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Definition of MENELAUS
: a king of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon, and husband of the abducted Helen of Troy
Origin of MENELAUS
Latin, from Greek Menelaos
First Known Use: 13th century
In Greek mythology, the king of Sparta and the younger son of Atreus. When his wife, Helen, was abducted by Paris, he asked the other Greek kings to join him in an expedition against Troy, thus beginning the Trojan War. He served under his brother Agamemnon. At the war's end he recovered Helen and brought her back to Sparta instead of killing her as he had intended. Having forgotten to appease the gods of defeated Troy, he endured a hard voyage home, and many of his ships were lost.