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Paris, the son of the King of Troy. When his mother dreamed before his birth that she would bring forth a burning piece of wood, she was being warned that the infant would be a danger to Troy. The young Paris was therefore abandoned. Fed by a female bear and found by a shepherd, he grew up among the shepherd people to become a handsome young man. Years later, the story took an ill-fated turn when Eris [the Greek goddess of controversy, wife of Ares; called Discordia by the Romans] sowed discord by throwing a golden apple to the guests at a wedding with the message: 'for the fairest.' The goddesses Hera, Aphrodite and Athena all believed that the apple was meant for them. To calm their heated tempers, Paris was appointed referee by Zeus. The women stopped at nothing to win Paris over. Hera promised him power and wealth, Athena wisdom, and Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris gave in to Aphrodite's offer and presented her with the golden apple. The other two goddesses were furious and became bent on revenge. They saw their chance when Paris, although married to Oenone, carried off the wife of another. He took her to Troy, and thereby started the Trojan war. Although convinced of his own qualities, Homer describes Paris as a weak, irresolute fellow.
Legend has it that three of the leaves of 'Herb Paris' represent the three contentious goddesses. The fourth leaf is Paris, who, like the flower, cannot raise himself above the others, and as a result gets small thanks for his pains. The berry represents the apple of contention.