Saturday, April 24, 2021

The End of the Trojan War

Today is the date traditionally considered the anniversary of the end of the Trojan War, the date that the Greeks' Trojan Horse fooled the citizens of Troy into thinking they'd won and that the Greeks had headed for home.

You can read the story in Virgil's Aeneid. Another translation is here. There are several translations online. Here's an excerpt from the Dryden translation in that 2nd link:
All were attentive to the godlike man,
When from his lofty couch he thus began:
"Great queen, what you command me to relate
Renews the sad remembrance of our fate:
An empire from its old foundations rent,
And ev'ry woe the Trojans underwent;
A peopled city made a desart place;
All that I saw, and part of which I was:
Not ev'n the hardest of our foes could hear,
Nor stern Ulysses tell without a tear.
And now the latter watch of wasting night,
And setting stars, to kindly rest invite;
But, since you take such int'rest in our woe,
And Troy's disastrous end desire to know,
I will restrain my tears, and briefly tell
What in our last and fatal night befell.
"By destiny compell'd, and in despair,
The Greeks grew weary of the tedious war,
And by Minerva's aid a fabric rear'd,
Which like a steed of monstrous height appear'd:
The sides were plank'd with pine; they feign'd it made
For their return, and this the vow they paid.
Thus they pretend, but in the hollow side
Selected numbers of their soldiers hide:
With inward arms the dire machine they load,
And iron bowels stuff the dark abode.
In sight of Troy lies Tenedos, an isle
(While Fortune did on Priam's empire smile)
Renown'd for wealth; but, since, a faithless bay,
Where ships expos'd to wind and weather lay.
There was their fleet conceal'd. We thought, for Greece
Their sails were hoisted, and our fears release.
The Trojans, coop'd within their walls so long,
Unbar their gates, and issue in a throng,
Like swarming bees, and with delight survey
The camp deserted, where the Grecians lay:
The quarters of the sev'ral chiefs they show'd;
Here Phoenix, here Achilles, made abode;
Here join'd the battles; there the navy rode.
Part on the pile their wond'ring eyes employ:
The pile by Pallas rais'd to ruin Troy.
Thymoetes first ('t is doubtful whether hir'd,
Or so the Trojan destiny requir'd)
Mov'd that the ramparts might be broken down,
To lodge the monster fabric in the town.
But Capys, and the rest of sounder mind,
The fatal present to the flames designed,
Or to the wat'ry deep; at least to bore
The hollow sides, and hidden frauds explore.
The giddy vulgar, as their fancies guide,
With noise say nothing, and in parts divide.
Laocoon, follow'd by a num'rous crowd,
Ran from the fort, and cried, from far, aloud:
'O wretched countrymen! what fury reigns?
What more than madness has possess'd your brains?
Think you the Grecians from your coasts are gone?
And are Ulysses' arts no better known?
This hollow fabric either must inclose,
Within its blind recess, our secret foes;
Or 't is an engine rais'd above the town,
T' o'erlook the walls, and then to batter down.
Somewhat is sure design'd, by fraud or force:
Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse.'
But did they listen to this warning? Of course not.


  1. I didn't realize they knew the date of this event. But why wouldn't they? That's cool.

    1. I don't think they really know, so it's more an event observed, but I'll take it :)

  2. We just recently watched "The Odyssey" (1997) mini-series with Armand Assante on Amanzon Prime Video. Sadly it's not available

    1. I remember seeing that one but don't remember much about it.

  3. ...but war seems never ending.

  4. War is always a current theme. We had to learn the Aeneid at school, I don't think we were that interested back then! Valerie

    1. I didn't learn it at school, but it was on all those must-read "great books" lists. I'm a sucker for book lists lol

  5. Oddly, I've never seen it depicted as anything that looked like a real horse. Harder to visualize soldiers inside of this one. Read this is college.

    1. I always see it depicted as looking like a wooden horse. This particular image is unusual, I think.

  6. Crazy people never listen. Me included. Ingo said once, "don´t look to the left", guess what I did.
    A huge moth was sitting right there and I trampled poor Ingo down cause I wanted to get OUT!
    People never listen...

  7. So, would the date of the war be the Roman calendar or Gregorian? I get so confused on ancient dates! It took you a long time to type this in! I hope you copied and pasted!

    1. As I understand it, this is the modern date attached to the event. Yes, copy and paste, definitely!

  8. I didn't know that end of the Trojan War had an anniversary, so interesting and it's a shame that the war ended due to the entire city being burned down! Take care 😁. Hugs, Jo x

    1. I hadn't realized that either. I'd always assumed they wouldn't even be able to hazard a guess.