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Once upon a tyme there was a beautiful Princess, Eleni (Helen), who was wooed by a handsome young Prince, Paris. After much wooing, Eleni eventually eloped with Paris and they lived unhappily ever after. For Eleni was married to Menelaus, king of Sparta, and when she arrived at Troy she was kept prisoner, for the artful Paris was really only after the treasure he persuaded Eleni to take from the vaults of Sparta.

Enter Odysseas, king of Ithaka and superhero of ancient Greece. He united all the Greek city-states against Troy, gathered a great army of Greek heroes and led the epic Trojan wars which defeated Troy and freed the beautiful Helen.

Well, that’s one version of the epic Trojan saga. A more realistic version might be…
When the volcano at Santorini erupted it caused an enormous tidal wave which destroyed the mighty Minoan civilisation on Crete. In its place arose a new super-power, mighty Mycenae, led by King Agamemnon. He desired the beautiful Kassandra, but she was married… so Agamemnon contrived a battle, slew her husband and then slew her suckling baby. Kassandra was taken as his wife and her sister, Helen (who was almost as beautiful as the goddesses Aphrodite and Athena), was married off to his brother, King Menelaus of Sparta.

Far away, Paris had upset the goddesses, Aphrodite and Athena, and his punishment was to fall in love with Helen, and for her to fall in love with him. When she eloped to Troy she took with her much from the treasury of Sparta (clever woman!), and so began the epic 10 year Trojan Wars.

Besides leading the Greek army against Troy, Odysseas devised and built the Wooden Horse which, of course, was responsible for the defeat of Troy.

Once the war was won Odysseas was fated to wander aimlessly and only after ten long years did he arrive back on Ithaka, recognised only by his swine-herder and his faithful dog. Regarded as a beggar by the many suitors who had swarmed to his kingdom to woo his faithful wife, Penelope, he dispatched them in his customary style, only to have a fateful demise… see the Books section for books on classical Greek history… Agamemnon’s fate is particularly interesting!

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