Helen of Troy (Myths and Legends of the World)
In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy was the most beautiful woman in the world. A daughter of the god , she is best known for the part she played in causing the Trojan Warlegendary war between the Greeks and the people of Troy that was set off by the kidnapping of Helen, wife of the king of Sparta; inspiration for Homer's epics the Iliad and the Odyssey, a story told by Homer in the Iliad] and the Odyssey]. Some scholars suggest that Helen was also a very ancient goddess associated with trees and birds.
Birth and Early Life. Some myths say that Helen's mother was Leda, the wife of King Tyndareus of . Others name Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, as her mother. Helen had a sister Clytemnestra, who later became the wife of King AgamemnonGreek king and commander of Greek forces in the Trojan War; later killed by his wife, Clytemnestra of Mycenae, and twin brothers Castor and Pollux, known as the Dioscuri.
Stories claiming Leda as Helen's mother tell how Zeus disguised himself as a swan and raped the Spartan queen. Leda then produced two eggs. From one came Helen and her brother Pollux. Clytemnestra and Castor emerged from the other. Other versions of the myth say that Zeus seduced Nemesis, and she laid the two eggs. A shepherd discovered them and gave them to Queen Leda, who...
(The entire section is 988 words.)
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