The Trojan War was a ten-year-long war fought at Troy between Mycenae and its allies (notably Sparta, Athens, Pylos, Thebes, etc), against Troy and their allies (notably Dardania, Lycia, Aethiopia, Amazonia, Thrace). The war consisted mainly of the siege of the city of Troy, as well as sallies made by the defenders and Greek forays into neighbouring regions allied with the Anatolian city. The Trojan War ended with the trick retreat of the Greek forces, with a small number remaining in a large, wooden horse. The Trojans rolled the horse into the city believing it was a peace offering and a gift to the Gods. When night fell, the Greek men got out of the horse and opened the city gates, enabling the returning Greek armies to breach the city and ransack it.
There were numerous prophecies surrounding the Trojan War.
Prophecy of the Aeacidiae
When Poseidon and Apollo were banished to build the walls of Troy, they were aided by Aeacus, king of Aegina. When they had finished, three serpents tried to destory the walls. The two attacking Poseidon and Apollo's sections died instantly but one forced its way through Aeacus' part. Apollo prophesised Troy could only be breached by the Aeacidae; Aeacus' descendants.
Prophecy of Paris' Birth
When Paris was born, either his mother Hecuba or sister Cassandra, had a dream in which the city of Troy was on fire. They prophesised Paris would ultimately doom the land to destruction. Priam, not having the heart to kill his own son, sent a shepherd to take him into the wilderness and abandon him. The shepherd, also not wanting to kill the baby, raised him as his own. During a wrestling competition, Paris bested his brother Deiphobus, who was previously undefeated. When Hecuba and Priam saw him, he was instantly recognised and accepted regardless of the prophecy.
Prophecy of Achilles' Death
Before the Trojan War, Achilles' (grandson of Aeacus) mother Thetis, had a dream that her son would not survive the war, warning him not to touch the sons of Apollo, for if he killed one, the god would take his revenge. She tried to conceal him at the court of Lycomedes in Scyros. However, Odysseus eventually found him as he was essential to the war effort (being almost immortal and the only of the Aeacidae able to go to war, with his father and uncle being to old). However, the first Trojan killed was king Tenes of Tenedos, a son of Apollo, who eventually guided Paris' fateful arrow into Achilles' weak heel.
There are multiple causes of the Trojan War. These include
- The abduction of Hesione from Troy and Priam's negotiations with Telamon
- The abduction/elopement of Helen by/with Paris
- Agamemnon's desire for control of the Aegean
- Agamemnon's desire to unite the Achaeans against a common enemy
- The decision of Paris during Peleus and Thetis' wedding
- Eris, goddess of discord and chaos not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis. So she created the Apple of Discord and threw it in the middle of the wedding.
- Zeus' plan to reduce the amount of demigods on Earth
Abduction of Hesione
Hesione was the daughter of king Laomedon of Troy. Laomedon failed to pay homage to Poseidon, who sent a sea monster to ravage Troy. Laomedon hired Heracles to defeat the monster but refused payment, to which end Heracles and Telamon, son of Aeacus, besieged Troy and killed Laomedon's children except Priam and Hesione (who became Telamon's wife). Priam eventually rebuilt and sent emissaries to Telamon to request the return of his long-lost sister, which the hot-headed Telamon swiftly denied. This angered Priam and caused much mutual resentment between the Greeks and Trojans.
Wedding of Peleus and Thetis
Peleus (son of Aeacus) and Thetis, the sea-goddess were married at an extravagant wedding, to which all the gods were invited except Eris (strife), who stole an apple from the Tree of the Hesperides and engraved with the words "to the fairest" and rolled it onto the banquet table. At once, Hera, Athena and Aphrodite claimed the apple and asked Zeus to decide. Zeus, unable to decide between his wife and his daughters, sent Hermes to request Paris' advice. Paris chose Aphrodite after she promised him Helen's hand in marriage. This made Hera and Athena permanent enemies of Troy and Paris, though they shared the favour of many others, including Aphrodite, Ares and Apollo.
Tyndareus, foster-father of Helen, had difficulty choosing Helen's husband. He enlisted the help of Odysseus, who suggested an oath binding the unsucceful suitors to the winner, swearing their aid to whoever would attempt to wrongfully take Helen away. This pledge, taken by the suitors of Helen (most of the princes and kings of Greece) compelled the Greek cities to go to war under Agamemnon's banner.