The NHM Trial of Helen of Troy

National Hellenic Museum

Following highly-acclaimed successes with The NHM Trials of Socrates, Antigone, and The Parthenon Marbles, the National Hellenic Museum once again partners with prominent judges and attorneys to take on another case with ancient roots and modern consequences – The NHM Trial of Helen of Troy.

Helen of Troy, “the face that launched a thousand ships”, has born the blame of the Trojan War, but is she a traitor or a victim? Helen was the wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. Paris, a Trojan prince, was a guest in his home. By the end of the evening’s festivities, Helen and Paris were together on a boat bound for Troy. 

In both ancient and modern times, people have argued about whether Helen went willingly with Paris or if she was kidnapped. Regardless, Helen’s flight from Troy caused the Trojan War, a 20-year conflict that resulted in innumerable casualties on both sides including the deaths of the great heroes Achilles and Hector. 

Helen’s culpability is at the heart of this age-old story, and our understanding of it raises timeless questions about the place of women in society and their control over their own lives and bodies. We ask did Helen willingly leave Sparta with Paris, thus betraying her home, or was she abducted by Paris? You decide! 

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