Herodotus and the war of Troy according to Persians

(To Alessandro Rugolo)

If we hear of the Trojan war, our thoughts lead us to the memories we have ofIliad of Homer, studied at school or, perhaps, read for pleasure or still seen on television in one of his innumerable representations. One hardly thinks of anything other than the abduction of the beautiful Helen, by Paride, son of Priam, king of Troy.

Elena, a beautiful woman, is kidnapped and taken to Troy ... the rest is well known!

But let's see what Herodotus says about it: the most famous historian of antiquity.

Herodotus was from Halicarnassus, a city of the Persian Empire, now Bodrum, in Turkey. His most important work is entitled "Stories" and was published around the 430 BC

The book begins exactly with the explanation of the origin of hostilities between Greeks and Persians, according to the version of the latter.

According to the Persians everything started because of the Phoenicians. This people of travelers and traders had recently installed themselves on the shores of the Mediterranean when a group of traders who was in Argos kidnapped Io, Inaco's daughter. I was taken to Egypt.

The kidnapping of Io was the first in a series that led to war.

Later, Herodotus tells us, some Greeks or Cretans who were in Tire in Phenicia kidnapped Europa, Agenore's daughter, with this second kidnapping the game could be considered closed with a draw.

But the Greeks were not content to even the accounts and kidnapped Medea, the daughter of the king of Colchis, Eeta. The king sent ambassadors to ask for his daughter back but was not satisfied.

Alessandro, also known as Paride, son of Priamo, having heard these stories and taken by the desire to take a woman in Greece decided to kidnap Elena, wife of Menelaus, king of Sparta.

The Greeks sent ambassadors to ask for the return of the woman but they were told that since they had not returned Medea earlier, it was not clear why they should have returned Elena.

The Greeks did not intend to leave Elena to the Persians and so they moved in arms against them, led by Agamemnon, the elder brother of Menelaus.

Thus began the Trojan War, masterfully told by the blind singer known as Homer.

Herodotus does not stop at the origins of the war but also tells us the considerations of the Persian scholars about the war, in fact for them:

"if rapir women is the action of unjust men, it is foolish to take pain to avenge them; while it is right-minded men not to care at all, since it is clear that, if they did not want, they would not let themselves be abducted."

Today, a similar phrase would not be considered politically correct, the fact is that on one side and on the other this consideration was not made. 

The war was disputed, Troy was destroyed and the Persians since then began to consider the Greeks as enemies.