Ever heard of an ancient conflict called UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar? Quite a story, really. And then there's Creator/{{Homer}}'s epics ''Literature/TheIliad'' and ''Literature/TheOdyssey'', telling the tale in [[{{Doorstopper}} forty-eight books]] and tens of thousands of lines of [[{{Poetry}} dactylic hexameter]]...all of which focus on less than one year of the decade-long conflict, and the [[NoSenseOfDirection years Odysseus spent lost at sea]] afterwards.

Something's missing -- namely, the first nine years of the war, the actual ''end'' of the war, and associated myths. Surely they weren't just floating about in the OralTradition until [[Creator/{{Aeschylus}} some]] [[Creator/{{Euripides}} ancient]] [[Creator/{{Sophocles}} tragedians]] got hold of them?

As it happens, they weren't. It turns out that the ''The Iliad'' and the ''The Odyssey'' were not the only epics which pulled together the tales of the Trojan War. In fact, there were '''eight''':

* ''Cypria''
* ''Literature/TheIliad''
* ''Aethiopis''
* ''Little Iliad''
* ''Sack of Ilion''[[note]](Also known as the ''Sack of Troy'', the ''Iliupersis'', or the ''Iliou persis'')[[/note]]
* ''Returns''[[note]](Also known as the ''Nostoi'' or the ''Nosti'')[[/note]]
* ''Literature/TheOdyssey''
* ''Telegony''

We've [[MissingEpisode lost]] every one of the above except for Homer's epics. Sorry.

But yet we still know of them. References to and quotations from the lost epics have survived in fragments. By an incredible stroke of luck, we have a work titled the ''Chrestomathy'' by an unknown Proclus, which actually summarizes the events that take place in each epic.

Thanks to these sources, we know that the epics covered everything from the marriage of Peleus and Thetis to Odysseus's death.

So without further ado, for your perusal, the six lost works of the Trojan Cycle:


->ἦν ὅτε μυρία φῦλα κατὰ χθόνα πλαζόμενα αἰεί
->ἀνθρώπων ἐβάρυνε βαθυστέρνου πλάτος αἴης.
-->--The ''Cypria''[[note]]There was a time when the countless races of men roaming always over the land / were weighing down the deep-breasted earth’s expanse.[[/note]]

The [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming odd title]] has absolutely nothing to do with Troy[[note]](The reason the ''Iliad'' is titled as such is because "Ilion" was one of the names for Troy.)[[/note]], and instead suggests that the epic came from Cyprus. Like the following epics, its author is unknown. It is believed to have been written sometime in the sixth century BC.

The ''Cypria'' (''Κύπρια'') opens with Zeus discussing the Trojan War, which has not yet occurred. This seems to refer to the myth that Zeus planned the Theban and Trojan Wars in order to [[KillEmAll relieve the earth of an unsustainable population]].

So he encourages events -- Strife's interruption at Peleus and Thetis's wedding, the Judgement of Paris -- to lead to the Trojan War. The ''Cypria'' then follows the abduction of Helen and the Achaean's haphazard attempt to come together and attack Troy.

[[DirectionlessDriver They get lost]], attack the wrong place, and are scattered by a storm. When they finally reconvene, Agamemnon annoys Artemis and is forced to sacrifice his daughter to her (except the goddess relents and whisks her away instead).

At first this second attempt to reach Troy doesn't go well: a warrior, Philoctetes, is bitten by a water snake and left behind on Lemnos because his comrades can't stand the stench of his wounds. So much for NoOneGetsLeftBehind. But eventually the Achaeans '''do''' make it to Troy, and the ''Cypria'' follows the events of the war up until the last year, which is then related in the ''Literature/{{Iliad}}'' and following epics.

