How Paris Caused the Trojan War

Almost every single book or post on the Trojan War blames Helen for causing the war between the Greeks and the Trojans. They call her 'the face that launched a thousand ships'. I do not disagree that she played a major part but I strongly believe that if it had not been for that nincompoop Paris then none of this would have ever happened.

The Destruction of Troy

Even when Paris was born to King Priam and his wife Hecuba of Troy, the soothsayers and priestesses of Apollo pleaded the king to kill the child as he would bring about the destruction of Troy. Priam did order his general to kill the child but the general was too soft and couldn't commit the act of such cruelty. "So lived Paris, to become handsome and intelligent" as quoted in one of the translations of Homer's scripts. I can believe the handsome part, but intelligent !!! This guy caused a war with thousands of casualties because of his stubbornness, how does that reflect his intelligence !!!

Well, in his youth, Paris was invited to attend the marriage of Peleus and Thetis. All the gods were invited to this wedding except the goddess of strife - Eris (clearly no one wanted any quarrels during the ceremony). But obviously Eris became angry when she got to know that she was the only one not invited (I mean who wouldn't). She devised a plan and threw into the dining hall a Golden Apple (often referred to as the Apple Of Discord) on which was scribed "Kallisti" (meaning 'for the fairest' in English). Soon Hera, Athena and Aphrodite began a dispute as to which of them the apple should belong. Zeus decided that Paris would call the decision (as Zeus didn't want to be the one to choose among the goddesses and face the other two's wrath). Paris quickly and foolishly agreed without once giving a thought to what the outcome might be. Like the Indian Police officials, he demanded to know from each of the Goddesses what she would offer in return, if he would choose her as the fairest. Athena promised battle wisdom, Hera promised rule over Asia and Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful girl. Now, like most of us, (the engineering students with very less girl population in the college) he chose love over power and so declared Aphrodite as the fairest.

The Apple Of Discord

Blessed with Aphrodite's boon, this punk thought why don't I go and woo someone else's wife (as if there a shortage of fair, good looking single girls then !!!). So he rode to Sparta on the false pretense of 'diplomatic talks'; there he seduced Helen and then took her away (whether forcefully or willingly is still being debated). This angered Menelaus who was the King of Sparta and the husband of Helen (Duhh...every husband would be angry). So Menelaus then called his friends (actually suitors in Helen's wedding) and together they amassed 100,000 soldiers to fight Troy and rescue Helen. Now, if you are charging at me armed with an AK-47 and I am actually unarmed and holding some stuff that I stole of yours, the wise thing to do would be to hand back your stuff and maybe try and make some settlement. Unfortunately this idea was unacceptable to the stupid Prince Paris and even stupider King Priam. It was as if they wanted Troy to be destroyed. The only guy in the Trojan royal family who had some sense was Paris' brother Hector; he actually opposed this unlawful and childish behavior but was subdued by King Priam -  'Troy's Gates have never been breached'. ( Dude, there is a first time for everything... why do you want to defend your son when he has done something wrong and especially when your opponent has an army of about three times your army size ).

The rest of the story is something then movie Troy portrays very well...
- Agamemnon's army fights the Trojan army.
- Achilles kills Hector.
- They are unable to breach the Trojan wall so make a wooden horse to fool the Trojans
- This fools the Trojan army easily coz losing armies generally submit their retreat by creating structures and monuments for the winning party (sarcasm alert)
- The Greek armies after entering loot, plunder and burn the Trojan city to ashes.

And all this carnage and massacre because one royal brat couldn’t control his feelings for a beautiful girl !!!


  1. Very nice write up. If u pick up mytho,u wud realise,thr is always a female behind an epic n the males r evn more stupid to go after it,be it Paris or Ravana:).
    Beautiful dames are meant to be appreciated ,but fm a distance ;)

  2. Warfare is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.


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