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.