οὐδ’ ἔβας ἐν νηυσὶν εὐσέλμοις,
οὐδ’ ἵκεο πέργαμα Τροίας· 
This account is not true
You did not board well-benched ships
You did not go to the fortress of Troy
ὥσπερ τὸ τῆς Ἑλένης εἴδωλον ὑπὸ τῶν ἐν Τροίᾳ Στησίχορός φησι γενέσθαι περιμάχητον ἀγνοίᾳ τοῦ ἀληθοῦς; 
Just as Helen’s image was fought over by those at Troy, says Stesichorus, in ignorance of the truth
This departure from the Iliadic account  is seldom regarded as contemporaneous in origin with it and hastily dismissed as “Post-Homeric.” One assumes that the myth of Helen’s phantom is merely a reactionary, regional invention designed to exculpate Helen of her guilt in cuckolding her husband—Paris stole away from Sparta with a double of Menelaos’ wife. Such is Marcel Detienne’s point of view who pursues the nexus between Stesichorus, Magna Graecia and the Pythagoreans: to him, the myth of Helen’s phantom is “une invention pythagoricienne,” under which Theagenes of Rhegium’s allegorical apologies of Homer would also be subsumed. 
Though deliberately enigmatic, as is typical of Rg Vedic style,  key elements and connections are ascertainable in this text dated to the 11-10th century BCE. In both Greece and India, 1) the two figures are immediate relatives (sister or mother) of the most important twins in the mythologies of Greece and India respectively, the Dioscuri and the Aśvin; 2) this triad is hippomorphic and/or has strong affinities with horses  ; 3) Saranyu/Helen disappear and are reported missing, their husbands look for them; 4) a solar component and temporal cycles underpin the myths of both figures  ; 5) Helen’s/Saranyu’s husband is mortal; she is not; 6) despite or because of the archaic Laconian inscription FΕΛΕΝΑ, Saranyu and Helen most likely share the same etymology *S(w)elen-  ; 7) Saranyu/Helen disappear and are separated from their twin relatives; 8) Saranyu/Helen both have εἲδωλα. As Doniger avers, “Saranyu, Helen […] are all reflections of the same shared story.“ 
“ὦ φίλ’, ἐπεί μ’ ἔμνησας ὀϊζύος, ἣν ἐν ἐκείνῳ
δήμῳ ἀνέτλημεν μένος ἄσχετοι υἷες Ἀχαιῶν,
ἠμὲν ὅσα ξὺν νηυσὶν ἐπ’ ἠεροειδέα πόντον (105)
πλαζόμενοι κατὰ ληΐδ’, ὅπῃ ἄρξειεν Ἀχιλλεύς,
ἠδ’ ὅσα καὶ περὶ ἄστυ μέγα Πριάμοιο ἄνακτος
μαρνάμεθ’· ἔνθα δ’ ἔπειτα κατέκταθεν ὅσσοι ἄριστοι·
ἔνθα μὲν Αἴας κεῖται ἀρήϊος, ἔνθα δ’ Ἀχιλλεύς,
ἔνθα δὲ Πάτροκλος, θεόφιν μήστωρ ἀτάλαντος, (110)
ἔνθα δ’ ἐμὸς φίλος υἱός, ἅμα κρατερὸς καὶ ἀταρβής,
Ἀντίλοχος, περὶ μὲν θείειν ταχὺς ἠδὲ μαχητής·
ἄλλα τε πόλλ’ ἐπὶ τοῖς πάθομεν κακά· τίς κεν ἐκεῖνα
πάντα γε μυθήσαιτο καταθνητῶν ἀνθρώπων;
οὐδ’ εἰ πεντάετές γε καὶ ἑξάετες παραμίμνων (115)
ἐξερέοις, ὅσα κεῖθι πάθον κακὰ δῖοι Ἀχαιοί·
πρίν κεν ἀνιηθεὶς σὴν πατρίδα γαῖαν ἵκοιο.
