Category: Characters (Page 1 of 2)


Paris, also known as Alexander, is a figure from Greek mythology who is most famous for his role in the events leading up to the Trojan War. He was a prince of Troy, the son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba.

Paris’s story begins with a prophecy. Before his birth, Hecuba dreamed that she gave birth to a flaming torch that destroyed Troy. The seers interpreted this as a sign that her son would be the downfall of the city, so when Paris was born, Priam ordered a servant to abandon the infant on Mount Ida. However, the servant couldn’t bring himself to leave the child to die and instead gave him to a shepherd. Paris grew up among the shepherd’s family, ignorant of his royal lineage.

Paris is perhaps best known for his role in the “Judgement of Paris.” Presented with a golden apple by the goddess Eris, with the inscription “to the fairest,” he was asked to choose between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite to decide who was the most beautiful. Each goddess tried to influence his decision with promises: Hera offered him power, Athena wisdom and prowess in war, and Aphrodite the love of the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris chose Aphrodite, thus earning the enmity of Hera and Athena.

The “most beautiful woman,” as it turned out, was Helen of Sparta, who was already married to King Menelaus. Paris either seduced or abducted Helen (the myths vary on this point) and brought her back to Troy. This act triggered the Trojan War, as the Greeks launched a massive expedition to retrieve Helen.

Paris participated in the war, but was not typically portrayed as a heroic character. In fact, he often avoided combat, a notable exception being his slaying of the Greek hero Achilles with a shot to the heel. However, this act was often attributed more to the guiding hand of Apollo than to Paris’s skill.

Paris was ultimately killed near the end of the war. Depending on the version of the story, he was either killed in combat by the hero Philoctetes, who had inherited Heracles’s bow and arrows, or was mortally wounded and abandoned by his former lover, the nymph Oenone, whom he had left for Helen and who could have healed him.

Helen of Troy

Helen of Troy is a figure from ancient Greek mythology who is known for her exceptional beauty. She was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, and in many myths, she is considered to be the most beautiful woman in the world. Her abduction by Paris, the prince of Troy, was the event that sparked the Trojan War.

Helen was originally married to Menelaus, the king of Sparta, after he won her hand in a competition. However, when Paris of Troy visited Sparta, he was smitten with Helen. Encouraged by Aphrodite, who had promised him the most beautiful woman in the world as a reward in the Judgment of Paris, he abducted Helen and took her back to Troy. This act was considered a great insult to Menelaus and to the Greeks in general, leading to the Trojan War as the Greeks set out to reclaim Helen and punish Troy.

In some versions of the story, Helen went willingly with Paris, enchanted by his charm, while in others, she was taken against her will. Some accounts even suggest that the gods made an illusionary image of Helen to accompany Paris to Troy, while the real Helen was whisked away to Egypt for the duration of the war.

After the war, Helen returned to Sparta with Menelaus. In some versions of her story, she was welcomed back and lived the rest of her life peacefully, while in others, she was met with suspicion and hostility.

Helen’s story has been the subject of numerous adaptations and reinterpretations throughout history. She is often portrayed as a complex and somewhat tragic figure – a woman whose beauty made her the object of other people’s desires and conflicts, rather than an agent of her own destiny.


Heracles, better known by his Roman name Hercules, is a hero in Greek mythology who is known for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures. He is the son of Zeus, the king of the gods, and a mortal woman named Alcmene. Because of his half-god, half-human status, Heracles lived both among the gods and on earth, a theme common in many Greek myths.

Heracles is perhaps best known for the Twelve Labours, tasks that he was forced to complete as penance for killing his wife and children in a fit of madness, which was induced by the goddess Hera. Hera, the wife of Zeus, was known for her vengeful nature towards Zeus’s illegitimate children and used her power to make life difficult for Heracles throughout his life.

The Twelve Labours of Heracles were:

  1. Slay the Nemean Lion.
  2. Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
  3. Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis.
  4. Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
  5. Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
  6. Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
  7. Capture the Cretan Bull.
  8. Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
  9. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
  10. Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
  11. Steal the apples of the Hesperides.
  12. Capture and bring back Cerberus, the three-headed dog guarding the Underworld.

After his death, Heracles was granted immortality and a place among the gods on Mount Olympus. His myths have had a significant influence on Western culture and he is a prominent figure in literature and art.


Eris is a goddess in Greek mythology, recognized as the personification of strife and discord. She is the daughter of Nyx (Night) and the sister of Ares, the god of war. She was often depicted as a female figure whose presence led to conflict, rivalry, and general upheaval.

Eris is most famously associated with the mythological story that leads to the Trojan War. According to the myth, Eris, not being invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis due to her troublemaking nature, threw a golden apple inscribed with the phrase “to the fairest” into the celebration. This caused a dispute among Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite over who the apple was intended for. The disagreement ultimately led to the Trojan War, as Paris of Troy was chosen to decide who was the fairest, and he selected Aphrodite, who had promised him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. Helen’s abduction by Paris triggered the war.

Eris’ role in this myth illustrates her function as an agent of discord and chaos. Despite not being one of the more revered or widely worshipped figures in the Greek pantheon, her influence is seen in numerous myths, underlining the Greeks’ understanding of the destructive potential of conflict and strife.

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