The Importance of the Trojan War in the Odyssey and Ancient Greek Culture

Topics: Odyssey

The Trojan War played very important roles in both The Odyssey’s and ancient Greek culture. This war is one of the most iconic events in Greek mythology due to its importance to their culture and how affected they were in a good and also in a bad way after the war, it was an event that basically changed the culture of the Greek population and how they approached life in a sense. In the book ‘The Odyssey’ translated by Emily Wilson, the narrator gives the reader a small portion of what the Trojan war was and what caused the Trojan war, and maybe a more detailed explanation throughout the war that you would be able to find on many other sources.

The Trojan war was caused after the abduction of Queen Helen of Sparta, the beautiful wife of Menealus, King of Sparta by the Trojan prince Paris. It was not an abduction by force, it was simply an abduction due to the fact that the Trojan prince Paris had fell in love with Queen Helen of Sparta, and she had been falling for the Prince’s seduction, she preferred to go away with Paris of Troy than stay at her home with her husband and King of Sparta Menealus.

In my opinion both her and him had no idea of the consequences that their acts were about to bring to both of their cities, they were just too carried away to not stay closed to each other and that’s why Helen really got convinced.

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She did not have any second thoughts of what consequences this will bring to both of them individually also.

Also, this type of acts could relate to the world population now where we see young adults taking decisions on their own without really consulting with anyone, or receiving some kind of advice from people whose more experienced than them. We see this now in our era maybe because there is no trust or profound trust within our cultures, we do not trust somebody enough for us to tell them about the big decisions in our lives, and this relates back to when Paris of Troy abducts Helen of Sparta in a reckless way without really consulting with someone he trusts the consequences of his acts.

In The Odyssey, the Trojan war is not much different than how it is described in ancient Greek mythology, the Trojan war in the Odyssey is capitalized as a major event for main character like Odysseus, who was the one that led the Greeks into the city of Troy under a strategy that no one could’ve think about, specially Paris of Troy. Odysseus, as one strong and very intelligent man, came up with a strategy to fool the enemy and make them think that the war as basically over. “Odysseus had tricked the enemy into bringing a colossal wooden horse within the walls of Troy. The Trojans had no idea that Greek soldiers were hidden inside, under the command of Odysseus”.

This strategy presented above, is a strategy that we could say can be used in wars of our days, an idea like that can only be made out of a mind that is in full attack mode and wants to recover what was once lost. Odysseus was very savvy if we could say because he made the enemy lead him right to its doors without even noticing, they were being fooled by Odysseus and his men. “That night, while the Trojans slept, Odysseus and his men emerged from the horse’s belly. Opening the city gates, they admitted their comrades, who had snuck back in the dark”.

This is basically explaining Odysseus smart hit and the Trojans weaknesses, as we read though the story, the Trojan war was a very long war, Odysseus and the Greeks were going over every strategy they had in mind, and it seemed like none of the past strategies worked in order for them to get into the city of Troy. This is how the city of Troy is amazingly vanished by Odysseus and his men, “Troy was sacked and the Trojans utterly vanquished. Now it was time for Odysseus and his fellow warriors to return to their kingdoms across the sea”.

The war was basically won by Odysseus incredible strategy, Troy had given up and had no way to fight back, they were defeated after such a long time. It did not even looked possible for the city of Troy to be defeated in such dramatic fashion, not by strength or by less number of warriors, but instead they were defeated by a brain, a brain that read and implemented the strategy the Troy had no answers against, a brain that defeated them inside out at first.

As we read through the story of the Trojan war, there are no basic similarities or differences on how the war is implemented on The Odyssey and on how the war is being implemented on Greek mythology sources. The Trojan War is probably one of the most important events that have been narrated in Greek mythology. It was a war that broke out between the Achaeans (the Greeks) and the city of Troy.

Zeus also plays an important role in the Trojan War because Zeus is a very powerful god, basically when Zeus wanted something done, it had to be done no matter what and it also had to be done his way, the way he wanted to do it. “Zeus believed that the number of humans populating the Earth was too high and decided it was time to decrease it.” This sounds cruel, doesn’t it? Just because Zeus thought that there was too many people populating the earth he decided that it was time to decrease its population, that is something someone evil would do, not someone who is a god of gods, like Zeus.

This events took place also because Zeus had affairs with other women he wanted no parts with, he only had these affairs and then he decided to get rid of them, being him the one that caused them in the first place. “The god of gods organised a grand feast in celebration of Peleus’ and Thetis’ marriage, in which all of the gods and important figures were invited, except the goddess of strife, Eris. The goddess was stopped at the door by Hermes, infuriating her. Before she left, she threw her gift amidst the guests; the Apple of Discord, a golden apple on which the words “to the fairest” had been inscribed”.

This is another prophecy in Greek mythology on how or why did the Trojan war really started and what were its main causes, other than the “rape” or abduct of Queen Helen of Sparta by Paris of Troy. This explains the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, a marriage arranged primarily by Zeus after he found out that Thetis, a woman whom Zeus had fallen for, was going to give birth to a son that would surpass his father in glory.

The Trojan War topic caught my eye because of its meaning to both societies in Greek mythology and The Odyssey, I wanted to know how this historic event was created, what were its main causes, what develop the Trojan War and how it affected the Archeans and the people in the city of Troy. For me in order to understand how important the Trojan War was to its society I had to come up with a question that points out mainly the cause of this topic: what was the Trojan War? Was it something meaningless to Greek society? Did it affect the way people started to see and act towards life after the war was over? And these questions led me to sources where I could find different type of answers and form them into one.

The Trojan War was a meaningful event, and it was an event that changed the lives of the people in both societies and also their culture, but what really caught my eye is that the Trojan war was not created by a necessary cause, it was not created due to the beef that these two societies had with each other or that one attacked the other in order to start this war. The war was initiated by the abduction of a Queen by the obsession of a Prince, some sources might say that she was “raped” and other sources might say that she just faded away by the seduction of Paris of Troy. This story still has some questions to answer and it will be important to our society to start looking deeper into the Trojan War and its causes.

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The Importance of the Trojan War in the Odyssey and Ancient Greek Culture. (2023, Feb 14). Retrieved from

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