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Stealing HelenThe Myth of the Abducted Wife in Comparative Perspective$
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Lowell Edmunds

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691165127

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691165127.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

Helen Myth

Helen Myth

(p.103) 3 Helen Myth
Stealing Helen

Lowell Edmunds

Princeton University Press

This chapter turns to a comparison of the myth of Helen with “Abduction” as defined in Chapter 1. It reconstructs the myth by outlining the stages of Helen's life—her birth, her childhood, and so forth—and of episodes, which contain scenes of relatively independent actions, such as her abduction. Besides the events of Helen's life, the chapter also discusses the men most closely connected to her story, above all Menelaus and Paris. In addition, this chapter takes account of variants, recording and discussing them as they bear on the outline of Helen's life story. For this purpose, the chapter is guided by the principle that what is latest in the history of the sources may be earliest in the history of the myth.

Keywords:   Helen of Troy, abduction, Menelaus, Paris, life story, Helen myth

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