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Stealing Helen – The Myth of the Abducted Wife in Comparative Perspective - Princeton Scholarship Online
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Stealing Helen: The Myth of the Abducted Wife in Comparative Perspective

Lowell Edmunds


It's a familiar story: a beautiful woman is abducted and her husband journeys to recover her. This story's best-known incarnation is also a central Greek myth—the abduction of Helen that led to the Trojan War. Stealing Helen surveys a vast range of folktales and texts exhibiting the story pattern of the abducted beautiful wife and makes a detailed comparison with the Helen of Troy myth. This book shows that certain Sanskrit, Welsh, and Old Irish texts suggest there was an Indo-European story of the abducted wife before the Helen myth of the Iliad became known. Investigating Helen's status in a ... More

Keywords: Greek myth, Helen of Troy, Trojan War, Indo-European goddess, ancient Greece, Pythagoreans, Simon Magus

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780691165127
Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691165127.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lowell Edmunds, author
Rutgers University