Born to King Priam of Troy and his wife Hekabe. It was prophesied by Cassandra that the boy would grow to be the death of his city. In order to try to avoid this, Priam had the child taken to Mount Ida, where he hoped he would die of exposure.

But baby Paris was found by shepherds, who took up the task of raising him. While he was under their care, three goddesses, Aphrodite, Athene and Hera approached young Paris, commanding him to decide who was most beautiful of the three.

This was in reaction to the gauntlet thrown down by Eris, when she cast a golden apple among the three goddesses. She advised them that the most beautiful could claim the prize. Each thinking herself worthy of the prize, the three were referred by Zeus to Paris. Each promised him something wonderful:
Athene vowed that he should have immortal fame as a hero.
Hera promised him the throne of Asia.
Aphrodite said that she would obtain for him the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife.

After much thought, Paris decided in favour of Aphrodite, and in so doing drew the bitter enmity of the two losers upon himself and his country.

At that time, it happened that oxen were required for a sacrifice being offered in Troy, and so two sons of King Priam, Hector and Helenos, came to Mount Ida, and took one of the herd watched over by Paris. Unwilling let them take the oxen, Paris followed the princes back to Troy, intending to demand restoration of his cattle. A quarrel ensued on the way, and the princes nearly killed Paris. But then Cassandra appeared and revealed the story of Paris' birth, and with great rejoicing the three returned to Troy, where Paris took his place as a son of King Priam, and a prince of the city. Aphrodite commanded Paris to set sail for Sparta, where Paris met the woman whom the goddess had promised would be his wife, the most beautiful woman on earth. This was Helen, wife of Menalaus. The two developed a friendship that later turned into love, and when the opportunity to elope presented itself, Paris and Helen fled Sparta and returned to Troy, where they were married.

Menalaus was not going to take this lying down, and so commanded those who had sworn an oath to aid him now to take up arms against Troy and sail to the city to rescue Helen. Thus began the nine-year Trojan War, in which many died.

During this war Paris distinguished himself by killing the Greek hero Achilles, but was in the end himself slain by Odysseus, with the arrows of Hercules.

Also an Oakland-based rapper. Has five albums (as of 2004): The Devil Made Me Do It, Sleeping With The Enemy, Guerrilla Funk, Unleashed, and Sonic Jihad.

Paris is known from his militant thoughts, and he hasn't gotten much airplay, and is IMHO one of the most talented - but not widely known - rap artists. His biggest "hits" probably are Break the Grip of Shame, from The Devil Made Me Do It album, and Bush Killa from Sleeping with the Enemy.



Alan Seeger


First, London, for its myriads; for its height,
Manhattan heaped in towering stalagmite;
But Paris for the smoothness of the paths
That lead the heart unto the heart's delight...

Fair loiterer on the threshold of those days
When there's no lovelier prize the world displays
Than, having beauty and your twenty years,
You have the means to conquer and the ways,

And coming where the crossroads separate
And down each vista glories and wonders wait,
Crowning each path with pinnacles so fair
You know not which to choose, and hesitate --

Oh, go to Paris... In the midday gloom
Of some old quarter take a little room
That looks off over Paris and its towers
From Saint Gervais round to the Emperor's Tomb, --

So high that you can hear a mating dove
Croon down the chimney from the roof above,
See Notre Dame and know how sweet it is
To wake between Our Lady and our love.

And have a little balcony to bring
Fair plants to fill with verdure and blossoming,
That sparrows seek, to feed from pretty hands,
And swallows circle over in the Spring.

There of an evening you shall sit at ease
In the sweet month of flowering chestnut-trees,
There with your little darling in your arms,
Your pretty dark-eyed Manon or Louise.

And looking out over the domes and towers
That chime the fleeting quarters and the hours,
While the bright clouds banked eastward back of them
Blush in the sunset, pink as hawthorn flowers,

You cannot fail to think, as I have done,
Some of life's ends attained, so you be one
Who measures life's attainment by the hours
That Joy has rescued from oblivion.


