooden gate of the camp with a huge stone and the Trojans rushed in and set fire to a ship. The Achaeans were saved by Aedas, who wounded Hector and the battle stopped for a while.
Seeing the suffering of the Achaeans, Patroclus went to his friend Achilles. “Achilles,” he said to him, “the Trojans are burning our ships. Since you do not fight, they fear no one. Give me your armour, your chariot with your immortal horses and your brave Myrmidons, that I may fight in your place.’
Achilles agreed and advised him to drive the Trojans out of the camp and turn back.

Patroclus rushed with the brave Myrmidons into battle. The Trojans, whethey saw him, thought it was Achilles and ran away towards Troy.  Achilles tends tthe wounded Patroclus.
From an ancient Greek vase.

Patroclus forgot Achilles’ advice and chased the Trojans to the walls of Troy. But Hector met him there, he went close and they started to fight.
Then Apollo struck Patroclus on the back. He fell down and Hector killed him and took Achilles’ divine weapons from him.
There was a fight around the dead body. The immortal horses of Achilles, Xanthus and Valios, which Poseidon had given him, as if they saw Patroklos dead, bowed their heads and wet the earth with their tears. The Achaeans took the dead Patroclus and brought him to the ships. Achilles, seeing his friend dead, burst into lamentation. His mother Thetis heard him and came out of the sea to comfort him. And she herself went to Olympus and brought him new armor, which Hephaestus had made for him.

The Lament of Achilles
The news of Patroclus’ death was brought to Achilles by Nestor’s son, Antilochus.”Patroklos has fallen, and his turn for the dead is beaten,naked, because Hector has taken his chariots!”.
On hearing this, Achilles’ pain bursts forth wildly: without hesitation the hero pours black ash on his head with both hands, and then, with his beautiful face strained, his divine robe soiled, he falls and lies on the ground, pulling and tearing out his hair. For fear, lest in his despair he draw his sword and be killed, Antilochus is forced to hold his hands. Achilles does not speak, only moans loudly. Homer, Iliad S 20-35

The shield of Achilles
Hephaestus puts all his art into making Achilles’ new armor. But mostly he worked on the round shield. In the picture we see him handing it over to Thetis.
 He puts first the earth, the sea and the sky with the sun, the moon and all the stars. And then he starts drawing two states side by side. In the first, people have peace. They marry their children with songs and joys and settle their differences with judges. In the other state they have a war. Inside the city the women, children and old men have stayed, while outside the walls two armies have fallen into battle. The wounded and the dead lie all around. So Hephaestus tells the story of the joys of peace and the miseries of war. Then he puts the farmers plowing their fields, the laborers harvesting with sickles, he puts vines laden with grapes and people who harvested them while singing, he puts shepherds tending their flocks , features dancing boys and girls with flowers in their hair. And all around he makes the vast Ocean sparkle. And when he is done, he stands to look at her. He knows that if people notice the beauty of the shield, they will no longer want to fight. They will want to dance and sing, plow their fields, harvest their vines and tend their flocks. They will want to live in peace. And this shield of Achilles is the first, the only weapon ever made that invites not war but peace.

Rage and despair together filled the heart of Achilles after the death of Patroclus and he wanted to take revenge on Hector, who killed his fraternal friend. The next day he put on his new armor, harnessed his immortal horses to his chariot, and with his Myrmidons went to war.

 Hector bids farewell to Andromache and Astyanaktas.
From an ancient Greek vase.

Inside the castle of Troy, Hector said goodbye to Andromache, his wife, took in his arms for the last time his little son, Astyanactus, and he too went out to fight. The Trojans were outside their walls ready for battle. However, seeing Achilles arriving, they were frightened. Half ran inside the walls to save themselves and the other half ran to the plain. Achilles chased them and a fierce battle ensued. The Trojans fell dead one after the other. Priam, who was watching the battle from the walls, ordered and the gates were opened for the army to enter to save itself. Only the brave Hector did not shut himself up in the walls, but remained to face the enemy. Priam and Hecabe, his mother, and the beautiful Andromachi high above the walls. At some point Achilles saw him and rushed at him like a beast. Hector lost it and started running. Three times he ran around the city and Achilles chased him. At last Hector stopped running and stood to face him. Achilles rushed at him and the fight began.
They fought hard, for both were brave lads. Finally, Achilles struck Hector in the neck with his pole and threw him to the ground. Troy’s bravest warrior was now dead. High from the walls the Trojans looked and mourned. But Priam and Hecabe, his mother, and the beautiful Andromache mourned more.

