In an alternate version of the truth…
Sing O Goddess,
the anger of Achilles son of Peleus… of Paragraph 2.1 of Sub-clause 7, Section 3: Limitations on Treaty Concerning Overseas Dominions, with specific reference to Appendices Θ and Ι: Understanding of Boundaries and Significance of Same within Greek Colonial Territories.
After ten long years of siege outside the mighty walls of Troy, the Greeks built a giant hollow wooden bullock and sailed away.
Only when the Greeks watched the Trojans rolled the bullock into the city (from their ships upon the distant horizon) did they recall that – per the cunning plan of Odysseus – someone was supposed to hide inside the belly of the bullock once it was constructed.
Thus did the Trojans bring the bullock into the city and nothing happened. The Greeks returned for another ten years of laying siege to the city. In the end, Meneleus died suddenly one night (after sleeping near a draught in his tent and catching a violent chill that really got into his bones. A dreadful death.)
As they mourned Meneleus, the Greeks were divided amongst those who believed capturing Troy (and Helen) would honour his memory, and those who just “want[ed] to get the fuck home out of this hole”, as the mighty Ajax memorably put it.
Putting it democratically to a vote, the motion narrowly passed that they would sue for peace with the Trojans. Spirited negotiations ensued, mediators worked long and hard into the night, but in the end, an accord was reached. Both the Greek and Trojan negotiating teams claimed victory in their brief prepared statements released to the press.
Homer wrote an epic poem based on the great and glorious peace treaty signed between the Greeks and the Trojans, focusing on certain clauses in the treaty through which the Greeks tricked the Trojans into signing over ownership of the city after the 99-year lease was up.
The famed poet never did get around to writing of Odysseus’ great voyage home afterwards, because the trip was direct and relatively mundane, although Odysseus’ men did vow that ‘what happened on the boat, stayed on the boat’. (Something to do with a giant one-eyed man, if the rumours were to be believed (they weren’t).)
The dry legalese tale of the Iliad, and the lack of the Odyssey at all at all, meant that Homer passed into oblivion as is the fate of so many writers. All of them, in fact, as the limit of time tends towards infinity.
Meanwhile, humanity had to make do with an expanded ‘epic’ tale of a hero known as Humpty Dumpty.