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The Judgement of Paris was a contest between the three most beautiful goddesses of Olympus--Aphrodite, Hera and Athena--for the prize of a golden apple addressed "To the Fairest."
The story began with the wedding of Peleus and Thetis which all the gods had been invited to attend except for Eris, goddess of discord.
When Eris appeared at the festivities she was turned away and in her anger cast the golden apple amongst the assembled goddesses addressed "To the Fairest."
Three goddesses laid claim to the apple--Aphrodite, Hera and Athena. Zeus was asked to mediate and he commanded Hermes to lead the three goddesses to Paris of Troy to decide the issue.
The three goddesses appearing before the shepherd prince, each offering him gifts for favour.
He chose Aphrodite, swayed by her promise to bestow upon him Helene, the most beautiful woman, for wife. The subsequent abduction of Helene led directly to the Trojan War and the fall of the city.