Ancient fragments on the ''Cypria'', including Proclus's summary, are avaliable in English [[http://omacl.org/Hesiod/cypria.html here]].
!!The ''Cypria'' likely provided examples of:
* TheAlliance: The Achaeans, thanks to the pact Helen's suitors swore. The Trojans are quick to call upon their own allies, as well.
* AppleOfDiscord: The golden apple Strife uses to cause, well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin strife]], inscribed with the word "καλλίστῃ" ("for the fairest").
* ArrangedMarriage: Iphigenia is lured to Aulis with the lie that she is to be married to Achilles.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Both Helenus ''and'' Cassandra prophesied some amount of what would happen from the very start. This foreknowledge does not help the Trojans in any way.
* BlasphemousBoast: Agamemnon's claim after killing a deer. See DisproportionateRetribution, below.
* TheCassandra: Obviously.
* CassandraTruth: It seems the Trojans don't pay much mind to what Helenus or Cassandra warn, as they accept Paris and Helen back and settle down to wait out the siege...
* DepopulationBomb: The Trojan War itself. [[RedShirt Protesilaus]] is just the beginning.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Agamemnon claims to surpass Artemis; she forces him to sacrifice his daughter. [[SarcasmMode Perfectly reasonable, right]]?
* DivineDate: Peleus's marriage to Thetis.
* HumanSacrifice: Artemis demands that Agamemnon sacrifice his daughter, Iphigenia, before she allows the Achaeans to sail to Troy. (Then she changes her mind and snatches her away to Tauris.)
* {{Immortality}}: Either only Polydeuces is immortal, or [[SiblingTeam he and Castor]] share their immortality.
* LivingMacGuffin: Helen.
* LoopholeAbuse: Cinyras promises to send fifty ships to aid the Achaeans. Forty-nine of the ones he sends are made out of clay.
* LoveGoddess: Aphrodite.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Helen and Paris.
* ObfuscatingInsanity: Odysseus fakes insanity to try to get out of taking part in the Trojan War, but is found out by Palamedes.
* {{Plunder}}: The Achaeans attack the surrounding countryside during the siege.
* {{Prequel}}: It is believed that the epic was composed after the ''The Iliad''.
* RedShirt: Protesilaus, the first to die at Troy.
* RevengeSVP: Eris doesn't take not being invited to the wedding well.
* SacredHospitality: Paris takes advantage of Menelaus's hospitality to steal most of his property and his wife, Helen.
* WorldsMostBeautifulWoman: Helen again. Also, in the Judgement of Paris, he is to decide which of the three goddesses is the fairest.
* WouldNotShootACivilian: Averted. The Achaeans are quick to raze the surrounding countryside once the siege begins.
* YourCheatingHeart: The moment Menelaus leaves for Crete, [[LoveGoddess Aphrodite]] [[UnusualEuphemism brings Paris and Helen together]].

!!Works derived from the myths of the ''Cypria'':
* Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s
** ''Iphigenia'', a lost play on the sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis.
** ''Telephos'', a lost play likely about Telephos, who was wounded and then healed by Achilles when the Achaeans made their first attempt to sail to Troy.
* Creator/{{Euripides}}'s
** ''Iphigenia in Aulis'', recounting how she was lured to Aulis and seemingly sacrificed.
** ''Iphigenia in Tauris'', following her life after Artemis whisks her away to Tauris.
** ''Alexandros'', possibly: the play has been lost, but it seems to have followed Paris's life and return to Troy before he set sail for Sparta.
** ''Protesilaus'', a lost play about the aftermath of Protesilaus's death. His wife, Laodamea, was allowed to converse with him briefly after he died, but he was forced to return to the Underworld. She then made an image of him to love, but when her father burned it, she committed suicide on the pyre.
** ''Scyrians'', a lost play concerned with Thetis's hiding Achilles among the daughters of the king of Scyros (knowing that if he went to Troy, he would die), and Odysseus's discovery of him there.
** ''Telephos'', a lost play and Euripides's version of the story of Telephos, also recounted by Aeschylus.
* Creator/{{Sophocles}}'s
** ''The Gathering of the Achaeans'', which has also been lost and was probably a satyr play, concerned with the gathering of the Achaeans at Tenedos before setting sail for Troy.
** ''Alexandros'', a lost play probably similar to Euripides's ''Alexandros'', focused on Paris's childhood and his recognition as a son of Priam.
** ''Judgement'', yet another lost play, in this case a satyr play on the Judgement of Paris.
** ''Odysseus'', a lost play about Odysseus's feigned madness and his discovery by Palamedes.
** ''Palamedes'', a lost play apparently following the aftermath of Palamedes's death (who had tricked Odysseus into revealing his fake madness so that he would fight at Troy).
** ''The Shepherds'', also lost and thought to have been a satyr play. It followed the Achaean's arrival at Troy and the death of Protesilaus and Kyknos.
** ''Troilos'', a lost play on the death of Troilos by Achilles.

->“τίς πόθεν εἰς σύ, γύναι; τίνος ἔκγονος
->εὔχεαι εἶναι;”
-->--The ''Aethiopis''[[note]]“Who and from where (are) you, woman? The child of whom / do you claim to be?”[[/note]]

The ''Aethiopis'' (''Αἰθιοπίς'') follows after the events of the ''Literature/{{Iliad}}'', bringing in [[TheCavalry numerous new Trojan allies]] to even things out after Hector's death. It seems to have been written sometime in the seventh century BC, but uncertainty remains.

Penthesilea, an [[ActionGirl Amazon]] and a [[DivineParentage daughter of Ares]], is the first to arrive to aid Troy. She kills countless Achaeans until Achilles bests her. Achilles then strikes and kills a Achaean soldier, Thersites, for jeering at him about an alleged love for the Amazon.

The Trojans gain another ally with the arrival of Memnon and the Ethiopians. Thetis prophesies to Achilles about a battle with Memnon, who is also of DivineParentage (the son of Eos, the Dawn) and bears armour crafted by Hephestus.

