The Greek poet Homer wrote about Troy and the Trojan War—which probably took place in what is now Asia Minor—in his Iliad in the 8th century B.C. Nowadays, the term ‘Trojan’ generally refers to a malware program that is used to gain unauthorised access to computers. This use comes from the legendary Trojan Horse, which saw the turning point in the battle between Greeks and Trojans through the cunning of Odysseus. Let us return to the beginning of the story: Paris, son of the king of Troy, is tasked by Zeus with judging the beauty of the three goddesses Aphrodite, Pallas Athena, and Hera. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, flatters Paris by promising him the most beautiful woman in the world. Soon afterwards, on a journey to Greece, Paris meets the beautiful Helen, who immediately falls in love with him. Since however she is the wife of Spartan king Menelaus, she eventually lets herself be kidnapped by Paris voluntarily..
The Greeks then form a large army and go to war against Troy to retrieve Helen, leading to a ten-year siege of the city. The city is eventually conquered not through combat, however, but through Odysseus’ cunning ploy. He has the idea of building an enormous wooden horse with warriors hidden inside. The horse is placed at the gates of the city. Thus, the Trojans are tricked into giving up the siege when, despite various warnings, they bring the horse into the city to dedicate it to the goddess Athena. At night, the soldiers climb out of the horse and open the gate for the Greek army. The troops storm the city and raze it to the ground. The royal family and all the Trojan warriors are killed—only Aeneas, the son of Aphrodite, escapes. Later, following many years’ wanderings he and his acolytes will become known as the founders of the Roman people. There are various accounts of the fate of the beautiful Helen. She is said to have returned to Sparta with Menelaus and to have ruled there until the end of her life. Or maybe not….