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Helen Of Troy

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Helen Of Troy

In Greek mythology, Helen  known as Helen of Troy (and earlier Helen of Sparta), was the daughter of Zeus and Leda (or Nemesis), wife of King Menelaus of Sparta and sister of Castor, Polydeuces and Clytemnestra. Her abduction by Paris brought about the Trojan War. Helen was described by Christopher Marlowe as having "the face that launched a thousand ships."

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The origins of Helen's myth date back to the Mycenaean age. Her name first appears in the poems of Homer, but scholars assume that such myths invented or received by the Mycenaean Greeks made their way to Homer. Her mythological birthplace was the Sparta of the Age of Heroes, which features prominent in the canon of Greek myth: in later ancient Greek memory, the Myceneaean Bronze Age became the age of the Greek heroes. The kings, queens and heroes of the Trojan Cycle are often related to the gods, since mythic origins gave stature to the Greeks' heroic ancestors. The fall of Troy came to represent a fall from an illustrious heroic age, remembered for centuries in oral tradition before being written down. Recent archaeological excavations in Greece suggest that modern-day Laconia was a distinct territory in the Late Bronze Age, while the poets narrate that it was a rich kingdom. Archaeologists have unsuccessfully looked for a Mycenaean palatial complex buried beneath present-day Sparta. An important Mycenaean site at the Menelaion was destroyed by c. 1200 BC, and most other Mycenaean sites in Lakonia also disappear. There is a shrinkage from fifty sites to fifteen in the early twelfth century, and then to fewer in the eleventh century.

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