Trojan Horse Homer and the Iliad

The Trojan Horse in the antic city

Homer lived in the eighth century BCE in lonia (western Asia Minor ). He made a decisive contribution to the spiritual and intellectual foundations of antiquity; without him there might have been no Troy, no Achilles.

In antiquity Homer was credited with writing two epics: the ‘’Iliad’’ and the ‘’Odyssey’’ They are based on oral poetry that reaches back to the second millennium BCE, although they did not receive final form until the second half of the eighth century BCE. Homer’s perhaps the greatest poet the world has produced, and the historical impact of his monumental work is comparable to that of the great texts of world religion.

His epics are the first poems of our culture to have been transmitted in writing. The myth of the Trojan War and oh the fate of those involved survives to the present day in the verses of the Iliad and the Odyssey. In the Iliad the action is concentrated within a few days at the end of a ten year war.

Homer is not concerned with the conquest of Troy but with the battles of the tenth year of the war in which the deaths of Hector and Patroclus have been singled out and poetically tied to the anger of Achilles.

The Trojan Horse. Corinthian Aryballos from Cerveteri(ca. 560 BCE).

Epeidos built the wooden Trojan horse in whose stomach the valiant heroes hid while the Greeks pretended to have sailed away in their ships. In spite of a warning by Laocoon , the Trojans dragged the horse into the city as a gift for the goddess Athena. During the night , the heroes climbed out of the interior of the horse and set fire to the city, which served as a signal to the Greek fleet that they should return. With this trick the Greeks were able to conquer Troy after a ten year war. In this tale of slaughter it is easy, amid the noise of battle, to forget that the Iliad as a poem is neither warlike nor heroic: on both sides the war is experienced as painful, and its heroes are mostly tragic figures.

They understand each other on linguistic and – despite their enmity – emotional levels. The Trojan saga later took on a new meaning due to its connection to the origins of Rome.

The horse that you see here was set up in 1975 by the Turkish artist Izzet Senemoğlu.