troy

troy

Top Documentary Films: The Real History of Troy

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Top Documentary Films: The Real History of Troy Helen of Troy has become famous for her role in sparking the 10 year war between Troy and the combined leaders of Greece. This is only a small aspect of an interesting mythological character. This article will tell the story of Helen from her birth to her death. Helen was the child of Leda, a queen of Sparta and Zeus. Zeus is said to have come to her in the guise of a swan after he had been chased by an eagle. Not long after she became pregnant. She also slept with her husband, Tyndareus the king of Sparta on the same night that she fell pregnant to Zeus. The result was two sets of twins - Kastor (Caster) and Polydeukes (Polydeuces) as the male twins and Helen and Clytaemestra (Klytaemestra) as the female twins. In some stories Leda gave birth to an egg which contained Helen, Kastor and Polydeukes, with Clytaemestra born normally. Clytaemestra was the daughter of Tyndareus and not Zeus. Helen was abducted by the Athenian hero Theseus and his friend Pirithous when she was still as child. Theseus decided that he would keep her until she was old enough to marry. She was returned to Sparta after her twin brothers captured Aethra the mother of Theseus and held her as a hostage. This early event set the scene for the most famous story surrounding Helen. Helen had many suitors which concerned Tyndareus because if he chose one man over another it could lead to fighting between the suitors. He told the suitors that if they were to present themselves as a suitor to his step daughter they must swear an oath to defend her if the need ever arose. All suitors present agreed to this. Shortly after, Menelaus was chosen as the new husband of Helen. Helen and Menelaus were given the kingdom of Sparta (Tyndareus stepped down as king). In an age of basileis (chieftain rulers) it was normal that the chief stepped aside for the better man. The marriage was at first normal with Helen behaving as a faithful wife to Menelaus. Meanwhile, Paris a prince of Troy had been chosen to judge a beauty competition between Athene, Hera and Aphrodite. They had all claimed the golden apple of discord because it was inscribed with the words 'to the fairest.' Modesty was not the strong point of the goddesses and each believed that they should own it. Zeus decided that only a mortal could decide who was the fairest in order to avoid the gods coming to blows over any decision made. Paris was chosen as judge. The goddesses offered him bribes so that he would choose them. Hera offered Paris kingship over Europe, Athene offered greatness in battle and Aphrodite offered the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris was a shallow character and had no interest in greatness as a ruler or in war, however women were of interest to him. He chose Aphrodite and awarded her the golden apple of discord. He promptly set off to claim his prize: Helen. Paris arrived at the court of Menelaus pretending to be an ambassador from Troy. He soon left with Helen. Some stories assert that she went willingly, while others maintain that she was raped and taken against her will. Some stories say that Helen was dispatched to Troy but never arrived, instead she landed in Egypt and spent the next 10 years there with her moral standing intact. The oath that all of Helen's suitors had sworn years before was now used to gather the Greek rulers together. They finally gathered at Aulis and set sail for Troy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/849 http://www.allaboutturkey.com/troy.htm