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Trojan War

An illustrated manuscript of the Iliad, dated to late 5th–early 6th century ADThe Trojan War was fought between the Greeks and the city of Troy in Anatolia (modern Turkey), probably some time in the 1200s BC. A war, or series of wars, between the Mycenean Greeks and the Hittites, the people who inhabited the region of Troy at the time, may well have taken place, but the story of the Trojan War as told by the poet Homer in the Iliad (the Greek name for Troy was Ilion, its Latin name Ilium) and composed during the 8th or 7th century BC, is more myth than reality.

Homer depicted as a blind man being guided by the goatherd Glaucus, in this painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau.


Homer was the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems which are central works of Greek literature. They were probably compiled around the late 8th or early 7th century BC,  although it is likely that the poems were first recited orally before being written down centuries later. Very little is known about who "Homer" was—whether he was indeed an individual man or woman, or even a group of people, all of whom contributing to the creation of the poems over a period of time.
The most popular description of Homer is as a blind bard (a professional storyteller) from Ionia, a region of western Anatolia (present-day Turkey), but there is no historical evidence for this.

Zeus, the king of the gods, appointed Paris, the young prince of Troy, to judge which was the fairest of three goddesses. Hera offered him great power, promising him to be ruler of all Asia. Athena would give him wisdom and great skill in battle. But Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta, so Paris chose Aphrodite. This was called the Judgment of Paris.

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