εἰνάετες γάρ σφιν κακὰ ῥάπτομεν ἀμφιέποντες
παντοίοισι δόλοισι, μόγις δ’ ἐτέλεσσε Κρονίων.
ἔνθ’ οὔ τίς ποτε μῆτιν ὁμοιωθήμεναι ἄντην (120)
ἤθελ’, ἐπεὶ μάλα πολλὸν ἐνίκα δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς
παντοίοισι δόλοισι, πατὴρ τεός, εἰ ἐτεόν γε
κείνου ἔκγονός ἐσσι· σέβας μ’ ἔχει εἰσορόωντα.
ἦ τοι γὰρ μῦθοί γε ἐοικότες, οὐδέ κε φαίης
ἄνδρα νεώτερον ὧδε ἐοικότα μυθήσασθαι. (125)
ἔνθ’ ἦ τοι εἷος μὲν ἐγὼ καὶ δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς
οὔτε ποτ’ εἰν ἀγορῇ δίχ’ ἐβάζομεν οὔτ’ ἐνὶ βουλῇ,
ἀλλ’ ἕνα θυμὸν ἔχοντε νόῳ καὶ ἐπίφρονι βουλῇ
φραζόμεθ’ Ἀργείοισιν ὅπως ὄχ’ ἄριστα γένοιτο.
αὐτὰρ ἐπεὶ Πριάμοιο πόλιν διεπέρσαμεν αἰπήν, (130)
[βῆμεν δ’ ἐν νήεσσι, θεὸς δ’ ἐκέδασσεν Ἀχαιούς,]
καὶ τότε δὴ Ζεὺς λυγρὸν ἐνὶ φρεσὶ μήδετο νόστον
Ἀργείοισ’, ἐπεὶ οὔ τι νοήμονες οὐδὲ δίκαιοι
πάντες ἔσαν· τῶ σφεων πολέες κακὸν οἶτον ἐπέσπον
μήνιος ἐξ ὀλοῆς γλαυκώπιδος ὀβριμοπάτρης, (135)
ἥ τ’ ἔριν Ἀτρεΐδῃσι μετ’ ἀμφοτέροισιν ἔθηκε.
τὼ δὲ καλεσσαμένω ἀγορὴν ἐς πάντας Ἀχαιούς,
μάψ, ἀτὰρ οὐ κατὰ κόσμον, ἐς ἠέλιον καταδύντα, —
οἱ δ’ ἦλθον οἴνῳ βεβαρηότες υἷες Ἀχαιῶν, —
μῦθον μυθείσθην, τοῦ εἵνεκα λαὸν ἄγειραν. (140)
ἔνθ’ ἦ τοι Μενέλαος ἀνώγει πάντας Ἀχαιοὺς
νόστου μιμνῄσκεσθαι ἐπ’ εὐρέα νῶτα θαλάσσης·
οὐδ’ Ἀγαμέμνονι πάμπαν ἑήνδανε· βούλετο γάρ ῥα
λαὸν ἐρυκακέειν ῥέξαι θ’ ἱερὰς ἑκατόμβας,
ὡς τὸν Ἀθηναίης δεινὸν χόλον ἐξακέσαιτο, (145)
νήπιος, οὐδὲ τὸ ᾔδη, ὃ οὐ πείσεσθαι ἔμελλεν·
οὐ γάρ τ’ αἶψα θεῶν τρέπεται νόος αἰὲν ἐόντων.
ὣς τὼ μὲν χαλεποῖσιν ἀμειβομένω ἐπέεσσιν
ἕστασαν· οἱ δ’ ἀνόρουσαν ἐϋκνήμιδες Ἀχαιοὶ
ἠχῇ θεσπεσίῃ, δίχα δέ σφισιν ἥνδανε βουλή. (150)
νύκτα μὲν ἀέσαμεν χαλεπὰ φρεσὶν ὁρμαίνοντες
ἀλλήλοισ’· ἐπὶ γὰρ Ζεὺς ἤρτυε πῆμα κακοῖο·
ἠῶθεν δ’ οἱ μὲν νέας ἕλκομεν εἰς ἅλα δῖαν
κτήματά τ’ ἐντιθέμεσθα βαθυζώνους τε γυναῖκας.
