"Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships And burnt the Topless towers of Ilium? Sweet Helen, make me immortal with kiss." Doctor Faustus
In this famous quote, it is easy to see that Helen's beauty was seen as the cause of the Trojan War. Afterall, her beauty had driven the Trojan prince Paris to abduct Helen. Helen's husband, the king of Sparta, thus declared war on Troy. However, neither Paris's passion nor the king's anger alone burned the great city of Troy to the ground. The seeds of destruction had already been planted as a result of a contest among three goddesses. In greek muthology, gods and goddesses often excised their power over mortals when there were disagreements. This is exactly what happened with the Trojan War, which actually started because Hera, Athena, and aphrodite had a fight over a golden apple for the fairest. To avoid being blamed by the goddesses, Zeus had Paris make the difficult choice for him. To win the golden apple, the three goddesses promised Paris all that a man could ever want. Hera promised him the power over Europe and Asia, Athena offered him great battle skills and wisdom, and Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen. In the end, Paris chose Aphrodite because he had already fallen in love with Helen at first sight.
Aphrodite, having won the contest, helped Paris take Helen to Troy as she had promised. The Spartan king was furious, and ten years of war between Sparta and Troy followed. As time went by, the Spartans were able to win many battles but could never take over Troy. The Spartans thus turned to Athena for help in the hope of ending the war. Athena, who was still angry about Paris's choice, provided them with the key to winning the final victory by saying, "What began with an apple must end with a horse." Thanks to Athena, the Spartans realized what to do. In front of Troy they left a big wooden horse, which the Trojans considered a gift of peace.
A gruop of Spartan soldiers, having hidden themselves in the hollow wooden horse, crept out when night fell and opened the city gate. The Spartan army outside was able to launch a successful surprise attack, binging an end to the greatest war in Greek mythology.
As in many Greek myths, it seems that the humans in the Trojan War were like chesspieces in the hands of gods and goddesses. As a result, it is not difficult to understand that this war probably had been just a game to them.