The Trojan prophetess. Cassandra was the daughter of Priam and Hecuba. Cassandra was also the sister of Hector, Paris and Helenus, who also had the gift of prophecy. Cassandra was sometimes called Alexandra, the feminine name of Alexander (Paris' other name).
Apollo had given her the gift of prophecy, hoping to win her love. When Cassandra rejected his love, Apollo had turned the gift into a curse. All her prophecy and foretelling will be accurate and true, but no one would believe her.
Cassandra foretold that Paris, her second oldest brother, would be about Troy's destruction after ten-year war with the Greeks. No one believed her until the war came.
During the final days of the war, the Greeks tried to capture Troy through stratagem of the Wooden Horse. Her people did not believe her when she told them that there were armed Greek warriors hidden within the Horse's belly. The Trojans thought that they had won the war, and started a celebration at that fateful night. Troy was taken by surprise, and by morning, the once mighty city had fallen.
During the killing and looting, Cassandra had sought sanctuary in Athena's temple. She clung to Athena's altar, praying for salvation. The Lesser Ajax, the Locrisan son of Oileus, pulled her away from the altar and raped her.
Odysseus fearing that Athena and the other gods would destroy them on the journey home, advised the other Greek leaders to stone the Lesser Ajax, for sacrilege he committed before Athena's altar. Ajax saved himself; he threw himself to Athena's defiled altar, pleading for mercy. The Greeks foolishly did not punish Ajax, so that many of them had incurred Athena's enmity and wrath.
At Athena's insistence, Poseidon sent a violent storm to destroy the much of the Greek fleet. Though Ajax managed to swim to safety and clung to a rock, Ajax defiantly boasted that not even the gods could kill him. Poseidon hurled a bolt of lightning that split the rock in two. The impetuous Ajax fell back into the sea and drowned.
Cassandra was given to Agamemnon to serve as his slave and concubine. Agamemnon was one of the few leaders to safely travel home by sea, because Agamemnon had the common sense of sacrificing to all the gods for a Greek victory at Troy.
However Agamemnon would not survive a single night at home. Cassandra had a vision that Agamemnon would be murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. She also foresaw her own death at Clytemnestra's hand.
Cassandra had told the Greek elders at Mycenae of her prophecy and her own fate. The elders tried to persuade her to flee for her life, but the seeress that no one believe, saw no escape for herself. She resignedly entered the palace. Not long after the doors closed behind her, Clytemnestra struck down Cassandra with an axe.
(Only the geographer Pausanias mentioned that Cassandra bearing twins, Teledamus and Pelops, to Agamemnon; these infants were also slaughtered by Aegisthus. The twins were buried in a single grave)
Andromache was the daughter of EŽtion (Eetion), the king of Thebes in the Troad. Andromache became the wife of the Trojan prince named Hector, the son of Priam and Hecuba. They had a son named Astyanax, who was also sometimes called Scamandrius.
When the Greeks assaulted Troy, Achilles was send with a strong contingents against the Troy's neighbouring cities, so to cut off supplies and reinforcement for Troy. Among those cities that Achilles sacked was Thebes. Achilles killed Andromache's father EŽtion and her seven brothers.
During the interlude in the battlefield, there's was moving scene of Hector meeting his wife and son at the temple of Athena. Andromache would lose her husband several days later. Hector had killed Patroclus, Achilles' beloved companion. The following day, Achilles sought and killed Hector in single combat, outside the city wall.
When Troy had fallen, Andromache would lose her son Astyanax. At Odysseus' advice, Astyanax was thrown off the wall, so that the son of Hector would not take any vengeance on the Greeks in the future.
To add insult to injury, the Greeks had given Andromache to Neoptolemus as a concubine, the son of the killer of her husband, father and brothers. However, Andromache and Helenus, the seer and brother of Hector, were well treated by Neoptolemus. Neoptolemus found a kingdom in Epeirus, a large region in north-west Greece. Andromache bore Neoptolemus three sons Ė Molossus, Pergamus and Pielus.
