Helen of Troy
Helen of Troy boards the ship
(Pompeii, ca. 79 AD
Helen, the daughter of Zeus
and the queen of Sparta, was the most beautiful young woman in the world.
She lived in Sparta with
her mother and her father, the king of Sparta, and her half-sister, Clytemnestra.
All the young men wanted
to marry Helen. Helen's stepfather
(the king of Sparta) was afraid that if he said she could marry one
of the suitors (the men who wanted to marry her), all the other suitors
would fight him, and there would be a big war. (Yes, Helen was that
beautiful. It's a story).
So Helen's stepfather had an idea. He got all the suitors together in
one place and made them all swear to protect Helen and her marriage,
whichever one of them got to marry her. So they all swore. Then the
king (Helen's stepfather) had the suitors all compete in athletic
games. The one who won was Menelaus,
and so he married Helen.
Helen's sister Clytemnestra married Agamemnon,
king of Mycenae, Menelaus'
Bibliography and further reading about Helen of Troy:
Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University
Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.
More about Professor Carr's work on the Portland State University website
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