The Trojan War Explained

“The Trojan War Explained” is a video that delves into the intricacies of one of Greek mythology’s most significant events. Created by Mythology & Fiction Explained, the video provides an introduction and an in-depth explanation of the Trojan War. It explores the causes of the war, such as the abduction of Helen by the Trojan Prince Paris, and highlights the epic battles fought between Greek and Trojan heroes. The video also includes a sponsorship mention of Kamikoto knives and encourages viewers to like the video and join the channel for exclusive perks.

Throughout the video, the content creator brings attention to the absence of an overarching text that details the events of the Trojan War. However, detailed accounts can be found in epic poems like Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. The war, which lasted for 10 years, was filled with conflicts, betrayals, and confusion. The Greeks, with their larger army, faced the challenge of breaching the well-fortified city of Troy, built by Apollo and Poseidon. Notable heroes such as Achilles, Hector, and Diomedes played pivotal roles in the battles, and ultimately, the fall of Troy was brought about by the death of Achilles and the Trojan’s betrayal. The Greeks achieved their victory by using the infamous Trojan Horse to infiltrate and defeat Troy. Above all, Zeus emerges as the ultimate winner, with his influence shaping the course of the war.

Causes of the Trojan War

The abduction of Helen by Paris

One of the key causes of the Trojan War was the infamous abduction of Helen, the wife of Menelaus, by Paris, the prince of Troy. Paris, following a visit to Sparta, fell in love with Helen and secretly took her back to Troy, sparking outrage among the Greeks. This act of betrayal not only enraged Menelaus, but it also led to the involvement of other Greek city-states, who viewed the abduction as a violation of their social norms and a threat to their own sovereignty. Thus, the abduction of Helen served as the catalyst for the beginning of the Trojan War.

The role of the gods

Another contributing factor to the Trojan War was the interference and involvement of the gods in mortal affairs. Greek mythology is replete with stories of divine interventions and rivalries among the gods, and the Trojan War was no exception. The goddesses Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena were each vying for a golden apple labeled “To the Fairest,” causing a dispute that ultimately led to the events leading up to the war. The gods took sides in the conflict, offering their support and favor to different individuals on both the Greek and Trojan sides. This divine intervention further fueled the tensions and conflicts between the two factions, escalating the war to epic proportions.

The dispute over the golden apple

An additional cause of the Trojan War was the dispute over the golden apple. Eris, the goddess of discord, sparked the rivalry between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite by throwing the apple into the midst of their banquet. Each goddess claimed the apple for herself, believing it to be rightfully theirs. To settle the dispute, Zeus appointed Paris as the judge and asked him to choose the most beautiful goddess among the three. Paris, swayed by Aphrodite’s promise to grant him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, chose her as the winner. This decision angered Hera and Athena, leading to their animosity toward Paris and ultimately their involvement in the war against Troy.

The Participants

The Mycenaean Kingdom

The Mycenaean Kingdom, led by Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon, played a significant role in the Trojan War. Menelaus, whose wife Helen was abducted by Paris, sought to avenge this offense and reclaim his wife. Agamemnon, the powerful king of Mycenae, rallied other Greek city-states to join the war effort, forming an alliance known as the Achaean or Greek coalition. The Mycenaean Kingdom, with its military prowess and political influence, became a central force in the conflict, spearheading the Greek expedition to Troy.

The kingdom of Troy

The kingdom of Troy, ruled by King Priam, was the other major player in the Trojan War. Located in modern-day Turkey, Troy was a wealthy and strategic city, known for its impenetrable walls. Paris, as a prince of Troy, was instrumental in sparking the war through his abduction of Helen. Despite their commitment to defending Troy, the Trojans faced significant challenges throughout the war, as they were outnumbered and unable to match the Greek warriors’ military prowess.

The involvement of other Greek city-states

The Trojan War was not limited to just the Mycenaean Kingdom and the kingdom of Troy. Numerous other Greek city-states also actively participated in the conflict. City-states such as Athens, Sparta, and Corinth sent their own contingents of warriors to join the Greek coalition. This widespread involvement of various Greek city-states highlights the significance of the Trojan War as a pan-Hellenic event, uniting the Greeks under a common cause and demonstrating their shared cultural heritage.

Duration of the War

The war lasted for 10 years

The Trojan War, according to ancient accounts, lasted for ten long years. This protracted duration highlights the intensity and tenacity of both the Greek and Trojan forces. The extended war also speaks to the challenges faced by each side, as neither could decisively defeat the other and bring the conflict to a swift conclusion. The length of the war reflects the deep-seated animosities and stakes involved, as well as the formidable defensive capabilities of Troy.

