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Troy - Did It Really Exist?



Troy - Did It Really Exist?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.84

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    archaeologist, epic, groundbreaking, mere, genuine, overtake, finding, various, successful, legendary, quits, foundation, risky, launched, moreover, skeptical
     content words:    Trojan War, Then Heinrich Schliemann, Heinrich Schliemann


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Troy - Did It Really Exist?
By Vickie Chao
  

1     A long, long time ago, Homer told the story of a fight between the Trojans and the Greeks over a beautiful woman named Helen. Helen was once the queen of Sparta. One day, Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, cast a spell on her. She made her fall for Paris, a Trojan prince. The couple eloped. When her husband, Menelaus, learned of the betrayal, he was very angry. He and his brother (Agamemnon) summoned all the great Greek heroes to join them. Together, they took Troy under siege. For ten years, the Greeks tried to overtake the Trojans, but to no avail. Eager to return home, they came up with a brilliant idea. They built a huge wooden horse and left it outside of the gates of Troy. The Trojans awoke in the morning. They saw the statue but did not know what it was for. At last, they found an abandoned Greek soldier named Sinon. They grilled him with lots of questions. Sinon said that the Greeks had all gone back to Greece. Before they departed, they made the wooden horse to please Athena, the goddess of wisdom. Sinon assured the Trojans that the war was really over. The Greeks simply had had enough of it and decided to call it quits.
 
2     The Trojans were elated by what they had just heard. They hauled the wooden horse into Troy and held a great feast to celebrate the victory. Later that night, when all the Trojans were completely drunk, a secret door was swung open in the belly of the wooden horse. Quietly, several Greeks climbed down from it. They unlocked the gates and let the other Greeks in. Together, they launched a surprise attack and subdued the Trojans easily. Menelaus found Helen in a palace. At first, he wanted to kill her. But at the last moment, he changed his mind and took her back. Unfortunately, this show of mercy was for Helen only. The Trojans were not so lucky. By the time the looting was over, they were mostly dead. Their city was reduced to ashes.
 
3     Homer's epic tale about the Trojan War is a fascinating story. For thousands of years, it has lured us and captivated our imaginations. It has also made us wonder: did Troy really exist?

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