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The image above represents a replica of the wooden horse made by the Greeks during the war against Troy. It was Odysseus' idea to hide soldiers inside the horse. The horse was offered to the Troyans as a religious gift so that the citizens of Troy could not refuse it. With the horse, the Greeks soldiers could enter the city and win the war. The replica depicted above is conserved in Turkey.
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Image courtesy of Corel Corporation.

Ulysses

The legendary Greek hero, Odysseus was the king of Ithaca, a small island in the Ionian sea, where he lived with his wife Penelope. He was known to Romans as Ulysses. After fighting the war against the city of Troy with the Greeks, he started his journey home. His sailing journey was obstructed by the sea god Poseidon.

During his journey he had many incredible adventures, but his renowned intelligence helped him to survive the numerous difficulties, although his crew wasn't so lucky. After ten years of wandering, he finally reached his home.

During his long absence, many of his enemies tried to convince his wife Penelope to get married again. When Odysseus arrived, he disguised himself as a beggar. Only his old dog recognized him. Until that moment, Penelope remained faithful.

She had not seen her husband since the beginning of the war of Troy, twenty years before. After so many years, she was presumed to be a widow. Pressured by her suitors, she declared that she would marry only the man who could bend an extremely hard bow that belonged to Odysseus. All suitors attempted this, but only Odysseus succeeded.

Because of Odysseus' long journey to reach his home, a NASA space mission has been named after his better known Roman name: The Ulysses mission.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA