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Helen of Troy, also known as Helen of Sparta, was the queen consort of King Menelaus of Sparta and the catalyst of the Trojan War according to Greek mythology. In this central role, she is said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world, but as part of the machinations of Aphrodite, she either eloped with, or was abducted by, the Trojan prince Paris, returning with him to Troy.[1] This became the casus belli for the Greek city-states to rally under Menelaus' brother King Agamemnon of Argos and launch a brutal invasion of Troy which would ultimately result in its destruction after a decade of bloodshed.

Menelaion in Lakonia was a shrine dedicated to her and her husband, King Menelaus.[1]

Trivia

  • Helen is a Greek name whose etymology is uncertain, but which has been suggested to be related to the Greek word Σελήνη (Selḗnē), meaning 'moon', and thus Helen would have the sense of 'shining (brightly)'.
  • In the myths, Helen is the sister of Kastor and Polydeukes, even regarded as their twin, as well as the sister of queen Klytaimnestra.

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