"Helen of Troy" by Howard David Johnson

   Helen of Troy ( circa 1194 B.C. ) The Queen of Sparta was often called "the face that launched a thousand ships" and "the most beautiful woman who ever lived". The Trojan War resulted when Paris, the prince of Troy carried her off during the reign of her husband, Spartan King Menelaus. 

   Here Helen has just seen the sea lights of her husband's enormous amphibious invasion fleet on the horizon.

   To recover Helen, the Achaeans under Agamemnon, brother of Menelaus lay ferocious siege to Troy to no avail for ten years until Hector was killed by Achilles and he by Paris. 

   Herodotus and Thucydides, like ancient pagan writers generally, accepted the Trojan War as historical, but criticized what they politely called "epic statements" in detail. Traditional genealogies, collated by Hecataeus of Miletus and others , enabled   Eratosthenes to date the fall of Troy to 1194 B.C. This is consistent with  the Roman scholar Pliny the elder and Egyptian records from Rameses' time as well.

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