By: Jake Levin
Trojan War background
King Priam of Troy was wealthy and powerful; by his wife Hecuba and by concubines he had 50 sons and 12 daughters. But his son Paris was invited to judge which of the goddesses Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena was entitled to receive the golden apple marked by the goddess Eris (Discord) “for the most beautiful.” Aphrodite promised Paris the most beautiful woman in the world: he therefore awarded her the apple and went to Greece, where he won the love of, and eloped with, Helen, wife of Menelaus, the king of Sparta.
Impact of Trojan War
The war stirred the imagination of ancient Greeks more then any other event in their history.
Medieval European writers, unacquainted with Homer firsthand, found in the Troy legend a rich source of heroic and romantic storytelling and a convenient framework into which to fit their own courtly and chivalric ideals. The chief sources for medieval versions of the story were fictitious eyewitness accounts of the Trojan War by Dictys Cretensis and Dares Phrygius. The key work in the medieval exploitation of the Trojan theme was a French romance, the Roman de Troie (1154–60), by Benoît de Sainte-Maure.