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Revealing Antiquity #18: New Heroes in Antiquity: From Achilles to Antinoos

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Revealing Antiquity #18: New Heroes in Antiquity: From Achilles to Antinoos Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Book News Annotation:

Jones (classics and history, Harvard University) traces the term "hero" through Greek and Roman antiquity to the early Christian era. While the word remained the same, the meaning altered considerably. In Homer, a hero was one who fought and died for his cause, both among the Greeks and the Trojans. This was followed by local celebrations of warriors who had died in battle, although they might not be widely known. The term spread to include warriors who survived with honor and patriots who had never taken up arms. Eventually it included athletes, artists and public benefactors. Tomb inscriptions indicate that people began commemorating family members as heroes, so much so that some scholars have suggested that, in this case, it just means dead. Jones argues that it still had the meaning of a virtuous person. The deification of Hadrian's special friend, Antinoos, who died in Egypt, is a late example of a failed attempt to create a new hero. The Christian use of the word "hero" to describe martyrs has made some think that the cult of saints is just a continuation of the cult of heroes. Jones believes that is not the case but that Christian scholars continued to admire the heroes of Greek myth and enjoy the stories about them. This series of lectures provides new insight into a term taken for granted by most historians. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

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. This book, wholly new and beautifully written, rescues the hero from literary metaphor and vividly restores heroism to the reality of ancient life.

About the Author

Christopher P. Jones is George Martin Lane Professor of the Classics and of History, Emeritus, Harvard University.

Harvard University

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Illustrations
  • Introduction
  1. Poetic Heroes
  2. Local Heroes
  3. Warriors and Patriots
  4. Athletes, Poets, Philosophers
  5. Private Heroes
  6. Greek Heroes in a Roman World
  7. Antinoos
  8. Heroes and Saints
  • Appendix: Living Heroes?
  • Notes
  • Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674035867
Author:
Jones, Christopher P.
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
Mythology, Greek
Subject:
Gods, Greek
Subject:
Antiquities & Archaeology
Subject:
Ancient and Classical
Subject:
Ancient & Classical
Subject:
Religion Western-General and Comparative Religion
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
Revealing Antiquity
Series Volume:
18
Publication Date:
January 2010
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
10 halftones
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
8 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Western Religions » General and Comparative Religion
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Revealing Antiquity #18: New Heroes in Antiquity: From Achilles to Antinoos New Hardcover
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Product details 144 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674035867 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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. This book, wholly new and beautifully written, rescues the hero from literary metaphor and vividly restores heroism to the reality of ancient life.
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