Thus died Hercules, and after his death he was received as a god amongst the Immortals on Mount Olympus, where he married Hebe, Jove’s cupbearer. In his honor mortals were commanded to build altars and to raise temples.
ADAPTED BY ALICE ZIMMEKN
Once upon a time, nearly three thousand years ago, the city of Troy in Asia Minor was at the height of its prosperity. It was built on a fortified hill on the southern slopes of the Hellespont, and encircled by strong walls that the gods had helped to build. Through their favor Troy became so strong and powerful that she subdued many of the neighboring states and forced them to fight for her and do her bidding. Thus it happened that when the Greeks came to Asia with an army of 100,000 men, Troy was able to hold out against them for nine years, and in the tenth was only taken by a trick.
In the “Iliad” of Homer you may read all about the quarrel between the Trojans and Greeks, the fighting before Troy and the brave deeds done by Hector and Achilles, and many other heroes. You will see there how the gods took part in the quarrel, and how Juno, who was the wife of Jupiter and queen of heaven, hated Troy because Paris had given the golden apple to Venus as the fairest among goddesses. Juno never forgave this insult to her beauty, and vowed that she would not rest till the hated city was destroyed and its very name wiped from the face of the earth. You shall now hear how she carried out her threat, and overwhelmed AEneas with disasters.
After a siege that lasted ten years Troy was taken at last by means of the wooden horse, which the Trojans foolishly dragged into the city with their own hands. Inside it were hidden a number of Greeks, who were thus carried into the heart of the enemy’s city. The Trojans celebrated the departure of the Greeks by feasting and drinking far into the night; but when at last they retired to rest, the Greeks stole out of their hiding-place, and opened the gates to their army, which had only pretended to withdraw. Before the Trojans had recovered their wits the town was full of enemies, who threw blazing torches on the houses and killed every citizen who fell into their hands.
Among the many noble princes who fought against the Greeks none was braver and handsomer than AEneas. His mother was the goddess Venus, and his father a brave and powerful Prince named Anchises, while Creusa, his wife, was one of King Priam’s daughters. On that dreadful night, when the Greeks were burning and killing in the very streets of Troy, AEneas lay sleeping in his palace when there appeared to him a strange vision. He thought that Hector stood before him carrying the images of the Trojan gods and bade him arise and leave the doomed city. “To you Troy entrusts her gods and her fortunes. Take these images, and go forth beyond the seas, and with their auspices found a new Troy on foreign shores.”