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Of Greek origin.

From the Greek name “Ελένη”, Helénē.

The etymology of the name is uncertain. It is associated with the Greek word for the moon, “σελήνη” – selene– and with Venus, the goddess of love, beauty and desire.

In Greek mythology, Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, Queen of Laconia, also known as “Helen of Sparta”.

She was sister to Clytemnestra, Castor and Polydeuces, wife of King Menelaus and she was the most beautiful woman of her time.

Paris, the Prince of Troy abducted her and caused the Trojan War.

Helen was used by the early Christians, due to Saint Helena.

She was the mother of Constantine I, also known as Constantine the Great, who became the first Christian emperor of the Roman empire.

The name was commonly used as Ellen, during the Middle Ages in England.

In the form of Helen, it was used after the Renaissance.

It was very popular in the United States during the first decades of the 20th century.

In the ancient Greek world, the name had also a masculine form “Έλενος”, Helenos.

Other forms of the name are: Helena, Helene, Hellen, Ellen, Elena, Lena, Ella, Ellie, Nell, Nelle, Elle, Yelena.

Famous bearers are Helen Mirren, Helen Hunt, Helen Keller, Helen McCrory, Helen Slater, Helen Baxendale.

British actress Dame Helen Mirren is one of the greatest actresses of our time.

She is one of the few who achieved the “Triple Crown of Acting”, an Academy Award for Best Acting, a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play and several Emmy Awards.

The following video presents a short biography of Helen Mirren: