This one is a long story. So, bear with us.

If you’re a fan of Greek mythology, one of the most famous stories you have probably heard is about the war started by Zeus on Earth.

It’s called the Trojan War since it involved Troy.

It is also often called the greatest war, and it occurred in the Bronze Age between the kingdoms of Troy and Mycenaean Greece.

You’ve probably seen the many movies made on the subject, notably Troy where Eric Bana’s Hector faces off with Brad Pitt’s Achilles.

This story has also been featured in different pieces of art and literature.

And although there isn’t one definitive account of the events of this war, we know that it starts off the same way most classical wars do: two men fighting over a woman.

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Zeus vs Poseidon

Historically, narratives have consistently placed the beauty or virtue of a woman at the center of quite a few wars. And that has been across cultures.

In this case, a sea nymph by the name of Thetis was the object of affection of both Zeus, the god of the sky, and Poseidon, the god of the sea. Both of these gods fell in love with Thetis a few years before the Trojan War.

Of course, both of them let it go once they realized that the sea goddess was destined to birth a son who’d be stronger than the father and have a weapon more powerful than theirs.

That prophecy was particularly alarming to Zeus, who became the king of all gods after he overthrew Cronus, his father, from the throne. This is also important because he came to learn that, much like his father, he was destined to be overthrown as well. So, he picked an elderly king called King Peleus for Thetis to marry.

This prophecy is also what led to the Trojan War.

The Apple of Discord

The seeds of the Trojan War were sown at their wedding when the goddess of strife was not invited. Unhappy with it, she created a problem with a golden apple that she threw toward Hera, Aphrodite and Athena, saying the “fairest” of them all could claim it.

This is often referred to as the Apple of Discord, and all three of them wanted it for themselves. Zeus intervened and took them to Paris, the son of King Priam of Troy, for a solution.

The ladies offered Paris gifts to please him and Aphrodite, being the goddess of love, offered him the “most beautiful woman in the world” we famously know as Helen.

While Helen and Paris fell in love, the lady was married to Menelaus, the brother of Agamemnon. He was the ruthless ruler of Sparta who’d had his eyes on Troy for a long time.

And depending on your source, Paris either abducted Helene or both of them eloped to Troy. This antagonized Menelaus and gave Agamemnon an excuse to attack Troy. And thus began the Trojan War.

Parting Thoughts

It is said that Zeus, terrified of the prophecy of being overthrown, wanted to get rid of as many demigods on Earth as possible. With little to no regard for the collateral damage of the war, he nudged this series of events that culminated into a massive conflict and many casualties, saying the earth was getting overpopulated.