HELEN ., orHELENA (Gr.'EXivrl),in Greek
See also:mythology, daughter of
See also:Zeus by
See also:Leda (wife of Tyndarcus,
See also:king of
See also:sister of
See also:Castor, Pollux and Clytaemnestra, and wife of
See also:Menelaus . Other accounts make her the daughter of Zeus and
See also:Nemesis, or of
See also:Oceanus and Tethys . She was the most beautiful woman in
See also:Greece, and indirectly the cause of the Trojan war . When a
See also:child she was carried off from Sparta by
See also:Theseus to
See also:Attica, but was recovered and taken back by her
See also:brothers . When she
See also:grew up, the most famous of the princes of Greece sought her
See also:hand in
See also:marriage, and her
See also:father's choice fell upon Menelaus . During her
See also:absence she was induced by
See also:Paris, son of
See also:Priam, with the connivance of
See also:Aphrodite, to flee with him to Troy . After the
See also:death of Paris she married his
See also:brother DeYphobus, whom she is said to have betrayed into the hands of Menelaus at the capture of the city (Aeneid, vi . 517 ff.) . Menelaus there-upon took her back, and they returned together to Sparta, where they lived happily till their death, and were buried at Therapnae in Laconia . According to another
See also:story, Helen survived herhusband, and was driven out by her stepsons . She fled to Rhodes, where she was hanged on a
See also:tree by her former friend Polyxo, to avenge the loss of her husband Tlepolemus in the Trojan War (
See also:Pausanias iii . 19) .
After death, Helen was said to have marriedAchilles in his home in the
See also:island of Leuke . In another version, Paris, on his voyage to Troy with Helen, was driven ashore on the
See also:coast of
See also:Egypt, where King Proteus, upon learning the facts of the case, detained the real Helen in Egypt, while a phantom Helen was carried off to Troy . Menelaus on his way home was also driven by stress of winds to Egypt, where he found his wife and took her home (
See also:Herodotus 11 . 112-120;
See also:Euripides, Helena) . Helen was worshipped as the goddess of beauty at Therapnae in Laconia, where a festival was held in her
See also:honour . At Rhodes she was worshipped under the name of Dendritis (the tree goddess), where the inhabitants built a
See also:temple in her honour to expiate the
See also:crime of Polyxo . The Rhodian story probably contains a reference to the worship connected with her name (cf .
See also:Theocritus xviii . 48 aiSou µ', 'EMVas Ovr6a eiuL) . She was the subject of a tragedy by Euripides and ah epic by Colluthus . Originally, Helen was perhaps a goddess of
See also:light, a
See also:moon-goddess, who was gradually transformed into the beautiful heroine
See also:round whom the
See also:action of the Iliad revolves . Like her brothers, the Dioscuri, she was a
See also:patron deity of sailors .
See E .Oswald, The
See also:Legend of
See also:Fair Helen (1905) ; J . A .
See also:Symonds, Studies of the Greek Poets, i . (1893) ; F . Decker, Die griechische Helena in Mythos and Epos (1894); Andrew Lang, Helen of Troy (1883); P . Paris in Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionnaire
See also:des antiquites; the exhaustive article by R . Engelmann in Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie ; and O . Gruppe, Griechische Mythologie, i . 163, according to whom Helen originally represented, in the Helenephoria (a mystic festival of
See also:Iphigeneia or Tauropolos), the sacred
See also:basket (Wan) in which the
See also:objects were carried ; and hence, as the personification of the initiation ceremony, she was connected with or identified with the moon, the first appearance of which probably marked the beginning of the festivity .
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