The full extent to which humans are ruled by the gods only becomes clear when we learn that Aphrodite set up the contest, presumably knowing that she held the trump card. She did so in order to punish Tyndareus, husband of Leda, for dishonouring her. Pausanias relates that Tyndareus put fetters on Aphrodite’s statue in her temple, because he felt that her amorous powers should be confined to marriage. The outraged goddess decided to make all three of his daughters unfaithful to their husbands. The most famous daughter was Helen of Troy, although strictly speaking her father was probably Zeus, who seduced Leda in the form of a swan on a night when she also slept with her husband.


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