Mostly legendary conflict between the Greeks and the people of Troy in western Asia Minor. It was dated by later Greeks to the 12th or 13th century BC. It is celebrated in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, in Greek tragedy, and in Roman literature. In Homer's account the Trojan prince Paris ran off with the beautiful Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta, whose brother Agamemnon then led a Greek expedition to retrieve her. The war lasted 10 years; its participants included Hector, Achilles, Priam, Odysseus, and Ajax. Its end resulted from a ruse: The Greeks built a large wooden horse in which a raiding party hid. When the Greeks pretended to leave, the Trojans brought the horse into the walled city and the Greeks swarmed out, opening the gates to their comrades and sacking Troy, killing the men and enslaving the women. The extent of the legend's actual historical content is not known; excavations have revealed human habitation from 3000 BC to AD 1200, and there is evidence of violent destruction about 1250 BC.