Heroic Era of Ancient Greece


History of the Heroic Era of Ancient Greece



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Perspective


In Greek mythology, the history of the Heroic era of ancient Greece is the period between the coming of the Greeks to Thessaly and their return from Troy. It was deemed one of the five Ages of Man by Hesiod, and spans roughly six generations. While the heroes denoted by the term were not divine, they were superhuman, and they were celebrated as such in the literature of Homer.

The Greek heroes can be grouped into an approximate chronology based on events such as the expedition of Jason and the Argonauts and the Trojan War. Many of these early heroes were descended from the gods and were part of the founding narratives of various city-states. They also became the ancestors of later heroes. The Phoenician prince Cadmus, a grandson of Poseidon, was the first Greek hero and the founder of Thebes.

Perseus, famous for his exploits well before the days of his great-grandson, Heracles, was the son of Zeus. Perseus beheaded the Medusa, saved Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus, and was the legendary founder of Mycenae. Aeacus was also a son of Zeus. Bellerophon was descended from the nymph Orseis. Oenomaus, king of Pisa, in the Peloponnese, was the son of Ares. Among these early heroes the three – Cadmus, Perseus and Bellerophon – were considered the greatest Greek heroes and slayers of monsters before the days of Heracles.


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Index

Heroic Age IndexSocietyAchaeans: OriginsLegends: ArgonautsThebes | Daily LifeFamilyMarriage | PowerDorian ConquestGovernanceSiege of TroyEconomy




Heroic Age: Index

Society

Society: Achaeans

Achaeans: Origins

Achaeans: Legends

Legends: Jason and the Argonauts

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Legends: Thebes

Society: Daily Life

Society: Family

Society: Marriage

Power

Power: Dorian Conquest

Power: Governance

Power: Siege of Troy

Economy

Up to Index

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