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Heroes?

Post  IridescentBlue on Fri Jul 12, 2013 2:20 am

This may have been answered before, but I did do a brief look-through of the previous posts here and didn't see this question. How does the Hellenic religion view the heroes? Did they exist? Are they like tall tales? Perhaps they existed, but the stories are "exaggerated" (for lack of better term)? Do we strive to be like them? In what ways do we want to be like the heroes? Thoughts?
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Re: Heroes?

Post  Erodius on Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:09 am

IridescentBlue wrote:This may have been answered before, but I did do a brief look-through of the previous posts here and didn't see this question. How does the Hellenic religion view the heroes? Did they exist? Are they like tall tales? Perhaps they existed, but the stories are "exaggerated" (for lack of better term)? Do we strive to be like them? In what ways do we want to be like the heroes? Thoughts?

That really depends quite a lot on what you mean by 'hero' and to which hero you are referring.

To clarify, here are the several most common uses of the word 'hero' as appear in the English Glossary used by the Orphic sodality.

1) The Heroes are any deified mortals.  
2) Heroes are special men of great achievement who lived during and before the Trojan War, what is called the Heroic Age.  They dwell in the area of the VIIIth Natural Law, which is the realm of the Heroes, i.e., those who are about to become deified.
3) A Hero is a demigod: a soul having one divine parent and one mortal parent.  
4)  A Hero may refer to an ancestor to whom sacrifices are given, such as the founders of cities.  
5) Hero is sometimes used by Homer as a name for princes or nobles

So, it depends on the instance and context.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Heroes?

Post  Out of Phlegethon on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:11 pm

It is an interesting question that leads us further into the various traditions within Hellenic religiosity.  Heroes in Homer, for example; we can learn from their practical virtues (which help us from striking so many discordant notes in our own lives), but we can also learn to think of the works of Homer in a more subtle fashion.  In this sense, viewing a hero may become divorced from a strict attempt at virtue when a myth is read esoterically.  The model offered by Sallustius on myth in On the Gods and the World may help answer some questions in this latter way: theological, psychic, physical, material, and mixed.  I do not have time to elaborate what all of this might mean for the heroes (or in our own day and age when we generally say "kill your heroes" and then secretly make celebrities our heroes) but I can give a link:

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Re: Heroes?

Post  Anniemal on Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:16 pm

Refering to Hesiod in 'Works and Days' Zeus created 5 generations of beings (read from ll. 106-108 at sacred- texts). The fourth generation is the generation of demi-gods, so if you are talking about heroes, you might include them.
So talking about an early stage of greek Olympianism that would make us cousins, from one source but not from the same race as the heroes.
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Re: Heroes?

Post  Erodius on Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:50 pm

Anniemal wrote:Refering to Hesiod in 'Works and Days' Zeus created 5 generations of beings (read from ll. 106-108 at sacred- texts). The fourth generation is the generation of demi-gods, so if you are talking about heroes, you might include them.
So talking about an early stage of greek Olympianism that would make us cousins, from one source but not from the same race as the heroes.

Certainly. Again, I refer back to the delineation posted previously:

1) Heroes are any deified mortals.
2) Heroes are special men of great achievement who lived during and before the Trojan War, what is called the Heroic Age. They dwell in the area of the VIIIth Natural Law, which is the realm of the Heroes, i.e., those who are about to become deified.
3) A Hero is a demigod: a soul having one divine parent and one mortal parent.
4) A Hero may refer to an ancestor to whom sacrifices are given, such as the founders of cities.
5) Hero is sometimes used by Homer as a name for princes or nobles.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Heroes?

Post  Anniemal on Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:16 am

Erodius wrote:Certainly. Again, I refer back to the delineation posted previously:

Yes, I read that and I think that is a very fine resumé.

I just thought it would be interesting to add some more quotes and sources on that topic in the way Out of Phlegethon started it to get a picture of how this resumé evolved.

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Re: Heroes?

Post  Erodius on Mon Jul 15, 2013 7:24 am

I just thought it would be interesting to add some more quotes and sources on that topic

Homer, of course, is the primary root of much regarding the 'Heroic Age'. Beyond that, the early chapters of Pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotheca, as well as The famous Metamorphoses of Ovid, also tell concise recensions of the major mythology of the important heroes. Hesiod (and many other mythographies) address the idea of demigods, and regarding local hero cults, it's usually necessary to turn to Pausanias and/or Herodotus. Wink

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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