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Published:September 18th, 2009 10:49 EST
The Judgment of Paris

The Judgment of Paris

By Matthew Vossler

In Greek mythology, a hero is a Demagod, the child of a God or Goddess and a human; a half-blood. Some famous heroes are Achilles, Helen of Troy (the daughter of Zeus and Leda), and Heracles. (1)  All of them get caught up in the Trojan War.


The story of the Trojan War and how it began is one of the most famous stories of Greek mythology. It begins when the Gods are gathered for a wedding. When Eris, the Goddess of discord is banned at the door from entering the wedding festivities, she tosses her wedding gift through the door. It is an apple inscribed with the words, "to the fairest."


This action sets off a dispute among Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena. They each believe the apple was meant for them. (2) When the three goddesses finally go to Zeus to make a judgment, Zeus, not wanting to incur the wrath of the two who aren`t judged as the fairest, sends Hermes to find Paris and requests that Paris make the judgment.


The three goddesses each offer Paris bribes to sway his judgment, but it is Aphrodite`s promise of the love of Helen of Sparta that wins over Paris. Helen was considered the most beautiful women in the world. Paris judges Aphrodite as the fairest.


Subsequently, Helen falls in love with Paris, a Trojan, and the two elope to Troy. When Menelaus, Helen`s husband and king of Sparta finds out, the war between Sparta and Troy is inevitable.


The Trojan War not only pits humans and heroes fighting each other, but the Gods and Goddesses are also involved, picking sides, assisting the humans and heroes, and fighting each other as well.


Troy eventually loses the war, Paris is killed and, according to the story, some of the Trojans who survive after the burning of their city, wander until they come to Alba Longa, which was where the Roman civilization began 300 years later. (2)