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Lecture%2025[1] - Homer and the Heroic Code The Heroic Code...

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Homer and the Heroic Code 04/01/09
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The Heroic Code: Main Values Personal honor/excellence ( timê ) timê – only exists as a public quality timê of a given warrior can be enhanced through status objects geras – prize of special honor, given to the best warriors as an additional share of booty Kleos (eternal glory) – the ultimate goal of all Homeric heroes
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Achilles and the Heroic Code Achilles – example of heroic code in action Angry at Agamemnon because of slight to his honor; sees no wrong in sacrificing the rest of the army to his wrath Believes that kleos is more important than anything else When asked to choose between a long life without fame, and a short life followed by kleos , chooses the latter
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Heroic Code II: Different Types of Excellence Two types of excellence: 1. Excellence in battle 2. Excellence in council These types represent the contest between words and deeds ( logos vs. ergon ) The ultimate hero combines both types (e.g., Achilles and Hector) Type 1 hero: Diomedes Type 2 hero: Odysseus
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