Heroes and Villains
By N.S. Gill, About.com Guide
- Adversaries of Rome
- Plutarch's Heroes
- Barbarian Enemies of Rome
- Roman Villains and Scoundrels
- Villains From Myth and Legend
Heroes From Greek Myths and Legends
Heroes in Greek legends usually performed dangerous feats, killed villains and monsters, and won the hearts of local maidens. They may also have been guilty of numerous acts of murder, rape, and sacrilege.
- Most Important Greek Heroes
- Quiz - Which Greek Hero Are You?
- Quiz - Greek Heroes Trivia
- Eponymous Heroes of Athens
Achilles is the quintessential Greek hero of the Trojan War. The Iliad, attributed to Homer, tells his story.
Trojan War Heroes
The Trojan War story we hear about was written from the Greek perspective, so most of the heroes are Greek, rather than Trojan. The Trojan War belongs to the realm of legend.
Again, the written material is mostly from the Greek perspective, so there is a bias. These heroes were historical figures.
Sparta was a military state where the boys were trained from an early age to become soldiers fighting for the common good. There was less individualism among the Spartans than the Athenians and so fewer specifically named heroes.
The quintessential early Roman hero was the Trojan prince Aeneas, a figure from Greek and Roman legend. He embodied the virtues important to the Romans, including familial piety and proper behavior towards the gods.
Adversaries of Rome
These are enemies of Rome. Most exemplify the kind of courage in adversity we think of as heroic.
The famous men Plutarch put into his parallel lives of Greeks and Romans are often called heroes. Here you'll find our profiles of some of the men in the parallel lives not included in the lists above. You'll also an index page for Plutarch's bios of the individual heroes.
- Plutarch's Lives Index Page
- Plutarch's Life of Alexander the Great
- Plutarch's Life of Caesar
Barbarian Enemies of Rome
Here are some of the major external foes of Rome, most of whom might have destroyed either the Roman Republic or the Empire.
Roman Villains and Scoundrels
Even harder than determining who is a barbarian villain when you're writing from the Roman perspective is determining who is a Roman villain. Is it the man who defiles a religious ceremony? All the men who tried to take extra legal control of Rome or only those who failed? What about the so-called bad emperors who may have been well loved by the people, but hated by the historians?
Villains From Myth and Legend
The list of possible people and creatures to include here is almost endless, but here's a start, mostly from the exploits of the legendary heroes.