Neoptolemus had set Andromache and Helenus freed, when Neoptolemus decided to marry Hermione, the daughter of MenelaŁs (Menelaus) and Helen. Helenus and Andromache married and set up a kingdom in Buthrotum, a city in Epeirus.
In Euripides' tragedy, called Andromache, she was still serving as Neoptolemus' concubine when he married Hermione. The marriage didn't last long, because she had taken her cousin Orestes, the son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, as her lover. Orestes and Hermione conspired with MenelaŁs, to murder Neoptolemus. Once again Orestes committed bloody murder. Hermione would have had Orestes murdered Andromache and her sons, had the aged hero Peleus not rescue them and given them refuge in his kingdom.
Later, Molossus found a kingdom in northern Epeirus, which was named after himself, while Pergamus conquered a Mysian city called Teuthrania, which he renamed to Pergamon or Pergamum.
The most beautiful woman in the world. Helen of Sparta was better known as Helen of Troy. So she was really Greek, not Trojan. Helen had two main possible mothers:
One version, say that Helen was daughter of Nemesis, goddess of retribution, who in the form of a goose was ravished by Zeus in the form of swan. Nemesis lay a blue and silver egg, which somehow came into Leda's possession. When the egg hatched, Helen was born. Leda brought the girl up as her own daughter.
Another version told say, Nemesis was in her natural form. Aphrodite aided her father through a clever deception, where the love goddess in the form of an eagle, pursued Zeus, who was in the form of swan. The bogus swan sought protection from the eagle, in Nemesis' arms. When the Nemesis slept, the swan (Zeus) raped goddess. Like the previous version, she laid an egg, which was found by Leda.
A more popular version was that, it was Leda, daughter of Thestius, whom Zeus had seduced in the form of swan. Helen was born from one of several golden eggs lay by Leda. This would make her, the sister of Polydeuces and half-sister of Castor and Clymnestra, whose father was TyndareŁs (Tyndareus), king of Sparta. She was also half-sister of Timandra, PhlionoŽ (Phlione), and Phoebe.
There is yet another version, found in the Catalogue of Women, it say that Hesiod believed that neither Nemesis nor Leda was Helen's real mother. It say that Helen was the daughter of an unnamed Oceanid, who was seduced by Zeus.
Regardless of which one was her mother, authors still see Helen as the sister of Dioscuri (Castor and Polydeuces), and they were her protector.
While Helen was only twelve-year-old girl, a much older Athenian hero Theseus intended to marry her. Aided by his companion PeirthoŁs (Peirithous), they abducted her, instead of seeking her hand in marriage from TyndareŁs. Theseus left her in the care of his mother, Aethra.
As sister of the famous twins, Dioscuri (Castor & Polydeuces), they were more than a match for Theseus. The Dioscuri and their army attack Athens and brought their sister back to Sparta. The Dioscuri took Aethra as captive and used her as slave of Helen.
Some say that Iphigeneia was daughter of Helen and Theseus, but because of her age, Iphigeneia was brought up by Clytemnestra, as if Clytemnestra was her real mother. (See Theseus.)
Other authors say that Iphigeneia was really the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra.
As she reached marriageable age, she had many powerful suitors that TyndareŁs feared that any suitor she chooses would offend the others. Odysseus solved this problem by advising the Spartan king that all suitors must swear oaths, not only to accept whoever she chooses, but also rendered any aid to her future husband, in regard to Helen. She chose MenelaŁs (Menelaus), son of Atreus and brother of Agamemnon. MenelaŁs became king of Sparta. She bore him a daughter, Hermione.
When the Trojan prince, Paris came to court of Sparta, MenelaŁs entertained him for a week, before leaving for Crete to attend his grandfather's funeral. During MenelaŁs' absence, the goddess made Helen fall in love with Paris. Helen ran off to Troy with Paris and married him (See Judgement of Paris). This resulted in a war between the Greeks and Trojans that would last for ten years. She had the face that launched a thousand ships (1227 to be precise).
