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The first ten years of the Siege of Troy

The Greeks were glad that their long voyage was over. But when they sailed closer to the shores, they saw that a strong Trojan army was already waiting for them under the leadership of Hector, the mighty son of the elderly king of Troy Priam. How did the Greeks get ashore? How to disembark? All the heroes saw that the one who first steps on the Trojan coast will die. The Greeks hesitated for a long time. Among them was the hero Protesilai, he was eager for exploits and was ready to be the first to jump ashore and start a fight with the Trojans. He did not dare because he knew the prediction: the one of the Greeks who first touches the Trojan land with his foot should die. Knew this prediction and Odysseus. And so, in order to carry away the heroes, but not to perish himself, Odysseus threw his shield on the shore and deftly jumped on it from the ship. Protesilaus saw that Odysseus jumped ashore, but he did not see that Odysseus jumped not to the Trojan land, but to his shield. Protesilaus decided that one of the Greeks had already touched the Trojan land first. The thirst for exploits seized Protesilai. He forgot everything: he forgot about his homeland, forgot about his beautiful young wife Laodamia. Protesilai jumped from the ship to the shore and rushed at the enemies with a drawn sword. The great Hector shook his heavy spear and he struck the young Protesilai to death. He fell dead on the shore. He was the first to stain the Trojan land with his blood. The Greeks together rushed from the ships to the enemies. A bloody battle began to boil, the Trojans trembled, fled and took refuge behind the impregnable walls of Troy. The next day, a truce was concluded between the Greeks and the Trojans to pick up the fallen soldiers and bury them.

Achilles kills Priam's son, Troilus
Achilles kills Priam's son, Troilus.
(Drawing on a vase.)

Having buried all the dead, the Greeks began to build a fortified camp. They pulled their ships ashore and settled down in a large camp along the seashore from the mountains of Sigeion to the mountains of Roiteion. From the side of Troy, they defended their camp with a high rampart and a moat. At the two opposite ends of the camp, Achilles and Ajax Telamonides pitched their tents to watch the Trojans and prevent them from attacking the Greeks unexpectedly. In the middle of the camp towered the magnificent tent of the king Agamemnon, chosen by the Greeks as the leader of the entire army. Here, near Agamemnon's tent, there was also a square for people's meetings. The wise Odysseus set up his tent near the people's assembly square, so that at any time he would be able to go out to the audience and always know what was going on in the camp. Despite the fact that he had previously been so unwilling to participate in the campaign, he now became an ardent enemy of the Trojans and demanded that the Greeks take and destroy Troy at all costs.

When the Greek camp was set up and fortified, the Greeks sent a king to Troy Menelaus and the cunning Odysseus for negotiations with the Trojans. The wise received the Greek ambassadors in his house Antenor and arranged a sumptuous feast for them. Antenor wished with all his heart that peace was concluded and the legitimate demands of Menelaus were satisfied. Upon learning of the arrival of the ambassadors, Priam called a people's assembly to ensure Menelaus' demand. Menelaus and Odysseus also appeared at the meeting of the Trojans. Menelaus in a short, strong speech demanded that the Trojans return his wife Elena and the treasures stolen Paris. After Menelaus, Odysseus spoke. The Trojans listened to the wonderful speech of the wise king of Ithaca. He urged the Trojans to satisfy Menelaus' demands. The Trojan people were already ready to agree to accept all the conditions of Menelaus. After all, the beautiful Elena herself repented of her rash act and regretted that she had left the hero-husband's house for Paris. And Antenor urged the people to fulfill the demands of Menelaus. He saw how much trouble the war of the Trojans and the Greeks would entail. But the sons of Priam, and above all, of course, Paris, did not want peace with the Greeks. Would they really force him to give up Elena? Will they really take away all his loot from him? He did not want to obey the people's decision, and his brothers supported him in this. Bribed by Paris Antimachus even demanded that the Trojans seize King Menelaus and kill him. But Priam and Hector did not allow this, they did not allow offending the ambassadors who are under the protection of the thunderer Zeus. The People's Assembly hesitated, did not know what to make the final decision.

Then the Trojan soothsayer Gelen, the son of Priam, stood up and said that the Trojans should not be afraid of a war with the Greeks - the gods promise Three their help. The Trojans believed Gelen. They refused to satisfy Menelaus' demand. The ambassadors of the Greeks were forced to leave Troy with nothing. Now the bloody struggle of the Trojans with the Greeks was to begin.

