"He took it up at the point where the Argives after setting fire to their huts had embarked on their ships and were sailing away"
The procession of the Trojan Horse into Troy, by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo
Public DomainThe procession of the Trojan Horse into Troy, by Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This is the story of the Wooden Horse or Trojan Horse, a plan devised by Odysseus and used by the Greeks to finally defeat the Trojans after ten long years of war. First, the Greeks constructed a magnificent wooden horse, and secreted some of their own brave warriors inside its hollow belly. Then, after setting fire to the camp on the beach, the remainder of the Greek force sailed their ships further down the coast, giving the appearance of having abandoned the fight.

The Trojans, thinking the giant horse an offering to the gods, dragged it into their city. They rejoiced that in doing so they might bring the gods’ favour upon themselves instead. However, they had brought their own doom into Troy. Under the cover of night, the Greeks inside the horse slipped out to open the city gates, allowing the entire Greek army to launch a surprise attack on the unsuspecting city. This is what lies behind the phrase ‘beware Greeks bearing gifts.’ It did not take long after this for Troy to fall. The victorious Greeks gathered their trophies from the sacked city, took the Trojan women as slaves, and began their journey home.