Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Helen, the beautiful woman whose abduction by Paris was the cause of the fall of Troy. Her father was said to be Zeus, who visited her mother Leda in the form of a swan. Her great beauty caused her to be carried off in her youth to Attica by Theseus and Peirithous; but she was rescued by her half-brothers Castor and Polydeuces, or Pollux, and afterwards given in marriage to Menelaus. From him Paris, with the help of Aphrodite, carried her off to Troy. Then Menelaus got together a mighty host of Achaeans, some of whose leaders had been Helen's suitors, and after a ten years' siege Troy was taken. There are various accounts of what happened to her later. One makes her marry Deiphobus, the brother of Paris, and betray him to Menelaus, with whom she returns to Sparta. In another she marries Achilles. In a third she is driven from Greece and flies to Rhodes, where she is strangled by Polyxo. In two plays of Euripides she is an important character. In the Troades she uses all the arts of apology to win back Menelaus. Another myth, alluded to by Stesichorus and Herodotus, related that only a phantom Helen went to Troy, the real Helen being safe in Egypt, all the time. The last Greek poet who dealt with the subject was Quintus Smyrnaeus. Virgil, in the AEneid, makes her salvation from the wrath of AEneas in the temple of Vesta come from Venus.