Helen of Troy

Helen of Troy : Greek Classics

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Helen of Troy - By A. Lang - The character and history of Helen of Troy have been conceived of in very different ways by poets and mythologists. In attempting to trace the chief current of ancient traditions about Helen, we cannot really get further back than the Homeric poems, the Iliad and Odyssey. Philological conjecture may assure us that Helen, like most of the characters of old romance, is "merely the Dawn," or Light, or some other bright being carried away by Paris, who represents Night, or Winter, or the Cloud, or some other power of darkness. Without discussing these ideas, it may be said that the Greek poets (at all events before allegorical explanations of mythology came in, about five hundred years before Christ) regarded Helen simply as a woman of wonderful beauty. Homer was not thinking of the Dawn, or the Cloud when he described Helen among the Elders on the Ilian walls, or repeated her lament over the dead body of Hector. The Homeric poems are our oldest literary documents about Helen, but it is probable enough that the poet has modified and purified more ancient traditions which still survive in various fragments of Greek legend.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 94 pages
  • 177.8 x 254 x 5.33mm | 235.87g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514284138
  • 9781514284131