Helen of Troy - Wikipedia
from her husband, Menelaus, challenges the Achaeans to single combat with any of their warriors. Stung by Hector's insult, Paris finally agrees to a duel with Menelaus, into Paris when Aphrodite whisks Paris away to his room in Priam's palace. But perhaps most outrageous is Paris's retreat to his marriage bed. Translation. Paris. Athena, Aphrodite and Hera | Greco-Roman mosaic from Antioch Hermes to lead the three goddesses to Paris of Troy to decide the issue. Eris (Strife) arrives while the gods are feasting at the marriage of Peleus and. Needless to say, when Helen takes off with Paris, it causes problems. This is lucky for Paris, since it is Aphrodite who swoops in and rescues him from.
After the suitors had sworn not to retaliate, Menelaus was chosen to be Helen's husband. As a sign of the importance of the pact, Tyndareus sacrificed a horse. Menelaus and Helen rule in Sparta for at least ten years; they have a daughter, Hermioneand according to some myths three sons: AethiolasMaraphiusand Pleisthenes.
Judgement of Paris
The marriage of Helen and Menelaus marks the beginning of the end of the age of heroes. Concluding the catalog of Helen's suitors, Hesiod reports Zeus' plan to obliterate the race of men and the heroes in particular. The Trojan War, caused by Helen's elopement with Paris, is going to be his means to this end. Judgement of Paris Parisa Trojan prince, came to Sparta to claim Helen, in the guise of a supposed diplomatic mission.
Before this journey, Paris had been appointed by Zeus to judge the most beautiful goddess ; HeraAthenaor Aphrodite. In order to earn his favour, Aphrodite promised Paris the most beautiful woman in the world.
Swayed by Aphrodite's offer, Paris chose her as the most beautiful of the goddesses, earning the wrath of Athena and Hera. Although Helen is sometimes depicted as being raped by Paris, Ancient Greek sources are often elliptical and contradictory.
Herodotus states that Helen was abducted, but the Cypria simply mentions that after giving Helen gifts, "Aphrodite brings the Spartan queen together with the Prince of Troy. Some say a host of horsemen, others of infantry and others of ships, is the most beautiful thing on the dark earth but I say, it is what you love Full easy it is to make this understood of one and all: However, Helen was sought by many suitors, who came from far and near, among them Paris who surpassed all the others and won the favor of Tyndareus and his sons.
Thus he won her fairly and took her away to Troia, with the full consent of her natural protectors. Homer narrates that during a brief stop-over in the small island of Kranaiaccording to Iliad, the two lovers consummated their passion. On the other hand, Cypria note that this happened the night before they left Sparta. The Rape of Helen by Francesco Primaticcio c. This painting depicts Paris' judgement. He is inspecting Aphrodite, who is standing naked before him. Hera and Athena watch nearby.
Those three authors are Euripides, Stesichorus, and Herodotus. Eidolon is also present in Stesichorus ' account, but not in Herodotus' rationalizing version of the myth.
In addition to these accounts, Lycophron states that Hesiod was the first to mention Helen's eidolon. According to these priests, Helen had arrived in Egypt shortly after leaving Sparta, because strong winds had blown Paris's ship off course.
King Proteus of Egyptappalled that Paris had seduced his host's wife and plundered his host's home in Sparta, disallowed Paris from taking Helen to Troy. Paris returned to Troy without a new bride, but the Greeks refused to believe that Helen was in Egypt and not within Troy's walls.
Thus, Helen waited in Memphis for ten years, while the Greeks and the Trojans fought. The Greek fleet gathered in Aulisbut the ships could not sail for lack of wind. Artemis was enraged by a sacrilege, and only the sacrifice of Agamemnon's daughter, Iphigeniacould appease her. In Euripides Iphigenia in AulisClytemnestra, Iphigenia's mother and Helen's sister, begs her husband to reconsider his decision, calling Helen a "wicked woman".
Clytemnestra tries to warn Agamemnon that sacrificing Iphigenia for Helen's sake is, "buying what we most detest with what we hold most dear". In a similar fashion to Leighton, Gustave Moreau depicts an expressionless Helen; a blank or anguished face.
The rape of Helen | Books | The Guardian
Lithographic illustration by Walter Crane Before the opening of hostilities, the Greeks dispatched a delegation to the Trojans under Odysseus and Menelaus; they endeavored without success to persuade Priam to hand Helen back.
