As you may have noticed, recent episodes have covered the Trojan War. Upcoming episodes will begin to cover the events that took place after the war; they are wide-reaching, and include many characters and far-off locations. To make it easier for you to follow the timeline, and whose drama takes place where, I give you… a basic timeline of the events of the Trojan War, to be updated as we continue on with further characters experiences after the war…
The Trojan War: Where Are They Now?
The Judgement of Paris
Eris, goddess of Discord, arrives at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis with one goal: fuck. shit. up.
She tosses into the god and goddess-filled fray a golden apple with the words “for the fairest” inscribed upon it. Three goddesses insist it is meant for them: Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. And there’s only one man who can decide who is correct! Paris, a shepherd (but really a prince) of Troy. He chooses Aphrodite, who in return, tells him that he will have the most beautiful woman in the world: Helen of Sparta.
Paris and Helen run away together to Troy, removing Helen from her place at the side of her husband, Menelaus, brother to Agamemnon and king of Sparta. This isn’t taken well.
The Sacrifice of Iphigenia
War has been declared in response to Paris and Helen’s flight to Troy. Menelaus has asked for the help of his brother, Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, in punished Paris, Helen, and the Trojans. Agamemnon is all over this shit: he’s a crazy war monger. All the Greeks are assembled, they’ve sworn an allegiance to defend the marriage of Menelaus and Helen. They’re not thrilled, but they’re going to war. There’s only one problem: there’s no wind!
The Greeks are assembled at Aulis, waiting to set sail, when they learn that it’s Artemis preventing the wind they need. There’s only one solution, Agamemnon sacrifices his daughter Iphigenia. It works, but it leaves his wife Clytemnestra just a little bit angry. His other two children, Orestes and Electra, are still figuring out how they feel about this.
The Trojan War: 9 years later
The Iliad begins nine years after the beginning of the Trojan War. The two sides have been fighting without either gaining ground. The Greeks have been pillaging everywhere they can. As a result: there are a lot of slave women to be divvied up (ah, to be a woman in ancient Greece!). Achilles has captured Briseis, and he wants her for his own. But when Agamemnon decides he wants her too, shit goes down. Achilles runs to his mommy, Thetis, who goes to her god-friends, and things go very, very badly for the Greeks, with Achilles refusing to fight any more.
The End of the War
Eventually, most of the Trojans and many of the Greeks perish in the Trojan War. Patroclus and Achilles are killed tragically, are is Hector. In the end, no one is satisfied and no one is happy. The Greeks leaving, dividing up the captured Trojan Women (in a magnificent play by Euripides that I covered in episode XL) and they begin to make their way to each of their homes…
Everyone heads home, but first off in the hometown drama is Agamemnon who, upon his return with Cassandra, is killed by his wife Clytemnestra and her new lover, Agamemnon’s arch foe, Aegisthus. They also kill Cassandra just for being Agamemnon’s captor. Gross. But Orestes, Agamemnon and Clytemnestra’s son returns home and reunites with his sister Electra. Together they plan and execute a plan to kill their mother and Aegisthus, as well as, eventually, Helen who returns to Argos with Menelaus (Helen, remember, is Clytemnestra’s sister, and Menelaus is Agamemnon’s brother). This is covered in three “Oresteia” episodes, XLIV, XLV, and XLVI.
Not So Fast!
Odysseus has been trying to get home for nine years, which leads us to…
The Odyssey: Sometimes It Sucks Being Odysseus