New Heroes in Antiquity: From Achilles to Antinoos

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Overview


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...
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NEW HEROES IN ANTIQUITY

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Overview


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.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Review of Books online

It's an excellent book.
— Mary Beard

Times Literary Supplement

The quiet accumulation of data in this short but massively documented study sounds out many registers of ancient heroism—from Odysseus' uncanny libation of blood into a trench for the thirsty ghosts, through the domestic dignity of Attic reliefs, and eventually to Roman flights of fancy about the Elysian Fields, now reassuringly open to all the blessed dead.
— Jane Lightfoot

Simon Hornblower
This is an outstandingly interesting and important work about ancient Greek 'heroes,' undoubtedly a fresh and original contribution to the literature. It is beautifully written--a real pleasure to read. I devoured it at one sitting.
Glenn Most
Once again, Christopher Jones brilliantly illuminates the intricate complicities between religion and politics in the ancient world. With his deft scholarship and graceful style, Jones weaves together archaeology, history, poetry and philosophy, bringing to life a world in which outstanding service, valor, or talent could be rewarded, if not with full immortality, then at least with everlasting honors.
New York Review of Books online - Mary Beard
It's an excellent book.
Times Literary Supplement - Jane Lightfoot
The quiet accumulation of data in this short but massively documented study sounds out many registers of ancient heroism--from Odysseus' uncanny libation of blood into a trench for the thirsty ghosts, through the domestic dignity of Attic reliefs, and eventually to Roman flights of fancy about the Elysian Fields, now reassuringly open to all the blessed dead.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674035867
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/2010
  • Series: Revealing Antiquity Series, #18
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 1,033,364
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

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

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted July 7, 2014

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

    Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!

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