In the ages of heroes, when God and Goddesses still took part in interesting things, a great wedding was planned between a popular warrior named Peleus who was planning to get married with a lovely sea nymph who was named Thetis. All the Kings and Queens were invited to the wedding feast, as well as the immortal people who lived on Mount Olympus. Everyone was invited accept Eris, the goddess of strife. Generally Eris will always have revenge, she decided to play a trick on the wedding guests. Just as the celebration was going to kick off she appeared in the banqueting hall dressed as a serving girl. A silver plate was in her hands, and on it was an apple on which she had written the words, “For the Fairest of them all”. She placed on the table where the three loveliest goddesses were sitting . Their names were Hera, Athene and Aphrodite. Immediately when they saw the words on the apple, the three gods quarrel broke out!
Hera said to the others, “I am the Queen of all the immortal gods, and it follows that I must be far fairer than either of you two. So therefore the apple belongs to me” “My dear darling Hera,” said Athene, “You might be Queen, but I am the goddess of wisdom, and therefore I know absolutely everything that is worth knowing. You must believe me when I say that you are quite mistaken. Wisdom is beauty, and beauty is wisdom, and just to add I am beautiful too, So therefore the apple belongs to me.” “ My Dear Darlings,” purred Aphrodite. “It’s quite obvious that the apple belongs to me. I supposedly have the power of love”. The goddesses carried on arguing for years after the wedding was over.
The king of all the Gods, Mighty Zeus, became fed up with listening to the three god arguing, that at one point he was at his wits and suggested that the three lovely goddesses have a beauty contest and get a human to judge. So that exactly what they did. The three goddesses agreed on one thing: Dat die meeste mooi en modieus geklee strflike wat geloop het op die geesig van die aarde was Parys, Prins van Troy (That the most handsome and fashionably dressed mortal who walked on earth, was to be the decider, and that was Paris Prince Troy)
One day when Paris was out hunting on the foothills of Mount Ida, he discovered three dazzling goddesses standing under a tree. Paris in his whole life, had never seen such dazzling beauty before. For a moment he stood there and stared amazingly. Then Hermes who was the messenger of Gods, flew up to Paris and spoke to him: “Paris! The Prince of magnificent Troy. The god Zuse, out of all gods, has selected you to give this apple to the fairest goddess of them all.”
Paris who normally had a good eye for beauty, found it hard to chose. Each goddesses was so beautifully. Hera had most lovely milky skin that he had ever seen. Athene had the most dazzling eyes, dancing eyes. And Aphrodite had the most charming smile. He didn’t who to pick?
“Prince Paris. Give the apple to me” “And I will give you the great gift of power” Obviously Athen could not be outdone by this offer. “Prince Paris” “Give the apple to me, and I guarantee that I will give you the great gift of wisdom.” But Aphrodite laughed and said. “my dear darling Paris, don’t listen to those silly goddesses. How does power and wisdom give you happiness? Give the apple to me, and I promise that I shall give you the love of the most beautiful woman on earth.”
Now Paris no longer, found his choice hard. From day one he had been in love with the most beautiful woman on earth, who was named Helen. It was also known that Helen was married to King Manalusa. Paris thought that there was a possibility of him winning her love over. But now he knew that the was a chance of him winning her over.
Without further of do, Paris gave the apple to Aphrodite. She laughed, while the other two looked furious and flew off to Mount Olympus where they sobbed bitterly to Zeus about the unfairness of the competition. Zeus had a dark feeling that there was trouble in store for humankind.
Paris then set for sail for the land of Sparta where Menelaus was king and lived with his beautiful queen Helen. Menelaus welcomed the famous prince into his palace, and while the two sat talking about the affairs of the world, Queen Helen came down from her room, looking as lovely as a goddess. The maid-servants brought her a seat and covered it with a soft rug, and she sat before her silver work box. But before she began to talk, she glanced over at the visiting Prince, and questioned her husband:
“I shall guess the name of this Prince who has come to visit us? Let us see if I am right or wrong? I have heard tell of a prince from far-off Troy who is famous the world over for his looks and fashionable style. So darling is it he, Paris, Prince of Troy who has come to stay with us?”
“Helen, My dear wife,” said Menelaus, “As always, you are right. It is indeed, Paris, Prince of Troy who is paying us a visit.”
At dinner that night, Helen added a special potion into the wine, so that anyone who drank it would forget all his cares, and be happy for the rest of the evening. They ate and made merry, while Menelaus was busy laughing and joking with one of his generals, Paris purred this to Helen
“Most beautiful queen,” he said, “I beg you, meet me tonight in the beneath the palace walls and we shall then sail away together in my ship, and head directly for Troy the most magnificent city in all the world.”
And because the goddess of love, Aphrodite, had wished it so, Helen could not help herself, and agreed to his suggestion.
When King Menelaus awoke in the morning, and he saw that his guest and his wife had run away together, he flew into a lion, kicking the furniture and punching the walls of his palace. He swore before all the Gods that that his revenge would be truly terrible. And so he went to see his elder brother, King Agamemnon of Argos, and spoke to him as follows:
“My dear brother. The honour of our family has been take by Paris Prince of Troy. Let us gather together all the Kings of Greece and combine our armies into the greatest force that has ever been seen since the history of war, now let us sail to the far off city of Troy, and teach Prince Paris some manners.”
But Agamemnon was wise and he knew that it is always a terrible mistake to rush headlong into conflict. He suggested first that they send an ambassador to Troy to request the return of Queen Helen, And so they sent a message to Troy in the name of peace, but Helen did not wish to go home, and Prince Paris refused to return the lovely Queen to her husband, saying that they had been brought together by the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite herself.
And so that meant War. King Agamemnon, the brother of the wronged Menelaus, summoned all the Kings of Greece and prepared a navy of a thousand ships, the greatest military force to ever set sail. And that is the story of how the great war between the Greeks and the Trojans was started by Prince Paris and Queen Helen.