Eris is the goddess of chaos, discord and strife. She is the daughter of Nyx.
The daughter of Nyx, Eris was feared for her unforgiving and wrathful nature. Though despised by the Olympians, they respected her power regardless. It is Eris who drives the conflicts and disputes of both gods and men.
The Judgement of Paris
When the Nereid Thetis was married to Peleus as a reward for his undying devotion to the gods, only Eris was not invited to attend the celebrations on Olympus, as a wedding is a joyous occasion and strife would not be welcome there. Offended, she snuck into the dining hall and threw a golden apple that was inscribed: ‘For the fairest' in the midst of the gods. Every goddess claimed the fruit for themselves and the decision came down to three: Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera. Zeus was made the judge but he feared the prospect of having to judge the goddesses. Instead, he named Paris of Troy to preside over three who each tried to bribe him for the apple:
- Hera promised him rule over Asia
- Athena would give him wisdom in battle
- Aphrodite offered him the hand of the most beautiful woman in the world
Paris ultimately chose Aphrodite and with her aid, he wooed Zeus' daughter, Helen and returned to Troy with her. Indignant, both Athena and Hera swore vengeance on Paris for scorning them and would play major roles in his downfall. Unfortunately for Paris, Helen was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta whom initiated a series of events that would destroy not only Paris and his family but his people as well. The events that would follow are remembered as the Trojan War.
The Trojan War
During the war between the Greeks and Trojans, Eris rode into battle on the side of the Trojans alongside Ares and Enyo. It was at Troy that she became known as the Lady of Sorrow. In one battle, she fought in the defense of Aphrodite’s son, Aeneas but otherwise roamed the battlefield to spread bloodshed and carnage among the fighters.
Eris had many children, including:
- Ponos ("Toil/Labor")
- Lethe ("Forgetfulness")
- Limos ("Famine")
- Algos ("Pains/Sorrows")
- Hysminai ("Fightings/Combats")
- Makhai ("Battles")
- Phonoi ("Murders/Slaughterings")
- Androctasiai ("Manslaughters")
- Neikea ("Quarrels")
- Pseudologoi ("Lies/Falsehoods")
- Amphilogiai ("Disputes")
- Dysnomia ("Lawlessness")
- Atë ("Ruin/Folly")
- Horkos ("Oath")