This is the story of how one man’s choice lead to a great war.
One day, Zeus held a banquet to celebrate a marriage, but did not invite Eris, the goddess of discord, for obvious reasons. Infuriated, she came up with a cunning plan, in which she arrived at the banquet, tossed a golden apple at the crowd, and disappeared.
On the apple, it was inscribed: For the fairest one.
Three goddesses approached the apple, claiming that it belonged to them: Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. They demanded that Zeus be the judge of who was the fairest, but Zeus knowing it was a catch-22 delegated the task to a mortal: Paris of Troy. This shepherd-prince was approached by each goddess, who offered a bribe using their godly powers.
Hera, the queen of gods, offered to make him the king of Eurasia, symbolising power and wealth.
Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, offered great strength and wisdom.
Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, offered the most beautiful woman in the world: Helen of Sparta.
After some thought, Paris presented the apple to Aphrodite, giving her the title of the “fairest one”. This earned him not only the beautiful Helen – who became infatuated with him under Aphrodite’s powers and brought to Troy – but also the scorn of the other two goddesses. Using their influences, and the fact that Helen was the wife of Menelaus – king of Sparta – the Trojan War sparked as Sparta formed a Greek alliance force to attack Troy, to reclaim their queen and seek vengeance and blood.
This goes to show how a man’s life, or his nation in the case of Paris, can be destroyed by the basic instinct of lust.