Achilles successfully kills Memnon and puts the Trojans to flight, chasing them into the city where he is finally killed by Paris and Apollo.

The Achaeans and Trojans then proceed to fight over his body, and Ajax manages to get it back to the Achaean ships, where Thetis arrives with the Muses and the Nereids to lament his death. The funeral games are played, and the epic ends with a quarrel between Ajax and Odysseus over the arms of Achilles.

Ancient fragments on the ''Aethiopis'', including Proclus's summary, are avaliable in English [[http://omacl.org/Hesiod/aethiop.html here]].
!!The ''Aethiopis'' likely provided examples of:
* ActionGirl: Penthesilea, the Amazon and daughter of the war god, who slaughters the Achaeans unchecked until Achilles slays her.
* AntagonistTitle: ''Aethiopis'' refers to the Ethiopians, newly arrived Trojan allies whom Memnon leads.
* BigGuyFatalitySyndrome: Achilles takes out both Penthesilea and Memnon, only to meet his death by Apollo shortly afterwards.
* TheCavalry: The new Trojan allies.
* CustomUniform: Like the armour Achilles gets in the ''Iliad'', Memnon's armour is also crafted by Hephestus.
* CurbStompBattle: Carefully averted with the introduction of new Trojan allies such as Penthesilea and Memnon. Otherwise, considering the Trojans lost thier greatest defender in the ''Iliad'', the remainder of the war would have been this.
* DeathIsDramatic: Chasing the ''entire Trojan army'' into the city, taken down by Paris only with the help of Apollo? Achilles is just that badass.
* DivineParentage: Multiple characters, notably Achilles and the new Trojan allies, Penthesilea and Memnon.
* DoomedByCanon: Coming to Troy, Achilles was doomed from the start. His life was prophesied to go one of two ways: he would either live a long, uneventful life, or he would die a young, glorious hero at Troy.
* DueToTheDead: Once Achilles falls, battle rages so that the Achaeans can recover his body. His funeral is followed with the customary funeral games.
* DyingMomentOfAwesome: Achilles, while chasing the entire Trojan army into the city.
* EitherOrProphecy: Achilles's is fulfilled here. He's DoomedByCanon.
* EndingMemorialService: The epic ends with the funeral games of Achilles.
* {{Immortality}}: Memnon's mother, Eos, convinces Zeus to grant him immortality after his death.
* ILoveTheDead: Achilles apparently falls in love with Penthesilea after killing her and removing her helm. He kills Thersites for mocking him about it.
* InvincibleHero: Up until this point, Achilles was this. It takes Apollo to help bring him down.
* MarkedToDie: It's mentioned twice in the ''Iliad'' that Achilles would be killed by Apollo, and the summary of the ''Aethiopis'' mentions that Thetis prophesied something regarding his battle with Memnon to her son.
* MeaningfulFuneral: Thetis arrives with the Muses and the other Nereids when the Achaeans bring Achilles's body back to the ships.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: The Achaeans fight ferociously to recover Achilles's body.
* NotSoInvincibleAfterAll: Achilles.
* OneManArmy: Achilles. Penthesilea and Memnon also fit until they're killed.
* StormingTheCastle: After killing Memnon, Achilles puts the entire Trojan army to flight, and pursues them into the city.
* SupernaturalAid: Apollo aids Paris in killing Achilles.
* TooPowerfulToLive: Achilles again, a non-antagonist example.
* WorthyOpponent: Memnon to Achilles.
* WouldHitAGirl: The Achaeans kill Amazons the same as everyone else.
* YourDaysAreNumbered: And Achilles knew it.

!!Works derived from the myths of the ''Aethiopis'':
* Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s
** ''Memnon'', a lost play about Memnon's arrival to aid the Trojans, whom Achilles kills. This leads to Achilles's own death at the hands of Apollo and Paris.
** ''Psychostasia'', another lost play on the weighing of souls between Achilles and Memnon.
** ''The Award of the Arms'', a lost play on the contest for the arms of Achilles after his death. Also possibly the first of a trilogy concerned with Ajax's maddness.
* Part of Creator/{{Ovid}}'s ''Literature/{{Metamorphoses}}'', Book XII of which included the death of Achilles.

[[folder:''Little Iliad'']]
->Ἴλιον ἀείδω καὶ Δαρδανίην εὔπςλον,
->ἧς πέρι πόλλα πάθον Δαναοὶ θεράποντες Ἄρηος.
-->--The ''Little Iliad''[[note]]Of Troy I sing, and the Dardania land of fine colts / concerning which the Danaans suffered much, servants of Ares.[[/note]]

The ''Little Iliad'' (''Ἰλιὰς μικρά'') follows, dealing with the question of how the Achaeans will take Troy now that Achilles is dead. Similarly to the ''Aethiopis'', it seems to have been written sometime in the seventh century BC.

