Visit Website After the Trojan defeat, the Greeks heroes slowly made their way home.
Helen of Troy - Heroine or Goddess? I will start by giving a synopsis of her myth to familiarise everyone with her story, and will then discuss her birth and death in light of her potential divinity. Next I will look at her status as a heroine in myth and in historical times before moving on to the suggestion that she is perhaps a vegetation or solar deity.
She was reputed to be extremely beautiful, and when she reached the age to marry, many men, chiefs and kings came to court her. Realising the difficult situation The helen of troy family were in, Tyndareus via the inspiration of Odysseus made all the suitors swear an oath - that The helen of troy would come to the aid of whoever won Helen, should need arise.
Each goddess offered him a bribe, Athena offered success in battle, Hera offered rule over Asia, and Aphrodite promised him the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife i.
Paris chose Aphrodite, and thus set in motion the start of the Trojan War. Paris came to Sparta, the home of Helen and Menelaus, and visited as a royal guest. When Menelaus had to depart to Crete, he left Helen to look after their guest, at which point Paris seduced, or raped her depending on which variant you read.
Paris took Helen and many rich goods back with him to Troy. The war lasted ten years, many heroes were killed, and the gods joined in on both sides. Finally the Greeks won, with a little trickery i. They sailed back to Greece and lived out the rest of their lives together.
There are many variants on the basic story and many other stories interconnectedand the issue of whether Helen chose to go with Paris or was raped has generated much discussion. Within ancient sources she is usually castigated for being a loose woman, blamed for all the deaths in the Trojan War, and almost universally hated.
Her actions do not demonstrate her to be a particularly bad woman, sometimes a little selfish or misguided, but not the evil whore many other characters accuse her of being. The story of a woman whose abduction caused a ten year war would not at first glance seem particularly illuminating for the story of a goddess or a heroine, but a closer look will reveal just how special Helen was.
Thank you for your interest in Helen of Troy. To receive notifications via email, enter your email address and select at least one subscription below. In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy (Greek: Ἑλένη, Helénē, pronounced), also known as Helen of Sparta, or simply Helen, was said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world, who was married to King Menelaus of Sparta, but was abducted by Prince Paris of Troy, resulting in the Trojan War when the Achaeans set out to reclaim her and bring her back to Sparta. Touch device users, explore by touch or with swipe gestures.
Commonly referred to as the Goddess of Retribution, her actions are not always conceived of in the negative sense. Zeus also raped Nemesis, and thus Helen was born. In Greek mythology it is not unusual that Zeus should rape his own daughter, he does after all live in marriage with his own sister.
Zeus finally caught up with her when she was in the form of a goose, and he a swan. After the rape, Nemesis subsequently gave birth to an egg from which Helen eventually hatched. The egg was found and brought to Leda who brought up Helen as her own daughter. The Nemesis version, although referred to throughout antiquity, remains largely un-remembered today.
There is only one securely identified depiction of her on a Greek vase painting, and this picture does include Helen. There is also a cult statue of Nemesis, at a sanctuary at Rhamnous, which features Helen on the base. In sharp contrast there are very many depictions of Leda in Greek art.
Generally she is shown with either a swan, or an egg. It would seem, however, that the majority of the depictions of Leda, especially with the swan, appear after the plays of Euripides have been produced, which leads us to suggests the possibility of his influence on the story.
The pictures that depict Leda with an egg show her discovering it, and often looking surprised or shocked she sometimes even runs away from the scene. Helen is sometimes shown emerging from the egg as a miniature human, rather than as a baby.
Although Leda is the traditionally known mother of Helen it is highly probable that the Nemesis version is of older origin. In fact there does not appear to be any rape story at all associated with Leda and the birth of Helen, until we reach Euripides.
Iconographically Leda is seen finding the egg prior to Euripides, and afterwards she is depicted with a swan. With the Nemesis version of the myth established Helen is revealed to have two divine parents, and thus should be regarded as divine herself.
If Leda does have any valid claim to be her mother, then Helen is the only mortal daughter of Zeus, this is significant in its exceptionality. Turning to the opposite end of her life, how is her death portrayed?
I have said that once the Trojan War was over, Helen returned home to Sparta and spent the rest of her life with Menelaus, but then what? As is to be expected she has no mortal ending, instead she is either elevated to her rightful divine status, or she spends her days in the Elysian Fields.
In this version Helen lives on after Menelaus dies but is driven out of her homeland by his two sons - Nicostratus and Megapenthes.At Helen of Troy, we seek out and build world-class brands. Their meaningful positions and outstanding products elevate people’s lives everywhere, every day.
Bettany Hughes is an historian, broadcaster, and author of Helen of Troy, Goddess, Princess, Whore (Pimlico ). Here, she writes about the myth of Helen as explored through the ages, and her.
Helen of Troy - Family of Origin The Trojan War Cycle is based on a story from the legendary period of ancient Greece, a time when it was common to trace lineage to the gods. Helen is said to have been a daughter of the king of the gods, Zeus.
The mythical Helen of Troy has inspired poets and artists for centuries as the woman whose beauty sparked the Trojan War. But Helen’s character is more complex than it seems. When considering the many Greek and Roman myths that surround Helen, from her childhood to her life after the Trojan War, a layered and fascinating woman emerges.
With Emilia Fox, James Callis, Daniel Lapaine, Nigel Whitmey. The abduction of beautiful Helen, wife of Spartan King Menelaus, by Paris of Troy triggers a long war. The mythic Helen of Troy, who, 2, years ago, set off a war that “launched a thousand ships,” need not be real, but the obsession with female beauty as blessing and curse surely is.