Who Was Helen of Troy?

In Greek Mythology Helen (known also as Helen of Troy and Helen of Sparta) was known as the most beautiful among the women. Zeus was traditionally considered to be her father and mother was Leda or Nemesis. Being a young girl Helen was kidnapped by Theseus and Pirithous, according to the destiny she belonged to Theseus, who settled her at his mother Aethra. During the journey of the kidnappers to underworld for Persephone, Helen was saved and sent back to her father.

The hearings about Helen’s beauty was spread so wide along the Greece and the most famous heroes  of Ancient Greece gathered to woo her. Tindareus, her Earth “father”, official husband of Leda was afraid to offend someone and according to the Odysseus advice, interrelated all the claimants by the oath to protect her future husband’s honor in future. After that the Helen’s husband became Menelaus (traditionally considered that his brother’s Agamemnon influence played a significant role, who was already married Helen’s sister).

In some time Goddess Aphrodite, carrying out he promises, given to Paris ”“ the son of Trojan King Priam, intruding him to Menelaus house. According to the most widely spread version Helen was attracted by young man and using her husband’s leaving ran away with Paris to Troy, taking the most valuable treasures and many slaves (Homer, VII 345””364). According to another version of the myth, that dates back (probably) to Hesiod, but exactly developed up to the 6th century B. C. Zeus and Hera replaced real Helen , by the ghost which was the real reason of the Trojan War, Helen herself was living under the protection of Proteus , waiting for Menelaus return from the war. There are several versions about traveling of Helen and Paris. Arriving finally to the Troy Helen attracted sympathy of many Troy dwellers despite the griefs she brought on their land.

So if we take into consideration all the factors it would be very hard to find out whether Helen was the real reason of the war. According to the some historians opinion the kidnapping of Helen was rather cause than ground of the war.

According to some historical and archeological documents found  in the ruins of Troy the relations between the city and Ancient Greek cities were quite complicated. There were a number of trading wars between the Greeks and the Trojans, who controlled trading on the shore within the Dardanelles.  But if we take Homer’s Iliad, there Helen was the one and only reason of the conflict.

Helen’s attitude and behavior during the war antique authors interpret differently. Homer seeing in all happening events the wish of Gods treats Helen without any condemnation; Helen’s affection to Paris he explains as Aphrodite’s influence, which could not be prevented by any living being (Homer, III 154””165). In the rest Helen feel uncomfortable and feel her position as a burden (Homer, III 396””412). Even in after Homer times and poems Helen was treated as wittingly helping the Greeks.

In the end it would be essential to note that Helen took very specific place in myths and legends of Trojan circle that is why numerous changes and remakes could not remove her goddess origin from Greek understanding and she was always treated as the most beautiful woman on Earth, worth starting a war.

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