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In the ancient legends of early Greece a city-state called Ilium representing a colony of earlier migrating Greeks existed in the north west corner of modern Turkey The story of Ilium Troy and its siege by the Greeks was told in two epics by the Greek poet Homer Iliad Odyssey and a third Aeneid by the Roman poet Virgil Limited historical material in a rich admixture with the myths common to the Greek gods of Olympus cover the tale as follows Troy was ruled by King Priam His son Paris on a trip to Sparta fell in love with Helen the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta and carried her away to Troy The Greeks who Homer calls the Achaeans were determined to get her back A naval force was assembled led by Agamemnon brother of Menelaus and included many Greek heroes such as Odysseus Ulysses and Achiles The siege of Troy occupied 10 years due to the impregnable stone walls of Troy Then the Greeks hit upon a trick Odysseus had a wooden horse built in which he and several others hid The Greeks then pushed the horse to the gates of Troy seemingly offering it as a gift to the victors and then sailed away Despite the warning from Priams daughter Cassandra the curious Trojans pulled the wooden horse within the city walls and celebrated That night Odysseus and the others crawled out opened the gates for the Greeks who had silently returned and the city was sacked Possible date range 1250 - 1180 BC Aeneas and a few other Trojans escaped as recorded in the Aeneid while Paris was killed and Helen was returned to Greece Archaeology reveals a probable site for Troy near the southern end of the Hellespont with apparent roots extending to 3000 BC Elements of nine cities in succession are to be found there The fabled Troy may have been the seventh the sixth appears
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