With the funeral games of Achilles ended, his armour is given to Odysseus according to Athena's wish. Ajax, who perhaps justly feels he deserved to receive the armour, is enraged by this. Athena drives him insane so that attacks the Achaean's livestock rather than the Achaean leaders themselves, and he eventually commits suicide, leaving the Achaean army short two powerful warriors instead of one.

Odysseus then captures the Trojan seer Helenus, who prophesies what they must do in order to capture Troy. The Achaeans do as he says, sending Diomedes to bring Philoctetes back, whom they abandoned nine or so years ago during the expedition to Troy. Somehow Philoctetes is convinced to rejoin them, where his wound is finally healed. The warrior is quick to kill Paris once he is brought to Troy, and Deiphobus, another prince of Troy, marries Helen.

Odysseus, meanwhile, goes to Scyros where Achilles had fathered Neoptolemus after the Achaean fleet was scattered on its first journey. He brings the boy to Troy and gives him his father's armour, and Neoptolemus [[DeadPersonConversation sees the ghost of Achilles]]. Neoptolemus slays another newly arrived Trojan ally, Eurypylus, the son of Telephos.

Because the Achaeans still can't get into the city, Athena inspires Epeios to construct the TrojanHorse. A disguised Odysseus sneaks into Troy to gather information and encounters Helen, who [[FalseFriend does not alert the Trojans]] but rather [[TurnCoat agrees with Odysseus for the Achaeans to take Troy]].

Odysseus kills more Trojans on his way out, and then he and Diomedes carry out Helenus's prophecy by stealing the Palladion, a statue of Athena upon which Troy's safety depended.

The major Achaean warriors are hidden in the TrojanHorse and, with all the pieces in place, the Achaeans destroy their campsites and [[ISurrenderSuckers pretend to withdraw for good]].

The Trojans believe they are finally freed of the years of war, and they take the TrojanHorse into the city --dismantling part of their wall to do so!-- and begin to celebrate.

Proclus's summary ends here, but other works say that the ''Little Iliad'' ended with an account of the sack, with [[ContinuitySnarl slight differences]] from the account given in the ''Sack of Ilion''.

Ancient fragments on the ''Little Iliad'', including Proclus's summary, are avaliable in English [[http://omacl.org/Hesiod/iliad.html here]].
!!The ''Little Iliad'' likely provided examples of:
* ArrangedMarriage: Helen's marriage to Deiphobus was this.
* BolivianArmyCliffhanger: According to Proclus's summary, the epic ends with the Trojan guard down and the Achaeans poised to ravage the city.
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Why the Achaeans need to find Neoptolemus and Philoctetes, and capture the Palladion.
* TheChosenOne: It's prophesied that Troy won't fall to Greece without the aid of Neoptolemus and Philoctetes.
* ContinuitySnarl: The sack narrated in this epic is slightly different from the one in the ''Sack of Ilion''. [[Literature/TheAeneid Aeneas]], for instance, is captured by the Achaeans and taken by Neoptolemus, and the son of Achilles is the [[WouldHurtAChild one to kill Astyanax]].
* DarkestHour: The people of Troy have entered theirs.
* DeadPersonConversation: When Neoptolemus receives Achilles's armour, he sees the ghost of his father.
* DramaticIrony: Oh so much.
* DrivenToSuicide: Ajax.
* GuileHero: Odysseus.
* HollywoodHealing: Philoctetes has been wounded for ''nine years''. He arrives at Troy and suddenly, he's healed. Though this is justified since the one doing the healing are children of Asclepius, the dude whose healing prowess is so good he can literally bring back the dead.
* InsaneEqualsViolent: Ajax, who briefly goes mad and attacks the Achaean's plundered flock.
* TheInfiltration: Odysseus's recon of Troy.
* ISurrenderSuckers: The Achaean's feigned retreat.
* MadeASlave: Many after the sack, such as Hecuba and Andromache.
* TheMedic: Machaon, who successfully heals Philoctetes's ''nine-year-old'' wound. Justified, since Machaon is the son of Asclepius the God of Healing.
* NoOneGetsLeftBehind: They come back for Philoctetes! [[SarcasmMode So it's all good, right]]?
* OneSidedBattle: Probably the case when the Achaeans emerge from the TrojanHorse.
* PlayingBothSides: Helen seems to be doing this. When she realises the Achaeans are going to take the city, she's perfectly happy to let them.
* RapePillageAndBurn: The sack of Troy.
* RedShirt: Probably plenty of people, particularly the Trojans Odysseus slays on his way out of Troy.
* RightUnderTheirNoses: When Odysseus sneaks into Troy.
* RomancingTheWidow: When Paris is killed, the Trojans don't conclude that maybe they should finally return Helen. Nope; Paris's brother, Deiphobus, marries her instead.
* SchmuckBait: The TrojanHorse, built tall enough that the Trojans need to dismantle part of their wall if they want to get it into the city.
* {{Seers}}: Helenus.
* SoleSurvivor: A surviving quotation from the epic specifies that [[Literature/TheAeneid Aeneas]] was spared (odd considering that the Achaeans slew all the men of Troy) and was taken by Neoptolemus.
* StartsWithASuicide: Namely, Ajax's.
* TakeUpMySword: Neoptolemus is given Achilles's armour and brought to aid the Achaeans against Troy.
* TrojanHorse
* TurnCoat: It seems Helen couldn't care less about Troy after Paris is killed.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: What ever happened to Philoctetes? Remember him, from the ''Cypris''? Apparently he's just been chilling on Lemnos for nine years, with a wound that [[{{Squick}} refuses to heal]]...
* WouldHurtAChild: A quotation from the epic describes Neoptolemus throwing Hector's child, Astyanax, from the walls.
* YouKilledMyFather: Paris killed Achilles (with Apollo's help). Neoptolemus arrives at Troy and nearly immediately kills Paris.

