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New Heroes in Antiquity: From Achilles to Antinoos
by Christopher P. Jones
Harvard University Press, 2010
eISBN: 978-0-674-05408-0 | Cloth: 978-0-674-03586-7
Library of Congress Classification BL785.J66 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 292.211

ABOUT THIS BOOK | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Heroes and heroines in antiquity inhabited a space somewhere between gods and humans. In this detailed, yet brilliantly wide-ranging analysis, Christopher Jones starts from literary heroes such as Achilles and moves to the historical record of those exceptional men and women who were worshiped after death. He asks why and how mortals were heroized, and what exactly becoming a hero entailed in terms of religious action and belief. He proves that the growing popularity of heroizing the dead—fallen warriors, family members, magnanimous citizens—represents not a decline from earlier practice but an adaptation to new contexts and modes of thought. The most famous example of this process is Hadrian’s beloved, Antinoos, who can now be located within an ancient tradition of heroizing extraordinary youths who died prematurely. This book, wholly new and beautifully written, rescues the hero from literary metaphor and vividly restores heroism to the reality of ancient life.

See other books on: Achilles | Antiquity | Gods, Greek | Heroes | Mythology, Greek
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