The Trojans locked themselves in the impregnable Troy; even Hector did not dare to leave Troy. The Greeks began the siege. They tried to storm Troy three times, but they failed. Then the Greeks began to ravage the environs of Troy and conquer all the cities that were in alliance with Troy. The Greeks undertook campaigns against them by land and by sea. In all these campaigns, the great Achilles was especially distinguished. The Greeks took possession of the islands of Tenedos, Lesbos, the cities of Pedas, Lyrness and others. They destroyed many cities inside the country. They also took over the city Thebes, where Hector's wife's father ruled Andromache, Estion. Achilles killed seven brothers of Andromache in one day. Her father also died. But Achilles did not betray the corpse of Estion to desecration - fearing the wrath of the gods, he betrayed it to burial. Andromache's mother was taken captive to the camp of the Greeks. The rich booty was captured by Achilles in Thebes. He captured the beautiful daughter of the priest Apollo Chryseis, Chryseis, and the beautiful briseida. Chryseis was given by the Greeks to King Agamemnon.

All around Troy, the Greeks devastated. The Trojans did not dare to show themselves outside the walls of Troy, as everyone was threatened with death or cruel captivity and sale into slavery.

The inhabitants of Troy had to endure a lot of grief during the nine years of the siege of Troy. They had to mourn many heroes who fell in battle. But the hardest, tenth year was ahead. There was also the greatest grief ahead - the fall of Troy.

The Greeks also suffered a lot during the nine years of the war. They also had a lot of dead. Many heroes died at the hands of enemies. A wise hero also died Palamed, but not by the hand of the enemy. Out of hatred and envy, the cunning Odysseus destroyed him. Palamed gave a lot of sensible advice to the Greeks, more than once he rendered them invaluable services. He healed wounds and illnesses with healing herbs; he built a lighthouse for the Greeks so that those who sailed from the camp would know where to land on a dark night. The Greeks honored the hero Palamedes and willingly obeyed his advice. For this, Odysseus hated him. He saw that the Greeks listened to Palamedes more willingly than they listened to him. Odysseus also remembered how Palamedes had revealed his cunning when he pretended to be insane in order not to go to Troy; this memory further intensified his hatred for Palamedes. Odysseus pondered for a long time how to ruin Palamedes for him. Finally, he took advantage of the fact that Palamedes began to advise the Greeks to end the war and return to their homeland. Odysseus came up with an insidious plan. At night he hid a bag of gold in Palamedes' tent and began to assure everyone that it was not for nothing that Palamedes advised to stop the siege of Troy, that he was giving these tips to the Greeks only because he was bribed by Priam. There were many dissatisfied with Palamedes among the Greeks. After all, if the Greeks had listened to the advice of Palamedes, they would have lost the rich booty that they would have seized by taking Troy. All these malcontents willingly believed Odysseus' slander. Seeing that many Greeks were already beginning to believe in Palamedes' betrayal, Odysseus, in order to convince everyone that Priam had really bribed Palamedes, informed Agamemnon that Palamedes communicated with Priam through a Phrygian prisoner and that this Phrygian, when he tried to leave the Greek camp for Troy, was captured and killed by Odysseus' servants. Odysseus also wrote a letter on behalf of Priam to Palamedes. In this letter it was said about the gold sent by King Priam to Palamedes and payment for persuading the Greeks to lift the siege and leave for their homeland. Odysseus handed this letter to the captive Phrygian and ordered him to take it to Priam. As soon as the Phrygian left the Greek camp, Odysseus' servants attacked him, killed him, and brought the letter to their king. With this letter Odysseus hastened to Agamemnon's tent. Upon receiving this message, Agamemnon immediately summoned all the leaders of the Greeks to his tent. He also called Palamedes, who did not suspect what danger he was in. Here Odysseus accused Palamedes of treason. It was in vain that Palamedes assured the leaders that he did not even think about treason, but Odysseus, in order to convict Palamedes, advised to search his tent. They sent to the tent and really found a bag of gold there. Now everyone believed that Palamed was a traitor. The trial of Palamed was dressed up, and he was sentenced to death. They decided to stone him. They put the innocent Palamedes in heavy chains and brought him to the seashore. In vain Palamedes conjured the Greeks not to kill him, not to betray such a cruel execution of an innocent. No one wanted to listen to an imaginary traitor. The execution began. Not a single moan, not a single complaint escaped from Palamedes' chest. Before he died , he said softly only these words:

- Oh, truth, I'm sorry for you, you died before me.

With these words, the noblest and wisest of the Greek heroes died; all the services he rendered to the Greeks did not save him. Subsequently, the Greeks paid cruelly for the murder of Palamedes.They were avenged for the death of their son Navpliyo, king of Euboea, father of Palamedes.

Not only did Agamemnon condemn Palamedes to death, but he also condemned his soul to eternal wandering. Agamemnon did not allow the body of Palamedes to be buried, it was left on the seashore to be torn apart by wild animals and birds of prey. But the mighty Ajax Telamonides did not allow this. He performed funeral rites over the body of Palamedes and buried him with honor. Ajax did not believe that Palamed had betrayed the Greeks.