Paris & the Golden Apple Greek Myth

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The Judgment of Paris is the story of a beauty contest between the Greek goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite. Zeus selected Paris, prince of Troy, to judge the contest, and the prize was a golden apple (Zimmerman).

Background

  • When the goddess of discord and strife, Eris, was not invited to an important wedding, she decided to cause trouble by throwing a golden apple into the crowd (Hamilton).

Conflict

  • The golden apple was marked "For the Fairest" and was immediately claimed by the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, prompting a beauty contest (Zimmerman).

Result

  • Each goddess offered Paris a bribe. Hera offered power, Athena offered military victory, and Aphrodite offered the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris chose Aphrodite (Zimmerman).

Significance

  • The most beautiful woman was Helen, Queen of Sparta. When Paris abducted her, all of Greece declared war against Troy, causing the Trojan War and the eventual destruction of Troy (Hamilton).

Resolution

  • Paris was killed by the poisoned arrows of Prince Philoctetes, but his death had no effect on the outcome of the war (Hamilton).

References

  • Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes; Edith Hamilton; 1999
  • Dictionary of Classical Mythology; J. E. Zimmerman; 1983
  • Photo Credit Peter Paul Rubens/commons.wikimedia.org
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