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), also known as Helen of Sparta, was said to have been the most beautiful woman in the world.She was married to King Menelaus of Sparta but was abducted by Prince Paris of Troy after the goddess Aphrodite promised her to him in the Judgement of Paris.Archaeologists have unsuccessfully looked for a Mycenaean palatial complex buried beneath present-day Sparta. Euripides' play Helen, written in the late 5th century BC, is the earliest source to report the most familiar account of Helen's birth: that, although her putative father was Tyndareus, she was actually Zeus' daughter.In the form of a swan, the king of gods was chased by an eagle, and sought refuge with Leda. Leda then produced an egg, from which Helen emerged.
A cult associated with her developed in Hellenistic Laconia, both at Sparta and elsewhere; at Therapne she shared a shrine with Menelaus. Her beauty inspired artists of all times to represent her, frequently as the personification of ideal human beauty.
This resulted in the Trojan War when the Achaeans set out to reclaim her.
She was believed to have been the daughter of Zeus and Leda, and was the sister of Clytemnestra, Castor and Polydeuces, Philonoe, Phoebe and Timandra. A competition between her suitors for her hand in marriage saw Menelaus emerge victorious.
She therefore changed shape into various animals as she attempted to flee Zeus, finally becoming a goose.
Zeus also transformed himself into a goose and raped Nemesis, who produced an egg from which Helen was born.
Pausanias traveled to Sparta to visit the sanctuary, dedicated to Hilaeira and Phoebe, in order to see the relic for himself.