Apple of Discord

An apple of discord is the core, kernel, or crux of an argument, or a small matter that could lead to a bigger dispute.[1]

J. M. W. Turner, The Goddess of Discord Choosing the Apple of Contention in the Garden of the Hesperides
The manzana de la discordia (the turret on the left belongs to the Casa Lleó Morera; the building with the stepped triangular peak is the Casa Amatller; and the curved façade to its right is the Casa Batlló).

It is a reference to the Golden Apple of Discord (Ancient Greek: μῆλον τῆς Ἔριδος) in the story of the Judgement of Paris which, according to Greek mythology, was what the goddess Eris (Ἔρις, "Strife") tossed in the midst of the feast of the gods at the wedding of Peleus and Thetis as a prize of beauty, thus sparking a vanity-fueled dispute among Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite that eventually led to the Trojan War.[2]

Derivative usesEdit

Because of this, the Roman goddess corresponding to the Greek Eris was named "Discordia". Also, in German and in Dutch, the words are used a lot more often colloquially than in English, though in German the colloquial form is not Apfel der Zwietracht (lit. "Apple of Discord") but Zankapfel (lit. "Quarrel-apple") and rarely Erisapfel; the Dutch is twistappel (lit. "strife-apple").

In the Eixample district of Barcelona, there is a block nicknamed in Spanish La manzana de la discordia (Catalan: Illa de la Discòrdia). The reason for this usage is that the word manzana means both "apple" and "city block" in Spanish. It was so named ("block of discord") because it features four different interpretations of Modernisme architecture: Antoni Gaudí's Casa Batlló, Lluís Domènech i Montaner's Casa Lleó Morera, Josep Puig i Cadafalch's Casa Amatller, and Enric Sagnier's Casa Mulleras.

"To the Most Beautiful"Edit

In some later sources, Eris inscribed on the apple "for the fairest"[3] or "to the most beautiful" before tossing it. The most popular version of the inscription is ΤΗΙ ΚΑΛΛΙΣΤΗΙ (Ancient Greek: τῇ καλλίστῃ, romanizedtē(i) kallistē(i), Greek: τη καλλίστη, romanizedti kallisti; "for/to the most beautiful").[4] Καλλίστῃ is the dative singular of the feminine superlative of καλός, "beautiful". In Latin sources, the word is formosissima.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Timothy L. Gall; Susan B. Gall (1 January 2006). The Lincoln Library of Greek & Roman Mythology. Lincoln Library Press. ISBN 9780912168210.
  2. ^ Apollodorus. "E.3.2". The Library Epitome. Theoi Project. Translated by J. G. Frazer. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  3. ^ Lucian. "The Judgement of Paris". Dialogues of the Gods. Theoi Project. Translated by H. W. & F. G. Fowler. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
  4. ^ Randall L. Schweller (3 April 2014). Maxwell's Demon and the Golden Apple: Global Discord in the New Millennium. JHU Press. ISBN 9781421412788.
  5. ^ Hyginus. "92". Fabulae. Theoi Project. Translated by Mary Grant. Retrieved 7 December 2017.