Was The Trojan War Just?
The Trojan War was a Greek mythological war waged on account of the beautiful Helen, wife of the Spartan king Menelaus, being stolen from Greece by Paris, Prince of Troy. It is one of the most important, if not the most important, event in Greek mythology. The dispute originated from a quarrel between three goddesses, Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite. They were fighting to see who was the fairest among them. They were sent by Zeus to Paris in order for him to judge them. Paris chose Aphrodite after she offered to make Helen, the most beautiful of all women, fall in love with him. She then proceeded to take Helen from Menelaus, with Paris’s help and give her to him, thus causing the Trojan War. Throughout this struggle up through The Odyssey and The Iliad, the two armies of Greeks and Trojans battle along with the gods for Helen. And the question that must be asked in light of this great mythological struggle is, was the war just? Was the bloodshed of thousands of men, women, and children, the struggle of many cities, and widows and fatherless children worth it? Was this war lawful, reasonable, or right? That is the question that will be addressed in the upcoming paragraphs. Before the actual justness of the Trojan War is examined, one must look at the exact meaning of the word just. The definition of the word is “guided by reason, fairness, and justice. Whatever is right and lawful.”. And the Bible tell us that “the righteous are just” (Proverbs 12:5). So was the Trojan War righteous, was it fair and reasonable? Was there a good and justified reason for the death of so many people? Was the Trojan War reasonable? Well first one must look at the cause of the war. Ultimately, this war was waged over the possession of one woman, Helen of Sparta. As was the case with many of the ancient Greek struggles, it was caused by the gods and their pride. Many of the wars waged in the real world were caused by struggles such as abuse of a people, tyranny, important issues such as slavery, etc. Not because a beautiful woman was taken from the King. However, in the ancient mythological world, if the gods wished for a war to be waged in the name of beauty and pride, it would be done. After Helen was taken, all of the Greek princes were bound by oath to help Menelaus rescue her again. In those times, if one was bound by an oath to help the king, there was no limit to the measures that would be taken. Thus, an epic war begun. However, this does not make the start of the Trojan War reasonable. A reasonable war is waged because of life-changing issues, not pride and vanity. And a just war must be waged only as a last resort. If this was the case with the Greeks and Trojans then there never would have been a war in the first place. Greed was in the minds and hearts of the Trojans and Achaeans, not justness. So many times in this book, and in Ancient Greek culture, pride and vanity is put before sensibility and morality. Women were considered prizes, trophies, things a man could win, such as a chariot or a horse. When Chryseis, the woman that Agememnon received for a certain sacking of a Trojan ally town, was taken from him, his immediate reaction was to take Achilles woman, Brisies. There was no consideration of Achilles’ emotions or love for Brisies (if there was any), only lust and greed were in Agememnon’s mind. For it was greed that encouraged Paris to accept Aphrodite’s offer, and greed that caused the Achaeans to respond so violently. If peace and the wellbeing of the countries were first in the mind of the two armies, then this great war would never have begun. Was The Trojan War fair? When Helen was taken from Menelaus, the Achaeans immediately reacted with violence. Instead of first leaning towards calm and safe discussion, they reacted harshly. Now the Achaeans had a right to be upset with the circumstances, but it would seem that war wouldn’t be the fairest and most reasonable...
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