The War At Troy

The War At Troy

Author: Homer

Format: Paperback

Language: English

ISBN: 9781425722784

Published: September 1st 2006

THE WAR AT TROY: A TRUE HISTORY. SYNOPSIS Far away in Asia pregnant Hekab, queen of Troy, dreams that she has given birth to a firebrand. The child, Paris, is exposed to die; but a shepherd raises him. In his youth Paris is loved by Oinon, maid of the mountains. Meanwhile, across the sea in Hellas, land of the Akhaioi, Lda is impregnated by Zeus in the form of an swan. Helen is born on the same day as Paris, improbably hatched from an egg laid by Lda. Leda's husband fears indiscretion, but Lda explains all. Helen grows up, a lustrous beauty. Up north in Phthia, all the gods assemble to do special honor at the wedding of Peleus--just back from the Kalydonian Boar Hunt--with Thtis, goddess of the sea. (The gods are a burlesque band of hooligans and blowhards, constantly interfering in the already troubled lives of mortal men.) But Eris, cosmic spirit of contention, uninvited, rolls a golden apple across the floor, to which the attached label reads: "To the fairest." The chaste Athena, a blubbery and complaining Hera, and a light-headed Aphrodite each claim the prize, causing a row. Zeus puts his foot down and orders the case taken to Prince Paris, now a foundling shepherd in the mountains behind Troy. The three goddesses journey to Asia and appear before Paris. Each shows her charms, but Aphrodite wins by offering the best bribe: the most beautiful woman that ever lived, Helen of Lakedaimon. In Phthia Thtis gives birth to Akhilleus, destined to be the greatest fighter of his generation. After a spat, Thtis abandons her husband Peleus, whom she loathes, and returns to the sea. Peleus turns over Akhilleus to Kheiron, wisest of the Kentauroi, for his education and training in the martialarts. When Akhilleus reaches early adolescence, Thtis spirits him to the island of Skyros to be raised in a harem as a girl. This will keep him from the war she foresees, where, she fears, her son may meet an early death. Helen, though abducted and brutally raped at age ten by Theseus prince of Athens, ripens for marriage. But her father, Tyndareus, fears the rancorous suitors that have gathered in his palace. On the advice of Odysseus, Tyndareus compels the suitors to swear an oath to defend in every need the man whom Helen chooses. Helen chooses Menelaos, because he's the richest. Back in Asia, Paris spurns his girlfriend Oinon and descends from the mountains to claim his birthright as a prince of Troy and to secure from across the sea his prize for judging Aphrodite "the fairest." He sails for Sparta, where Menelaos entertains him lavishly; but when Menelaos is called away on family business, amorous prince and wanton wife take their cue and flee. As they go out the door, they grab the tableware. Menelaos, returning, blackens with rage and invokes the oath of the suitors. His elder brother Agamemnon, who married Helen's elder sister Klytaimnestra (born in the usual way), takes command of the campaign, anxious to restore a little respect to the family name. The greatest spearmen of their day assemble at the port of Aulis, except Odysseus, who concocted the oath in the first place. A homebody now with an infant in arms, Odysseus malingers in Ithaka, feigning madness; but Palamedes, a smarmy intellectual, unmasks him. Akhilleus, too young to have been a suitor, is found in the harem on Skyros and happily joins the campaign. Alas, at Aulis the winds blow ever shoreward. The fleet can'tsail. The men are restless. Kalkhas, the local seeing-man, announces that only human sacrifice can change the winds: the goddess Artemis is causing this to happen, because of some slight. Agamemnon lures his daughter Iphigeneia up from Myknai, rich in gold, with a promise of marriage to Akhilleus. At the altar, dressed in wedding gown, Iphigeneia realizes too late the truth, as Dad cuts her throat. The winds change and the fleet sets forth. However, nobody knows where Troy is. The fleet wanders aimlessly eastward until striking land