How the Trojan War Began

This passage tells the story of how the Trojan War began.

Lexile Level: 800L

Categories: Classics & Literature


One important Greek myth describes how the long war between the Greeks and Trojans started. The goddess of discord, Eris, tossed a golden apple into a banquet hall where other gods and goddesses were celebrating a wedding. The apple was marked, "For the fairest." A battle for the title of the fairest goddess ensued. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, thought the apple should be hers. The goddess of wisdom, Athena, thought she deserved the prize. Hera wanted the apple too. She was the wife of Zeus, ruler of the gods. None of the other gods wanted to decide who should win the apple. The goddesses asked a young mortal prince, Paris, to choose which of them was the fairest. Each one promised him a reward if he chose her. Aphrodite offered the reward Paris wanted most, Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman alive. Unfortunately, she was already married to a Greek king Menelaus. Menelaus fought to win her back, and the Trojan War was begun.


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