98 pages • 3 hours readBernard Evslin
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The war between the Greeks and the Trojans begins at a wedding. The hero Peleus marries Thetis, a naiad or water nymph, and the wedding guests include the Olympian gods. Thetis forgets to invite Eris, the goddess of discord, who gets revenge by crashing the wedding and placing on the banquet table a golden apple inscribed “To The Fairest.” The Goddess queen Hera claims it, but so do Athene, the Wisdom Goddess, and Aphrodite, Goddess of Love.
A handsome young shepherd, Paris—secretly the son of Troy’s King Priam—is recruited decide who is the fairest. Hera offers him power, and Athene offers all wisdom and knowledge, but Aphrodite promises him any woman he wants, and he gives the apple to her. She suggests Helen, daughter of Zeus and wife of King Menelaus of Sparta; Paris sails for Greece, finds Helen, and brings her back to Troy.
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Helen first married Menelaus after Ulysses got all her suitors to agree not to fight but to defend the man she chose. When Paris takes her away, the Greeks sail for Troy and fight the city for 10 years but can’t overcome the Trojans. Troy’s greatest warrior, Hector, dies in combat against Greece’s greatest, Achilles, yet the city stands.
By Bernard Evslin