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the wooden horse

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THE WOODEN HORSE

The wooden horse at the entrance of the ruins attracts many visitors attention. Although it was built in 1975 as a tourist attraction, today it has become the focus of the "wooden horse argument"

Was there ever a wooden horse?
If there was, was it as big as this one?
How many soldiers were hidden in the horse?
Did the original horse look like this one?
Is this the original horsel!!?

These sort of half-serious half joking questions are asked almost every day around the horse. Some visitors find it amusing and take a picture of it. Of course there are some visitors who do not like it at all. Whether one likes it or not it has become the symbol of Troy. Here we would like to speat about whether there was actualy a wooden horse and if there was, why it built?

The wooden horse is briefly mentioned only in the Odyssey, not in the lliad. According to legend it was used as a war trick. That is, it was left behind as an offering to the goddess Athena by the Greeks. The Trojans took it inside the city walls without realising there were soldiers in it. In the night the Greek soldiers came out and killed the guards. The Greek army marched into the city and conquered Troy. To find a more logical explanation for the wooden horse some scholars invented better theories.

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Austrian Prof. Schachermeyr and Turkish Prof. Ekrem Akurgal claim that the wooden horse was built as an offering for Poseidon, the Earthshaker and God of the Sea. According to this theory the city walls which defended Troy against the Greeks for the years were destroyed by a violent earthquake. The Greeks attacked Troy and conquered it. Since the, Greeks thought that Poseidon hald helped them by destroying Troy's defence system, they built a wooden horse as a votive offering to him.

Michael Wood, in his book "In search of the Trojan war", which was shown on BBC TV as a series, suggests that a wooden horse might have been built as a battering ram to destroy the walls. This theory was inspired by an Assyrian relief and seems logical. The Achaean soldiers tried several times to climb the sloping walls but could not climb the sloping walls but could not climb the vertical part which was made of mudbrick. A horse-like battering ram could well have been used against this weat part of the wall. And last of all a wooden tank-like horse could have been used as a big shield to approach the walls, or as a moveable tower from which soldiers jubped onto the walls.

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We leave the interpretation of these different hypotheses to the reader.

 

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