Tales of Troy Ulysses the Sacker of Cities By Andrew Lang Greek Literature Contents: The Boyhood and Parents of Ulysses, How People Lived in the Time of Ulysses, The Wooing of Helen of the Fair Hands, The Stealing of Helen, Trojan Victories, Battle at the Ships, The Slaying and Avenging of Patroclus, The Cruelty of Achilles, and the Ransoming of Hector, How Ulysses Stole the Luck of Troy, The Battles with the Amazons and Memnon—the Death of Achilles, Ulysses Sails to seek the Son of Achilles.—The Valour of Eurypylus, The Slaying of Paris, How Ulysses Invented the Device of the Horse of Tree, The End of Troy and the Saving of Helen, Long ago, in a little island called Ithaca, on the west coast of Greece, there lived a king named Laertes. His kingdom was small and mountainous. People used to say that Ithaca “lay like a shield upon the sea,” which sounds as if it were a flat country. But in those times shields were very large, and rose at the middle into two peaks with a hollow between them, so that Ithaca, seen far off in the sea, with her two chief mountain peaks, and a cloven valley between them, looked exactly like a shield. The country was so rough that men kept no horses, for, at that time, people drove, standing up in little light chariots with two horses; they never rode, and there was no cavalry in battle: men fought from chariots. When Ulysses, the son of Laertes, King of Ithaca grew up, he never fought from a chariot, for he had none, but always on foot. If there were no horses in Ithaca, there was plenty of cattle. The father of Ulysses had flocks of sheep, and herds of swine, and wild goats, deer, and hares lived in the hills and in the plains. The sea was full of fish of many sorts, which men caught with nets, and with rod and line and hook.
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