Sunday, April 24, 2016

Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts

Beware Greeks Bearing Gifts

      Today marks the anniversary of the traditional Fall of Troy in 1184 B.C., thereby bringing to its culmination the Trojan War.

      The Fall of Troy is not recounted in Homer’s Iliad, the iconic epic, it rather covering only a period of ten days to two weeks within the supposed ten-year span of the war (the Iliad ends with Hector's death).  The Fall of Troy through the subterfuge of the Trojan Horse is briefly mentioned in the Odyssey and is referenced in several other Greek sources (there exists a long series of Greek stories regarding the Trojan War – Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are only two examples).  The story would not find, however, its full development until Virgil’s Aeneid.

      Some modern historians have attempted to explain the story as an analogy, suggesting actually that it was an earthquake – Poseidon, whose portfolio included horses, was as well the god of earthquakes – that breached the walls.  I, for one, would rather retain the literal interpretation.

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