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Human or superhuman: The concept of hero in ancient Greek religion and/in politics

DOI: 10.2298/gei0802007s

Keywords: hero , polls , religion , aristocracy , democracy , epic poetry

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Abstract:

The word hero appears in Greek language with a twofold meaning. On one hand it is used for denoting a divine being, who lived a mortal life, but after doing some great deed deserved to become god. On the other hand, the hero stands for great and brave warrior who is ready to give his life in order to gain immortal glory, and continue to live in the social sphere, in the memory of his descendants. Exactly this epic narrative survived and was exploited many times, as a very convenient and useful pattern in con strutting the ideal of brave warrior, ready to die for his country when necessary. I am going to requisition the relation between two meanings of the word hero, in order to get deeper insight in the meaning of this twofold term in the social and cultural context in which it appears, as a religious concept or as a narrative in war propaganda.

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