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Menelaus

Menelaus

In Greek mythology, Menelaus, king of Sparta*, was the son of King Atreus of Mycenae and the brother of the great warrior Agamemnon*. Menelaus's beautiful wife, Helen, the daughter of Zeus* and a woman called Leda, was at the center of the events that led to the Trojan War.

Before her marriage to Menelaus, Helen lived with Leda and Leda's husband, King Tyndareus of Sparta. When the time came for Helen to marry, she had many suitors. To prevent any violence against her future husband, the Greek warrior Odysseus made his countrymen swear to protect the man she agreed to wed. Helen chose Menelaus, who later became king of Sparta.

The conflict with the Trojans was set in motion when Aphrodite, the goddess of love, took steps to win a beauty contest judged by Paris, a prince of Troy. If declared the most beautiful goddess, Aphrodite promised to give Paris the most beautiful woman in the worldHelen. Aphrodite won the contest; Paris went to Sparta and took Helen away with him to Troy. The Trojans refused to send her back. Agamemnon raised an army of Greek warriors to retrieve Helen, reminding them of their oath to her husband. The story of the war between Greece and Troy appears in Homer's* epic the Iliad.

During the war, Menelaus played a minor role in the fighting, but he did face Paris in single combat. Although Menelaus came close to killing Paris, Aphrodite intervened and saved Paris, her personal favorite.

epic long poem about legendary or historical heroes, written in a grand style

immortal able to live forever

After the Greeks defeated Troy, Menelaus returned to Sparta with Helen. However, the journey home was very difficult because he had neglected to offer sacrifices to the Trojan gods. The story of the voyage is told in Homer's Odyssey]. When Menelaus died, he became immortal because he had married a daughter of Zeus. He joined Helen in Elysium, a place of ideal happiness in the afterlife.

See also Agamemnon; Greek Mythology; Helen Of Troy; Paris; Trojan War.

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"Menelaus." Myths and Legends of the World. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Menelaus

Menelaus (mĕnəlā´əs), in Greek mythology, king of Sparta, son of Atreus. He was the husband of Helen, father of Hermione, and younger brother of Agamemnon. When Paris, prince of Troy, abducted Helen, Menelaus asked the other Greek kings to join him in an expedition against Troy, beginning the Trojan War. Menelaus, although subordinate to Agamemnon, took a prominent part in the war. After the fall of Troy, he became reconciled with Helen, but before they finally reached Sparta they experienced a long series of adventures. Menelaus appears in the Iliad and the Odyssey.

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"Menelaus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Menelaus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 12, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/menelaus

"Menelaus." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved December 12, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/menelaus

Menelaus

Menelaus in Greek mythology, king of Sparta, husband of Helen and brother of Agamemnon. Helen was stolen from him by Paris, an event which provoked the Trojan War. They were reunited after the fall of Troy.

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"Menelaus." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 12 Dec. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Menelaus." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 12, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/menelaus

"Menelaus." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved December 12, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/menelaus

Menelaus

MenelausAndreas, Antaeus, Laius, Menelaus •Aeneas, Apuleius, Judas Maccabaeus, Linnaeus, Piraeus, uraeus

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"Menelaus." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved December 12, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/menelaus-0