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Menelaus. Painting by Gordon Dean.

Menelaus (meh-neh-LAY-us). King of Sparta. One of the Greeks who besieged Troy to retrieve his wife Helen from the Trojan Paris. Helen had been bewitched by the Goddess of Love into eloping with Paris, and in the phrase of the poet Marlowe her face launched a thousand ships. These bore the Greek allies of Menelaus to the siege and ultimate downfall of Troy.