In Greek mythology, the Trojan War broke out after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The Greeks swore revenge, joined forces and sent their huge army to the city of Troy in Anatolia, resulting in a long siege.
The city was known as Ilion and it was generally thought that nothing could penetrate its massive walls. Homer's Iliad, the epic poem created in the 8th century B.C., tells of events that happened during a short period of the war. It does not say how the more than 10-year-long war ended.
According to legend, Odysseus, King of Ithaca, saw one of his soldiers carve a horse out of wood. This gave him an idea for his plans. He had a huge wooden horse built with space inside to hide Greek soldiers, including Achilles. The Greeks pretended to sail away, but actually docked at an island nearby.
The Trojans thought the Greeks had given up the siege. Sinon, a Greek warrior taught by Odysseus, successfully convinced Priam, King of Ilion, that he was a traitor, that the horse was a gift for the Gods and that it would protect the city from within its walls. Cassandra, the Oracle, and Laocoön, a priest of Apollo, warned the king against it, but he did not believe them.
The Trojans pulled the horse into the city as a trophy of victory and organized a feast. When they finally fell asleep, Sinon let the warriors out of the horse. They then opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army. The city, left unprotected, was destroyed and burnt down by the Greeks.