Achilles-Hector duel. From an ancient Greek vase

Immediately Achilles took the dead man’s weapons, tied his legs with leather straps from the chariot and let his head drag on the ground. Then he struck his horses and they galloped towards the ships, dragging the dead Hector with them.
The next day the Achaeans burned the dead Patroclus. Achilles cut his long hair and put it in Patroclus’ hands, to be burned with him. He washed his bones with wine and placed them in a golden vessel, which his mother Thetis had given him.
The dead Hector remained unburied for eleven days, until Priam went to Achilles, fell at his feet and begged him to give him the body of his child to bury. Achilles was moved. He ordered the dead body to be washed and adorned, and gave it to the old king, to be taken to Troy. And he ordered the war to cease for eleven days, so that the Trojans could mourn and burn the dead, as was their custom.

Priam comes bearing gifts to Achilles’ tent and begs him. From an ancient Achaean vase.

Parents’ dreams for their children
Hector, before clashing with Achilles, enters the castle of Troy and bids farewell to his family. There he meets his wife Andromache and his young son Astyanaktas.As soon as he opened his arms to his son, the little one was frightened by the weapons and helmet and pulled away. Then Hector and Andromache laughed. He took off the brilliant helmet and laid it on the ground.
He then took the son, kissed him, danced with him in his arms,
and so he prayed to Zeus and to the other gods:
“Father Zeus and you other gods, give this one,
my son, as I shine among the Trojans to become
a strong man, and to rule Troy with great power.
and one should say: “much better than this one’s parent,”
as if he were returning from the war with bloody spoils of
an enemy he had killed, and his mother would be deeply rejoicing.”/ Homer, Iliad G 474-481

Games to honor Patroklos
Achilles, after the burial of Patroklos, organizes games to honor his dead friend. The competitions are many: chariot racing, boxing, wrestling, road, armed combat, discus, archery, javelin. All the Achaean lads took part in the games and won great prizes from the hands of Achilles. Spectators participate by shouting and placing bets. In the last race, Achilles gives Agamemnon the first prize without letting him compete, since everyone knew that he was the first among the Greeks both in strength and in chariots. Thus the two rivals reconcile, after the destruction caused by their conflict. Patroclus was honored like no other hero. Everyone will remember his power and want to be like him. This was also the purpose of the epitaph matches.// Homer, Iliad Ps 258-897 (adaptation

Winners and losers cry together
And as both of them remembered their pain, Priam wept the manly Hector, huddled before Achilles’ feet, and Achilles wept with his father and Patroclus, and the lamentations echoed all around.

Homer, Iliad Ω 509-512 (free translation by G. Economides).

The end of Achilles
After Hector’s burial , the war outside Troy’s walls resumed. Achilles killed the Trojan warriors one after another. One day, however, when he was outside the Shadow Gates, the largest gate of the castle of Troy, Apollo saw him and advised Paris to shoot him with his arrows in his right heel. His
mother , Thetis, when he was young, had made him immortal by immersing him in the enchanted waters of Lake Styx. However, his right heel was not wet, because it was holding him back from there. So Paris marked Achilles and stuck a medicated arrow in his right heel. Groaning, the hero knelt on the ground. With pained cries he tried to pull the arrow from his heel. After a while he collapsed dead. A fierce battle took place around his dead body . The Trojans were fighting to take him. However, Odysseus and Aedas grabbed him and brought him to the ships. All the Achaeans mourned the loss of the hero. Suddenly there was a terrible roar from the sea and out of the waves came Thetis and the Nereids, her sisters. They all stood around the dead body. For seventeen days they cried and cursed him. Then they burned his body, put his bones in the same pot as those of Patroclus, and, to honor him, held games. After a few days Paris was also killed. He was killed by Philoctetes with one of the poisoned arrows that Herakles had given him.

 The death of Achilles.
Modern sculpture.

ACHILLES AT THE COURT OF KING LYCOMEDES (rear end panel of sarcophagus).
MARBLE. Ca 240 CE.
Inv. No. Ma 2120.

