The events that set the war in the Iliad in motion start when the wife of Priam, the king of Troy, dreams that her unborn son Paris will cause the fall of Troy. Therefore, after the pregnant queen gives birth, the royal couple has the infant exposed. However, as is often the case in these stories, shepherds save the child and raise him.
At the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, Eris, the goddess of discord, throws a golden apple into the midst of the festivities. The apple is addressed as a gift to most beautiful woman there. This starts a fight between three goddesses: Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite. To settle the quarrel, Paris is brought in to decide which of these three is the fairest.
Aphrodite, the goddess of love, best understands how to influence Paris and offers him the most beautiful woman in the world if he will choose her. He agrees and obtains Helen, the fairest woman in all creation. However, Helen already happens to be married to the king of Sparta, Menelaus. Menelaus is very unhappy that his wife has been abducted by Paris. He convinces his brother, Agamemnon, to lead an expedition to take back Helen from the Trojan prince.
Agamemnon agrees and assembles a fleet of 1,000 warships, as well as the aid of such heroic warriors as Achilles and Odysseus. This is the beginning of the ten-year Trojan War.