Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece

Greek Heroes » Helen

Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world

Helen (known as "Beautiful Helen") was a woman of remarkable beauty. According to Greek mythology, she was the main reason for the legendary Trojan War. Euripides, the famous tragedian, states: "Helen's destiny was to cause deaths in order to relieve the earth from arrogant humans".

Family tree of Helen

Helen was a daughter of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Leda (or Nemesis). Because of her exceptional beauty, many men wanted to marry Helen, among them Theseus, the founder of Athens.
Eventually, Helen became the wife of Menelaos, the legendary king of Sparta. The couple gave birth to one daughter called Hermione and probably also a son with the name Nicostratos.

Personality of Helen

According to Euripides, Helen was a frivolous woman and intentionally unfaithful.

Appearance of Helen

Helen's appearance was similar to the immortal goddesses and Aphrodite used to describe her as the "most beautiful woman in the world". She had a good-looking body and dressed nicely. Her hands were white and she had a beautiful face. However, Helen used to characterize herself as "dog-faced" ("kynopis" in ancient Greek).

The Abduction of Helen and the Trojan War

While Helen was married to Menelaus, she was noticed by Paris, the prince of Troy. Amazed by her beauty, Paris abducted Helen and transferred her to his hometown Troy. However, according to another myth, Paris didn't abduct Helen, but actually persuaded her to come with him and abandon her daughter Hermione who was nine years old by that time.
Outraged by the abduction, Menelaus assembled a force with his brother Agamemnon and attacked Troy, causing a battle that lasted ten years.