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Left: Trojan forces fighting a retreating Greek force
Right: Greek Ships landing on the first day of the war
|Date||Between 1260 and 1240 BC|
|Location||Ionia (Anatolia) City of Troy|
The Trojan war was a war against the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek city-states which led to a victory by the City of Troy. The Trojan war according to Greek mythology was waged over a myriad of political concerns but the catalyst was Paris, Prince of Troy, taking the Queen of Sparta, Helen, from her husband and taking her to Troy to serve as his wife.
Being wrapped in mythology the war has many uncertainties but with Troy's survival as a major city its extremely obvious that Troy won the war and was not burned to the ground. Lasting a long nine years the Trojan was led to thousands of casualties and according to mythology many major Greek heroes such as Achilles were killed during this war.
Origins of the war.
The Trojans wars origins are subject to debate but many agree that a series of political issues between Mycenae and Troy led to the war breaking out. Mythologically (and potentially factually) a Prince of Troy named Paris took the wife of the King of Sparta for himself taking her over the Aegean to Troy proper. Eventually discovered the King of Sparta took this to his brother Menelaus, king of Mycenae.
With an excuse to go to war Menelaus of Mycenae called together many of his allies and possessions against Troy. After spending a considerable amount of time gathering his force Menelaus marched on Troy and began a nine-year siege of the city. Attempting to be diplomatic, one of the most intelligent of the Greeks, Odysseus, attempted to treat and find a peaceful situation with King Priam of Troy who turned down his demands (which vary depending on the accounts read).
With Menelaus's offer turned down by Priam, the Greeks officially went to war with Troy beginning a nine-year siege of city and one of the most costly wars of the Era.
The war began with an extremely large Greek assault by Menelaus's forces on the beach just in front of Troy. Having had time to marshal Troy's forces and allies from the surrounding territories the Trojans attempted to hold the beach. Having set up multiple defensive lines as well as having massive cities walls above the beach allowed the Trojans to hold the beach for a decent amount of time on the first day. However on the first day the Trojans regardless of the height and defensive advantage were wholly unable to hold the beach resulting in a devastating loss for Troy.
Following the loss of the beach the Trojan cavalry, of which they are known for, rode to help evacuate the temple of Apollo which sat outside the city due to the nature of the religion. Lead by Hector, prince of Troy, the cavalry arrived too late to help but according to the myths engaged with the myrmidons. This was an elite force under the command of Achilles, an expert Greek fighter who allegedly had never lost a battle. Regardless of the truthfulness of this account, the Trojans had lost the beach and were forced to retreat to their city.
The next years of the war consisted of an all out siege of the city on multiple month long occasions followed by periods of lull or a major counterattack by the Trojans. This continued for many years with the Greeks suffering atrocious casualties and the legendary heroes of both sides being killed, particularly Hector who was killed by Achilles and taken back to the Greek encampment on the beaches as a humiliation. Much speculation exists but due to lack of money it is believed that the whole of the Mycenean army was never present again as it was in the first year until the final year of the war in which it attempted one final full conquest of Troy.
During the final years of the war Menelaus was becoming extremely desperate as he attempted to take Troy. Having suffered an extreme amount of casualties for little to no gain for almost 10 years its suspecting flagging morale and lack of ability to take the city was severely hurting the credibility of Menelaus as King and as a reliable commander to his allies. By the 10th year of the war Menelaus was open to any suggestions and through Odysseus came up with a plan.
The Greeks then left the shores of Troy seemingly defeated but left an "offering", a large wooden horse which unbeknownst to the Trojans was full of Greek soldiers. As this was a plan to infiltrate the city and burn it to the ground, King Menelaus hid his fleet and army nearby just out of sight of the Trojans. It was then moved all back into place during the night in which Inside the wooden horse were nearly 100 Greek soldiers led by Odysseus who were tasked with opening the gates for the entire Greek army.
The Battle for Troy never came as the Trojan King heeding advice of his daughter and a few other skeptics refused to bring the Horse within the city opting to burn it as an offering. This led to the end of the war and the Mycenean Greeks being completely unable to take the City.
The aftermath of the Trojan War was a disaster for Mycenaean Greece. With the inability to conquer a single city state along the Ionian coast the influence of Mycenae dwindled a bit as the Trojans unwilling to see a repeat, expanded their own competitive influence along the Ionian coast rather effectively drawing many settlers from mainland Greece to create or expand existing cities under Trojan influence.
Troy in the long run benefited greatly from their victory in the war and managed to attract a large influx of local allies and even a few further ones which allowed Troy to remain relatively powerful and independent. This power and staunch independence from Mycenae characterized much of the cities politics for the later parts of the Bronze age up until the collapse in which Iron Age Troy developed.
Alongside this Troy remained a much more powerful and even one of the Dominant Greek cities throughout the final stage of the Bronze age in the area up until the Dorian invasion when much of these influences were usurped or otherwise wiped out.