Was The Trojan War Really The Fault Of The Gods? Give Reasons For And Against.

2051 words - 8 pages

Was the Trojan War really the fault of the gods? - Give reasons for and against.Perhaps the most pivotal event in the early history of ancient Greece was the Trojan War, the most important record of which is The Iliad of Homer. The war took place in the beginning of 12th century B.C. and is generally thought to have lasted from 1193 - to 1184 B.C. (www.enl.umassd) Troy fell into the hands of the Greeks. Modern historians suggest that the war was started over commerce and trade between Greece and Asia Minor but myth and legend insist it was the fault of the gods .This essay will explore both sides of this argument to determine if the Trojan War really was the fault of the gods. "The Trojan war, which was fought, according to legend, because of a quarrel among gods and the resulting incidents of betrayal among mortals." (Corcoran, 13)The ancient Greeks traced their history to mythological events and their genealogy to the gods and goddesses. Many blamed the gods for the war, thinking that all things begin in heaven and accordingly they say that this war took place because such was the will of Zeus, who wished his daughter Helen to become famous for having caused a conflict between Europe and Asia. It has also been suggested that if Zeus had married the Nereid Thetis, then the war would not have happened. Themis prophesied that Thetis would become the mother of a youth who would be called greater than his father. This is why Poseidon and Zeus, who had been rivals for Thetis' hand, had the mortal Peleus marry her.Eris (Discord) was not invited to the wedding party. This goddess can be difficult to exclude and she threw among the guests a golden apple the inscription: "For the fairest" Hera, Athena and Aphrodite fought over the prize and were sent by Zeus to Mount Ida near Troy to have their beauty judged by the shepherd Paris. Here some find this tale inconsistent:"For why should goddess Hera set her heart so much on such a prize? Was it to win a nobler lord than Zeus? Or was Athena hunting down among the gods a husband, she who in her dislike of marriage won from her father the gift of remaining unwed?" [Euripides, 979]Paris chose Aphrodite as the most beautiful, accepting Helen's hand as a bribe. Many have found that this was the choice of a sensual man. It has been suggested that this sensuality led to seduction and seduction to the war. It is not clear how another choice could have led to peace, for Athena had wished to bribe him offering the command of Phrygia and the destruction of Hellas, or victory in war and Hera had offered him, besides wealth, the dominion over both Asia and Europe. Each of these situations would have led to death and destruction and it was unfair of the gods to put Paris in such a situation whereby he could not make a fair decision without causing the anger of two of the three most powerful goddesses on Olympus. It could be that Paris chose the only one who he thought would bring peace and happiness. It is not clear if he...

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