TROJAN WAR, The. According to Greek legend a 10 years' war carried on by the con federated Greeks led by Agamemnon (q.v.), the king of Mycenw and Argolis, against the men of Troy with their allies. The purpose of this war was the recovery of Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta, who had been car ried off by Paris, one of the sons of Priam, king of the Trojans. The earliest and latest dates that have been assigned for this struggle are almost two centuries apart, the former being 1335 B.C., the latter 1149 a.c. The commonly accepted date is that of Eratosthenes, 1183. The story is that there was a gathering of the gods and goddesses, and that Eros flung a golden apple them, addressed to °The Fairest." Paris was given the task of deciding who was fairest, and of course of into trouble, for he named Aphrodite (q.v.) in order to gain her assistance in securing Helen. He won her, but obtained the everlasting animosity of Juno and Minerva, who aided the expedition of Agamem non by every means in their power. Achilles,
Odysseus, Ajax, Diomedes (qq.v.) and other famous adventurers, with more than 1,000 ships and 100,000 troops, sailed for Troy and laid siege to the city. The story is told at great length in Homers 'Iliad' (q.v.) and has been so pop ular that every educated person feels obliged to read it, and know something of these more or less mythical heroes of ancient Greece. The wonderful adventures of Odysseus, the valor of Ajax and his brother, and the final overcoming of the city by the ruse of building a great wooden horse, surreptitiously filled with sol diers, and ostensibly sailing away, so that the Trojans were fooled into bringing the horse within their gates, has been retold by scores of historians and fiction writers. See TROY.