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Helen of Troy : goddess, princess, whore

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1st American ed.

For close to three thousand years, Helen of Troy has been both the embodiment of absolute female beauty and a reminder of the terrible power that beauty can wield. Because of her double marriage to the Greek king Menelaus and the Trojan prince Paris, Helen was held responsible for an enduring enmity between East and West. But who was she? Helen exists in many guises: a matriarch from the Age of Heroes; the focus of a cult that conflated Helen the heroine with a pre-Greek fertility goddess; the home-wrecker of the Iliad; the bitch-whore of Greek tragedy; the pin-up of Romantic artists. Focusing on a flesh-and-blood aristocrat from the Greek Bronze Age, cultural and social historian Hughes reconstructs the context of her life. Through the eyes of a young Mycenaean princess, Hughes examines the physical, historical, and cultural traces that Helen has left on locations in Greece, North Africa, and Asia Minor.--From publisher description.

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Livonia Public Library 398.35 HUG (Text)
Adult Nonfiction

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