ἡμίσεες δ’ ἄρα λαοὶ ἐρητύοντο μένοντες (155)
αὖθι παρ’ Ἀτρεΐδῃ Ἀγαμέμνονι, ποιμένι λαῶν·
ἡμίσεες δ’ ἀναβάντες ἐλαύνομεν· αἱ δὲ μάλ’ ὦκα
ἔπλεον, ἐστόρεσεν δὲ θεὸς μεγακήτεα πόντον.
ἐς Τένεδον δ’ ἐλθόντες ἐρέξαμεν ἱρὰ θεοῖσιν,
οἴκαδε ἱέμενοι· Ζεὺς δ’ οὔ πω μήδετο νόστον, (160)
σχέτλιος, ὅς ῥ’ ἔριν ὦρσε κακὴν ἔπι δεύτερον αὖτις.
οἱ μὲν ἀποστρέψαντες ἔβαν νέας ἀμφιελίσσας
ἀμφ’ Ὀδυσῆα ἄνακτα δαΐφρονα ποικιλομήτην,
αὖτις ἐπ’ Ἀτρεΐδῃ Ἀγαμέμνονι ἦρα φέροντες·
αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ σὺν νηυσὶν ἀολλέσιν, αἵ μοι ἕποντο, (165)
φεῦγον, ἐπεὶ γίνωσκον, ὃ δὴ κακὰ μήδετο δαίμων.
φεῦγε δὲ Τυδέος υἱὸς ἀρήϊος, ὦρσε δ’ ἑταίρους.
ὀψὲ δὲ δὴ μετὰ νῶϊ κίε ξανθὸς Μενέλαος,
ἐν Λέσβῳ δ’ ἔκιχεν δολιχὸν πλόον ὁρμαίνοντας,
And then the Elderian [Gerenian] horseman Reterner  [Nestor] replied:
“friend, since you recall to mind the sorrows, which
we unconquerable sons of the Achers [Achaeans] endured in that land,
What we endured with our ships on the misty sea
In search of plunder, following Achewatic’s [Achilles’  ] command,
And all the things over which we fought round the great city of lord Ransomee [Priam  ]
And there the best among us were cut down,
There Fame-of-the-Fathers [Patroklos], councilor equal to the gods,
There fell my dear son as well, mighty and fearless,
Ambush-Substitute [Antilochus], who excelled at running and fighting.
And many other things we suffered there—bad. Who, among mortal men,
Could tell everything? Not even if you stayed here for five or six years questioning me how many horrors the resplendent sons of the Achers [Achaeans] suffered there would be enough before you gave up and returned to your homeland.
For nine years we continuously planned their destruction
With all sorts of stratagems, but the son of Cronus barely gave completion to our endeavors,
No one ever before could have wished to match our cunning,
Since resplendent Woedious [Odysseus] prevailed once and for all
With all sorts of stratagems—your father–if indeed it is true that you are
His offspring: wonder seizes me as I gaze upon you.
And your speech is very similar to his, one would never have thought that a young man could speak so similarly. The truth is, resplendent Woedious [Odysseus] and I
Never disagreed either in the assembly or in the council,
But with one mind in spirit and purpose
We signified to the Lucent [Argives] the best course of action.
But after we thoroughly sacked the steep city of Ransomee [Priam],
Then Skyer [Zeus] conceived in his mind a sorrowful homecoming
For the Lucent [Argives], since not all were reasonable
Or just; many of them bore a sad destiny on account of
The destructive wrath of the Owl-Vision daughter of the Thundering Father,
Who brought about discord between the two Intrepidsons.
