Monday, 12 November 2007

Greek Mythology: The Trojan Horse

This is the story of how the Wooden Horse came to Troy. The Greeks had laid siege to Troy for 10 years without any success. Revenge for Menelaus, after Helen had run off with Paris, had not been achieved.
So, Ulysses, with a little help from the Goddess Athena, devised the famous wooden horse and a Greek sculptor built this hollow colossus. It was big enough to contain 100-armed men. Ulysses and his buddies climbed into the horse, and the opening underneath was bolted closed. The rest of the Greeks packed up camp, climbed into their ships and set off to sea, leaving the horse behind.
The Trojans were happy, after 10 years of futile combat the Greeks had had enough, and were returning home to Mamma and Royco soup. They saw the wooden horse as a peace offering to Athena.
Great rejoicing and happiness around the horse. Some of the Trojans were wary and suspected a trick. Laocoon, a Trojan Priest did not trust this setup at all. “Put no trust in the horse, men of Troy”, the wise man said. “Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even bearing gifts”. Nobody listened to the wise man, as is the case even today, only wise men listen to wise men. In frustration the priest flung his spear at the wooden beast, and it bounced off, giving an ominous hollow sound.
At this point in time a couple of Trojan shepherds brought in a Greek prisoner, a certain Sinon by name, who had been captured on the beach. He begged for pity, and maintained that he was about to be sacrificed to Athena by his comrades, when he made his escape. He confirmed that the horse was a gift to Athena, but that it had been built too big to fit through the gates of Troy, as this would mean that the favour of Athena would also be transferred to Troy. Obviously, Sinon had been left on purpose by the Greeks to do exactly what he did.
While all this was happening, two very large serpents rose from the sea, twisted themselves around the Trojan priest and his two sons, and squeezed them to death. The masses saw this as an omen. Punishment for Laocoon’s sacrilege against the sacred gift.
All problems sorted out, the horse was dragged into the city in the belief that the Gods would favour them.
That evening there was a great party, sponsored by Bacchus and a number of his buddies, after which all the Trojan warriors fell asleep.
This is where Sinon did part two of his task; he lit a fire to call back the Greek army, hiding behind the horizon, and opened the belly of the horse and out came the hidden Greeks.
The Greeks entered the City of Troy and slaughtered about everybody, in the morning only smoldering ruins were left.
Helen was rescued and taken back to Greece, Ulysses went on to complete his adventures.


Hungry Mother said...

It's too bad that, today, a "trojan horse" usually refers to a piece of malware on a computer.

Marloes said...

So that is where the proverb: Never look a given horse in the bell...euh mouth comes from?