Helen of Troy, also known as Helen of Sparta, was the daughter of Zeus and Leda and sister of Clytemnestra, Castor and Pollux.
Pollux shared a father with Helen (Zeus), whilst Castor’s and Clytemnestra’s father was he king of Sparta, Tyndareus.
In Greek myths, Helen was considered the most beautiful woman in the world.
By marriage she was Queen of Laconia, a province within Homeric Greece, the wife of King Menelaus, who was Agamemnon‘s brother.
When it was time for Helen to marry, many princes came to seek her hand.
During the contest, Castor and Pollux had a prominent role in dealing with the suitors, although the final decision was in the hands of King Tyndareus, Helen’s father.
Menelaus, her future husband, did not attend but sent his brother, Agamemnon on his behalf.
Before this, when Helen was a young girl she was kidnapped by Theseus.
In most accounts of this event, this happened when Helen was seven years old.
It is said that two athenians, Theseus and Pirithous, thought that since they were both sons of gods, both of them should have divine wives; they thus pledged to help each other abduct two daughters of Zeus.
Thus Theseus chose Helen, and Pirithous vowed to marry Persephone, the wife of Hades.
Hades pretended to offer them hospitality and set a feast, but, as soon as the pair sat down, snakes coiled around their feet and held them there. Helen’s abduction caused an invasion of Athens by Castor and Pollux, who captured Aethra (Theseus’ mother) in revenge, and returned their sister to Sparta.
That is why Helen is also known as the face that launched a thousand ships.
Helen is sometimes depicted as being abducted and even raped by Paris.
However, Sappho argues that Helen willingly left behind Menelaus to be with Paris.
Homer depicts her as a wistful, even a sorrowful, figure, coming to regret her choice and wishing to be reunited with Menelaus.
Paris was killed during the Trojan War, and according to Homer’s “Iliad”, Helen was reunited with Menelaus, though other versions of the legend recount her ascending to Olympus instead, or even getting re-married with Priam’s surviving son Deiphobus, who she will betrayed hiding his sword, immediatly after the sack of Troy had begun.
During the fall of Troy, Homer says that after the Trojan Horse was admitted into the city Helen circled the Horse imitating the voices of the Greek women left behind at home, almost like the Sirens did. Thus, she tortured the men inside the wooden horse (including Odysseus and Menelaus) with the memory of their loved ones, and brought them to the brink of destruction.
►Gallery: “Helen of Troy”:
The story of Helen began in young life
As Theseus plotted to take a Divine wife
Conflict ensued as her brothers did invade
Capturing Theseus’s Mother, revenged repaid
Helen of Sparta, Daughter of Zeus
A beauty to behold blooming with youth
She attracted her suitors to ask for her hand
Menelaus won her; Becoming Queen of his land
Abducted by Paris, or did she willingly run?
As Oaths to her King another battle was begun
Her face did launch a thousand ships to sea
As Helen of Troy, another legend began to be
Helen of Troy, a beauty to behold,
A Trojan Horse, a plan so bold
Queen of Laconia, Menelaus her King
Now coupled with Paris, more tragedy to bring
Who can say what heartache transpired?
Daughter of Zeus, extremely desired
Did she find Happiness? Who can tell?
But what we do know- Men fell under her spell..
©2015 Sue Dreamwalker.-
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I would like to thank Henar de Andrés from “Pensando en la Oscuridad” for nominating me for a Black Wolf Blogger Award.
please make sure to check out their blogs and to follow them, If you haven’t still done so!. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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►I) Nominees~ Black Wolf Blogger Award (Sparkles Version):
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1. Yesterday and today: Merril’s historical musings 2. Desertsunsaga 3. 4. The wind horse blog 5. The Cvillean 6. Ana Linden 7. Coming Out Crooked 8. Captain’s Log 9. The Dark Night Chronicles 10. Spahr Plops.