Come out into the evening streets. The green light lessens in the west.
The city laughs and liveliest her fervid pulse of pleasure beats.

The belfry on Saint Severin strikes eight across the smoking eaves:
Come out under the lights and leaves
  to the Reine Blanche on Saint Germain...

Now crowded diners fill the floor of brasserie and restaurant.
Shrill voices cry "L'Intransigeant," and corners echo "Paris-Sport."

Where rows of tables from the street are screened with shoots of box and bay,
The ragged minstrels sing and play and gather sous from those that eat.

And old men stand with menu-cards, inviting passers-by to dine
On the bright terraces that line the Latin Quarter boulevards...

But, having drunk and eaten well, 'tis pleasant then to stroll along
And mingle with the merry throng that promenades on Saint Michel.

Here saunter types of every sort. The shoddy jostle with the chic:
Turk and Roumanian and Greek; student and officer and sport;

Slavs with their peasant, Christ-like heads,
  and courtezans like powdered moths,
And peddlers from Algiers, with cloths
  bright-hued and stitched with golden threads;

And painters with big, serious eyes go rapt in dreams, fantastic shapes
In corduroys and Spanish capes and locks uncut and flowing ties;

And lovers wander two by two, oblivious among the press,
And making one of them no less, all lovers shall be dear to you:

All laughing lips you move among, all happy hearts that, knowing what
Makes life worth while, have wasted not the sweet reprieve of being young.

"Comment ca va!" "Mon vieux!" "Mon cher!"
  Friends greet and banter as they pass.
'Tis sweet to see among the mass comrades and lovers everywhere,

A law that's sane, a Love that's free, and men of every birth and blood
Allied in one great brotherhood of Art and Joy and Poverty...

The open cafe-windows frame loungers at their liqueurs and beer,
And walking past them one can hear fragments of Tosca and Boheme.

And in the brilliant-lighted door of cinemas the barker calls,
And lurid posters paint the walls with scenes of Love and crime and war.

But follow past the flaming lights, borne onward with the stream of feet,
Where Bullier's further up the street is marvellous on Thursday nights.

Here all Bohemia flocks apace; you could not often find elsewhere
So many happy heads and fair assembled in one time and place.

Under the glare and noise and heat the galaxy of dancing whirls,
Smokers, with covered heads, and girls dressed in the costume of the street.

From tables packed around the wall the crowds that drink and frolic there
Spin serpentines into the air far out over the reeking hall,

That, settling where the coils unroll, tangle with pink and green and blue
The crowds that rag to "Hitchy-koo" and boston to the "Barcarole"...

Here Mimi ventures, at fifteen, to make her debut in romance,
And join her sisters in the dance and see the life that they have seen.

Her hair, a tight hat just allows to brush beneath the narrow brim,
Docked, in the model's present whim, 'frise' and banged above the brows.

Uncorseted, her clinging dress with every step and turn betrays,
In pretty and provoking ways her adolescent loveliness,

As guiding Gaby or Lucile she dances, emulating them
In each disturbing stratagem and each lascivious appeal.

Each turn a challenge, every pose an invitation to compete,
Along the maze of whirling feet the grave-eyed little wanton goes,

And, flaunting all the hue that lies in childish cheeks and nubile waist,
She passes, charmingly unchaste, illumining ignoble eyes...

But now the blood from every heart leaps madder through abounding veins
As first the fascinating strains of "El Irresistible" start.

Caught in the spell of pulsing sound, impatient elbows lift and yield
The scented softnesses they shield to arms that catch and close them round,

Surrender, swift to be possessed, the silken supple forms beneath
To all the bliss the measures breathe and all the madness they suggest.

Crowds congregate and make a ring. Four deep they stand and strain to see
The tango in its ecstasy of glowing lives that clasp and cling.

