The Trojans drag the horse into Troy

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Wall Painting from Pompeii, in the Naples Museum. A rare attempt in ancient art to represent torchlight

Mentioned only briefly by Homer but vividly described by Virgil (Aeneid Book 2, 234-49), the dragging in of the wooden horse would signal the end for the Trojans and the beginning of Greek success and their return home.

The Pompeian wall painting accords well with Virgil's account: pick out

  • the walls of Troy
  • the horse on rollers being dragged by men and women
  • dancing children
  • worshippers with branches
  • procession of women with torches
  • sacred grove (right), with statue of Athena on pedestal, woman kneeling with outstretched hands (Cassandra - a priest approaching her) and old man seated in sad pose (Priam)
  • the high citadel in the background, and on the slope a woman stands waving a torch (Helen signalling to the Greeks at Tenedos, cf. Aen. 6, 518)