Abstract

Abstract:

Three times in Iliad 3, Helen is called the daughter of Zeus, the only references in the poem to her parentage. This article examines the evidence about Helen's family from Hesiod and the Cypria, and argues for a traditional link between her ambiguous parentage and her role in the Trojan War. In the tradition, Helen is created by Zeus as a weapon to wipe out the heroes, and this instrumentality is more important than her genealogy. Although the Iliad makes no reference to this tradition, I show how our understanding of her Homeric character is informed and deepened by it.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2160-5157
Print ISSN
1040-3612
Pages
pp. 1-23
Launched on MUSE
2018-05-15
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2021
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