What event causes the war in the Iliad?

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The Iliad is Homer's fictionalized representation of the events of the Trojan War. Although the war between Troy and Greece had many causes, the single incident that has most often been immortalized as the cause is the abduction of Helen. The romantic aspect of the incident makes it a more appealing—even fascinating—reason for a war, as contrasted to the often tedious details of the affairs of state.

In Homer's epic, Paris, prince of Troy, steals Helen away from her husband, Menelaus. He feels justified in taking her because Aphrodite, goddess of love, had promised him the world's most beautiful woman. After the abduction, the Greeks rally behind Menelaus and set out to get her back. Agamemnon, one of the valiant Greeks, is Menelaus's brother.

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