Helen of Troy was originally the Greek Queen of Sparta who was married to King Menelaus.

According to one myth, Helen was the child of Leda and Zeus. Leda bore Helen and Polydeuces from one egg and the offspring of her husband Tyndareus, the King of Sparta, from the another egg. The other set of twins were named Castor and Clytemnestra. In other versions, Helen is a daughter of Nemesis, the goddess who personified the disaster that awaited those suffering from the pride of hubris.

Helen was married to Menelaus. Since both Polydeuces and Castor (the only male offspring of Leda) had died already by the time Tyndareus passed away, Menelaus became King of Sparta.

Some myths say that Helen was bewitched by Aphrodite into loving Prince Paris of Troy (see Apple of Discord) see also: Helen of Troy. Others say she fell in love with him and willingly left behind Sparta, Menelaus and their nine year old daughter Hermione. In Euripides' play Helen, Hermes creates a likeness of Helen out of the clouds and Helen spends the entire war hiding in Egypt.

After the war, Helen returned to Menelaus and Sparta. Upon his death, she was exiled by their son, Megapenthes. Whilst Helen was undoubtedly a beautiful woman, if this myth is indeed based in fact, then there is a far more cynical reason for the fight over her. Menelaus' claim to the Spartan throne was based on his marriage to the daughter of the previous King (the matrilineal inheritance system).

Helen tragically perched
As the sea brings in the old gods
And burning ships
And dead men
The invincible Apollo is razing the battleground
Carelessly and at will
Laughing and cruel
And he cares for her not
His nymph that loved him so
Who waited in foreign lands and worshiped him
Sacrificed to him
Her gaze shifts to the crimson and cold beach
Paris on the shore
Bloodied by Hector
Hector lay slain by edge of Achilles
Great Achilles lays face down in the dirt
None are spared
None are spared
None except Apollo who laughs cruelly
And falls to the horizon
As a reminder to Helen that he can kill
Helen will cast herself to the water
Spilling and Cascading a great endless distance
And pray that her sacrifice will please the sea
But knows that it will not

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