OF HOW THE WAR WITH TROY BEGAN
 ONCE upon a time there was a certain King of Sparta who
had a most beautiful
daughter, Helen by name. There was not a prince in
Greece but wished to
marry her. The King said to them: "Now you must all
swear that you will be
good friends with the man whom my daughter shall choose
for her husband, and
that if any one is wicked enough to steal her away from
him, you will help
him get her back." And this they did. Then the Fair
Helen chose a prince
whose name was Menelaüs, brother of Agamemnon, who
Mycenæ, and was the chief of all the Kings of
Greece. After a while
Helen's father died, and her husband became King of
Sparta. The two lived
happily together till
 there came to Sparta a young prince, Paris by name,
who was son of Priam,
King of Troy. This Paris carried off the Fair Helen,
and with her much gold
and many precious stones.
Menelaüs and his brother Agamemnon sent to the
princes of Greece and
said, "Now you must keep your oath, and help us to get
back the Fair Helen."
So they all came to a place called Aulis, with many
ships and men. Others
also who had not taken the oath came with them. The
greatest of these
chiefs were these:—
Diomed, son of Tydeus; Ajax the Greater and Ajax the
Less, and Teucer the
Archer, who was brother of Ajax the Greater.
Nestor, who was the oldest man in the world.
The wise Ulysses.
Achilles, who was the bravest and strongest of all the
Greeks, and with him
his dear friend Patroclus.
For nine years the Greeks besieged the city of Troy,
but they could not
break through the walls; and as they had been away
from their homes for all
this time, they came to
 be in great want of food and clothes and other things.
So they left part of
the army to watch the city, and with part they went
about and spoiled other
cities. Thus came about the great quarrel of which I am
now going to tell.