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The Golden Apple: Three goddesses compete for a mortal’s pick

When Peleus and Themis wedded, Zeus held a grand celebration to honor them. All the gods were invited, all but one, the goddess Discord (Eris). Because when celebrating the union of two people, the last thing desired is the very goddess of “quarrel” to send her blessing. To retaliate for this insult she threw a golden apple at the ceremony, with the inscription: “To the fairest of all”. Athena, Hera and Aphrodite claimed the apple, each for herself...
   

Some disputes, scare even the Father of gods.

 As expected nobody wanted to be the one to settle a dispute between three goddesses, least of all mighty Zeus (Hera’s husband). Zeus decided to assign the task to a mortal, Paris of Troy, the most handsome man of his time, but he had to test his critic-skills first.
 Knowing there was a bull-judging contest where Paris would be the judge, he requested Ares to transform into a bull and enter the contest. Ares accepted the request humorously. He transformed into a perfect bull in every respect and placed himself in the contest. Paris chose him as the winner and awarded him the golden laurel, thus proving his cleverness in the eyes of Zeus.



Zeus gave Paris the Golden apple and asked him to offer it to the goddess he choose as the fairest. He re assured him any decision he made would be accepted regardless. So the three goddesses appeared and tried to “persuade” him to select them. Athena offered him wisdom beyond any mortals, even beyond even some god’s! Hera offered to make him the most powerful and famous king while Aphrodite offered to give him the most beautiful woman on earth to be his wife, Helen of Sparta. Paris craved neither glory nor wisdom, so he chose Aphrodite. He stole Helen from Sparta and married her. But this choice cost mankind dearly, not because of divine vengeance but because it caused the Trojan War, the greatest war among men.




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Cassandra: The prophet of bad tidings

Cassandra, whose name became a synonym of prophet of bad tidings, was the fourth and most beautiful daughter of Priam, the king of Troy.

 


Echo and Narcissus: A tale of love, lust and desperation

Echo drama begins later when she falls in love with Narcissus, the handsome but vain son of the Nymph Liriope of Thespia. Echo would follow him everywhere longing to address him but would be unable to speak.


Eros and Psyche: Their separation led to the first love strike

Psyche, whose name means soul in Greek was neither a goddess nor a divine creature of mythology. She was just a woman, but an extraordinary woman.


Harmonia's necklace: The goddess of harmony and unity

Harmonia in Greek mythology is the goddess of harmony and unity, the exact opposite of Eris. She is the patron goddess of the love that unites all people, the embodiment of order and civic unity.


Icarus: The sky was not meant for men

Icarus was the son of Daedalus, the most talented Athenian craftsman of his time.


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In 1989, Professor of Byzantine Studies, Helen Ahrweiler is appointed Chairman of the Cultural Centre Pompidou in Paris




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