The Golden Apple of Discord
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"Your newborn son will be the downfall of Troy"-Aesacus
Queen Hecuba of Troy had a dream she was pregnant and she had had a dream that she gave birth to a flaming torch. When she told her husband, King Priam, he became worried and called upon his eldest son, Aesacus, the seer, to tell him the meaning.
The baby Paris was born and they knew they must destroy him, but they could not bear to do it. King Priam called upon his chief herdsman, Agelaus, to do the deed. They knew they must destroy him, but they could not bear to do it. Agelaus carried the baby to desolate Mount Ida.
Once there, he shrank from the task. He could not kill this baby, and so he left tiny Paris there, alone, in the wilderness, certain to perish. But that night a bear came upon the baby and took pity on him. She kept him safe through the night. In the morning, when Agelaus returned for the body, he found the boy alive and safe. He took this as a sign: The boy was meant to live.
Paris grew up to be a regal young man. One day, he offered a challenge: His bull would fight anyone's bull to a battle. The winner would receive a golden crown. When Ares, the god of war, heard this, he transformed himself into a bull and accepted the challenge. Naturally, Ares easily won, Paris proved how fair he was when he readily awarded Ares the crown. It was in this way that the gods came to understand that Paris was a man who kept his word.
Zeus planned a wedding feast for the sea nymph, Thetis, and her beloved, the mortal Peleus. Zeus invited all the gods and goddesses but one, Eris. This is because wherever Eris, the goddess of discord, went, she brought only chaos and misery. But Eris learned of the feast, and she was furious. She stormed into the great hall and flung a golden apple into the crowd. The apple was inscribed with the word kallisti, meaning "for the fairest."
Aphrodite Athena, and Hera, Zeus' wife, the goddess of women and marriage. The three goddesses turned to Zeus and said, "You must choose who gets the golden apple. Which of us is the fairest of all?"Zeus understood that no matter which woman he selected, the other two would create terrible grief. And so he decreed that the matter would be decided by the fairest judge in the land. "The shepherd Paris of Troy will select the fairest goddess," Zeus proclaimed. Paris picked Aphrodite cause she would have Helena fall in love with him and it brought destruction to the land of Troy and started the Trojan war.
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