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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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Helen in the Fifth Century and After

Helen in the Fifth Century and After

(p.197) 5 Helen in the Fifth Century and After
Stealing Helen

Lowell Edmunds

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the fifth-century strands of reception of Helen. The Helens discussed in this chapter are a selection made to illustrate the postepic narrative as presupposed by various writers in various media. In addition to these fifth-century strands, the chapter also turns to the fourth century, which is another important strand of reception. The fourth century traces a strand which begins with the Pythagoreans in Croton in southern Italy and leads on to Goethe by way of Simon Magus. Another strand begins with the first fictional Helen, which can be found in Ovid. The chapter accompanies this discussion with an introduction into the concept of fiction. Finally, this chapter provides an example of the parallel phenomenon in Greek literature.

Keywords:   Helen of Troy, fifth century, fourth century, postepic narrative, fifth-century Helens, fictional Helen, fiction, Greek literature

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