Hera, Aphrodite, Athena

So, you’re Paris and have to judge a beauty contest between goddesses. You can’t get out of it, you have to pick one.

Looking at them, Hera is the best looking, but a shrewish and jealous type as well as dressed like a frump. She offers as a bribe the gift of power - any high office you want from presidency to papacy, she’ll grant it and have the world accept you as rightful occupier.

Aphrodite isn’t as objectively beautiful as Hera, but she is smoulderingly sexy without effort. She offers a pick of the world’s most beautiful women (or men) to be yours (they all consent of their own accord, and you’re single).

Athena…well, she has what we’d call a nice personality. She’s the smartest, but her looks are nothing to really write home about. She offers super-intelligence and tactical understanding as a bribe, boosting your IQ and martial knowledge to boot.

Who do you pick and why? In myth, Paris of course picked Aphrodite.

Easy - I’d pick the one with the least cellulite. According to Peter Paul, all the gals that he painted had a LOT of it.

I mean, it’s a sucker’s bet. No matter who you pick, you’re going to have 2 extremely insulted goddesses gunning to fuck your shit up, but I’ve always thought Paris was an idiot for giving it to Aphrodite when Athena’s right there.

I picked Athena as the best one to have on my side for the inevitable fallout, for her wisdom essentially.

Hera, or she’d come back later, and make my life double-Hell.

Aphrodite & Athena both have better things to do, beyond spiteful vendettas–Hera does not!

Humph. We’ll see what sort of boosts YOU get, with that kind of review.

I picked Athena, but Odysseus was her favorite too, and he got fucked over for ten years on the way home anyway.

Maybe a better choice would have been Rock, Paper, Scissors, and let them blame each other.


Yeah, and the smart, geeky ones kinda do it for me, anyway.

There was actually an episode of Hercules. The Legendary Journeys that riffed on this, except it was Iolaus choosing between Aphrodite, Athena, and Artemis. On that one, I’d still go with Athena.

Yeah, yikes! I think I prefer Joseph Hauber’s take, or Enriquew Simonets. Eduard Veith gets bonus points for a sexy blonde Aphrodite.

Or maybe it’s intentional reverse psychology - notice that you’re winning so far, oh mighty and wise Pallas Athena!

I have always had a crush on Athena.

I voted for Athena because she is the one of the Grecian pantheon that I could actually admire.
And, of course, because I would not want any of Skald the Rhymer’s many contraptions to be aimed in my direction.

The “clever” answer would be to first trick Athena into lending you the wisdom she promises, just temporarily, to see what it feels like. Then make the wise choice that presents itself :).

But anyway, as Inner Stickler says, the prime directive is “don’t fuck with the gods and if at all possible don’t attract their attention in any way, shape or form”. Not only don’t they play fair, they’re sore losers and don’t believe in proportional responses either.

Ask Athena, the “wise” one, who turned Arachne into a spider for the presumptuous crime of, um, getting raped. By Zeus, so not even a guy you can say no to, exactly. Blame the vic, why don’tcha. Hera, well, she’ll gleefully dish out eternal torment for anyone her husband bones, or thinks about maybe boning, and that’s a very large sub… actually, I take that back : it’s not a subset of the population, it’s the population. All of it. And then there’s Aphrodite, who’s been randomly making men and women alike suffer, ever since their funny bits gave them funnier feelings.

So emphatically don’t chose, grovel, try to meek your way out of your predicament and hope to Aïsha none take it the wrong way.

Oh, and of course, after that look Eris up and fuck her up but good for that ha-ha funny joke.

Can I tell them I’m into dudes and that I think Zeus is super hot?

I, of course, would not be allowed to judge this contest. Everyone, including God’s vengeful stepmother/cousin and her aunt, knows my allegiance is with great Pallas Athena.

That said, I object to the suggestion that (a) Athena even participated in the Judgment of Paris; that was clearly Artemis (whom I would vote for if the contest were Hera/Aphrodite/Huntress). Athena did, however, arrange for the entire thing; it was part of her grand plan, which in the short term required destroying Troy and everyone in it.

Athena. I had no idea how much I’d need her.

Hera so I finally can be Weltkaiser.

Well, if you’re straight, you’d better hope Zeus isn’t listening …

Yeah, really, all those mighty gods and heroes gathered and nobody thinks of beaning her with her own golden apple. Even “wise” Athena takes the damn bait.

Yeah, the Greek gods were a bunch of petty bullies when you come down to it. Fuck with the mortals’ lives and then when the mortals react to that, punish them for it. The whole moral of the Myth seems to be: Stay away from any argument involving the gods. But wait… had Paris found a way to slink off, would THAT not have been seen as a slight to the gods and worthy of some seriously creative comeuppance?

No wonder some Greeks invented scientific philosophy – must have figured out there was no way that cosmic crew was hands-on responsible for an efficiently functioning universe.

Wouldn’t have helped in that time and place: you were kind of expected to switch hit as part of your normal life.

I’m pretty sure that if Francis suddenly decided that I was the rightful Pope, a few (hundred) million other people would have something else to say about it. Some offices cannot be given away like that. Frankly, I wouldn’t want them in the first place. So no fame and high office for me. I’ll go with the intelligence and physical boosts. Lord knows, at 51, the physical could use it.