"Discord." The goddess who calls forth war and discord. According to the Iliad, she wanders about, at first small and insignificant, but she soon raises her head up to heaven.1 She is the friend and sister of Ares, and with him she delights in the tumult of war, increasing the moaning of men.2 She is insatiable in her desire for bloodshed, and after all the other gods have withdrawn from the battle-field, she still remains rejoicing over the havoc that has been made.3

According to Hesiod,4 she was a daughter of Night, and the poet describes her as the mother of a variety of allegorical beings, which are the causes or representatives of man's misfortunes. It was Eris who threw the apple into the assembly of the gods, the cause of so much suffering and war (see Paris).

Virgil introduces Discordia as a being similar to the Homeric Eris; for Discordia appears in company with Mars, Bellona, and the Furiae, and Virgil is evidently imitating Homer.5


Eris is often depicted on Etruscan mirrors as a winged figure. The judgment of Paris was a popular subject for baroque and Renaissance artists.



  1. iv, 441.
  2. iv, 445; v, 518, 20.48.
  3. v, 518; xi, 3 ff., 73.
  4. Theogony, 225 ff.
  5. Aeneid viii, 702; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid i, 31; vi, 280.


  • Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.