Lost Epics of the Trojan Cycle (lost epic poems; 800 B.C-568 AD)

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Status: Partially Found

Many people know of The Iliad and The Odyssey. Poems that tell the story of heroes such as Odysseus and Achilles. What fewer people know of, however, is that there were more Epics[1] about the Trojan War, which includes some of the most famous events, such as Achilles' death, the Wooden Horse, and the conquest of the city.

Thanks to summaries of ancient writers, in addition to a few surviving fragments and the information one can infer from classical authors who read the original poems, it is possible to reconstruct the episodes of these epics.[2]

Basic Outlines of the Lost Epics

The Cypria

This text is the only pre-war Epic and consisted of eleven books. It chronicled the events of the apple of discord, the abduction of Helen, as well as the ships featuring the heroes setting sail. (after a brief interruption in which Agamemnon angers the goddess Artemis). The authorship is disputed.

The Aethiopis

In this poem (which was five books long), the Amazons, lead by Penthesileia, came to the aid of the Trojans, followed by Memnon, king of the Ethiopians. More notably, it is the book where Achilles was killed.

The Little Iliad

An epic consisting of four books, this text included the deaths of Ajax the Great and Paris, and the building of the wooden horse. The authorship is contested.

The Sack of Ilium

The Sack of llium was two books, attributed to Arctinus of Miletus (who also wrote The Aethiopis). It consisted of the Trojans letting the horse inside the sitting after some debate, and the subsequent sacking of Troy.

The Returns

This was five books of disputed authorship, and was the first post-war epic. It showed the return of the Achaeans (aside from Odysseus) who struggled to reach home thanks to the anger of Athena. They all got home in the end, though Agamemnon was killed by his wife.

The Telegony

The Telegony is the final epic of the cycle, and consisted of two books by Eugammon of Cyrene. It told the tale of the death of Odysseus, and the fates of his wife and children.

Reference