The Iliad The Iliad question


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What caused the Trojan War?


The mythologycal story is that, in the marriage of Pelleus and Tetis (achilles´ parents), which a lot of gods and heroes attended, there was one goddess who wasn´t invited, Eris, the goddess of strife (she wasn´t invited because Zeus wanted things to go all right in the wedding). Eris gets mad when she finds out and, in a simple way to exact revenge, throws anonimously a golden apple in the garden where the party was happening, inscribed with the words "for the fairest". The pride burns inside all women, mortal or immortal, but just three come forth and claim the prize: Hera, Aphrodite and Athena. Since no one wants to be the judge of that dispute, Zeus determines that a shepherd from Mount Ida named Paris will have the final say. While the astounded young Paris inspects them, they each promise him something akin to their nature: Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite offered the world's most beautiful woman. This was Helen of Sparta, wife of the Greek king Menelaus. I don´t know if he judged fairly or accepted the bribe, but he picked Aphrodite. A lot of events then happen that set Paris in a position to seduce and abduct Helen (he is discovered to be Pryam´s lost son etc) and there is also a lot of background to this story, like why every greek leader had sworn to protect Helen´s honor, which is all easy to search in google. Sorry for the long post.


You will want to read the account of the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann; a 19th c. German businessman who spent his life trying to uncover the site of Troy (I visited this location in Turkey) and also the story of the Mycenean civilization in Greece; as well as the story of Arthur Evans, a Briton who unearthed the Minoan civilization in Knossos (Crete).


The excuse was adultery, the reason has to be greed.


It looks to me, as one of my favorite works of literature of all time, and to Homer as well, like a 'War in Heaven' rather than a realistic human event in history. Like 'The Odyssey' as well, in which I think Odysseus is going through his own very 'unrealistic' post-morten 'Other World' which is populated by gods and Forces of Nature, it is not predominantly populated by people. Homer is not about the human race, which he surely does not admire much, given the hideous slaughter at Troy and with so many of their treacherous deceptions and squalid plots. Zeus doesn't like the Trojans or the Achaeans very much, happily pitting them against each other through Apollo and Athene, and Zeus would probably be just as glad to see the inferior humans wiped out. 'The Iliad' is about the extra-terrestrial struggle for a higher ethical standard which he describes as 'honor to the gods', a better world above and beyond the mere biology of animals on the Earth.


Nahed.E (last edited Jan 01, 2015 09:11PM ) Jan 01, 2015 09:09PM   0 votes
not just Helena .. in the Iliad there are another reason .. Zeus himself .. and The other Gods .. specially when Homer said in the Iliad and the Odyssey too .. that the Gods set planned to the war .. ! and when Zeus wanted to end it , the war finished.. !


La versión mitológica dice que Helena, la histórica, el comercio por los Dardanelos...


Andee (last edited Mar 30, 2013 01:42PM ) Mar 30, 2013 01:41PM   0 votes
Well the mythological reason was that Paris was given three options by three goddesses (I don't remember why): wisdom, love or power? He chose love which he was then given the most beautiful woman in the world--Helen. She was King Agamemnon's (or Menelaus I don't remember) wife and after Paris stole her away to Troy, he obviously wanted her back. Since Paris would not give her up, Agamemnon and his cousin waged war on Troy.


The cause; Lust, Greed, Pride.. vengence.... we are speaking of the Greeks.


When you say true cause, are you talking about what the book says or whether historians have come up for a plausible idea for what the mythological war was potentially based upon (because there are a fair few theories floating around)?

If it's the former then, from what I remember, there was a golden apple, 3 goddesses, a prince and then a runaway wife/beautiful princess that her husband didn't take too kindly to, so turned to his powerful brother ;D

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Ramona Thank you Kathleen. You 're answer was what I was searching for. ...more
Jan 03, 2015 08:56AM · flag

During this period, the Greeks were heavily colonizing that area of Asia Minor. Setting up a colony where there were a lot of natural resources was like setting up the East India Company later on in Europe. Most cities along the coast capitulated quickly when faced with a Greek siege. Troy had many powerful allies and so were able to hold out for a long period of time. Like most myths, history is preserved somewhere within the story. Think of Agamemnon and his fellow Greeks as CEO's of multinational corporations and you'll get the picture of what they were really up to (Halliburton/Iraq anyone?).


As to the question: surely you jest!


When Paris stole Helen (queen) from Sparta I'm pretty sure. She was rumored to be the most beautiful woman or something like that.


It was caused by a deadly mix of goddesses beauty and human foolishness


"beauty, terrible beauty" - the iliad


a Woman from Sparta caused all this,, like now ,, a woman made of iron standing on New York shores can cause all wars !!


An economic crisis!


deleted member May 15, 2013 03:20PM   0 votes
Paris stole Helen, I reckon.


Susan (last edited Jan 01, 2015 03:12PM ) Jan 01, 2015 03:10PM   0 votes
When you ask this question are you wanting the mythological reason, or the potential political/economic impetus, if the myth is based on fact and there was such a war?
The judgement of Paris and the promise Paris would be gifted with the most beautiful woman as his bride has already been referenced by earlier commentators, but if a Trojan Prince was truly daft enough to steal away a Greek Queen the Greeks may have actually been rubbing their hands together with glee, rather than throwing themselves into cuckolded rage. Why?
Because Troy controlled a key trading position, both in relation to it being strategically based near a narrow strait which seperated Europe from Asia and also due to it being situated so close to the powerful Hittite empire. Basically, to control that region, or just part of it was an incredible opportunity for wealth and power, but to just invade and attack the city solely to gain that wealth and power would likely lead to Troy's powerful allies rushing to it's defense. Homer's account states some allies did do so, but stealing a King's wife was something plenty of other nations (which were after all ruled by Kings) would agree just wasn't cricket
The insult was therefore an excellent excuse to invade the region and attack Troy, under the not unreasonable expectation that a lot of Troy's allies would keep out of it, just as many police officers in modern times are purported to be reluctant to involve themselves in domestic disputes.

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Ramona Thank you Susan!
Jan 03, 2015 09:03AM · flag

deleted member Mar 01, 2012 02:58AM   -1 votes
A woman... Helena.


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