By Christopher P. Jones
Heroes and heroines in antiquity inhabited an area someplace among gods and people. during this specific, but brilliantly wide-ranging research, Christopher Jones starts off from literary heroes corresponding to Achilles and strikes to the ancient checklist of these remarkable women and men who have been worshiped after dying. He asks why and the way mortals have been heroized, and what precisely turning into a hero entailed when it comes to spiritual motion and trust. He proves that the turning out to be approval for heroizing the dead—fallen warriors, relatives, magnanimous citizens—represents now not a decline from prior perform yet an version to new contexts and modes of suggestion. the main recognized instance of this approach is Hadrian’s liked, Antinoos, who can now be positioned inside of an historical culture of heroizing striking youths who died in advance. This booklet, entirely new and fantastically written, rescues the hero from literary metaphor and vividly restores heroism to the truth of historical existence. (20100319)
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Additional info for New Heroes in Antiquity: From Achilles to Antinoos (Revealing Antiquity)
The word “honor” (timê) carries with it a notion of price or value, and 26 New Heroes in Antiquity often refers to something material or immaterial given as a mark of esteem. Agôn, as its connection with “agony” implies, means “contest, struggle,” rather than “games,” as it is often translated. Like burial within the city, periodic contests are not exclusive to heroes, but are very often a mark of heroization. 9 From the commemoration of Brasidas, Thucydides turns to what is in effect an act of reverse commemoration, the abolition of all marks of Hagnon, the original founder of the city, so that the citizens destroyed the “buildings connected with Hagnon” (ta Hagnôneia oikodomêmata).
By contrast, the fallen have not died, but have entered on a new existence in Hades. “Who, we may well ask ourselves, are waiting there to welcome the leader of these men? Are we not convinced that we would see, greeting Leosthenes with wonder, those of the so-called demigods who sailed against Troy, men whose deeds he so far excelled, though his exploits were akin to theirs? . ”19 A discovery on Thasos in the northern Aegean in the 1950s produced a new example of collective heroization in a city other than Athens, but here too the word “hero” is avoided.
11 Warriors and Patriots 27 The period of the Persian Wars in the ﬁrst quarter of the ﬁfth century appears to have brought about a new development in the commemoration of the war-dead, whereby they receive collective honors, as opposed to the commemoration of aristocratic founders such as Battos at Cyrene and Miltiades in the Chersonese. At the same time, the surviving texts are reluctant to use the word “hero” in these contexts, especially at Athens, and prefer to talk of the dead as enjoying a state of bliss in the underworld and to locate them towards the heroic end of a range of possible existences rather than making them into full heroes.