!!Works derived from the myths of the ''Little Iliad'':
* Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s
** ''Philoctetes'', a lost play about the Achaeans' attempt to get Philoctetes to Troy.
** ''The Phrygian Women'', a lost play seemingly part of a trilogy about Ajax's madness.
** ''The Salaminian Women'', a lost play and possibly the third part of a trilogy about Ajax's madness and suicide.
* Creator/{{Euripides}}'s
** ''Epeios'', a lost play likely focused on Epeios, the architect of the Trojan horse.
** ''Philoctetes'', a lost play (see Aeschylus's version).
* Creator/{{Sophocles}}'s
** ''Theatre/{{Philoctetes}}'', yet another version of the story also done by Aeschylus and Euripides.
** ''Theatre/{{Ajax}}'', a tragedy about the madness of Ajax after Achilles's armour is awarded to Odysseus rather than him, and his subsequent suicide.
** ''Lacaenae'', a lost play believed to have followed the theft of the Palladium by Diomedes and Odysseus.
* Part of Creator/{{Ovid}}'s ''Literature/{{Metamorphoses}}''. Book XIII includes the debate over Achilles's arms and Ajax's subsequent death.

[[folder:''Sack of Ilion'']]
->ὅς ῥα καὶ Αἴαντος πρῶτος μάθε χωομένοιο
->ὄμματά τ’ ἀστράπτοντα βαρυνόμενόν τε νόημα.
-->--The ''Sack of Ilion''[[note]]He (Podalirius) first recognized both the raging Ajax’s / flashing eyes and burning spirit.[[/note]]

Next comes the ''Sack of Ilion'' (''Ἰλίου πέρσις''), as Troy finally falls to the Achaeans. This epic also seems to have been composed in the seventh century BC, supposedly by the same writer as the ''Aethiopis''.

The Trojans are puzzled by the [[TrojanHorse giant horse]] left parked outside the city, and the epic starts with their debate as to what they should do with it. Some want to [[OnlySaneMan push it off a cliff]], others to [[{{Pyromaniac}} burn it]], while a third group believe it is an object sacred to Athena.

This third group convinces the others to bring the horse into the city, and the Trojans then celebrate the end of ten years of siege.

During this, two snakes appear and kill Laocoon (a priest of Poseidon) and his two sons. This portent causes [[Literature/TheAeneid Aeneas]] to [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere leave Troy with his companions]].

The Trojans celebrate into the night, and when the city is finally quiet, the Achaean Sinon signals the others with firebrands. The fleet sails back from Tenedos, the warriors inside the TrojanHorse are let loose, and the Achaeans fall upon the city.

[[KillEmAll Countless Trojans are killed]] and the Achaeans take hold of the city. The king of Troy, Priam, takes refuge at the altar of Zeus but is slain by Neoptolemus, while Menelaus [[DeathOfTheHypotenuse kills Deiphobus]] and takes Helen back to the ships.

When Ajax[[note]]Ajax the Lesser, not the Ajax who committed suicide[[/note]] tears Cassandra from the altar of Athena, he harms Athena's image. For this, the other Achaeans intend to stone him, but he escapes their judgement by also taking refuge at her altar.

In the aftermath, Odysseus [[WouldHurtAChild kills Astyanax]], Neoptolemus receives [[MadeASlave Andromache]] as his war prize, and the remainder of the spoils are divided up. Troy is burned and Polyxena, a daughter of Hecuba, is [[HumanSacrifice sacrificed]] at the tomb of Achilles.

