Who was Helen of Troy?
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.
More about Clytemnestra
Judgment of Paris
Summary of the Iliad
Greek mythology made easy
All our Ancient Greece articles
Who would Helen marry?
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).
Greeks love a competition
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.