The story of Troy dates back 3,000 years. It has been told time and time again through legends, books, theater, and film throughout the centuries. The Greek poet Homer wrote about it in the eighth century B.C. and ancient Greek and Roman artists captured its intrigue on canvas and in clay.
Set in mythical Greece, it is a story with something for everyone: tales of courage and cowardice, violence and mercy, and even the tragedy of lost love. The story centers around a Spartan woman named Helen. She was known as the most beautiful woman in the world. The Prince of Troy (Paris), having visited the King of Sparta (Menelaus), falls in love with Helen and takes her back to Troy. Naturally, the Spartan king is outraged and sends a fleet of ships to retrieve his lost bride, and war ensues.
The Trojan War continues for well over a decade, culminating in one of the most famous deceptions of all time – the Trojan Horse. Tricked by what they thought was an offering to the gods, the Trojans were defeated by the Greek warriors who were hiding inside the horse, waiting to launch an ambush attack.
There is much more to explore with the legend of Troy. The British Museum captures the story well in its new exhibition “Troy: Myth and Reality.” Visitors will examine archaeological evidence that shows the existence of the actual city of Troy, along with a fascinating narrative that connects the legend with reality.
The exhibit runs from November 21, 2019, to March 8, 2020, and is free for members of the British Museum. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to get to know the “face that launched a thousand ships” and one of the most legendary wars in history.