Ancient fragments on the ''Sack of Ilion'', including Proclus's summary, are available in English [[http://omacl.org/Hesiod/ilium.html here]].
!!The ''Sack of Ilion'' likely provided examples of:
* ContinuitySnarl: Here Aeneas flees Troy after the ominous death of Laocoon, compared to his capture in the ''Little Iliad''. Astyanax is also killed by Odysseus rather than Neoptolemus.
* DarkestHour: This is Troy's.
* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: When recovering Helen, Menelaus slays Deiphobus.
* DramaticIrony: While the Trojans debate what to do with the horse.
* DueToTheDead: It seems Achilles demanded HumanSacrifice.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* FinalBattle: The culmination of ten years of war: the Achaeans are finally within the city and the Trojans are fighting for survival. This is the end.
* HumanSacrifice: The sacrifice of Polyxena at the tomb of Achilles.
* InfantImmortality: Completely averted.
* KillEmAll: The confused Trojans are slaughtered.
* LastStand
* LibationForTheDead
* MadeASlave: Numerous Trojan women, Hecuba and Andromache in particular.
* TheMedic: Machaon is mentioned in a fragment, though the ''Little Iliad'' [[ContinuitySnarl had him killed in its narrative]].
* OneSidedBattle: The Achaeans crept in in the dark of night, after the Trojans had celebrated their release and fallen asleep. They didn't stand a chance.
* RapePillageAndBurn
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Aeneas doesn't stay long after the death of Laocoon, and flees the city.
* {{Seers}}: Cassandra.
* StormingTheCastle: And the Achaeans finally penetrate inside the city.
* WatchingTroyBurn: Those who survived the attack by the Achaeans see their city looted and burned.
* WouldHurtAChild: Odysseus, who kills Astyanax.

!!Works derived from the myths of the ''Sack of Ilion'':
* Creator/{{Euripides}}'s
** ''Hecuba'', a tragedy set after the fall of Troy, when Hecuba discovers her son, Polydorus's, death and that Polyxena is to be sacrificed at Achilles's tomb.
** ''The Trojan Women'', also set after the fall, which focuses on the death of Astyanax and the allotment of captives to the Achaean warriors.
* Creator/{{Sophocles}}'s
** ''Laocoon'', a lost play about the death of the priest of Apollo.
** ''Ajax the Locrian'', a lost play concerned with Ajax, who has dragged off Cassandra and harmed the image of Athena.
* Part of Creator/{{Ovid}}'s ''Literature/{{Metamorphoses}}'': The fall of Troy and the aftermath is detailed in part of Book XIII.
* ''Literature/TheAeneid'' by Creator/{{Virgil}} is basically a FanFic of the whole cycle, but it starts with the Trojans' debate over what to do with the Horse and follows Aeneas after he leaves.

->δῶρα γὰρ ἀνθρώπων νόον ἤπαφεν ἠδὲ καὶ ἔργα.
-->--The ''Returns''[[note]]For gifts delude the minds and actions of men.[[/note]]

So UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar has come to an end. The next epic in the cycle, the ''Returns'' (''Νόστοι''), deals with [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the Achaean's respective returns home]]. Exactly when the epic was completed is very uncertain; it is often dated sometime in the seventh or sixth century BC.

As the Achaeans prepare to set sail, Athena causes Agamemnon and Menelaus to argue about the coming voyage. Agamemnon chooses to wait a few days in order to appease the goddess's anger (who did not approve of the Achaeans' impious behavior during the sack of Troy), while Diomedes and Nestor set out and safely reach their homelands.

Menelaus, the next to set sail, is not as lucky: he ends up in Egypt ([[NoSenseOfDirection most definitely not Sparta by any stretch of the imagination]]) with only five ships, as the remainder were destroyed during the voyage.

Other Achaeans -- [[{{Seers}} Calchas]], Leonteus, and Polypoites -- try a land route and avoid the dangers at sea. Calchas dies at Colophon and is buried there.

Agamemnon, feeling he has postponed his journey enough, is about to set out when he encounters [[DeadPersonConversation Achilles]], who fortells what will occur and tries to stop them. His group continues regardless and meets with a storm at sea, losing many ships.

The storm was sent by Zeus at the request of Athena, who finally punishes Ajax for his actions in the ''Sack of Ilion''. His ship is among those lost in the storm, and he is killed on the Kapherian rocks.

Neoptolemus is advised by his divine grandmother, Thetis, to make his way home by land. His journey is uneventful, and he briefly encounters the unlucky Odysseus in Maronea. The son of Achilles finally comes to Molossia, a land he and his descendants come to rule.

Both Menelaus and Agamemnon do finally reach their homes, but Agamemnon is murdered by his wife, Clytaemestra, and her [[YourCheatingHeart lover]] Aegisthus. His son, Orestes, eventually returns to his home and avenges his father's murder by killing his mother and her lover.

Meanwhile, Odysseus's return home is chronicled in the following epic, ''Literature/TheOdyssey''.