She is filled with self-loathing and regret for what she has caused; by the end of the war, the Trojans have come to hate her. When Hector dies, she is the third mourner at his funeral, and she says that, of all the Trojans, Hector and Priam alone were always kind to her: There is an affectionate relationship between the two, and Helen has harsh words for Paris when she compares the two brothers: Helenus or Deiphobusbut she was given to the latter.
During the Fall of Troy[ edit ] Helen and Menelaus: Menelaus intends to strike Helen; captivated by her beauty, he drops his sword. A flying Eros and Aphrodite on the left watch the scene. Detail of an Attic red-figure krater c. In Virgil 's AeneidDeiphobus gives an account of Helen's treacherous stance: In Odysseyhowever, Homer narrates a different story: Helen circled the Horse three times, and she imitated the voices of the Greek women left behind at home—she thus tortured the men inside including Odysseus and Menelaus with the memory of their loved ones, and brought them to the brink of destruction.
In Aeneid, Aeneas meets the mutilated Deiphobus in Hades ; his wounds serve as a testimony to his ignominious end, abetted by Helen's final act of treachery. From one side, we read about the treacherous Helen who simulated Bacchic rites and rejoiced over the carnage of Trojans.
Hera said if she were chosen fairest of all women, she would make him king of all men; Athena promised him victory in war; and Aphrodite promised him Helene in marriage. So he chose Aphrodite. Jones Greek geographer C1st B. Inside is Antandros, above which lies a mountain called Alexandreia, where the Judgment of Paris is said to have taken place. Jones Greek travelogue C2nd A.
Pearse Greek mythographer C1st to C2nd A. This is a late Greek rationalisation of the tale. It is of her that Homer says: Paris is usually depicted playing this instrument in Greek vase paintings of the Judgement. Grant Roman mythographer C2nd A. When she came later and was not admitted to the banquet, she threw an apple through the door, saying that the fairest should take it. A huge argument broke out among them. Juno [Hera] promised him, if he ruled in her favour, that he would rule all the lands and dominate the rest in wealth; Minverva [Athena], if she left the winner, that he would be the strongest among mortals and know every skill; Venus [Aphrodite], however, promised that he would marry Helen, daughter of Tyndareus, the most beautiful woman in the world.
Paris preferred this last gift to the previous ones and ruled Venus was the prettiest. Alexander, at the prompting of Venus [Aphrodite], took Helen from his host Menelaus from Lacedaemon to Troy, and married her.
Showerman Roman poetry C1st B.
My [Oinone's] bosom leaped with amaze as you told me of it. There is a place in the woody vales of midmost Ida, far from trodden paths and covered over with pine and ilex, where never grazes the placid sheep, nor the she-goat that loves the cliff, nor the wide-mouthed, slowly-moving kine. From there, reclining against a tree, I was looking forth upon the walls and lofty roofs of the Dardanian city, and upon the sea, when lo!
And at the self-same time, three goddesses--Venus [Aphrodite], and Pallas [Athena], and with her Juno [Hera]--set tender feet upon the sward. My heart was reassured, and on a sudden I was bold, nor feared to turn my face and observe them each. Of winning all were worthy, and I who was to judge lamented that not all could win. But, none the less, already then one of them pleased me more, and you might know it was she by whom love is inspired. Great is their desire to win; they burn to sway my verdict with wondrous gifts.
Jove's [Zeus'] consort loudly offers thrones, his daughter, might in war; I myself waver, and can make no choice between power and the valorous heart. If you had come to that contest together with her, the palm of Venus would have come in doubt! I have placed you before the kingdoms which greatest Juno [Hera], bride and sister of Jove [Zeus], once promised me; so I could only clasp my arms about your neck, I have held but cheap the prowess that Pallas [Athena] would bestow.
And I have no regret, nor shall I ever seem in my own eyes to have made a foolish choice; my mind is fixed and persists in its desire. I am not so assured of my charms as to think myself the greatest gift in the divine esteem. My beauty is content to be approved in the eyes of men; the praise of Venus would bring envy on me. Yet I attempt no denial; I am even pleased with the praises of your report--for why should my words deny what I much desire?
Nor be offended that I am over slow to believe in you; faith is wont to be slow in matters of great moment. My first pleasure, then, is to have found favour in the eyes of Venus; the next, that I seemed the greatest prize to you, and that you placed first he honours neither of Pallas [Athena] nor of Juno [Hera] when you had heard of Helen's parts.
So, then, I mean valour to you, I mean a far-famed throne!
The rape of Helen
Mozley Roman epic C1st A. Walsh Roman novel C2nd A. The curtain was raised, the backcloths were folded away, and the stage was set. A mountain of wood had been constructed with consummate workmanship to represent the famous mountain which the poet Homer in his song called Mount Ida.
