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Menelaus (also Menelaos) is a figure from ancient Greek mythology and literature who was the king of Sparta and the husband of beautiful Helen, whose abduction by the Trojan prince Paris sparked off the legendary Trojan War. The story is most famously told in Homer's Iliad where Menelaus persuades his brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae, to form a great army from all the Greek city-states and sail to Troy to recapture Helen. During the war, Menelaus and Paris confront each other in a one-on-one fight. The Spartan king overwhelms Paris but the prince is saved by the goddess Aphrodite who whisks him from the scene in a magical cloud. The Greeks win the war and in Homer's Odyssey, we are told of Menelaus' journey home with Helen, stopping on the way at Crete, Cyprus, and Egypt.

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