Data: museum annotation

Burial customs
They wash the dead body, anoint it with oil, wrap it in a white sheet and decorate it. He is laid on the funeral bed and mourned by relatives and friends. Close friends and relatives cut their hair to show their mourning. They raise a wooden structure from logs and dry branches. They place the deceased on top with many of his personal items (kterismas). After the fire is lit and burns people, slaughtered animals and objects, they put it out and carefully collect the bones of the deceased. They wash them, place them in a vase and finally raise a mound of earth and stones covering all the remains. In the end they all eat together. Homer, Iliad (adaptation

Achaeans despaired. They did not believe that they would succeed in conquering Troy. Then Odysseus, the resourceful, thought that Troy would not fall by arms but by cunning. So he advised the Achaeans to make a large wooden horse, hollow inside, the Trojan horse. So the Achaeans
made it and wrote on it: “Gift of the Achaeans to Athena”. And one dark night Odysseus, Menelaus, Diomedes, Neoptolemus, who was the son of Achilles, and some other brave Achaeans got into the horse. Agamemnon with the rest of the army, after burning the camp, got into the ships and went and hid behind Tenedos.
In the morning the Trojans, looking from the walls, could not believe their eyes. The Achaeans had left and left behind only a large wooden horse by the shore! So they came out of the walls, approached it and saw that it was a dedication to Athena. Many said that they had to raise it on the citadel of Troy, so that the goddess would protect them. Cassandra was unfair , shouting that Achaeans were hidden inside his belly. No one believed her. And a Trojan, Laocoondas, who was a priest of Apollo, said: ” “Fear the Achaeans even if they bring you gifts.

Immediately two huge snakes sent by Poseidon came out of the sea and drowned Laocoon with his children.
Seeing this miracle, the Trojans were frightened and dragged the horse into the city. In order to enter, they also demolished a part of its walls. Then they ate, drank and feasted happily all day. At night they fell asleep tired from dancing and drinking.
At midnight the Achaeans emerged from the horse’s belly. They ran and lit fires high on the walls and opened the gates. Soon the army returned from Tenedo. All the Achaeans entered Troy, killed the warriors and took the children and women as slaves. Menelaus ran to Priam’s palace and took Helen back. Then they set fire and burned the city, not even respecting the temples of the gods.
In the morning they loaded their ships with booty and set off to return home.

 Laocoon and his two sons.
Ancient Greek sculpture.


Neoptolemus was the son of the hero Achilles and the princess Deidamia .Achilles’ mother, the goddess Thetis, had foreseen that her son would die in a great war; afraid for him, she took him to the court of King Lycomedes at the island of Scyros, and disguised him as a woman. While there, Achilles had an affair with the princess Deidamia; from this union, Neoptolemus was born.

Helenus, a Trojan seer, was captured by the Achaeans and was forced to tell them that Troy would fall if the Achaeans acquired the arrows of Heracles and the Palladium, and if they also convinced Neoptolemus to join the war. After acquiring the two artifacts, the Achaeans sent Odysseus to get the young Neoptolemus, who eventually joined the war. During the Trojan War, Neoptolemus turned out to be a brutal person, who killed Priam, Eurypylus, Polites and Astyanax, among others; he also made Andromache his concubine. After the end of the war, Neoptolemus took Andromache and Helenus and went to Epirus, where he became the king. With Andromache, Neoptolemus had a son, Molossus.

When he attempted to take Hermione from Orestes; the latter killed him.

Scene from the tragedy Andromache by EuripidesOrestes kills Neoptolemus at the altar of Apollo in Delphi. Despairing Hermione, wife of Neoptolemus but previously promised to Orestes, kneels at the foot of the altar.Greek fresco in Pompeii

Upon returning to main land of West Greece, Orestes reclaimed the throne of his father, becoming the ruler of Mycenae. He died after being bitten by a snake in Arcadia.


May be an image of text

From an ancient Greek vase.

How did the news of the destruction of Troy reach MycenaeWhen Troy fell to the Achaeans, Agamemnon notified Clytemnestra overnight. His men lit a great fire on the top of Ida, in Troy, and many fires, one after the other, carried the message from mountain to mountain to Mycenae:Ida -> Lemnos -> Athos -> Evia -> Kithairon -> Mycenae.

Aeschylus, Agamemnon, verses 280 – 316 (arrangement)So we see that the people of that time had discovered a very fast means of communication, sending their messages with fire. In the hills and mountains near the cities, there were specific people who were responsible for lighting the fires, in order to communicate.

5. The sufferings of warThe Trojan War, which had lasted ten whole years, was over. However, he left behind dead people, destroyed houses, widows and orphans. Like any war. The ancient poet Euripides in his work “Troades” talks about the suffering and pain that war brings to people:Queen Hekave and the captive Trojan women mourn what they have lost and worry about the suffering they have to endure hereafter. Cassandra becomes Agamemnon’s slave. Andromache falls into the hands of Neoptolemus, son of Achilles. Her son, Astyanaktas, was thrown from the walls of Troy, so that he would not seek revenge later.The poet does not miss the opportunity to emphasize the miseries that await the victors on the return journey. Because whoever destroys states and does not respect the temples of the gods, it will not be long before disaster strikes.

