How Many Husbands Has Helen in the Troadesl A Note on Ε. Tro. 959-960

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Ra'anana Meridor


This note rejects the authenticity of lines 959-960 in Euripides’ Troades, where Helen refers to her marriage to Deiphobus, the younger brother of Paris, after the latter has been killed. While Euripides includes in the Troades many of the events recorded in in the lost epic Iliu Persis, he rejects the tale there of Menelaus recovering Helen after killing Deiphobus and announces in his prologue that the Greek army has taken hold of Helen. This innovation - and the omission of Deiphobus - is needed in order to create suspense during the play’s agon where Helen must defend herself in front of Menelaus.

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