The epic battles and skirmishes

Throughout the ten years of war, epic battles and skirmishes were fought between the Greek and Trojan forces. These engagements were marked by heroism, bravery, and strategic tactics. One of the most renowned battles was the clash between the Trojan prince Hector and the Greek hero Achilles. Their duel was a pivotal moment in the war, capturing the essence of the conflict and the individual valor of these prominent figures. Countless other skirmishes further shaped the course of the war, bringing forth tales of heroism and tragedy.

The retreat of the Trojans into the city walls

As the war progressed, the Trojans faced mounting pressure from the Greek coalition, forcing them to retreat behind the safety of their city walls. The massive walls of Troy, built by King Priam, offered a formidable defense against the Greek onslaught. This defensive strategy allowed the Trojans to withstand the Greek assault, turning the war into a long and grueling siege. The retreat into the city walls transformed the conflict into a test of endurance and perseverance, as both sides sought to outmaneuver and outlast each other.

The Trojan War Explained

Key Heroes in the War


Achilles, the mighty warrior and central figure of Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad, played a pivotal role in the Trojan War. Renowned for his unparalleled strength and invincibility, Achilles was a formidable force on the battlefield. His wrath and subsequent withdrawal from the war following the death of his close companion Patroclus had significant consequences for the Greek coalition. Achilles’ absence from the fighting allowed the Trojans to gain an advantage, underscoring his importance in the conflict.


Hector, the eldest son of King Priam and the greatest warrior of Troy, served as the primary defender of his city. Known for his valor and devotion to his family and people, Hector became a symbol of Trojan resistance against the Greek invaders. His clashes with Achilles and other Greek heroes showcased his skill and bravery. Ultimately, Hector’s death at the hands of Achilles marked a turning point in the war, as the Trojans lost their most formidable champion.


Diomedes, a Greek hero from Argos, was another key figure in the Trojan War. Known for his exceptional fighting skills and strategic prowess, Diomedes emerged as a formidable adversary for the Trojans. He engaged in several memorable duels and was even granted divine favor by Athena, who guided him and endowed him with incredible strength on the battlefield. Diomedes’ exploits showcased the resourcefulness and determination of the Greek warriors, bolstering their cause in the war.

The Fall of Troy

The death of Achilles

The death of Achilles was a significant event that contributed to the fall of Troy. Following a slight by Agamemnon, Achilles withdrew from the war in grief and anger. However, his absence from the battlefield allowed the Trojans to regain their momentum. Realizing the impact of Achilles’ absence, the Greeks devised a plan to deceive the Trojans and bring the warrior back into the fight, culminating in the tragic death of Achilles. The loss of their greatest hero weakened the Greek coalition, but it also marked a turning point in the war, as the Trojans began to sense the possibility of victory.

The betrayal of the Trojans

The fall of Troy was also precipitated by the betrayal of the Trojans. The Trojan prince Paris, who had caused the war in the first place, played a role in the city’s downfall. It was Paris’s fatal arrow that struck Achilles in the heel, leading to his demise. Additionally, the Trojan priest Laocoon’s warning about the Greek horse was ignored when he said, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” The Trojans, unaware of the Greeks hidden within the wooden horse, brought it into their city walls, unwittingly allowing the Greek warriors to infiltrate and attack from within. This betrayal sealed the fate of Troy and ensured its inevitable defeat.

The defeat of Troy

The ultimate defeat of Troy marked the end of the Trojan War. After ten years of warfare, the Greek warriors emerged victorious. The clever strategy of the Trojan Horse, coupled with the determination and resilience of the Greeks, proved to be the undoing of Troy. The city was ransacked, its walls breached, and its treasures plundered. King Priam and his family were slain, and the surviving Trojans were either killed, enslaved, or scattered across the region. Troy, once a proud and powerful city, was reduced to rubble, serving as a cautionary tale of the consequences of hubris and the fleeting nature of glory.

The Trojan Horse

The strategy behind the Trojan Horse

The Trojan Horse was a cunning and strategic plan devised by the Greeks to infiltrate and defeat Troy. Constructed by Epeius, a master carpenter, the hollow wooden horse concealed a select group of Greek warriors. The Trojans, deceived by the apparent departure of the Greek fleet, saw the horse as a peace offering and a symbol of victory. Ignoring the warning of the priest Laocoon, they brought the horse within their city walls. Unbeknownst to them, the Greek warriors hidden inside would emerge under cover of darkness to open the gates for the remaining Greek forces. This covert and unexpected attack led to the downfall of Troy, making the Trojan Horse a legendary symbol of cunning and deceit.

Infiltration and defeat of Troy

Once inside the city walls, the Greek warriors emerged from the Trojan Horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek forces, who had sailed back under cover of night. The chaos and confusion that ensued caught the Trojans off guard, allowing the Greeks to overpower their opponents. The infiltrators engaged in a frenzied battle, quickly gaining the upper hand and systematically dismantling Troy’s defenses. The Trojan Horse served as the catalyst for the final assault and the ultimate defeat of the Trojan forces, solidifying its place in history as one of the most iconic and devastating military deceptions.

