N S Gill – Ancient/Classical History

Main Heroes in Greek Mythology

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The Legendary Heroes:
These are the main heroes you will run into when reading Greek mythology. Several are connected by adventure and lineage, the latter of which is pretty obvious when you consider Zeus’ tendency to impregnate all attractive mortal women he encounters.

Atalanta

Bellerophon

Cadmus

Hercules

Jason

Orpheus

Perseus

Theseus

Trojan War

Achilles and Ajax play a board game with knucklebones on this late 6th-century lekythos, a type of oil-storing vessel associated with funeral rites. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license. Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011)

The Trojan War heroes are basically a more recent generation of hero. They are also considered a bit inferior to the pre-Trojan War legendary heroes (some of whom are even the sons of important gods), as Odysseus explains in Book VIII.221ff of the Odyssey:

But of all others I declare that I am best by far, of all mortals that are now upon the earth and eat bread. Yet with men of former days I will not seek to vie, with Heracles or with Eurytus of Oechalia, [225] who strove even with the immortals in archery.
Homer. The Odyssey with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PH.D. in two volumes. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1919. 

Achilles has an immortal mother, but she is not a king of the sky or sea, but merely a minor deity.

Achilles

Agamemnon

Ajax

Hector

Odysseus

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