Euripides, Troas (arrangement)



Proudly powered by WordPress

Electra, daughter of King Agamemnon, wants to avenge her father’s death. After his return from the Trojan War, he was murdered by his wife Klytaimnestra and her lover Aigisthos. Elektra is waiting for one day to get her revenge and for her brother Orestes, sent away to be raised elsewhere, to come home and help her.

Clytaimnestra’s handmaidens talk about Elektra. They think she behaves frighteningly and dangerously. The youngest of them defends Elektra and the others beat her. Elektra becomes lonely. She remembers her father, relives the murder and imagines the rites of dance and blood sacrifice when the father is once avenged.

Her younger sister Chrysothemis warns her about the mother who wants to have Elektra thrown in prison. Chrysothemis can’t stand the confined life in the palace anymore. She wants to be human and woman. Alarms from inside the house announce the arrival of Klytaimnestra. Elektra wants to talk to her.

Clytaimnestra is tormented by dreams. She asks Elektra for advice. Klytaimnestra’s confidants warn her about her daughter. Elektra, first introduces herself and speaks kindly to the mother. Finally, she loses control and declares that the only cure for the anxiety dreams is the death of Klytaimnestra. Then someone whispers a message to Klytaimnestra. Her death throes turn into triumph.

Chrysothemis returns and tells her that two strangers have come with the message that Orestes is dead. Elektra can’t believe it at first. A servant sets off to break the news to Aigisthos. Elektra realizes that she must complete the revenge herself and tries to convince her sister to kill Klytaimnestra and Aigisthos with her that same night. But she fails to break Chrysothemi’s resistance. Elektra has hidden away the ax with which her father was murdered. Now she picks it up.

Shortly thereafter, a stranger arrives. He tells of the death of Orestes – but it is Orestes himself. The siblings recognize each other; he has come to Mycenae to avenge his father’s death. Orestes’ companions remind that Klytaimnestra is waiting for them in the palace. Orestes enters. Elektra breathlessly follows the events from outside. Klytaimnestra’s death scream is heard.

Orestes was the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra , who was hunted by the Erinyes after he killed his mother.

The story of Orestes is the main topic of various ancient Greek plays. After the Trojan War, Orestes’ father, Agamemnon, returned to Mycenae (or Argos), along with his prize, the Trojan princess Cassandra. Cassandra had the gift of foretelling the future, but was also cursed not to be believed by anyone. Despite Cassandra’s warnings about what was about to happen, Agamemnon entered his palace, only to be murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus, who was Agamemnon’s cousin. Orestes, a young boy at the time, was not present at the palace, but had run away with his sister Electra and found refuge at the court of Athens.

When Orestes became an adult, he was urged by his sister and the god Apollo to avenge their father’s death; Orestes, assisted by his friend Pylades, returned to the city, and murdered his mother and her lover. However, committing matricide was a horrible act that brought the fury of the Erinyes upon him. He was driven mad and was pursued by them.

Orestes sought refuge at the temple of Apollo, but even the god was powerless to stop the Erinyes. In the end, Athena accepted his pleas and organised a formal trial to be held before twelve judges. The Erinyes asked that the perpetrator be punished, while Orestes said that he followed Apollo’s orders. When the judges voted, the result was a tie; however, Athena’s vote, who was the chief justice, broke ties, leading to Orestes’ acquittal. Grateful, Orestes dedicated an altar to Athena, while the Erinyes were appeased by getting a new ritual, during which they were worshipped as the Venerable Ones.

According to a different source, while Orestes was still pursued by the Erinyes, Apollo told him to go to the land of Tauris and bring back a statue of Artemis, which had fallen from the sky. Orestes agreed and went to Tauris, accompanied by his friend Pylades. There, they were captured by the cult of Artemis, who was told to sacrifice all Greeks to the goddess. When the priestess of Artemis heard that two Greeks had been captured, she offered to help one of them escape if they would agree to carry a letter to her brother; Orestes demanded that Pylades should go, while Orestes would stay behind to be slain. Pylades reluctantly agreed, but when he received the letter, he realised who the priestess really was. All three of them eventually escaped, carrying with them the statue of Artemis. Aegisthus being murdered by Orestes and Pylades – The Louvre

Aigisthos arrives and meets Elektra outside the palace gate. Elektra’s terrifying supervision and unexpected kindness scares him. On his way in, he is murdered by Orestes.

Chrysothemis joyfully recounts the battle between Aigisthos’s friends and those who sided with Orestes. The brother has won. Elektra has achieved her goal in life. Vengeance has been exacted. She begins her ritual dance and sinks dead to the ground.

Royal Opera AB
Box 160 94
This entry was posted in schönros by Konstantin. Bookmark the permalink