Ancient fragments on the ''Returns'', including Proclus's summary, are avaliable in English [[http://omacl.org/Hesiod/ret-telg.html here]].
!!The ''Returns'' likely provided examples of:
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Agamemnon's. Aegisthus is his ''cousin''.
* BoltOfDivineRetribution: Athena, being rather displeased with Ajax, asks Zeus to send a storm to destroy him. Zeus obliges.
* BoringReturnJourney: Very averted for several important Achaeans.
* TheCassandra: Cassandra, who was given to Agamemnon as a slave, is also killed.
* CycleOfRevenge: Clytaemestra is unhappy with Agamemnon for (seemingly) sacrificing their daughter, Iphigenia. Orestes takes revenge for his father by killing Clytaemestra.
* DeadPersonConversation: Death hasn't stopped Achilles from chatting with people yet. This is the third epic in a row, and he died way back in the ''Aethiopis''.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* HomeSweetHome: At least some of them reach it.
* TheHomewardJourney: Naturally.
* HostileWeather: Athena gets Zeus to send a storm after the Achaeans.
* KarmicDeath: The Achaeans couldn't kill Ajax, since he took refuge at the temple of Athena. Athena, however, has no qualms about punishing him.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Clytaemestra and her lover's murder of Agamemnon.
* NoSenseOfDirection: Menelaus somehow ends up in Egypt.
* RedShirt: All the random Achaeans killed in the storms at sea.
* {{Revenge}}: Athena taking revenge on Ajax, Clytaemestra taking revenge on Agamemnon, Orestes taking revenge on Clytaemestra, etc.
* RightfulKingReturns: A lot of important Achaeans ''were'' kings, after all.
* {{Seers}}: Calchas, Cassandra. Achilles's ghost also warns of things to come.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Orestes, who kills his mother.
* TheUnderworld: Several fragments and references seem to imply that there was some passage dealing with Hades, perhaps showing Agamemnon and the others killed arriving in Hades (as the suitors are shown in ''The Odyssey'').
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: For some of the Achaeans, notably Ajax. Many others experience difficult homecomings.
* YouKilledMyFather: So Orestes kills his mother.
* YourCheatingHeart: Agamemnon's wife, Clytaemestra.

!!Works derived from the myths of the ''Returns'':
* Creator/{{Aeschylus}}'s
** ''Theatre/{{Agamemnon}}'', a tragedy concerned with the homecoming of the eponymous character and his murder there. The first of Aeschylus's trilogy, ''Theatre/TheOresteia''.
** ''Theatre/TheLibationBearers'', dealing with the reunion of Orestes and his sister Electra, and their avenging of their father. Also the second tragedy of the ''Oresteia''.
* Creator/{{Euripides}}'s
** ''Electra'', a tragedy telling another version of the myth behind Aeschylus's ''Libation Bearers''.
** ''Helen'', a tragedy set during the time Menelaus spends in Egypt. It follows an alternate tradition, where the gods for some reason sent the real Helen to Egypt, and UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar was fought over a phantom (''eidolon'' in Greek).
* Creator/{{Sophocles}}'s
** ''Theatre/{{Electra}}'', yet another version of the story.

->γέρων τε ὢν Ὀδυσσεὺς
->ἤσθιεν ἁρπαλέως κρέα τ’ ἄσπετα καὶ μέθυ ἡδύ.
-->--The ''Telegony''[[note]]And Odysseus, being an old man, / ate heartily of abundant meat and sweet wine.[[/note]]

[[SomethingCompletelyDifferent At this point]], we've pretty much wrapped up everything regarding the actual UsefulNotes/TrojanWar. The ''Telegony'' (''Τηλεγόνεια'') follows ''Literature/TheOdyssey'' and deals with the legends about the [[EndingFatigue end of Odysseus's life]]. It was likely composed in the sixth century BC.

The epic begins where ''The Odyssey'' left off, and starts with the suitors being buried by their families. After all those years of making his way back home, you would think that Odysseus would want to settle down in Ithaca again, set his kingdom in order, that sort of thing. He faked insanity to try to get out of leaving, after all!

Nope. He makes a few sacrifices and inspects his herds, then he takes off to the land of the Thesprotians. Admittedly, he's trying to fulfill a prophecy [[{{Seers}} Tiresias]] made in ''The Odyssey'' in order to appease Poseidon.

The prophecy, however, did not require that he marry Callidice, the Thesprotian queen.

So Odysseus stays in Thesprotia, has a son, and fights a war there. He leads the Thesprotian forces against the Bryges, but his forces are turned back by Ares until Athena combats the war god. The two are calmed by Apollo.

Who knows what Penelope is up to during all this? Because Odysseus is, after all, in Thesprotia for so long that when Callidice dies and he returns to Ithaca, his son, Polypoites, is old enough to rule the kingdom.