Lithe limbs relaxed, exalted eyes fastened on vacancy, they seem
To float upon the perfumed stream of some voluptuous Paradise,

Or, rapt in some Arabian Night, to rock there, cradled and subdued,
In a luxurious lassitude of rhythm and sensual delight.

And only when the measures cease and terminate the flowing dance
They waken from their magic trance and join the cries that clamor "Bis!"...

Midnight adjourns the festival. The couples climb the crowded stair,
And out into the warm night air go singing fragments of the ball.

Close-folded in desire they pass, or stop to drink and talk awhile
In the cafes along the mile from Bullier's back to Montparnasse:

The "Closerie" or "La Rotonde", where smoking, under lamplit trees,
Sit Art's enamored devotees, chatting across their `brune' and `blonde'...

Make one of them and come to know sweet Paris -- not as many do,
Seeing but the folly of the few, the froth, the tinsel, and the show --

But taking some white proffered hand that from Earth's barren every day
Can lead you by the shortest way into Love's florid fairyland.

And that divine enchanted life that lurks under Life's common guise --
That city of romance that lies within the City's toil and strife --

Shall, knocking, open to your hands, for Love is all its golden key,
And one's name murmured tenderly the only magic it demands.

And when all else is gray and void in the vast gulf of memory,
Green islands of delight shall be all blessed moments so enjoyed:

When vaulted with the city skies, on its cathedral floors you stood,
And, priest of a bright brotherhood, performed the mystic sacrifice,

At Love's high altar fit to stand, with fire and incense aureoled,
The celebrant in cloth of gold with Spring and Youth on either hand.


      Choral Song

    Have ye gazed on its grandeur
     Or stood where it stands
    With opal and amber
     Adorning the lands,
    And orcharded domes
     Of the hue of all flowers?
    Sweet melody roams
     Through its blossoming bowers,
Sweet bells usher in from its belfries the train of the honey-sweet hour.

    A city resplendent,
     Fulfilled of good things,
    On its ramparts are pendent
     The bucklers of kings.
    Broad banners unfurled
     Are afloat in its air.
    The lords of the world
     Look for harborage there.
None finds save he comes as a bridegroom, having roses and vine in his hair.

    'Tis the city of Lovers,
     There many paths meet.
    Blessed he above others,
     With faltering feet,
    Who past its proud spires
     Intends not nor hears
    The noise of its lyres
     Grow faint in his ears!
Men reach it through portals of triumph, but leave through a postern of tears.

    It was thither, ambitious,
     We came for Youth's right,
    When our lips yearned for kisses
     As moths for the light,
    When our souls cried for Love
     As for life-giving rain
    Wan leaves of the grove,
     Withered grass of the plain,
And our flesh ached for Love-flesh beside it with bitter, intolerable pain.

    Under arbor and trellis,
     Full of flutes, full of flowers,
    What mad fortunes befell us,
     What glad orgies were ours!
    In the days of our youth,
     In our festal attire,
    When the sweet flesh was smooth,
     When the swift blood was fire,
And all Earth paid in orange and purple to pavilion the bed of Desire!

Paris is the 1,060th most popular male first name in the United States, and the 2,006th most popular female first name. It's also the 2,319th most popular last name (1990 United States Census.)

Paris, Arkansas, is a town of about 4,000 people. It was founded in 1874 on the Old Military Road between Little Rock and Fort Smith. Paris is the gateway to the magnificent Mount Magazine, which is the highest point between the Rockies and Appalachians. It's also the county seat of Logan County.

Paris, Idaho, is the county seat of Bear Lake County and the second oldest city in Idaho, 91 miles from Salt Lake City. Population was 581 in 1990.

New Paris, Illinois, is in Edgar County, 73 miles from Indianapolis, Indiana. Population is 12,509.

On Sunday, April 29, 2001, at 6:45 p.m, a UFO squadron passed over New Paris, Illinois. Thomas H. reports: They looked like birds, and they flew from side to side but without turning. The objects were black and disc-shaped, and their estimated speed was 90 miles per hour.

