|The Judgement of Paris
|Eris with golden apple
The goddesses chose to place the matter before Zeus, who not wanted to favor one of the goddess. So Zeus commanded Hermes to lead the three goddesses to Paris of Troy (shepherd prince) to decide the issue. After bathing in the spring of Mt Ida, the goddesses appeared before Paris. Zeus gave permission, to set any condition Paris required for judging goddesses beauty, so Paris asked the goddesses to undress before him. In some version the goddesses themself chose to disrobe.
Still Paris could not decide, as all three were ideally beautiful. So goddesses resorted to bribes. Hera tried to bribe Paris with control over all Asia and Europe, while Athena offered wisdom, fame, and glory in battle, and Aphrodite offered the most beautiful mortal woman in world as a wife. Paris chose Aphrodite as most beautiful and the rightful owner of the golden apple. The most beautiful mortal woman was Helen, who was already married to Menelaus, the king of Sparta. Paris abducted Helen with help of Aphrodite, which led directly to Trojan War.