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Paris

Paris or Alexander, in Greek mythology, son of Priam and Hecuba and brother of Hector. Because it was prophesied that he would cause the destruction of Troy, Paris was abandoned on Mt. Ida, but there he was raised by shepherds and loved by the nymph Oenone. Later he returned to Troy, where he was welcomed by Priam. Paris was chosen to settle a dispute among the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, all of whom claimed possession of the apple of discord, a golden fruit inscribed "to the fairest." It had been thrown among the guests at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis by Eris, who sought revenge because she had not been invited. Hera tried to bribe Paris with royal greatness and riches, and Athena offered him success in war, but Paris awarded the apple to Aphrodite, who promised him Helen, the most beautiful of women. With Aphrodite's help he abducted Helen from King Menelaus of Sparta; thus he brought on the Trojan War. In the war Paris killed Achilles, but was himself fatally wounded by Philoctetes.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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