Greek - King of Sparta. Son of Atreus and Aerope. Brother of Agamemnon. Husband of Helen. Father of Hermione. In some accounts he was the son of Pleisthenes and had a son, Nicostratus, by either Helen or a nymph and another, Megapenthes, by a slave. He welcomed Paris, son of the king of Troy, to his court in Sparta but when he left for Crete, Paris carried off his wife Helen to Troy, so precipitating the Trojan War. During the battle, he came face to face with Paris and would have killed him had not Aphrodite intervened to save him. The Trojans might well have agreed, at that point, to hand back Helen but Pandarus, or Athena in some stories, shot and wounded Menelaus and the battle was resumed. At the fall of Troy he was reunited with Helen but when they returned to Sparta they found that his brother Agamemnon had been killed by Clytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. They in turn had been killed in revenge by Orestes. Menelaus was instrumental in having Orestes condemned to death. Orestes then seized Helen and Hermione, forcing Menelaus to change his mind and the death sentence was commuted to exile. When Helen was taken up to Olympus by Zeus to escape Orestes' sword, Apollo intervened in the affair and ordered Menelaus to re-marry and to give his daughter Hermione to Orestes. Some accounts say that the Helen he was reunited with was the substitute Helen and both of them sailed to Egypt to collect the real Helen. He was shipwrecked and rescued by Theone. In some versions, both Helen and Menelaus were taken up to Elysium. At times, referred to as Menelaus.

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