Helen of Troy, Greek Helene, in Greek legend, the most beautiful woman of Greece and the indirect cause of the Trojan War. She was daughter of Zeus, either by Leda or by Nemesis, and sister of the Dioscuri. As a young girl, she was carried off by Theseus, but she was rescued by her brothers.
What did Helen look like? Today's movies and paintings make her a blonde, but ancient Greek paintings show her as a brunette. Homer merely tells us she was “white-armed, long robed, and richly tressed,” leaving the rest up to our imagination. Ancient artist's rendering of Helen, with Eros urging her on.
In the war, Paris (Achilles' killer) was fatally wounded by one of Hercules' arrows. Ptolemy Hephaestion (Ptolemaeus Chennus) says Menelaus killed Paris. Gill, N.S. "Paris, the Trojan Prince." ThoughtCo, Aug.
The site of Troy, in the northwest corner of modern-day Turkey, was first settled in the Early Bronze Age, from around 3000 BC. Over the four thousand years of its existence, countless generations have lived at Troy.
As the historical sources – Herodotus and Eratosthenes – show, it was generally assumed to have been a real event. According to Homer's Iliad, the conflict between the Greeks – led by Agamemnon, King of Mycenae – and the Trojans – whose king was Priam – took place in the Late Bronze Age, and lasted 10 years.
When Helen was only twelve years old, the Greek hero Theseus (pronounced THEE-see-uhs) kidnapped her and planned to make her his wife. He took her to Attica (pronounced AT-i-kuh) in Greece and locked her away under the care of his mother.
Laurie Macguire, writing in "Helen of Troy From Homer to Hollywood," lists the following 11 men as husbands of Helen in ancient literature, proceeding from the canonical list in chronological order, to the 5 exceptional ones: Theseus. Menelaus.
She was imagined to be a direct avatar of the kalon kakon – the beautiful evil – the first ever woman according to Hesiod's revisionist theogony composed in the seventh century BC. Helen was a thing essentially bad, cloaked in beauty.
She was married to Menelaus, king of Sparta. Paris, son of King Priam of Troy, fell in love with Helen and abducted her, taking her back to Troy. The Greeks assembled a great army, led by Menelaus's brother, Agamemnon, to retrieve Helen. An armada of 1,000 Greek ships sailed across the Aegean Sea to Troy.
Over the course of several centuries, Troy was repeatedly destroyed, but a new city would rise up on the ruins of the last. People lived there until Roman times. The ruins can still be seen today, about 220 miles to the southwest of Istanbul.
Was the Trojan War real? There has been much debate over historical evidence of the Trojan War. Archaeological finds in Turkey suggest that the city of Troy did exist but that a conflict on the immense scale of a 10-year siege may not have actually occurred.
Troy VI was destroyed by a violent earthquake a little after 1300 bce. Dörpfeld had identified this stage as Homeric Troy, but its apparent destruction by an earthquake does not agree with the realistic account of the sack of Troy in Greek tradition.
"When the Trojans built these walls, 95 per cent of the world's population was still living in caves," Aykut says. "Yet these walls are still standing." We pause at the remains of the temple, used and added to over the centuries by the Trojans, the Greeks and the Romans.
According to Homer, the Trojan War lasted ten years. The conflict pitted the wealthy city of Troy and its allies against a coalition of all Greece. It was the greatest war in history, involving at least 100,000 men in each army as well as 1,184 Greek ships.
There is no proof that Achilles existed or that any of Homer's other characters did. The long answer is that Homer's Achilles may have been based, at least in part, on a historical character; the same is true of the rest of Homer's characters. There are two reasons to believe this.
She had so many suitors that her foster father Tyndareus feared a war would erupt over her hand. Sure enough, when Helen left her Greek husband Menelaus for the handsome Trojan prince Paris, war did break out: the Greeks fought the Trojans for ten long years to get Helen back.
Her mother abandoned little Hermy to run off with the Trojan Prince Paris; as Euripides tells us in his tragedy Orestes: She was “the little daughter she had left behind when she sailed off with Paris to Troy.” Orestes, Helen's nephew, says that, while Helen was “away” and Menelaus was chasing her down, Hermione's aunt ...