And the two brothers summoned all of the Achers [Achaeans]
Back, but not in the proper manner—as the sun was setting,
And they came heavy with wine, the sons of the Achers,
And the two recounted the account as to why they gathered the army
Setarmy [Menelaos] enjoined all the Achers [Achaeans] to seek their homecoming
On the broad back of the sea.
But this did not at all please Primesetter [Agamemnon;] for he wished to hold
The army back and sacrifice sacred hecatombs,
Hoping that he would placate Athena’s ghastly anger,
Fool, little did he know that she would not be persuaded:
For the minds of gods eternally being are not quickly easily changed.
Thus the two of them quarreled exchanging indignant
Words; and the well-greaved Achers [Achaeans] made wondrous
Noise; split were their opinions. We spent the night
Turning these unpleasant things in our minds; for Skyer,
Moreover, was hatching a grievous disaster
At dawn, some of us drew our ships into the resplendent brine
We put our possessions and deep-girdled women on board
Half of the army remained and was held back
By Intrepidson Primesetter [Agamemnon], herdsman of the host.
We the other half raised the anchor and scooted off; some of us
Sailed very swiftly, and God smoothed the monster-bearing expanse.
Landing in Tenedos, we sacrificed sacrifices to the gods,
With the hope of returning home; but Skyer did not yet plan our homecoming,
Harsh one. He aroused again yet a second quarrel.
Some of them turned back and boarded the curved ships
Led by the battle-minded astute lord Woedious [Odysseus],
Doing a favor to Intrepidson Primesetter;
But I fled with the company of ships that followed me
Since I knew the divinity was devising disasters.
So did Tydeus’ martial son flee, and he too roused his companions.
After a long time, blond Setarmy [Menelaos] joined us
And reached us in Lesbos driven by his long sails
The old wise man places great emphasis on the suffering and deaths, which the sons of the Achaians underwent at Troy, and yet fails to mention Helen, even when he goes out of his way to refer specifically to their capture of women: κτήματά τ’ ἐντιθέμεσθα βαθυζώνους τε γυναῖκας “We put our possessions and deep-girdled women on board.” This omission is all the more troubling on the part of Nestor, because some hundred lines later, he resumes the narration of his nostos and tells how he and Menelaos escaped, again without ever mentioning Helen either (3.276-303):
Ἀτρεΐδης καὶ ἐγώ, φίλα εἰδότες ἀλλήλοισιν·
ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε Σούνιον ἱρὸν ἀφικόμεθ᾽, ἄκρον Ἀθηνέων,
ἔνθα κυβερνήτην Μενελάου Φοῖβος Ἀπόλλων
οἷς ἀγανοῖς βελέεσσιν ἐποιχόμενος κατέπεφνε,
πηδάλιον μετὰ χερσὶ θεούσης νηὸς ἔχοντα,
Φρόντιν Ὀνητορίδην, ὃς ἐκαίνυτο φῦλ᾽ ἀνθρώπων
νῆα κυβερνῆσαι, ὁπότε σπέρχοιεν ἄελλαι.
ὣς ὁ μὲν ἔνθα κατέσχετ᾽, ἐπειγόμενός περ ὁδοῖο,
ὄφρ᾽ ἕταρον θάπτοι καὶ ἐπὶ κτέρεα κτερίσειεν.
ἀλλ᾽ ὅτε δὴ καὶ κεῖνος ἰὼν ἐπὶ οἴνοπα πόντον
ἐν νηυσὶ γλαφυρῇσι Μαλειάων ὄρος αἰπὺ
ἷξε θέων, τότε δὴ στυγερὴν ὁδὸν εὐρύοπα Ζεὺς
ἐφράσατο, λιγέων δ᾽ ἀνέμων ἐπ᾽ ἀυτμένα χεῦε,
κύματά τε τροφέοντο πελώρια, ἶσα ὄρεσσιν.