In one of the earlier scene of Homer's Iliad, Helen watched Greeks and Trojans marshalling the forces on the plain of Troy, with her father-in-law, King Priam of Troy. She identified the leaders of Greek forces for the Trojan king, such as Ajax and Odysseus. And while she looked, she wondered where her twin brothers were, not realising that they had died while she was in Troy for the last nine years.
Before the end of the war when Paris was killed, Paris' two brothers fought over her: Helenus and DeÔphobus. DeÔphobus won, and forced her to marry him. Helenus left Troy, after losing to his brother, hoping to reach Mount Ida, but Odysseus captured Helenus, who was a seer. When Troy fell to the Greeks, MenelaŁs killed DeÔphobus. He would have also kill Helen for her unfaithfulness and causing this long war. Though she was no longer young, she was still beautiful, that MenelaŁs immediately fell under her charm.
Either MenelaŁs' impatient to get home or his anger for the gods for allowing the war to last so long, he neglected to sacrifice to the gods. The same storm that killed the Lesser Ajax, drove MenelaŁs ships off course. Of the eighty ships, MenelaŁs had brought to Troy, only five ships survived the storm sent by Poseidon. MenelaŁs and Helen remained stranded in Egypt for seven years, before the gods allowed him to return to his kingdom.
A few years after MenelaŁs and Helen returned to Sparta, a guest had arrived to find news about his father's fate. This guest was named Telemachus, the son of Odysseus. MenelaŁs told Telemachus that according to the sea-god, Proteus, Calypso hold Odysseus captive on her island.
According to Apollodorus, he mentioned another legend that say that Helen had never been to Troy. When Paris abducted Helen, Zeus sent Hermes to spirit his daughter away to Egypt. Hermes created a phantom, made of cloud, to resemble Helen. So both Greeks and Trojans had fought over an apparition. So the real Helen never committed adultery with Paris, and later DeÔphobus.
This was the reason, why MenelaŁs was sent to Egypt after the war, so he can be reunited with his real wife. Apollodorus had derived his source from Euripides' play titled Helen.
The tragedian Euripides had also written that the real Helen was living in Egypt, when the Trojan War was fought; Paris had only carried off a phantom to Troy. MenelaŁs arrived in time, because Theoclymenus, the king of Egypt, wanted to force Helen to marry him. Theonoe, Theoclymenus' sister, helped MenelaŁs and Helen to escape. In a rage, Theoclymenus would have murdered his sister, except for the intervention of the messenger and the appearance of Helen brothers, the Dioscuri.
Upon their return, MenelaŁs gave his daughter Hermione, to Neoptolemus, the son of Achilles, in marriage. The marriage did not last long, when Orestes' madness and persecution from the Erinyes ended.
In the Euripides' play, Andromache, Orestes wanted to marry his cousin (Hermione). MenelaŁs together with his daughter Hermione and his nephew Orestes, they plotted the assassination of his son-in-law, Neoptolemus.
According to the Library, Apollodorus wrote that when Helen and MenelaŁs died and buried at Therapne, Hera bestowed immortality upon MenelaŁs because he was the son-in-law of Zeus. Helen and MenelaŁs lived their afterlife on the Isles of the Blessed (Elysium). This was in accordance with Proteus' foretelling in Egypt, of MenelaŁs' life, which Homer had alluded in the Odyssey.
According to Pausanias, Helen had to flee from Sparta, when MenelaŁs had died, because of MenelaŁs' two illegitimate sons had seized power in Sparta. Helen went to Rhodes, as suppliant to Polyxo, who was the widow of Tlepolemus. Tlepolemus was the son of Heracles and Helen's former suitor. So Tlepolemus had fought and died in Troy; Sarpedon, the Lycian leader, had killed Tlepolemus. Polyxo pretended to befriend Helen, but she with the help of her maids, exacted revenge for her husband's death, by hanging Helen from the tree.
Which ever way that Helen had died, she was worshipped as a goddess. According to one account, when Helen went to the Blessed Isles, she was given in marriage to the hero Achilles (though, according to other sources, Achilles had married Medea, instead of Helen).