or Therapne Greece.
lay at the top of the bluffs beside the E bank of the river
Eurotas, to the SE of Classical Sparta. Remains of a
Late Helladic settlement have been found on the hill
tops, but nothing of a palatial character. It has been
suggested that the Homeric city of Lakedaimon was at
or near Therapnai (Toynbee); others, however, argue
that Lakedaimon in Homer means the country ruled by
Menelaos, not the seat of his power (Hope Simpson & Lazenby).
A massive platform (16 x 23 m) built in the 5th c.
B.C. supported an altar—and perhaps a temple—of Helen,
who together with Menelaos was worshiped at Therapnai as a divinity. A temple at Therapnai is mentioned
by Alkman (F 14 Page). The cult center was also
called the Menelaion (Polyb. 5.18.3; 5.22.3). Helen
of Therapnai may originally have been a Lakonian nature goddess (cf. Helen's tree: Theok. Idyll
Bronze, lead, and other votives found at the Menelaion
show that a cult lasted from early Geometric times until
the 4th c. B.C. Pindar in Nemean
10 associates the Dioskouroi with Therapnai, but they were less significant there than Helen and her husband.
; Isok. Helen
63; J. G. Fraser,
Paus. Des. Gr
. (1898) III.358-60; A.J.B. Wace & M. S.
15 (1908-9) 108-16; A. J. Toynbee,
33 (1913) 246-47; F. Bolte, RE
X (1934) 2350-65;
F. W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius
(1957-) I.553; H. Waterhouse & R. Hope Simpson in BSA
55 (1960) 72-73; R. Hope Simpson & J. F. Lazenby, The Catalogue of the Ships in Homer's Iliad
G. L. HUXLEY