ἔνθα διατμήξας τὰς μὲν Κρήτῃ ἐπέλασσεν,
ἧχι Κύδωνες ἔναιον Ἰαρδάνου ἀμφὶ ῥέεθρα.
ἔστι δέ τις λισσὴ αἰπεῖά τε εἰς ἅλα πέτρη
ἐσχατιῇ Γόρτυνος ἐν ἠεροειδέι πόντῳ·
ἔνθα Νότος μέγα κῦμα ποτὶ σκαιὸν ῥίον ὠθεῖ,
ἐς Φαιστόν, μικρὸς δὲ λίθος μέγα κῦμ᾽ ἀποέργει.
αἱ μὲν ἄρ᾽ ἔνθ᾽ ἦλθον, σπουδῇ δ᾽ ἤλυξαν ὄλεθρον
ἄνδρες, ἀτὰρ νῆάς γε ποτὶ σπιλάδεσσιν ἔαξαν
κύματ᾽· ἀτὰρ τὰς πέντε νέας κυανοπρῳρείους
Αἰγύπτῳ ἐπέλασσε φέρων ἄνεμός τε καὶ ὕδωρ.
ὣς ὁ μὲν ἔνθα πολὺν βίοτον καὶ χρυσὸν ἀγείρων
ἠλᾶτο ξὺν νηυσὶ κατ᾽ ἀλλοθρόους ἀνθρώπους·
τόφρα δὲ ταῦτ᾽ Αἴγισθος ἐμήσατο οἴκοθι λυγρά.
For the two of us sailed together from Bruiseland [Troy  ],
Intrepidson [the son of Atreus  ] and I, holding each other dear.
But when we reached holy Sounion, the headland of the Athenians,
Irradiating [Phoebus] Apollo drew near and struck down with his gentle shafts
Setarmy’s [Menelaos’  ] helmsman who held the rudder of the swift ship with his hands
Attention [Phrontis] the son of the Helper [Onetor] was his name, who
excelled among the tribes of men for steering ships, whenever the gale blew.
Thus, he was held back, though eager for his journey,
So that he could bury his companion and perform the burial rites.
But when he arrived in haste over the wine-colored sea
At steep mount Malea on his hollow ships,
wide-seeing/loud-sounding Skyer [Zeus] showed him
A heinous path, and poured upon him the blast of the shrill winds and waves,
Swollen and huge, equal to mountains.
Then he scattered our company of ships, sending some to Crete,
Where the Kydonians lived around the streams of Iardanos.
There is a smooth, steep rock in the sea
On the border of Gortyn in the misty sea:
Where the south wind drives the large wave toward the headland on the left
Toward Phaistos, and a small rock keeps the large wave away
Some of the ships came there, and the men hardly avoided destruction
As the waves dashed the ships against the waves
Borne by the wind and the water, the five dark-prowed ships drew near Egypt.
Gather there much livelihood and gold,
He wandered there with his ships among foreign-speaking men
Meanwhile, Goatskinnen [Aegisthus] was devising baneful plans at home.
In these additional twenty eight lines, Nestor remains silent about Helen, but the last two, which he devotes to summarizing Menelaos’ own journey, go beyond the time they spent together and anticipate future events, either revealing Nestor’s prophetic powers or a post-nostos meeting between Nestor and Menelaos during which the latter told the former about his adventures after the two split. What is interesting, though, in this argument from silence, is Nestor’s prediction that Menelaos will amass great wealth in the lands of Egypt and beyond. Given the traditional collocation of Helen and wealth in epic poetry, (Ἑλένην καὶ κτήμαθ’ ἅμ’ αὐτῇ “Helen and her treasures”  ), Nestor’s prediction could be construed by a contemporary audience as an elliptical allusion to Menelaos’ finding his wife in Egypt: where Menelaos finds wealth, Menelaos finds his wife. This could explain why he never mentioned her at Troy in the first place.
