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Who Is Who in Greek Legend?

A Who's Who List of Greek Heroes from Greek Legend, Myth, and the Trojan War

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When you're reading the literature and history of Ancient Greece, there are a few names that should be as familiar to you as Shakespeare, the Bible, Kennedy, or Hitler. Below you will find a list of such major names from legend for quick reference.

Related features on this site are listed beneath each description.

The first alphabetical group consists of heroes from before the Trojan War; then come Trojan War names beginning with Achilles. After the Trojan War heroes come the legendary non-humans.

Also see my ranking of the Top Heroes in Greek Mythology and The Interconnectness of the Greek Heroes.

Atalanta

Peleus and Atalanta wrestling, black-figured hydria, ca. 550 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen
PD Courtesy of Bibi Saint-Pol at Wikipedia.
A rare item in Greek mythology - a woman hero. Atalanta was the lone woman on the quest for the Golden Fleece and the Calydonian Boar Hunt.

Bellerophon

Bellerophon, Pegasus, and the Chimera. Attic red-figure epinetron, c. 425-420 B.C.
C.C. Marsyas Wikipedia.
Bellerophon was a Greek hero who rode on the winged horse Pegasus; killed the Chimera monster, and tried to fly Pegasus to Olympus.

Cadmus

Library of Congress Annex Doors, showing people who contributed to writing, including Cadmus
CC Flickr User takomabibelot
Cadmus was sent on a vain quest to find his sister Europa. He settled in Boeotia and founded the city of Thebes, instead.

Perseus

Perseus Followed by the Gorgons, by the Gorgon Painter c. 580 B.C. Louvre.
Public Domain. Courtesy of Bibi Saint-Pol at Wikipedia.
Perseus was the Greek hero who decapitated Medusa; founded Mycenae. His biological father was Zeus who impregnated Perseus' mother Danae in a shower of gold.

Theseus

Theseus was the Athenian hero who volunteered to be one of the victims of the Minotaur. With the help of one of the Minotaur's half-sisters, Theseus put an end to the Minotaur and found his way out of the labyrinth, built by Daedalus (of wax-wings fame), in which the Minotaur had been hidden. Theseus reorganized the country of Attica.

Achilles

Achilles Kills Trojan Prisoner Before Charun Armed With a Hammer.
PD Bibi Saint-Pol. Courtesy of Wikipedia.
Achilles is the quintessential Greek hero. During the Trojan War, Achilles was the Greek's best warrior; his nymph mother held him by his heel when she dipped him in the River Styx making him immortal everywhere but there.

Agamemnon

The Sacrifice of Iphigenia, with Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and two soldiers holding Iphigenia
CC Flickr User virtusincertus
Agamemnon was a Mycenean king, the brother-in-law of the infamous Helen, and the leader of all the Greek forces who went to Troy (to fight the Trojan War) for the purpose of recovering Helen for her Greek husband, Menelaus.

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