The Judgment of Paris (page 571 upper)

Chapter 16, The Trojan War

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Euripides, Andromache 274-92

Great were the woes—I see it now—that were set in motion when to the glen [275] of Ida Hermes, son of Maia and of Zeus, came and brought the goddesses three, lovely team beneath a lovely yoke, helmeted for the fray, the hateful strife for the prize of beauty, [280] to the shepherd-lodge, to the solitary young man who tended the sheep and to his lonely hearth and home.

When the goddesses came to the shady glen, in the streams [285] of mountain springs they bathed their radiant bodies, and then vying with each other in extravagant words of malicious intent they came to the son of Priam. Aphrodite was victorious by her wheedling words, [290] delightful to hear but entailing bitter destruction for the luckless city of the Phrygians, the citadel of Troy.  Greek Text

Euripides, Helen 23-30

 For the sake of beauty, three goddesses came to a deep valley on Mount Ida, to Paris: [25] Hera and Kypris, and the virgin daughter of Zeus, wishing to have the judgment of their loveliness decided. Kypris offered my beauty, if misfortune is beautiful, for Paris to marry, and so she won. Paris, the shepherd of Ida, left his ox-stalls [30] and came to Sparta, to have me in marriage.  Greek Text

Euripides, Iphigenia at Aulis 1283-1309

Oh, oh! that snow-beat glen in Phrygia and the hills of Ida, [1285] where Priam once exposed a tender baby, torn from his mother’s arms to meet a deadly doom, Paris, called the child of Ida [1290] in the Phrygians’ town. Would that he never had settled Alexander, the herdsman reared among the herds, beside that water crystal-clear, where are fountains [1295] of the Nymphs and their meadow rich with blooming flowers, where hyacinths and rose-buds blow for goddesses to gather! Here one day [1300] came Pallas and Cypris of the subtle heart, Hera too and Hermes messenger of Zeus; Cypris, proud of the longing she causes, [1305] Pallas of her prowess; and Hera of her royal marriage with king Zeus; to decide a hateful strife about their beauty; but it is my death.  Greek Text

Isokrates, Speeches 10. Helen 41-44 

 In this their private hope all, it is true, save one man, were disappointed, yet in the general opinion which all had formed concerning her no one was mistaken. For not much later when strife arose among the goddesses for the prize of beauty, and Alexander son of Priam, was appointed judge and when Hera offered him sovereignty over all Asia, Athena victory in war, [42] and Aphrodite Helen as his wife, finding himself unable to make a distinction regarding the charms of their persons, but overwhelmed by the sight of the goddesses, Alexander, compelled to make a choice of their proffered gifts, chose living with Helen before all else. In so doing he did not look to its pleasures—although even this is thought by the wise to be preferable to many things, but nevertheless it was not this he strove for—[43] but because he was eager to become a son of Zeus by marriage, considering this a much greater and more glorious honor than sovereignty over Asia, and thinking that while great dominions and sovereignties fall at times even to quite ordinary men, no man would ever in all time to come be considered worthy of such a woman; and furthermore, that he could leave no more glorious heritage to his children than by seeing to it that they should be descendants of Zeus, not only on their father’s side, but also on their mother’s. [44] For he knew that while other blessings bestowed by Fortune soon change hands, nobility of birth abides forever with the same possessors; therefore he foresaw that this choice would be to the advantage of all his race, whereas the other gifts would be enjoyed for the duration of his own life only.  Greek Text

Apollodoros, Epitome 3.2

And they promised to give Alexander gifts. Hera said that if she were preferred to all women, she would give him the kingdom over all men; and Athena promised victory in war, and Aphrodite the hand of Helen. And he decided in favour of Aphrodite; and sailed away to Sparta with ships built by Phereclus.  Greek Text

Loukianos, Dearum Iudicium

Greek Text

Hyginus, Fabulae 92

Juno promised him, if he should judge in her favour, that he would rule over all the lands and be pre-eminent wealth. Minerva promised that if she should come out victorious, he would be bravest of mortals and skilled in every craft. Venus, however, promised to give him in marriage Helen, daughter of Tyndareus, most beautiful of all women.  Latin Text

Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, January 2023

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