Eris, also known as Discord is the goddess of chaos and confusion. Originally a member of greek and roman mythology, discordianism made a comeback starting in the 1970s. It's simultaneously a very serious religion, and a complete joke. (Ha, ha, only serious for those of you who understand that). The main holy book is the Principia Discordia. She wasn't invited to a divine party, and created a golden apple as her revenge, thus starting the trojan war.

The Discordian Mass was invented in Milano in the Department of Computer Science, by a dedicated cabal of MOO hackers.
The same people mistranslated and generally confused the issue about the principia discordia.

Discordianism is one the three official religions of Little Italy.

There isn't much direct reference to Eris in classical Greek mythology, but she is sometimes equated with the personfication of Strife.

From Hesiod's "Works and Days":

There was never one kind of Strife. Indeed on this earth,
two kinds exist.  The one is praised by her friends,
the other found blameworthy.   The two are not of one mind.
The one -- so harsh -- fosters evil war and the fray of battle.
No man loves this oppressive Strife, but compulsion
and divine will grant her a share of honor.
The other one is black Night's elder daughter;
and the son of Kronos, who dwells on ethereal heights,
planted her in the roots of the earth and among men.
She is much better, and she stirs even the shiftless on to work.
A man will long for work when he sees a man of wealth
who rushes with zeal to plow and plant
and husband his homestead.  One neighbor envies another
who hastens to his riches.  This Strife is good for mortals.

Eris and Discordianism would perhaps not be so well-known today were it not for one man and one invention:

Robert Anton Wilson wrote the Illuminatus! Sci-Fi/ conspiracy/ philosophy trilogy, a very readable book in which Discordianism played a major role,


The Internet, which generally serves as a "magnifying glass" for fringe beliefs and interests, by helping bring together the disperse communities of people who care about them. Discordianism has prospered so well on the Internet (perhaps geeks well appreciate D's warnings on the Eristic and Aneristic Illusions) that Yahoo!, for example, has a Discordianism links section.

Eris is the daughter of Nyx or of Zeus and Hera. Some also claim that she and her twin-brother Ares were conceived when Hera touched a flower (probably a may-blossom). She is also sister to Eileithyia, and Hebe. Eris was the personification of discord and strife, so she often accompanied her brother Ares (the god of war) by being the cause of wars. She would spread rumors among men for the mere pleasure of watching the bloody struggles of others.

Her most infamous role in mythology is setting off the chain of events that caused the Trojan War. When Eris was not invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, she decided to extract her revenge on the other gods and goddesses. She took one of the golden apples of the Hesperides and carved into it the word "Kallisti" ("For the fairest"). She tossed it among the wedding guests, and Peleus, the groom, spotted it first. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all claimed the apple, but Zeus refused to decide whose it was and gave the task to the Trojan prince Paris. Paris then kidnapped the Spartan queen, Helen, as his prize for selecting Aphrodite (who had an affair with Ares) which caused Menelaus, the king of Sparta, to sail against Troy and attack the city for ten years.

Along with her brother Ares, Eris was later not invited to the wedding of Pirithous and Hippodamia, so they had a group of centaurs attack the guests and begin the long feud between the Lapiths and centaurs. Eris also is noted for helping Zeus when he reversed the course of the sun and stars after Thyestes declared that he would abdicate the throne to Atreus if such a phenomenon should occur.

Eris was the mother of Algos, Amphilogia, Androktasia, Dusnomia, Husmine, Lethe, Limos, Logos, Mache, Neikos, Phonos, Ponos, and Pseudes and had Ate by Zeus.

Eric Conspiracy = E = erotics

Eris /e'ris/ n.

The Greek goddess of Chaos, Discord, Confusion, and Things You Know Not Of; her name was latinized to Discordia and she was worshiped by that name in Rome. Not a very friendly deity in the Classical original, she was reinvented as a more benign personification of creative anarchy starting in 1959 by the adherents of Discordianism and has since been a semi-serious subject of veneration in several `fringe' cultures, including hackerdom. See Discordianism, Church of the SubGenius.

--The Jargon File version 4.3.1, ed. ESR, autonoded by rescdsk.

On the 14th of September, 2006, Eris became the official name of the object previously known officially as 2003 UB313, and by its nickname Xena. Eris had caused controversy in astronomical circles because it was the first Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) found to be bigger than Pluto, and would either have to be a planet itself, or Pluto would have to be demoted. (Trans-Neptunian objects are objects whose orbit lies beyond that of Neptune.) In the event, on 24th August, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided to create a new category of dwarf planets, and Pluto was demoted to this new category. This discord made the name "too perfect to resist" to its discoverer, Mark Brown, and is sure to meet widespread approval among Discordians everywhere, because of its association with the goddess of discord. The dwarf planet's moon has also been named as Dysnomia, the daughter of Eris, representing lawlessness. Lucy Lawless also played Xena in the TV series Xena, Warrior Princess.

Eris was originally first seen in October 2003, although its importance was not realised until 2005, when Brown and his team at the California Institute of Technology reanalysed the 2003 data using wider parameters. The Hubble Space Telescope measured Eris' diameter to be approximately 2400km, making it slightly larger than Pluto. Eris orbits the Sun in 556.7 years, with an aphelion distance of 97.56 AU (Astronomical Units), when it will be at its furthest distance from the Sun. Its perihelion, however, when it will be closest to the Sun, is only 37.8 AU.


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