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In the Ancient World many believed that the Greek gods were able to intervene in and control the daily affairs of citizens, both blessing men with prosperity and punishing them through wars. According to one popular myth it is said that the Trojan War, which was one of the most cunningly carried out battles of the Ancient World, was caused by godly acts and can be traced back to the pure jealousy of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.
As the Greek goddess of love and beauty Aphrodite is a proud beauty in Olympia, the sacred home of the Greek gods. Due to her astonishing beauty the gods feared they would fight over her and she would be the cause of war so Zeus married her to Hephaestus who was ugly and was not seen as a threat by any of the gods; nonetheless everyone envied Aphrodite who was happy being the most beautiful of the gods.
All the gods were invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, who would become the parents of Achilles - that is all except Eris the Greek goddess of discord. Eris was so outraged that she decided to cause chaos by throwing a golden apple into the hall with the words ‘tei kallistei’, or ‘the fairest’, written on it. Once they saw the apple all the goddesses wanted to know who the apple was for and ultimately who was the most beautiful of the goddesses. Wisely, the gods decided it was best not to intervene and instead nominated a human delegate, Paris the Prince of Troy, to judge. Each goddess tried to cheat by persuading the prince and tempting him with gifts so he would pick them. Athena, goddess of wisdom, offered Paris knowledge of warfare, skill in battle and wisdom. Hera, goddess of women and marriage, offered Paris political power and the control of Asia. Aphrodite, who stunned Paris with her beauty, offered Paris the heart of the most beautiful woman in the world.
The young prince abruptly chose Aphrodite as the fairest goddess and the true owner of the golden apple, for in return he could love and be loved by the most beautiful of women. He fell deeply in love with Helen, who was already married to the king of Sparta, Menelaus. Nonetheless Helen and Paris ran off together, an act of infidelity which filled her husband with pure rage. Insulted by Paris and outraged, Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Menelaus, assembled an army and waged a war on Paris which lasted ten years.
After the deaths of many prominent figure such as the Achaeans (Greeks) Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris, the Greeks surprised the Trojans with an unexpected gift, the Trojan horse. The Greeks sailed away and the Trojans believed the horse was a present for their victory. Little did they know that inside the enormous wooden horse hid armed Greek soldiers ready to pounce and destroy the Trojans. The disguise of the Trojan horse allowed the soldiers to enter the otherwise confined walls of Troy and attack them from within in a very clever manner.
The war has been narrated by many poets of the time including Homer in his famous Iliad and still today some may like to carry on believing that the cause of the war could be linked back to the godly affairs of those who look down on us from Olympia.
Image 1: https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/prec/www/course/mythology/1200/1912.jpg
Image 2: http://s2.photobucket.com/user/iteration2/media/goldenapple.jpg.html