Greek-American Stories: History of the Trojan Horse

I love history! Especially, Greek history that began with my father telling me a few facts that I wasn’t taught in Greek school or any school. I only attended Greek school for two weeks. During that time, my father having roused my interest, I started asking questions pertaining to history, even when the subject wasn’t about history, raising my hand numerous times, expecting to be supplied with answers. But, no! Instead, receiving no satisfaction, two things happened. I threatened to quit Greek school and a sweating Kyrie Moshos threatened early retirement. Both events happened. I don’t know which came first. But, it doesn’t matter.

My interest in Greek history was very sincere. I had especial interest about the Trojan horse. So, I went to the library and did some research. The Trojan horse was built by a carpenter named Epelius who, as a sideline, was a pugilist. After all, how many wooden horses are ordered? It was made of wood and built to house many warriors. One must consider that having been made of wood must have caused a lot of hammering that must have driven the neighbors crazy. The structure was mentioned in the Odyssey. So, it has to date to about 1184 BC. And, this was non- union work! All this work occurred during or about the Bronze era, which means the neighbors were lucky the horse wasn’t constructed of bronze. Ear plugs would have become great sellers.

Anyway, the horse was built in order to signal to the Trojans that the Greeks weren’t interested in continuing the war. I mean, ten years was enough! Besides, it was supposed to be a gift offering of the Goddess of War, Athena. War! That should have told them something. They told the Trojans it was a protection emblem. They didn’t mention from what or for whom. So, leaving a guy named Sinon behind to maneuver the horse inside the gate, what he did not mention was that inside that horse were a lot of sweaty, Greek warriors. A woman named Cassandra was suspicious of the gift. But who listens to women? Then, an officer said something similar. He said, “beware of Greeks bearing gifts.” He, probably, received the bill for the construction of the horse. Think of it! These guys were wearing steel helmets, steel breast plates with horse hairs sprouting from the top of them, and holding shields and spears. They waited all day. They didn’t come out until night time. I mean, think that they were all holed up for hours inside that wooden structure with no modern bathroom facilities, no deodorant. It was no big wonder that when the signal was given to jump out, the warriors streamed out from there, if not for occupying Troy, for sure it was for some fresh air.

No one thought of negotiation, a meeting between the generals, a card game.

All this history because Paris, son of Priam, kidnapped Helen, who was already married to Menelaus, King of Sparta. Ten years of war for a liaison that would have resolved itself in time when Paris discovered Helen snored. When Menelaus died, Helen became a widow. She then married Menelaus’ brother, who was backup. Anyway, coming back to this saner century (the twenty-first), just out of curiosity I asked my aunt, Vasso if she ever heard the story about the Trojan horse. She wrinkled her forehead, thought a while, then, scanning the newspaper, looked up and said, “I think it came in third in Belmont.”



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