The Historical Effects Of War In Homer's The Iliad

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What is War?

What is war? Throughout history countless wars have been fought across the far reaches of the globe. There has always been cause for men to band together in groups, and go forth to commit acts of violence against one another. In Homer’s epic poem the Iliad, he tells a story about the best and worst of humanity in the theatre of the Trojan War. While a great deal of the Iliad is fictional, it still provides us with a historical model that details the causes war, the contrasting elements of humanity that emerge during war, and the effect of war on culture.
In the Iliad, the Trojan War is started by Paris, a prince of Troy, who abducts the beautiful Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. Menelaus consequently bands together with his brother Agamemnon to sail an army consisting of the Mycenaean city states to Troy. The ensuing Trojan war would last over ten years, and lead to the death of great warriors on both sides of the conflict, including Patroclus, Hector, and even Achilles. Both sides would suffer countless casualties during the great siege, until the tragic fall of the city of Troy and its king Priam.
Historically the actual Trojan war was more likely fought over control over the strait of Dardanelles rather than Helen around the year 1200 B.C. (Rose 1). Troy was located in an excellent geographical location for maritime control of the trade between the Black sea and the Mediterranean. Regardless of the actual causes of the Trojan war, Homer

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