The exciting eight part BBC historical epic Troy: Fall of a City has been released on DVD. It is based on the Trojan War and the love affair between Paris and Helen and is told from the perspective of the Trojan family at the heart of the events. The series is a co-production between BBC One and Netflix. It stars Louis Hunter as Paris, Bella Dayne as Helen of Troy, David Threlfall as Priam, Frances O’Connor as Hecuba, Tom Weston-Jones as Hector, Joseph Mawle as Odysseus, Chloe Pirrie as Andromache, Johnny Harris as Agamemnon, David Gyasi as Achilles, Jonas Armstrong as Menelaus, Alfred Enoch as Aeneas, Aimee-Ffion Edwards as Cassandra, Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Zeus, David Avery as Xanthius, Lex King as Aphrodite’ Amy Louise Wilson as Briseis, Inge Beckmann as Hera.
The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked “for the fairest”. Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the “fairest”, should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris of Troy who took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta back to Troy. This angered Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen’s husband Menelaus, who led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy. Then launched an invasion force of approximately one thousand ships against Troy, which were full of the finest soldiers including Achilles, in an attempt to recover Helen, and they besieged the city for ten years.
The siege caused widespread destruction and claimed the lives of thousands of innocent and not so innocent people including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris. Things finally came to a head thanks to a cunning ruse involving a wooden horse. The Achaeans managed to slaughter the Trojans (except for some of the women and children whom they kept or sold as slaves) and desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods’ wrath. Consequently Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many died or founded colonies in distant shores.
The Trojan war is included in many important works of Greek literature, most notably Homer’s Iliad which relates four days in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the war’s heroes. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid. The Romans later traced their origin to Aeneas, one of the Trojans, who was said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy. The ancient Greeks believed that Troy was located near the Dardanelles and that the Trojan War was a historical event of the 13th or 12th century BC, however by the mid-19th century, both the war and the city were widely seen as mythological. Then In 1868, Frank Calvert convinced the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann that Troy was a real city at what is now Hissarlik in Turkey.
Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War remains an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, and the Homeric stories may be a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age. The Trojan War may also be derived from a specific historical conflict during the 12th or 11th centuries BC. The Greek mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist Eratosthenes of Cyrene, mentions the date 1194–1184 BC and the traditional date of the Fall of Troy is 24 April 1184 BC