Meanwhile, yet another child of Odysseus exists. Telegonus is the child of the warrior and [[DivineParentage Circe]], and is raised by his mother until he goes out in search of his father. The boy comes to Ithaca but is unaware of where he is, and begins [[{{Plunder}} attacking the island]].

Odysseus comes out to defend Ithaca and the two fight, neither aware of their relation. Eventually Telegonus slays his father, and only afterwards does he realise his mistake. The boy then brings Odysseus's body, Penelope, and Telemachus to Circe.

Her solution is to make Penelope and Telemachus immortal. The enchantress then [[TangledFamilyTree marries Telemachus while Telegonus marries Penelope]]. And everyone lives happily ever after. Except Odysseus.

Ancient fragments on the ''Telegony'', including Proclus's summary, are avaliable in English [[http://omacl.org/Hesiod/ret-telg.html here]]
!!The ''Telegony'' likely provided examples of:
* AbdicateTheThrone: Odysseus leaves Thesprotia to Polypoites after the queen dies. Admittedly, he just goes right back to being king in Ithaca.
* AntagonistTitle: Telegonus could be considered an antagonist of sorts, as he ends up killing his father.
* BladeOnAStick: Telegonus's weapon... except it's a sting ray barb, not just a blade.
* DirectionlessDriver: Telegonus apparently has no idea where he's going.
* DivineParentage: Telegonus, the son of Circe.
* DoubleStandard
* HeroicBastard: The epic is named for Telegonus, after all.
* {{Immortality}}: Telemachus and Penelope recieve it.
* IWillWaitForYou: We can only assume this is what Penelope did as Odysseus disappeared for however many years ''again''.
* MurderByMistake: Telegonus didn't know the island he was plundering was his father's, after all! [[SarcasmMode It was all just a huge misunderstanding]].
* OedipusComplex: Telegonus ''does'' end up killing his father, after all.
* {{Plunder}}: What Telegonus is up to when he's not actively looking for his father. This doesn't end well.
* RomancingTheWidow: Telegonus ''also'' marries his father's wife.
* SelfMadeOrphan: Accidentally.
* TangledFamilyTree: By the end of the epic, Telegonus and Telemachus are both each other's stepfathers and stepsons...
** And Circe and Penelope are both each other's mothers-in-law, daughters-in-law, stepmothers and stepdaughters.
* TellMeAboutMyFather: What sets Telegonus off in search of Odysseus in the first place.
* YouCantFightFate:
** Odysseus was fated to die a mild death from the sea... Telegonus sails in and kills him with a sting ray spear. [[FridgeLogic It's not exactly mild, though]]...
** The prophecy in question could just as easily be translated as ''away'' from the sea. It also says he will die at an old age, surrounded by a prosperous people, which can't really be said about dying from a stingray spear on the beach. This, along with all the other contradictory details, has led quite a few scholars (both ancient and modern) to see the Telegony as a case of AdaptationDecay.

!!Works derived from the myths of the ''Telegony'':
* Creator/{{Sophocles}}'s
** ''Odysseus Acanthoplex'', a lost play where Odysseus tries to avert fate by banishing Telemachus after learning he would be killed by his son. [[YouCantFightFate It doesn't work]].
!!Tropes provided by the Trojan Cycle as a whole:
* AdaptationDistillation: There were likely varying versions of these stories in the OralTradition. Writing them down distilled them into the versions remaining today (though a lot of variety still exists).
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: Comes up a lot.
* TheDeadHaveNames: Considering what we know of ''The Iliad'' and ''The Odyssey'', this was likely true throughout the Trojan Cycle.
* DivineParentage: A lot of the characters.
* FamilyUnfriendlyDeath: A lot.
* GreyAndGrayMorality
* {{Gotterdammerung}}: In the sense that the Trojan War pretty much marked the end of an age of demigods and heroes.
* HeroAntagonist: Hector, Penthesilea, Memnon... many Trojan heroes and allies, really.
* HeroicLineage: Naturally.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters
* NarrativePoem: Just like ''The Iliad'' and ''The Odyssey'', they're all written in dactylic hexameter. Kinda comes with the territory, being epics.
* OralTradition: Where these myths came from.
* RatedMForManly
* RedShirt: Probably a huge number of figures, Achaeans and Trojans alike.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: The major characters are often royalty: Menelaus, the king of Sparta; Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae; Odysseus, the king of Ithaca; Hector, the prince of Troy; Penthesilea, the queen of the Amazons; Memnon, the king of the Ethiopians; etc.
* TheSiege: Naturally.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Troy was a real city and was actually destroyed and rebuilt several times... mainly because it was very rich and its neighbors wanted some {{plunder}}.
* WarriorPrince: Multiple, mainly the sons of Priam and notably Hector, a prince of Troy and its greatest defender.