New Paris, Indiana, is in Elkhart County. The population is approximately 1007.

Paris Crossing, Indiana, is in Jennings County, 36 miles from Louisville, Kentucky. Population is 972.

Paris, Kentucky, is the county seat of Bourbon County, on the Old Buffalo Trail, or Limestone Trail. Population was 8,730 in 1990.

South Paris, Maine, is the county seat of Oxford County. Population is 6,054.

West Paris, Maine, is in Oxford County. Population is 2,149.

Paris, Michigan, is in Mecosta County, 49 miles from Grand Paris. Population is 3,359.

Paris, Mississippi, is in Lafayette County, 63 miles from Memphis, Tennessee. Population is 302.

Paris, Missouri, was settled in the middle of 19th century. Known as The Friendliest Town in Little Dixie by everybody who lives less than 3 miles away, Paris is a 1,500-people town and the county seat of Monroe County, but the main attraction in the county, and therefore in the world, is the two-room cabin where Mark Twain was born. Population of Paris was 1,486 in 1990.

New Paris, Ohio, was first settled by a man named Richard Hudson in 1811, and became a town in 1820. Its first name was Storrsboro. It's located in Preble County, 27 miles from Dayton, Ohio. The population was 1,990 in 1998.

Paris, Ohio, is in Stark County, 22 miles from Akron, Ohio. Population is 1,338.

Saint Paris, Ohio, is in Champaign County, 24 miles from Dayton, Ohio. The population is 5,963.

An unidentified flying object has been seen in Saint Paris, Ohio, in May 1932. It was even photographed (

New Paris, Pennsylvania, is in Bedford County, 65 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Population is 3,982.

Paris, Tennessee, is in Henry County, 74 miles from Nashville, Tennessee. Population is 16,597.

Paris, Texas, apart from being a movie, is also the Second Largest Paris in the World, with no less than 25,898 happy citizens. It's located in Lamar County, some 105 miles northeast of Dallas. Paris was founded by George Wright, who opened a store there in 1839. Several traditions explain in different ways why Paris was called Paris, but one thing is certain: it was a reference to Paris, France. Paris became the county seat in 1844. And the city has seven hotels or motels with a total of 528 rooms.

Paris, Virginia, is located in Fauquier County, 30 miles west of Arlington, assuming you know where Arlington is.

Paris is also the capital of France, and the best place to live on Earth. Land area is 86.92 km2 (excluding Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes), and population was 2,125,246 in 1999. See what Paris looks like in Paris buildings and sites, Paris streets and the 20 districts of Paris.

The old proverb that all good Americans go to Paris to die is really just a rather morbid way of acknowledging that it is the ultimate--though with any luck not that ultimate--city. In Paris more than in any other city in the world, with the possible exception of New York, myth and reality interweave to create a heady sensation of excitement and déjà vu, where the familiar Paris of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre is temporarily forgotten by the visitor's sudden and often surprising discovery of another, private Paris. Whether it is found in a seemingly forgotten cul-de-sac in an off-the-beaten-track corner of the 14th arrondissement, or in an ancient shop on the slope of Montmartre selling antique clocks, this is the real Paris of which memories are made.


Somewhere in the third century BC, Paris started off on the current Ile de la Cité (an island in the river Seine) as dwelling of the Gaul tribe called Pariisi. The colonising Romans named the township Lutetia Parisiorum, which meant “the Pariisi’s village in the mud”. It was often abbreviated Lutetia, staying relatively unimportant in the period before Christ, especially compared to big brothers Nîmes and Avignon.

Paris became capital of the north western part of the Roman Empire in the third century AD, which caused the city to grow in size and significance. Many Roman leftovers from this period are to be found in Quartier Latin. (This obviously means Latin District, but it was not named after this era: it later became the University centre and therefore contained many Latin speaking students). During the decline of the Roman Empire, 700,000 barbarians under Atilla the Hun threatened to take the city in 451. A young girl named Genevieve convinced the Parisians not to flee but to pray all together to save Paris. When the barbarians indeed passed by without entering the city, Genevieve became Paris’ patron saint.

