The story of Troy has often been questioned whether it really happened; are the gallant soldiers described by Homer simply myth? Is Troy just a legend, just a story? Or is it true, did it really happen? Only the ones who lived at that time, the Dark Ages in 1184 BC. will ever know the truth, what really happened. So let us take a step into the past, back to the battles, back to the cunning, back to the Siege of Troy.

There are many different stories of how the Trojans and Greeks began war on one another: some say that it was upon the act of Paris, a Trojan, who gave a golden apple to the Goddess of love. Aphrodite, in return that she give him the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife. This woman happened to be a Greek whose name was Helen who was already married. But when she saw Paris, she fell deeply in love with him and ran away with him to Troy. Wanting his wife back, Helen’s former husband. King Tyndareds, declared war on Troy, demanding that Paris give Helen back. Now, some will say that this story is pure rubbish and could not possibly have ever happened. These people hypothesize that the war against Troy could have started on debates of who was to gain ownership of certain land;, crops, and the Dardanelles (a water passage) No matter which story you choose to believe, it is clear that both show that the Greeks were furious with the Trojans and were going to fight till they gained what they desired.

A thousand Greek ships were hauled out to sea, being rowed by one hundred thirty two men each. These warriors were filled with excitement, barley being able to contain themselves from bursting out with their treacherous war cress as their ships drew closer and closer to their enemy. The Trojans could only watch from atop the high protective wall that surrounded their city as the horizon filled with these vessels of berserk men. They could only wait and prepare to meet the Greeks in the bloody combat they knew was about to take place.

Horrible war raged for ten years: The Greeks could not gain entrance to the great wall that surrounded Troy yet the Trojans could not defeat their enemy. So every morning, Trojans would wake to hear the dreadful anguished filled cries of those who were fighting, those who have been pierced and slaughtered by sword, who have fallen into the merciless arms of death. The women were filled with fear when they heard such screams of despair with the rising of each sun; what if that was their husband they now heard as his throat fills with blood? What if that was their son who has given his last cry of life? These poor people had to live with this fear everyday, a subtle fear that followed them at every moment for a decade,

As the legend goes, both Greeks and Trojans had their own hero: Achilles of the Greek and Hector of the Trojans. One day, these two brave and competitive soldiers met each other in combat; the fight that took place between them was truly vicious. Both wielded their swords with equal experience and hatred, each putting as much skill as they knew against their opponent. However, Hector slipped accidentally, giving Achilles the one moment of opportunity that he needed to deliver a deathblow to his enemy. Then, in front of the horror-struck Trojans who were watching from atop their wall, Achilles performed a most barbaric act: he cut two holes in each of Hectors legs. He strung a rope through these holes and then tied the rope to his chariot. He then triumphantly drove his chariot around the wall of Troy three times, laughing at the body of Hector that stared blankly at the sky as it was cut and broken by the many rocks that he was dragged across. Never had the Trojans seen such an act as this before. As they watched their hero being mangled and brutally dishonored into death, they could only think of one thing: revenge.

And revenge they did gain, for a man named Paris (some say it was the same Paris who fell in love with Helen) shot Achilles with an arrow when he fell into a rage upon hearing that his brother (Hector) was dead on the account of a barbaric and insane Greek hero. Paris’s aim was true and struck Achilles fatally in the ankle. He soon died. The Greeks were now helplessly left without a leader.

The next day, the Trojans awoke to hear no screaming, no desperate cries for life from their family; only silence. Curious, everyone within the city rushed up to the top of the wall. There they saw a sight they had longed for for ten years: nothing. There were no Greek camps or ships or warriors in sight. The beach was completely deserted, empty, clear. It was almost too wonderful to believe; the Greeks were gone. They must’ve given up and sailed home after they realized that they were without a leader. The only thing that was left behind was an immensely large wooden horse covered in flowers and wreaths and garlands. The Trojans assumed that this must be a gift from the Greeks as a sort of apology for starting the war. However, some of the Trojans, such as Cassandra (Paris’s sister) and Priest Lacroon felt that the horse was some sort of trap or trick set up by the Greeks: why would someone fight against their enemy for a decade then suddenly give up, leaving without a trace? They thought there was something suspicious about the horse and encouraged the Trojans to destroy it. But they were ignored and the wooden horse was dragged inside the protective walls of Troy.

A great celebration took place that night; feasts were prepared and drink was served glass after glass until the majority of the city was quite drunk. Sleep over took every Trojan soul and gave dreams of victory and happiness. No one was awake nor aware enough to hear the creaking of boards from within the wooden horse that sat just within the Trojan gates. There was no one to see the Greek soldiers drop out of a trap door in the middle of the horse. Not one of the innocent Trojan souls witnessed these soldiers unbar the gates of the Trojan wall to let the Greek army that had been hiding around the bay silently within their enemies walls. The Trojans had been fooled and now they would pay for it.

Without warning, the Greeks rushed upon the helpless people of Troy. No mercy was felt for any living being that fell victim to the sword of a charging, raging Greek. Gore was splattered everywhere. The stench of fear was in the air; there was no corner of the city that was not filled with shrieks of anguish, rage, and terror. Bodies lay about; roads were strewn with decapitated limbs. No Trojan man was spared.

Ashlyanet, son of Hector, was no more than two years old. He was captured by the Greeks and brought to the top of the Trojan wall. He was held above it and dropped onto the rocks below. His arms had waved helplessly in the air. He had been no more than a glass doll, shattering into oblivion upon the jagged rocks below the wall. Cries of triumph rose amongst the Greeks at this act of devastation. The Greeks had won the war and they had won it in the most barbaric and massacring way.

The women of Troy that were left alive were taken captive as slaves; some say that Helen was happily returned to her husband. Yet others say that the Greeks finally gained the land and crops they had long fought for. The Greek ships were loaded once again and the Greeks sailed to the home they had not seen for ten years.

Troy was never really seen again until the late 1880’s when Henrich Schliemann discovered its ruins on the west coast of Turkey. It was simply a destroyed town, crumpled with age and despair.

The mystery of Troy may never be able to be concluded for there are too many possible truths and conclusions to this tale. But one thing is certain; many innocent lives were taken in a needless war of jealousy and greed. May all those who were tortured and slaughtered rest in peace and may they hold the truth of the Siege of Troy safely in their grasp. Whether Troy was myth or reality, we shall never know.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.