Thanks to Brad Pitt's legendary abs, we all know the epic love story between Helen of Troy and Prince Paris of Troy. If you read the Iliad by Homer you may know the story, and if not here's what you need to know! Our one of the main characters, Helen of Troy aka the most beautiful woman in the world was married to King Menelaus of Sparta. But one day, she was abducted by Prince Paris of Troy after the goddess Aphrodite "promised her to him" in the "Judgement of Paris". I can hear you saying, but Alara, what is the Judgement of Paris? I am glad that you asked! If you want to know the answer, grab a cup of coffee because we will be discussing a great topic taken straight from "The Greek Mythology 101" by your favorite storyteller, aka me.
Once upon a time, Zeus held a celebration for the marriage of Peleus and Thetis -aka parents of Achilles (aka Brad Pitt)-, but he didn't invite the goddess of discord, Eris, due to obvious reasons. And guess what happened?! She showed up anyway with a golden apple from the Garden of the Hesperides. The apple was for the "fairest one", that's why three goddesses claimed it; Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. They asked Zeus to judge which of them was fairest, and eventually, he declared that Paris, a Trojan mortal, would judge their cases since Zeus himself was a coward womanizer. So with Hermes as their guide, the three goddesses bathed in the spring of Ida and then confronted Paris on Mount Ida. After failing to judge their beauty with their clothing on (rolling my eyes so hard), the three goddesses stripped nude to convince Paris of their "worthiness". While Paris was checking them out, each of goddesses attempted to bribe him. Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite, who had the Charites and the Horai to enhance her charms with flowers and songs, offered him the world's most beautiful woman. This was Helen of Sparta, wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris accepted Aphrodite's gift and awarded the apple to her, receiving Helen as well as the enmity of the Greeks and especially of Hera.
Just a little side note; I feel like Hera is often shown as just the "jealous wife" and nothing more- however, Hera was actually the most beautiful goddess, and not Aphrodite. As we all know, Hera was the goddess of the marital order and of cuckolded wives. If you are wondering, why Paris didn't choose Hera then, the answer is simply that Aphrodite, the goddess of sexuality, was more sexual and charming to him. So, she was able to sway Paris into judging her as the fairest. Anyway, him choosing Aphrodite ended up with the epic Trojan war, because King Menelaus was not happy with losing his beautiful wife. And if you are interested to explore the beautiful land where this epic Trojan war and of course, where this epic love story happened, here is your guide!
Troy is an ancient city in Turkey, which according to Iliad by Homer, is where the legendary Trojan War took place. Today, Troy is an archaeological site, which attracts many tourists every year by being on the World Heritage List of UNESCO! This gorgeous ancient city is close to cities like Edremit, Alaçatı, and standing on the Hisarlık hill, along with the Sea of Marmara and the Bosphorus. Due to its amazing location, it was a key route connecting the Mediterranean with the Black Sea. It hosted major human settlements since 3000 BC, and you can still check out Neolithic settlement remains.
Troy was sadly destroyed and rebuilt nine times(!) and nowadays, you can see the each of nine different layers. The layer that is thought to be depicted in Homer's Iliad can be seen from a portion of the legendary walls of the ancient city. The ruins in here are well marked, but since it is quite rocky, you better be wearing proper shoes while discovering the area. The entry to the site costs 35 TL (starting from 2018). If you are into ancient ruins, you may never want to leave this place. Oh, and of course the Trojan horse in the entrance of the site. You can climb up to its ladders to check out its interior! Get to enjoy this amazing experience!
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