Ἀργείων Τρώεσσι φόνον καὶ κῆρα φέροντες.
ἦλθες ἔπειτα σὺ κεῖσε: κελευσέμεναι δέ ς᾽ ἔμελλε
δαίμων, ὃς Τρώεσσιν ἐβούλετο κῦδος ὀρέξαι:
καί τοι Δηΐφοβος θεοείκελος ἕσπετ᾽ ἰούσῃ.
τρὶς δὲ περίστειξας κοῖλον λόχον ἀμφαφόωσα,
ἐκ δ᾽ ὀνομακλήδην Δαναῶν ὀνόμαζες ἀρίστους,
πάντων Ἀργείων φωνὴν ἴσκους᾽ ἀλόχοισιν.
αὐτὰρ ἐγὼ καὶ Τυδεΐδης καὶ δῖος Ὀδυσσεὺς
ἥμενοι ἐν μέσσοισιν ἀκούσαμεν ὡς ἐβόησας.
νῶι μὲν ἀμφοτέρω μενεήναμεν ὁρμηθέντε
ἢ ἐξελθέμεναι, ἢ ἔνδοθεν αἶψ᾽ ὑπακοῦσαι:
ἀλλ᾽ Ὀδυσεὺς κατέρυκε καὶ ἔσχεθεν ἱεμένω περ.
ἔνθ᾽ ἄλλοι μὲν πάντες ἀκὴν ἔσαν υἷες Ἀχαιῶν,
Ἄντικλος δὲ σέ γ᾽ οἶος ἀμείψασθαι ἐπέεσσιν
ἤθελεν. ἀλλ᾽ Ὀδυσεὺς ἐπὶ μάστακα χερσὶ πίεζεν
νωλεμέως κρατερῇσι, σάωσε δὲ πάντας Ἀχαιούς:
The carved horse, in which we sat, all of us best of the Lucent [Argives]
Bearing slaughter and doom to the Bruisans [Trojans].
Thither you [Helen] came, you were urged on
By a divinity, who wished to extend glory to the Bruisans;
And Battleterror [Deiphobos] the Godlike went along with you,
Thrice you circled the hollow ambush touching it,
And you called by name the best of the Donaans [Danaans]
Imitating the voice of the wives of all the Lucent,
Tydeuson and I and resplendent Woedious
Sitting in the middle heard how you shouted
The two of us burned with the desire either to react
And rush out, or reply at once from inside:
But Woedious restrained us, so we stopped, eager though we were.
Then all the others stayed quiet, sons of the Achers,
Rumorresponder-Callback [Antiklos] alone wished to answer you
With words, but Woedious firmly pressed his jaws shut
With his strong hands, and saved all the Achers.
ὑμεῖς γὰρ θεαί ἐστε πάρεστέ τε ἴστέ τε πάντα,
ἡμεῖς δὲ κλέος οἶον ἀκούομεν οὐδέ τι ἴδμεν:
Follow me now Muses owning Olympian homes
For you are goddesses, always there and know all things,
But we can only hear rumors and we don’t know.
As we put the pieces of the puzzle together, the Odyssean Helen is cast as a deceptive Muse (or even Siren), who no longer charms and deceives with her sight, but with her voice. We may add to this nexus the close parallel between the Hesiodic Muses’ role in bringing “about the oblivion of misfortunes and the cessation of cares” (λησμοσύνην τε κακῶν ἄμπαυμά τε μερμηράων: Theogony 55) and Helen’s drug, which as we saw above, “dissolves all grief , anger, and enables men to forget all problems” (νηπενθές τ᾽ ἄχολόν τε, κακῶν ἐπίληθον ἁπάντων: Odyssey 4.230). What is more, an emphasis on human consumption is common to the description of the Muses in the Theogony who address mortals as γαστέρες ‘stomachs’ (55) and that of Helen who hands her guests and her spouse a special potion at a banquet.