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Trojan War Lesson for Kids: Facts & Story

Instructor: Michelle Jones

Michelle has taught at the elementary level and has earned a master's degree.

Many books have been written and many movies have been made about the Trojan War. It's a fascinating story about the conflict between two lands. Here, you will learn about why the war was started, how it ended, and the details in between.

The Trojan War

Have you ever been angry at a friend or sibling because they took something without asking? You probably argued with the other person and eventually worked it out. Well, around the 13th century B.C., a similar argument turned into one of the most well-known wars of all time, the Trojan War.

It's hard to tell what's true and what's fiction about this famous event. The exact events are not written down, but the following version of the story is the most well-known, due largely because of a poet named Homer and his poem called The Iliad written hundreds of years after the war.

What Caused the Trojan War?

Our story begins in the ancient city of Troy, located across the Aegean Sea from Greece. One of the princes of Troy, named Paris, made a visit to Sparta, which was in Greece. It was here where he met Queen Helen, wife of King Menelaus (pronounced men-uhl-ows). Now, Helen was known all over Greece for her beauty. When Menelaus was chosen as her husband, all of the other men agreed to protect the couple.

A sculpture of what Helen may have looked like.
Sculpture of Helen

Paris fell madly in love with Helen. He convinced her to fall in love with him and go to Troy. When King Menelaus found out, he was very angry and demanded that Troy return Helen to him.

The Trojans (people of Troy) refused. So Menelaus got his brother King Agamemnon, as well as the other Greeks who swore to defend Menelaus and Helen, to travel across the Aegean Sea to defeat Troy and get Helen back. There were so many warriors, including the famous Achilles (pronounced uh-kill-ees), that it took 1,000 ships to get them there!

The City of Troy

Troy had experience protecting itself from invaders. In fact, there was a tall wall built around the entire city. Not only did this keep enemies out, but the Trojan fighters would stand on top of the wall and shoot arrows down at enemies.

The Greeks were no wimps either, and they didn't let the wall stop them from trying to defeat the Trojans. They were so determined that the war lasted for ten years! Achilles is said to be the strongest, most fearless warrior of the Trojan War. The Trojan prince, Hector, lost his life in a battle with Achilles.

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