After the powerful Franks, the Vikings sent a fleet of 700 ships with 30,000 warriors to Paris in 885. Still, the Parisians managed to defend their city. A city wall was built in 1200, with the Louvre castle being the closing part. This citadel had to guard the weakest spot in the city defence, also the location were the Vikings had focused their beleaguering. It was also in this period that the islands in the Seine started to get very crowded, so people moved to the riverside. The narrow streets (for example near the Notre Dame) on the islands are a clear witness of this early epoch. Paris became an important centre of philosophy and theology when the oldest university, Sorbonne (named after priest Robert de Sorbon), was founded in 1253.

From 1370 to 1382, King Charles V let build a fortress called the Bastille to live safely from possible rioters. The Bastille was hated thoroughly, partly because Charles V ordered to arrest random men in the street to have them carry stones for the bastion. Consequently it was a quite simple effort to destruct the hated symbol of royal oppression in 1789.

Under 17th century Louis XIV the castle of Versailles became the royal palace. In this epoch the glamorous Jardin du Luxembourg, several city gates and – for the many wounded soldiers – the Hôtel des Invalides. The Parisian thinkers of the century thereafter (Montesquieu, Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau) fed the French Revolution of 1789. The vacuum after the terror of Maximilien Robespierre was taken by Napoléon Bonaparte, who enriched Paris with the Arc de Triomphe and the Colon of captured cannons on Place Vendôme. His grave can be found in the Dôme des Invalides, while many subway stations carry the name of his famous victorious battles (Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland, Wagram). The people of Paris stayed very rebellious in these centuries. The broad avenues of Paris were especially set up to enable the army to arrive quickly at the possible scenes of uproar.

The major role of Paris in World War I was that of providing the location for signing the peace treaty. The settlements were made at Versailles. In the meantime the subway was founded and the city became a centre of bohemian artists. The pro-German (and anti-Semite) position of the Pétain government caused Paris to remain unharmed in World War II, even though Adolf Hitler ordered to destroy all art treasures in the capital after the Allied Forces had landed in Normandy.

The influence of some celebrated French presidents is still very much visible in Paris. Charles de Gaulle ordered to build a new airport, while Georges Pompidou marked his name through the distinctive Centre d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou. Post-war Paris was also characterised by the blossoming of existentialism (Jean-Paul Sartre) and the student revolts of 1968 (Daniel Cohn Bendit)


As can be witnessed above in the French capital’s rich history, Paris is full of exciting buildings of bygone times. The following is an overview of the principal monuments in the city.

Other interesting facts

The song

Elton John included a song called Paris on his album Leather Jacket in 1986. Songwriter Bernie Taupin took care of the lyrics. Although the song is not among my favourites, the second couplet leaves a mark of the romantic side of Paris.

Nobody left in the airport lounge
They cleaned the ashtrays
TV's just wound down
I've got to wait till morning
I've got to last the night
I've only got one book
To see me through my flight

But when I get to Paris
We'll paint all our portraits
In brush-strokes of yellow
And christen the canvas
The left bank is crying
For colour to crown it
Like the roof of a palace
We'll drink in the amber
When I get to Paris

You were the best of Montmartre Street life
You signed the tablecloth
Art has its price
It's so hard to hold on
To the ghost of your breed
It takes ambition
To call the colours you need

I've got to wait till morning
I've got to last the night
I've only got one book
To see me through the flight

Par"is (?), n. [From Paris, the son of Priam.] Bot.

A plant common in Europe (Paris quadrifolia); herb Paris; truelove. It has been used as a narcotic.

⇒ It much resembles the American genus Trillium, but has usually four leaves and a tetramerous flower.


© Webster 1913.

Par"is, n.

The chief city of France.

Paris green. See under Green, n. -- Paris white Chem., purified chalk used as a pigment; whiting; Spanish white.


© Webster 1913.

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