Her Apple Corps is Strong — Thoughts on Eris in the modern world

Hesiod, Works and Days 11 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C 8th or C 7th B.C.) :“It was never true that there was only one Eris (Strife). There have always been two on earth. There is one you could like when you understand her. The other is hateful. The two Erites have separate natures. There is one Eris who builds up evil war, and slaughter. She is harsh; no man loves her, but under compulsion and by will of the immortals, men promote this rough Eris (Strife). But the other one was born the elder daughter of black Nyx. The son of Kronos, who sits on high and dwells in the bright air set her in the roots of the earth and among men; she is far kinder. She pushes the shiftless man to work, for all his laziness. A man looks at his neighbor  who is rich: then he too wants work; for the rich man presses on with his ploughing and planting and ordering of his estate. So the neighbor envies the neighbor who presses on toward wealth. Such Eris (Strife) is a good friend to mortals.”

I disagree with Hesiod here in that he separates one Goddess into two instead of accepting that she has more than one sphere of influence. It is MY thinking that She inspires all forms of strife because of the lessons that each kind of strife bring with it. 

The face of Eris that brings war in its wake is probably the one that the casual reader is most familiar with. It is celebrated daily in the news which discuss one international conflict or another. Sadly, as a society we are getting used to this face of Eris and are not learning the lesson that she is trying to teach. Conflict is becoming the new “normal”, in our cities, our nations and even in our internet interactions where people fight over ideologies to figure out who gets her ‘golden apple’ marked “For the Best” [kallisti]. 

The second face of Eris that is described in this is the one that we want to encourage as it is the face that causes us to strive for our betterment. It is also the face that she shows during the Modern Olympic Games with it’s motto of “Citius, Altius, Fortius” (faster, higher, stronger). It is this face that also drives scientists to make new discoveries. She is the force that makes us strive to create a better life for our children. And it is this face of Eris that inspires me to say “Her Apple Corps is strong!”

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