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Why No Wooden Horse?

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Why No Wooden Horse?

Postby Secret Alias » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:59 pm

How could the Illiad leave out the best part of the story? Why no wooden horse? Almost as strange as Moses not crossing the Jordan in the Pentateuch.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote
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Re: Why No Wooden Horse?

Postby andrewcriddle » Sat Jan 28, 2017 2:06 am

Secret Alias wrote:How could the Illiad leave out the best part of the story? Why no wooden horse? Almost as strange as Moses not crossing the Jordan in the Pentateuch.

The Illiad leaves out the fall of Troy altogether.
It is covered in retrospect (including the wooden horse) in the Odyssey.

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Re: Why No Wooden Horse?

Postby Blood » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:22 am

Secret Alias wrote:How could the Illiad leave out the best part of the story? Why no wooden horse? Almost as strange as Moses not crossing the Jordan in the Pentateuch.


Because that part was invented after the Illiad had been written?
“The only sensible response to fragmented, slowly but randomly accruing evidence is radical open-mindedness. A single, simple explanation for a historical event is generally a failure of imagination, not a triumph of induction.” William H.C. Propp
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Re: Why No Wooden Horse?

Postby Secret Alias » Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:36 pm

Yes it could be. But it is odd the way the Odyssey makes an oblique reference to the story, so bare that it certainly means the story was well known enough at the time of composition that it could be summoned with literary vapors. It's odd the way seminal ancient works like the Illiad and the Pentateuch end without resolution like this. If this was a musical score, it's odd not to go back to the original note rather than ending on a fifth or fourth. There is no 'happy ever after.' It's like Star Wars without the destruction of the Death Star.
“Finally, from so little sleeping and so much reading, his brain dried up and he went completely out of his mind.”
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Re: Why No Wooden Horse?

Postby lpetrich » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:13 am

Not only that, the Iliad was mostly about a monthlong episode in the Trojan War, Achilles vs. Hector.

The Trojan Horse itself has been variously explained as a siege engine, a boat, or even an earthquake ( Trojan Horse, A few “facts” about the Trojan Horse | Glyn Iliffe). Siege engines go back at least 2500 years, and they include battering rams for beating down gates and towers for climbing over walls ( Siege engine).
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Re: Why No Wooden Horse?

Postby Chris Weimer » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:16 am

You keep saying Pentateuch, but really you ought to be saying "Genesis and Deuteronomy." There were more than two epics on Troy, and the Trojan Horse is described in the Iliou Persis:

Next come two books of the "Sack of Ilium", by Arctinus of
Miletus with the following contents. The Trojans were suspicious
of the wooden horse and standing round it debated what they ought
to do. Some thought they ought to hurl it down from the rocks,
others to burn it up, while others said they ought to dedicate it
to Athena. At last this third opinion prevailed. Then they
turned to mirth and feasting believing the war was at an end.
But at this very time two serpents appeared and destroyed Laocoon
and one of his two sons, a portent which so alarmed the followers
of Aeneas that they withdrew to Ida. Sinon then raised the fire-
signal to the Achaeans, having previously got into the city by
pretence. The Greeks then sailed in from Tenedos, and those in
the wooden horse came our and fell upon their enemies, killing
many and storming the city. Neoptolemus kills Priam who had fled
to the altar of Zeus Herceius (1); Menelaus finds Helen and takes
her to the ships, after killing Deiphobus; and Aias the son of
Ileus, while trying to drag Cassandra away by force, tears away
with her the image of Athena. At this the Greeks are so enraged
that they determine to stone Aias, who only escapes from the
danger threatening him by taking refuge at the altar of Athena.
The Greeks, after burning the city, sacrifice Polyxena at the
tomb of Achilles: Odysseus murders Astyanax; Neoptolemus takes
Andromache as his prize, and the remaining spoils are divided.
Demophon and Acamas find Aethra and take her with them. Lastly
the Greeks sail away and Athena plans to destroy them on the high
seas.


The whole cycle from the golden apples to the adventures of Odysseus' sons are represented in several works: Cypris, Iliad Aethiopis, "Little Iliad," Iliou Persis, Nostoi, Odyssey, and then Telegony. Add on the hymns and Hesiod and that's the closest you'll get to the Greek religious canon.
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