It was planted with thickets and live trees, and from its summit it disgorged river-water from a flowing fountain installed by the craftman's hands. One or two she-goats were cropping blades of grass, and a youth was acting out control of the flock. He was handsomely dressed to represent the Phrygian shepherd handsomely dressed to represent the Phrygian shepherd Paris, with exotic garments flowing from his shoulders, and his head crowned with a tiara of gold.
Standing by him [Paris] appeared a radiant boy, naked except for a youth's cloak draped over his left shoulder; his blonde hair made him the cynosure of all eyes. Tiny wings of gold were projecting from his locks, in which they had been fastened symmetrically on both sides. The herald's staff and the wand which he carried identified him as Mercurius [Hermes].
He danced briskly forward, holding in his right hand an apple gilded with gold leaf, which he handed to the boy playing the part of Paris. After conveying Jupiter's [Zeus'] command with a motion of the head, he at once gracefully withdrew and disappeared from the scene. Next appeared a worthy-looking girl, similar in appearance to the goddess Juno [Hera], for her hair was ordered with a white diadem, and she carried a sceptre.
A second girl then burst in, whom you would have recognized as Minerva [Athene].
- Helen of Troy
Her head was covered with a gleaming helmet which was itself crowned with an olive-wreath; she bore a shield and brandished a spear, simulating the goddess' fighting role. After them a third girl entered, her beauty visibly unsurpassed. Her charming, ambrosia-like complexion intimated that she represented the earlier Venus [Aphrodite] when that goddess was still a maiden.
She vaunted her unblemished beauty by appearing naked and unclothed except for a thin silken garment veiling her entrancing lower parts. An inquisitive gust of air would at one moment with quite lubricous affection blow this garment aside, so that when wafted away it revealed her virgin bloom; at another moment it would wantonly breathe directly upon it, clinging tightly and vividly outlining the pleasurable prospect of her lower limbs.
The goddess's appearance offered contrasting colours to the eye, for her body was dazzling white, intimating her descent from heaven and her robe was dark blue, denoting her emergence from the sea.
When Agamemnon thought he was slitting his daughter's white throat, he was really slaughtering a deer. Iphigeneia herself had been spirited away by the goddess to become her priestess among the people who inhabit the northern shores of the Black Sea, the people known as Taurians. When the fleet arrived at Troy, the Trojans were expecting them.
The Greeks dropped anchor some way off the beach and waited in their ships, even Achilles, for it had been prophesied that the first to land on Trojan soil would be the first to die and Achilles had yet to make a name for himself that would outlive his time on the planet. One man, Protesilaus, leapt off his ship nevertheless and charged at the beach, though he had joined the expedition the day after his wedding, after a single night of marital bliss.
Protesilaus was cut down by Priam's son Hector and dispatched to the halls of Hades. But when she heard the news, his young wife could not accept his death and made an image of him and took it to her bed. And the gods, feeling pity for her, allowed Protesilaus to return from the underworld for one more night. Then, when Hermes came next morning to take Protesilaus back to Hades, his wife could not bear this second separation, nor did the image of him console her any more, and so she burned it and threw herself on the bonfire too, anxious to join her newlywed husband if only in the land of the shades.
Now that Protesilaus had fulfilled the prophecy, the Greeks took heart and leapt off their ships, determined to break through the ranks of the Trojans. One man, above all, prevented them: Cycnus, son of the sea god Poseidon, whose body and hair were snowy white, and who was quite naked, having no need of armour.THE FALL OF TROY - Helen, Paris & Menelaus - love triangle
Like the Nemean lion, his skin was invulnerable to metal. Many Greeks died at his hands as he brushed off their swords and spears as if they were grasses or poppy stems. Soon his white skin was smeared red with the blood of his victims. It was beginning to look as if the expedition would be over before it had even started. But mighty Achilles picked up a pebble from the beach and threw it at Cycnus with all the strength he could muster. Now Cycnus lay dead and when they saw what had happened, the Trojans turned tail and ran all the way back to their battlements, leaving the Greeks to beach their ships and set up an encampment in peace.
Meanwhile Menelaus and cunning-tongued Odysseus went to Troy and entered her mighty gates, having been granted safe passage by Antenor, wisest of Priam's advisers. They addressed the assembled Trojans. We have not come for booty or glory or to make war for no reason. Or would you wage war? So Troy can be a sanctuary for the world's ravishers?