Image: Book III: Helen


So she spoke, and Helen, Zeus’s daughter was scared
and went, covering herself in her radiant, shining robe,
quiet, she escaped the notice of all the Trojan women, but the goddess was in the lead.
When they came to the beautiful house of Paris, 
the handmaids went quickly to their work,
but she, heavenly among women, went to the high-roofed bed chamber.  And laughter-loving Aphrodite seized a chair for her,
carrying it, the goddess set it before Paris,
and there Helen sat, daughter of Zeus of the Aegis,
having turned back her eyes, she reproved her husband with words:
“You come back from the fight.  How you wish to be destroyed on the spot, overpowered by the stronger man, who was my husband once before…”

ὣς ἔφατ᾽, ἔδεισεν δ᾽ Ἑλένη Διὸς ἐκγεγαυῖα,
βῆ δὲ κατασχομένη ἑανῷ ἀργῆτι φαεινῷ
σιγῇ, πάσας δὲ Τρῳὰς λάθεν: ἦρχε δὲ δαίμων.
αἳ δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ Ἀλεξάνδροιο δόμον περικαλλέ᾽ ἵκοντο,
ἀμφίπολοι μὲν ἔπειτα θοῶς ἐπὶ ἔργα τράποντο,
ἣ δ᾽ εἰς ὑψόροφον θάλαμον κίε δῖα γυναικῶν.
τῇ δ᾽ ἄρα δίφρον ἑλοῦσα φιλομειδὴς Ἀφροδίτη
425ἀντί᾽ Ἀλεξάνδροιο θεὰ κατέθηκε φέρουσα:
ἔνθα κάθιζ᾽ Ἑλένη κούρη Διὸς αἰγιόχοιο
ὄσσε πάλιν κλίνασα, πόσιν δ᾽ ἠνίπαπε μύθῳ:
‘ἤλυθες ἐκ πολέμου: ὡς ὤφελες αὐτόθ᾽ ὀλέσθαι
ἀνδρὶ δαμεὶς κρατερῷ, ὃς ἐμὸς πρότερος πόσις ἦεν.

(Iliad, 3.418-29)

I’m really happy with how this picture turned out.  I was aiming for a playful pinup-style photo with attitude.
In book 3, we get a closer look at Helen’s character within the epic.  It is a rare occasion that a mortal woman even speaks at all.  Though trapped, Helen manages to maneuver herself within this context.  Though is it still unclear whether we are to take her as an inanimate war-prize, or and outspoken woman, in charge of her surroundings.


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