The Trojan War began when the goddess of discord, Eris, was not invited to a wedding.
Furious at being snubbed, she cast a golden apple among the wedding guests that bore the words “To the Fairest.”
The goddesses Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all wished to have the apple for themselves.
Zeus, wanting to avoid this quarrel, ordered a shepherd from the city of Troy to judge which goddess was “the Fairest.” His name was Paris.
To persuade Paris that she deserved the apple, each goddess offered him gifts. Hera promised him power and riches. Athena assured him of wisdom and victory in war.
Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife. After considering the three offers, Paris decided in favor of Aphrodite.
The most beautiful woman in the world was Helen, Queen of Sparta and wife of King Menelaus.
Helped by Aphrodite, Paris seduced Helen and took her back to Troy.
Enraged, King Menelaus called on the other Greek leaders, who were bound by oath to help Menelaus retrieve his wife.
Soon, several thousand ships darkened the waters around Greece.
Filled with soldiers eager for adventure and plunder, the armada set sail for the walled city of Troy.
The Trojan War had begun.