Helen of Troy

Helen of Troy

Helen was the wife of Menelaus, King of Argos and brother of Agamemnon. Helen was abducted by the Trojan prince Paris and taken as his prize for choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess in a competition with Athena and Hera.

The Trojan War was a ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek forces led by King Agamemnon of Mycenae. The purpose of the expedition was to reclaim Helen. (1)

Helena is a cognate of the Greek Helenē, which is derived from the root ēlē (light, torch, bright). The name is borne in Greek legend by the beautiful wife of the king of Sparta. Her abduction by the Trojan prince Paris sparked off the Trojan War. (2)



1. Helen at the Ancient History Encyclopedia, Troy (Retrieved on October 21, 2017).

2. Helena at Baby Name Wizard (Retrieved on October 21, 2017).

  • Photo: Theseus pursuing a woman, probably Helen. Side A from an Attic red-figure bell-krater, c. 440–430 BC. Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities; Musée du Louvre, Paris, France. Komaris Painter • Public Domain.