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