The Trojan War which took place between the ancient Greeks and Trojans is one of the most famous wars in history. The war is believed to have occurred because of a very beautiful woman, namely Helen of Troy. Helen of Troy was said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world. She was said to have been born of the union between the Greek gods Zeus and Leda. She was married to King Menelaus of Sparta. She is said to be so beautiful that the Trojan prince Paris raped, or stole her from her husband. This resulted in one of the bloodiest wars in the history of man. The ancient Greeks went on a military campaign to reclaim Helen which led to the destruction of Troy, the city of the Trojans.
Helen from the 2004 film Troy
Worldwide, people are quick to believe that Helen is to blame for the Trojan War, either because they believe she also lusted after Paris or she was simply woman without a conscience. It is common to see a wanton portrayal of Helen in modern-day films and books. It is said that the ancient women of Troy cursed and blamed Helen for the death of their menfolk who had to fight in the war.
Here are two reasons why I believe that Helen of Troy is not the cause of the Trojan War. Enjoy!
1. THE GREEK GODS ARE THE TRUE CAUSE OF THE WAR
It was said that the Greek god Zeus held a banquet in celebration of the marriage of the parents of Achilles. However, Eris, the goddess of discord was not invited, for it was believed that she would make the party unpleasant for everyone. Angered by this snub, Eris arrived at the celebration with golden apple inscribed with the words 'For The Fairest'. She threw the apple into the party as a prize of beauty. Three goddesses claimed the apple: Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. They asked Zeus, who was the king of the gods, to judge which of them was the fairest. Zeus, reluctant to favour any of them himself, declared that Paris, a Trojan mortal, would judge their cases. This was because Paris had recently shown exemplary fairness in a contest in which a god in bull form had bested Paris' own prize bull.
Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite
After Paris failed to judge their beauty with their clothes on, the three goddesses stripped nude to convince him of worthiness. While Paris inspected them, each goddess tried to bribe him; Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite offered the most beautiful woman in the world. This was Helen, wife of the Greek King Menelaus. Paris accepted Aphrodite's gift and awarded the golden apple to her. He got Helen as well as the enmity of the Greeks and especially Hera who promised to punish Paris. Her rage at losing made her join the Greeks in the battle against the Trojans, a key event in the turning point of the war. Helen was just a pawn in a game!
A painting depicting the abduction of Helen
2. THE GREEKS STARTED THE WAR OUT OF JEALOUSY AND GREED
It is said that the Greeks started the war out of jealousy. The city of Troy is said to be vast, magnificent, and the walls impenetrable. The Greeks were calculating the riches they could carry after invading Troy as much as they were calculating how to get Helen back. Some sources have even suggested that Helen was never in Troy.
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