After what had been a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse at the behest of Odysseus. They hid a select force of men inside, including Odysseus himself. The Greeks pretended to sail away and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy.
They thought that they had won.
That same night, however, the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army which had sailed back under cover of darkness. The Greeks then entered and destroyed the city, finally ending the war.
Ultimately, it was a Trojan Horse–a horse made of wood–that would enter the city of Troy and enable the other side to win the war.
The tragedy of Troy’s fall is enhanced by the fact that a warning was issued by a priest and a priestess that the Greek horse could not be trusted.
Regardless of the lessons we may gleam, the narrative of the Aeneid suggests that some people are ordained by the gods to eventually lead a life of greatness. They may undergo hardship and tragedy on the way, but, in the end, they will succeed. They will find their way.
In modern metaphorical usage, a Trojan Horse has come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place. For instance, Malware, a malicious computer program, that tricks users into willingly running it is also called a “Trojan horse” or simply a “Trojan”.
In business, the Trojan Horse is an encouragement to attempt an indirect plan of attack. It is to offer something as bait to bring customers to you. This is an approach that sometimes leads to success.
The story of the Trojan Horse appears in Aeneid: a Latin epic poem by Virgil that was written between 29 and 19 BCE. It narrates the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who fled the fall of Troy and travelled to Italy where he became the ancestor of the Romans.
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