It’s Monday, which means that it’s time to talk about mythology. This week, I shall tell you the tale of the Judgement of Paris, aka How The Trojan War Got Started.
This story, like most Greek myths, starts with the gods being assholes. Well, it actually starts with the gods throwing a wedding feast for Peleus and Thetis, aka Achilles’s parents. All the gods are invited. Except for Eris, the goddess of discord.
Now, Eris is not going to take this lying down, and so she channels her inner Maleficent and crashes the party anyway to try and fuck it up. And fuck it up she does, by offering a golden apple to the most beautiful goddess.
Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite take the bait, and ask Zeus to pick which one of them is the hottest. Wisely not wanting to piss of his wife, daughter, and other daughter but possibly aunt (the mythology isn’t super clear on how Aphrodite is related to Zeus), fobs the job off on a Trojan prince named Paris.
So the three head on down to earth, and find this Paris guy. They fill him in on the details, and then immediately start bribing him. Hera offers to make him king of basically the entire known world, and Athena offers to make him really good at battles and strategy. Then Aphrodite makes him her offer: the most beautiful woman in the world, who is this chick named Helen.
Surprise, surprise, Paris picks the hot chick.
Of course, there is also just one minor problem. Helen is already married to Menelaus, the King of Sparta. But that’s nothing that a little kidnapping won’t fix!
So Paris swans on down to Sparta, takes Helen, and hightails it back to his home turf. Menelaus, though, is not particularly pleased that this random kid has taken his wife and rallies the other Greek city-states to march with him to Troy to get her back. And that begins the Trojan War, and millennia of dudes blaming Helen for it. Y’know, the woman who did fuck all besides get kidnapped.
And the moral of the story is that you maybe shouldn’t listen to the literal goddess of shit-stirring. Or that you shouldn’t kidnap people, but that should go without saying.
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