Heroes

If a hero is properly defined as somebody who does something dangerous to help somebody else, then the heroes of Greek mythology do not qualify. They were a pretty selfish bunch, often with additional antisocial tendencies thrown into the bargain--in other words, not exactly role models for the younger generation of today. But knowing their names and exploits is essential for understanding references in literature and even popular culture today.

So let's recognize and celebrate Hercules and Perseus and the others by their proper dictionary definition: "In mythology and legend, a man or woman, often of divine ancestry, who is endowed with great courage and strength, celebrated for his or her bold exploits, and favored by the gods."

Aeneas

Aeneas was a Trojan hero in Greek mythology, son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. He is more extensively mentioned in Roman mythology...


Aeneas was a Trojan hero in Greek mythology, son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. He is more extensively mentioned in Roman mythology, and is seen as an ancestor of Remus and Romulus, founders of Rome. Aphrodite made all Greek gods fall in love with mortal women, and Zeus, to punish her, made her fall in love with Anchises, who was a herdsman near Mount Ida. Aphrodite appeared in front of him, and the herdsman was smitten by her beauty. 

After sleeping together, Aphrodite revealed her true identity to him, who feared for any consequences that might afflict him. Aphrodite reassured him that there would be no problem as long as he kept it a secret. She also told him that she would give birth to Aeneas. In the Iliad, Aeneas was the leader of the Trojan Dardanians, and the main lieutenant of Hector. Aphrodite protected him throughout the war, and was also helped by Apollo, and even Poseidon who normally favoured the Greeks. In Roman literature, mainly the Aeneid written by Virgil, he was one of the few Trojans not killed during the Trojan War. He travelled to Italy, where he settled in the region where Rome would later be built by his descendants, Remus and Romulus.

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