The Role of Zeus

Zeus’s involvement in the war

As the king of the gods and the wielder of lightning, Zeus played a significant role in the Trojan War. While Zeus remained officially neutral, his influence and interventions shaped the course of the conflict. Zeus’s involvement was not limited to supporting a specific side, but rather, he sought to maintain the balance of power and uphold the cosmic order. He was responsible for the fate of both mortals and immortals, and his decisions often had far-reaching consequences. Zeus ensured that the war unfolded according to the predetermined destiny of each participant, manipulating events to test the mortal heroes and ultimately determine their fates.

Zeus as the ultimate winner

While the Trojan War had numerous victors and losers, Zeus emerged as the ultimate winner. His grand plan encompassed the war and its repercussions, as he sought to maintain divine order and assert his authority over the mortal realm. Zeus’s interventions throughout the conflict shaped the destinies of key characters, such as Achilles and Hector, and determined the outcome of the war. His ultimate goal was to restore balance and maintain the immutability of fate, thereby solidifying his supremacy among the gods.

Background and Significance

The prominence of the Trojan War in Greek mythology

The Trojan War held significant prominence in Greek mythology and occupied a central place in their cultural and literary narratives. The war’s enduring legacy can be attributed to its representation of heroic feats, human frailties, and the influence of divine forces. The exploits of warriors like Achilles and Hector, their internal struggles and external conquests, captivated the imagination of the ancient Greeks. The tales of love, treachery, and redemption embedded within the Trojan War became an integral part of Greek mythology, transmitting moral lessons and cultural values to subsequent generations.

Accounts in epic poems like the Iliad and Aeneid

The Trojan War inspired and influenced some of the greatest works of literature in ancient Greece and Rome. Homer’s Iliad, an epic poem narrating the events of the war, served as a primary source for the tale of heroes and their epic showdowns. The Iliad explores themes of honor, fate, and the cost of war, presenting a complex portrayal of both the Greeks and the Trojans. Virgil’s Aeneid, written much later in Rome, also draws heavily from the story of the Trojan War, showcasing the origin of Rome through the epic voyage of Aeneas, a Trojan hero. These enduring tales ensured the longevity of the Trojan War’s significance and its incorporation into the wider literary canon.

Historical Significance

The impact of the mythological war on Greek culture and literature

The Trojan War had a profound impact on Greek culture and literature, leaving an indelible mark on society. The war’s themes and characters became touchstones for understanding the complexities of human nature and the consequences of actions. The moral dilemmas faced by heroes like Achilles and Hector, the treacherous manipulation of mortals by the gods, and the tragic outcomes of hubris resonated deeply with the Greeks. The war served as a cautionary tale, warning of the destructive power of pride, the impermanence of glory, and the futile nature of excessive ambition. It also provided a rich tapestry of stories that inspired subsequent generations of writers, poets, and playwrights to explore these timeless themes in their own works.

The lessons and morals derived from the Trojan War

The Trojan War offered valuable lessons and morals that reverberated throughout Greek society. The war emphasized the importance of honor, loyalty, and fidelity in both personal and communal relationships. It showcased the virtues of bravery, sacrifice, and determination in the face of adversity. Additionally, the war inculcated a healthy skepticism toward the gods and their influence on human affairs, highlighting the need for mortals to take responsibility for their own actions and decisions. The Trojan War’s enduring moral legacy ensured that its lessons continued to resonate with subsequent generations, shaping Greek values and societal norms.

Influence on Popular Culture

The enduring popularity and references of the Trojan War in films, books, and art

The Trojan War continues to captivate and inspire popular culture in various mediums such as films, books, and art. Countless adaptations and retellings of the war have graced the silver screen, from Wolfgang Petersen’s “Troy,” starring Brad Pitt, to the animated film “Troy: Fall of a City,” released by Netflix. These adaptations provide a fresh lens through which audiences can engage with the stories and characters of the Trojan War. Furthermore, the war’s themes and imagery have found their way into contemporary novels, paintings, sculptures, and other artistic manifestations, reflecting its enduring impact on creative expression.

The Trojan War as a symbol of heroism and tragedy

The Trojan War has become emblematic of heroism and tragedy in popular culture. The tales of brave warriors like Achilles and Hector, their valiant efforts, and the sacrifices made in the name of honor and glory, inspire admiration and awe. The war’s tragic outcomes and the devastating toll it exacted highlight the profound impact of human conflict and the fragility of life. The Trojan War remains a constant reminder of the complexities of human nature, the allure of ambition, and the consequences of unchecked hubris. As such, it continues to serve as a symbol of both the heights of human achievement and the depths of human folly.

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