The Judgement Of Paris (in Berlin).

291

“And at that same moment three goddesses, Venus, Athene, and Hera, set down their tender feet on the grass. I was stunned, and icy terror raised my hair on end, when Mercury the Winged Messenger said to me: ‘Have no fear! You’re a judge of beauty: end the goddesses’ quarrel, one beauty is worthy of conquering the other two.’ Lest I refuse, he commanded it in Jupiter’s name, and took himself off right away, on the sky-path to the stars. My spirits recovered, a sudden courage came to me, and I wasn’t afraid to observe each one with a look. They were all worthy of winning, and as judge I lamented that all of their cases couldn’t succeed. But even then one of them pleased me more; she, as you might guess, is the one by whom love’s stirred. They so much wanted to win: they were fired up to tempt my judgement with powerful gifts. Jupiter’s consort mentioned kingdoms: his daughter valour: I might wish to think about power or being brave. Sweet Venus laughed: ‘Don’t let either of their gifts fool you, they’re filled with anxious fear,’ she said: ‘I’ll give you, what you should love, the lovelier daughter of lovely Leda will indeed enter your embrace.’ She spoke, and, with her gift and her beauty both approved, victorious, she retraced her steps to the sky.” – Ovid: ‘The Heroides’ XVI

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About mirrenaudax

Slightly greying, bequiffed and enterprising visual artist from Up North.
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