Paris Of Troy

Parents:
Father: Priam (King Of Troy)
Mother: Hecuba:
Named Siblings: Hector, Polyxena, Helenus, Cassandra, Troilus, Creusa, Polydorus, and Deiphobus

Birth and Childhood

The second son of Hecuba, consort to Priam King Of Troy, he was marked from birth. Whilst with child his mother dreamt that her son would cause the downfall of Troy.
Concerned and frightened she consulted the seer Aesacus. He foretold that Paris would indeed bring forth fire and destruction on Troy. From this information Hecuba and Priam were advised to kill the child. Priam entrusted the newborn child to Agelaus with instructions to leave him to fate on Mount Ida. Agelaus did was he was instructed. After five days when he returned to the spot he was amazed to see the child still alive and well after being nursed by a bear. Taking pity on the child Agelaus took him in and raised him as his son. This was where Paris learnt to be a shepherd. He tended to his father’s land and defended the home.

Oenone

Oenone was Paris’ first love. She was daughter to the god of rivers Cebrenn and a nymph herself. More
importantly she was blessed with divinity and powers of prophecy. When she met Paris it was love at first for both of them, so much so that he took her back to Mount Ida to live with him as his wife. The promises of eternal love and faithfulness were plenty but this is where Oenone’s prophetic powers came into play. She knew that Paris loved her as much as he promised but she also knew that he would leave her for another. None the less her love was also strong and she stayed with him.

Paris, still oblivious of his fate and ancestry lived as a poor shepherd and carried out his duties as such. One day whilst tending to his flock received a visit from the gods.

The Dispute Of The Gods.

The message from the gods was a challenge to solve a dilemma. The problem was presented to him as such:

Peleus and Thetis were to be married. All the god and goddess of importance where at attendance, except for the goddess of Strife, Eris. Furious about this rejection she arrived at the weeding and threw down the golden apple of Hesperides on to table.

The apple bore the legend ‘To The Fairest’, Seeing this Hera claimed it as hers. Athena did likewise and Aphrodite followed suit. Since the wrath of gods was well know and no one present wanted to offend by declaring a winner Zeus was summoned as the judge. But Zeus also knew that the other two would vow vengeance if he elected any one of them. At this point he sent Hermes to Mount Ida and asked Paris to be the judge.

Paris, a mere mortal could not decide either. Seeing this the three goodies attempted to bribe him with gifts. Hera promised him power and the rule of entire Asia and Europe. Athena offered him great wisdom and luck in battles to come. Aphrodite offered him his body: beauty that no woman could resist and she also offered the love of the most beautiful woman alive, Helen.

Paris was at a loss, but his frivolity and love for the fairer sex prevailed. He accepted Aphrodite’s gifts and declared her the fairest of all. He reasoned that the power of love was greater then bravery and kingdoms. He also deemed that to succeed where Thesus had failed was a greater glory then all. Upon hearing this Hera and Athena of course declared vengeance and wrath would fall on Paris.

Return To Troy

Soon after the contest Paris fate changed. He saw one favour upon another come his way. He saw this a sign that he would be successful in his quest.

But still he remained a shepherd. Again tending his flock he witnessed a bull being captured as sacrifice in the games the King of Troy had organised. Curious he followed the troupe to the city.

Upon seeing the games he decided that he would take part and prove his worth. He triumphed over all other contestants, including his brothers amongst them Deiphobus Deiphobus angered by this defeat drew his sword to slay Paris and would have certainly done so if Paris had not taken refuge in the temple of Zeus. This was when Cassandra laid eyes upon him and declared his true origins. Priam acknowledged this and welcomed the lost prince into his home.

Claiming Helen – Sailing to Sparta

At this point Paris, now a prince went to claim his prize. He ordered a fleet of ships to be built so as to sail to Sparta. His plan was for kidnap of the woman since she had long been married to the king of Sparta, Menelaus.

Upon arrival in Sparta he was received as Menelaus’ guest and friend. A great feast was held in is honour during which he gave many gifts to Helen. After nine days the king of Sparta had to sail for Crete to attend the funeral of his grandfather. Upon his departure he ordered Helen to take care of his guest and attend to their needs.

Paris seized his chance; he talked to Helen of gold temples and treasure the likes of which had not been seen in Sparta. But it was truly by the grace of Aphrodite that he charmed the young wife to forget her fears and sail with him. Under the cover of night and with the king still in Crete they set sail for Troy, leaving behind Helen’s daughter
Hermione.

Arrival in Troy.

Upon arrival in Troy they were welcomed with open arms. Helen was treated as one of city’s own. Only Cassandra saw the inherent danger in Troy’s stolen bride.

Menelaus discovers the treachery

In the meantime Menelaus had arrived in Sparta to find his home empty and the two lovers fled. He gathered around him his friends, neighbouring kings and heroes and declared vengeance on Paris and Helen. He formed a pact with his mean to defend each other's honour come what may. He started to plan an expedition against Troy to reclaim his wife.

Unease in Troy

When Hector, brother to Paris learnt of Menelaus’ intentions he begged his brother to return Helen to the Sparta and be rid of her, for he knew of the might of Sparta. Cassandra also spoke the tragedy that would befall them if she were to stay.

The Trojan War.

During the years of War, Paris fought along side and god to save Troy form the inevitable fate. During the last year of the War he acceded to face Menelaus in a duel. Lacking the bravery of his brother Hector, Paris fought badly and weakly but the favour of Aphrodite was with him. He escaped death when the goddess broke the strap on his helmet and allowed him to escape. She took him to consort with Helen away from the horror of battle.

Achilles’ death

Paris as mentioned before was not much of Warrior, but during the War he did have one significant moment of glory.

In the midst of battle he spotted the invincible Achilles and aimed his bow and arrow in an attempt to kill the hero. Guided by the breath of Apollo the arrow pierced Achilles’ in his week heel. He was killed instantly.

Paris’ death

In the tenth year of the War Philoctetes Joined the Spartan army on arrival from the island of Lemnos. He carried with him arrows dipped in the poison. The first arrow shot from his bow and guided by Hera wounded the prince but did not kill him instantly. He was taken to city to find a cure. Oenone was sent for as the only one who could save him from certain death but her pride would not permit her to save the man who scorned her for another. She banished him to Helens arms to die blissfully.

And Paris of Troy passed away


My sources include Encycolpedia Britanica, my father and Mytologia y Leyendas Griegas.

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