Trojan War

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Who were the Trojans? – West Asian history

By |2018-04-07T17:04:51+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

A reconstruction of what Troy VI might have looked like. For thousands of years, people read Homer's Iliad and learned the story of the Trojan War. But nobody knew if it had really happened, or if there really even was a city of Troy. In the 1800s, a German man named Heinrich Schliemann decided to look for [...]

Virgil – the Aeneid – Roman poetry

By |2017-09-04T08:21:45+00:00September 4th, 2017|Literature, Romans|

The death of Dido, Queen of Carthage, from an illustrated copy of Virgil's Aeneid, about 400 AD Virgil was a poet who lived during the civil wars in Rome and then in the time of the Roman Emperor Augustus, just before the birth of Jesus Christ. Virgil (VER-jill) was a friend of Maecenas (my-SEEN-ass), who was a [...]

War in ancient Greece

By |2018-04-23T14:26:48+00:00July 19th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Greek warfare: hoplite soldiers (Chigi Vase, ca. 650 BC) Wars were very common in ancient Greece. The Greeks lived in little city-states, each one like a small town in the United States today, with no more than about 100,000 people in each city-state. These city-states - Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thebes - were always fighting each other over their borders. [...]

Trojan Horse Story – Greek mythology

By |2017-12-27T12:09:25+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Earliest picture of the Trojan Horse story, on a  Greek vase ca. 670 BC The end of the Trojan War After the events of the Iliad and the death of Hector, the Trojan War still wasn't over. Neither the Greeks nor the Trojans seemed to be able to win, until one of the Greek kings, Odysseus of [...]

Penthesileia and Achilles – Greek mythology

By |2018-04-23T10:11:12+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Achilles and Penthesileia, on an Athenian vase painted by Exekias Penthesileia (pen-tha-sill-AY-ah) was the Queen of the Amazons, in Greek mythology. The Amazons were a group of warriors who were all women and girls. Penthesileia's story happens a little before the time of the Trojan War, in the Late Bronze Age. So Penthesileia and the Amazons lived to [...]

Judgment of Paris – Trojan War

By |2018-04-23T13:41:07+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Judgment of Paris -Paris is on the right (A fresco from Pompeii, ca. 79 AD) Who is the most beautiful? Once upon a time, around 1250 BC, toward the end of the Bronze Age in Greece, three goddesses were having an argument (said the Greeks). The goddesses Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera were arguing about which one of them was the most beautiful. [...]

Menelaus and Helen – Trojan War

By |2018-04-23T09:02:50+00:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Menelaus and Helen lived in Sparta  Menelaus was the son of Atreus, so he was also the younger brother of Agamemnon. The older brother, Agamemnon, inherited his father's kingdom at Mycenae. So Menelaus didn't have a kingdom. Instead, he competed with everyone else and won the contest to marry Helen. Helen was the daughter of the [...]

Iphigeneia in Aulis – Euripides – ancient Greece

By |2018-04-23T11:42:46+00:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Iphigeneia brought to the sacrifice (Pompeii, ca. 79 AD) When Helen ran off with Paris, her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta, was very upset. He went to visit his older brother, Agamemnon (ag-a-MEM-non), the king of Mycenae. Menelaus reminded Agamemnon about the oath that all the suitors swore when they were fighting over who would marry Helen. Menelaus insisted that his brother call [...]

Helen of Troy – the Trojan War

By |2018-04-23T10:13:18+00:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Kidnapping Helen of Troy (from Pompeii) Helen, the daughter of Zeus and the queen of Sparta, was the most beautiful young woman in the world. She lived in Sparta with her mother and her father, the king of Sparta, and her half-sister, Clytemnestra. All the young men wanted to marry Helen. Helen's stepfather (the king of Sparta) was afraid that if he [...]

Who was Ajax? The Iliad – Greek mythology

By |2018-04-23T10:06:15+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Ajax carrying the dead Achilles He brought back the body of Achilles Ajax was one of the great heroes of the Trojan War. He was the king of Salamis, near Athens. Homer says Ajax was a very big and strong man. Only his cousin Achilles, who he had gone to school with, was a better fighter. When Achilles [...]