All  

Hero

Medea with her children. The children became the focus of a hero cult in ancient Greece.

Baby, Baby, Baby: Why Did the Ancient Greeks Turn Dead Children into Heroes?

When we use the term “hero” today while discussing Greek mythological figures, it usually designates a man whose superhuman exploits and semi-divine parentage make him a person of legend. But in real...
Samson and Delilah by Jose Etxenagusia, 1887.

Were Samson’s Superhuman Abilities Really That Far-fetched?

The story of Samson is one of the more far-fetched stories in the Bible. It’s like an ancient Superhero story; the story of a man whose magical hair gives such superhuman strength that he could kill...
Marvel Hi-Res Black Panther Image Revealed.

Becoming Beast: Marvel’s New Black Panther Movie Has a Surprising Medieval Connection

Lydia Zeldenrust / The Conversation Black Panther looks to be another hit for Marvel . The film has been highly anticipated, not least because it is a milestone in cinema with a black lead superhero...
Lemminkäinen and the black swan.

Lemminkäinen: Resurrection of the Handsome, Yet Frivolous Finnish Epic Hero

Thus became a mighty hero, In his veins the blood of ages, Read erect and form commanding, Growth of mind and body perfect But alas! he had his failings, Bad indeed his heart and morals, Roaming in...
The Great Horned Serpent was powerful and magical in Native American mythology.

Drowning, Poisoning, and the Dark Underworld. Meet the King of all Snakes, the wise Great Horned Serpent in Native American Cosmology

Since longer than history can recall, the western mind has been locked in a pattern of dualistic thinking. In the course of our experiences, the world is defined by a series of opposites, which...
Fight between Ushiwaka Maru (Minamoto no Yoshitsune) and Kumasaka Chôhan at the inn; bales and a torch on the ground, and Kisanda in the distance. (circa 1840-1843) By Utagawa Kuniyoshi.

Yoshitsune: The Silk Clad Warrior With a Noble Quest for Revenge

Apart from a very rich mythology, Japan also has numerous histories about heroes. One of these is the story of Yoshitsune. Walking around in fine silk and playing the flute, at first glance he seemed...
Hercules and the Leraean Hydra by John Singer Sargant

A Herculean Effort: What Led to the 12 Labors of Hercules and How Did He Succeed?

Classical mythology is full of heroes but Hercules (known to the Greeks as Heracles) is undoubtedly the most celebrated of them all. Although his heroic life was packed with daring escapades from...
Detail of ‘Caius Marius Amid the Ruins of Carthage’ (1807) by John Vanderlyn.

Gaius Marius was the Savior of Ancient Rome, but was he a Hero or Villain?

Gaius Marius was easily one of the Roman Republic’s most accomplished men. He was a beloved general, influential military reformer, and a massively successful politician; but later in his career, he...
Louvre Museum, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities: Gilgamesh and Lion, Human headed winged bull, Assyria.

The Ascension of Gilgamesh: Did the Epic Hero Actually Exist?

The Epic of Gilgamesh is widely recognized and frequently a required reading for world literature courses. The poem is considered a masterpiece in its own right, not just because it is the earliest...
Bible paper. Insert: Mesha stele.

This 2,800-Year-Old Stele Tells A Bible Story From A Different Point Of View

As soon as you fit the words “Bible” and “history” into the same sentence, people start reacting. Most people are in one of two camps: either every word of the Bible is completely, literally true, or...
Moses’ Horns.

4 Completely Different Versions of the Story of Moses

The story of Moses doesn’t just show up in the Bible. In the ancient world, nearly every culture had their own version of what happened. The Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans all had their own...
Heracles wrestling the Mares of Diomedes.

Heracles and the Mares of Diomedes: Greek Hero VS Man-Eating Beasts

By now, you’re probably aware that the Greek hero Heracles (a.k.a. Hercules) had to complete twelve arduous labors as retribution for killing his wife and kids in a divinely-induced rage. The eighth...
Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

Descent to the Underworld: The Little-Known Practices and Symbols in Ancient Mythology of the Great Below

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious...
The Boy's King Arthur: Sir Thomas Malory's History of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, Edited for Boys by Sidney Lanier (New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922).

Meet Magnus Maximus, the Roman Usurper-Turned-Welsh Hero Who Inspired King Arthur

Fourteen hundred years before Britain voted to leave the European Union, it tried (and failed) to Brexit the Roman Empire. Under the leadership of Spanish-born soldier Magnus Maximus, a chunk of the...
Mask of Zorro Legend

Joaquin Murrieta - The Man Whose Life Provided Inspiration for Zorro

Zorro is one of the icons of 20th century culture. Although he is a fictional character, his story was based on biographies of at least three men: Juan Nepomuceno Cortina, Tiburcio Vasquez, and the...
The Story of the Brave Horatius Cocles, One-Eyed Hero

The Story of the Brave Horatius Cocles, One-Eyed Hero

Through the centuries there have been many brave men who wrote their name in history with blood. One of these men was the glorious Roman Publius Horatius Cocles, a young officer in the army of the...

Pages