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Trojan Horse

The Trojan Horse is part of the myth of the Trojan War, as told in Virgil's epic poem The Aeneid. The events of this myth take place after Homer's Iliad, and before both Homer's Odyssey and Virgil's The Aeneid.

The Greek siege of Troy had lasted for ten years. The Greeks devised a new ruse: a giant hollow wooden horse. It was built by Epeius and filled with Greek warriors led by Odysseus. The rest of the Greek army appeared to leave, but actually hid behind Tenedos. Meanwhile, a Greek spy, Sinon, convinced the Trojans the horse was a gift despite the warnings of Laocoon and Cassandra; Helen and Deiphobus even investigated the horse; in the end, the Trojans accepted the gift

The Trojans hugely celebrated the end of the siege, so that, when the Greeks emerged from the horse, the city was in a drunken stupor. The Greek warriors opened the city gates to allow the rest of the army to enter, and the city was pillaged ruthlessly—all the men were killed, and all the women and children were taken into slavery.

The Trojan Bell is an ancillary component to the myth; according to lore, it signaled the beginning of the assault on Troy.

The Trojan horse may or may not actually have been built and used. The only evidence known to modern scholars is literary references written long after the alleged event.


Within the territories of the ancient city of Troy, near the Dardanelles (modern Turkey), is a small museum, founded in 1955, that includes the remnants of the city, along with a wooden horse built in the museum garden to depict the legendary Trojan horse. The wooden horse from the recent film Troy is displayed on the seafront in the nearby town of Çanakkale.


Book II of Virgil's Aeneid covers the siege of Troy, and includes these lines spoken by Laocoon:

equo ne credite, Teucri.
quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis.

Meaning "Do not trust the horse, Trojans! Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even bringing gifts", the lines are the origin of the modern adage to "Beware of Greeks bearing gifts."