Mythology in Iliad
Ancient Greek Mythology: Greek mythology consists of a collections of myths that concern the gods, heroes, and people of ancient Greece. These myths were shared not only as entertainment but also as a means of passing along beliefs, rituals, and teachings. Many of the Greek gods serve as personified elements of the natural world, which likely represents a way for ancient Greeks to better understand the world around them. The mythology of ancient Greece has had a profound influence on Western culture, literature, and rhetorical traditions and continues to persist in the popular imagination to this day.
The Judgment of Paris: Many conflicts in ancient Greek myth start with the meddling of gods in mortal affairs. The ten-year struggle known as the Trojan War is no exception. According to myth, Zeus held a banquet to celebrate the union of Peleus and Thetis, who would later become parents to Achilles. All gods and goddesses were invited to the banquet except Eris, the goddess of discord. When Eris arrived at the banquet and was turned away, she threw down the Golden Apple of Discord addressed “to the fairest.” The apple sparked a vanity-fueled dispute between Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, who all claimed to be the fairest. When the goddesses asked Zeus to judge who should receive the apple, he commanded Hermes to lead them to the Trojan prince Paris, known for being an exceptionally fair judge. When Paris could not decide between the women, each offered him a bribe. He was swayed by Aphrodite’s offer to grant him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta, and awarded her the apple. Menelaus of Sparta responded by sending an army (the Achaeans) to retrieve his wife and Athena and Hera, outraged over their loss, sided against the Trojan forces. This formed the basis for the Trojan War.
Mythology Examples in Iliad:
"Danae the daintily-ancled daughter of Acrisius, who bore me the famed hero Perseus..." See in text (Book XIV)
"slept with one another without their dear parents knowing anything about it..." See in text (Book XIV)