From Epic to Hellenic: Part Two of Six

From Epic to Hellenic: Part Two of Six

Connecting Tradition with Heroism

This is part two of a six part article exploring the Classical traditions of heroism. My high school philosopher teacher once remarked that one can perceive perfection as a balance. With that in mind, consider the idea that perfection in a hero is found in the balance of masculinity and femininity.

On the other hand, the Aeneid was written down the first time and was not a work of oral tradition. The differences in the actual composition of them are apparent, but the way that Homer was able to speak so eloquently in this composition and pass it down is quite remarkable. One must consider how much of the actual epics of Iliad and Odyssey were changed because of oral tradition whereas the Aeneid remains a fairly solid work as the only changes are done by monks at a later date.

The Homeric tradition could contribute to the way that the cultures define their heroes since the ones retelling would have the opportunity to add or emphasize characteristics.

Understanding how the Homeric tradition forms the works is essential to understanding the works themselves. “Homer uses a network of “words”, which scholars have called formulas, to support the making and re-making of the Iliad and Odyssey” states Foley regarding the composition of the Iliad and Odyssey (Foley). Foley’s assertion about Homeric epithets supports the idea that the actual composition of the word retained these epithets. Certain phrases such as “swift-footed Achilles” and “grey-eyed Athena” are universal in almost every translation and Athena is considered a driving force in the plotline of both epics.

Interesting to note is that Dalby asserts that the epics were not physically written down by a man, but rather than a female (Dalby). It is generally accepted that Homer’s blindness and illiteracy prevented him from physically writing down the words of the epics, but taking into account that it could have been a woman addresses the possibility that the fact that Athena cross dresses and controls the plot means that a feminist influence was present, not necessarily from Homer himself (Dalby).

While Homer stands as the cornerstone of the epics in regards to the heroism archetype, femininity could potentially play a role in Greek and therefore Roman heroism. Consider how the composition of the Iliad and Odyssey remains a mystery to everyone, now consider that the same way the composition of the epics is disputed, the role of femininity combatting masculinity could be derived from this as well. The beloved hero Aeneas is described as dressing extravagantly and luxuriously at one point in the Aeneid, which can be interpreted as feminine (Vergil). The femininity apparent in the Aeneid regarding Aeneas could parallel the femininity in the Iliad and Odyssey that came from the idea of a woman writing down the epics at a much later date rather than a man. In book one of the Iliad, Achilles throws a hissy fit over Briseis and the fact that Agamemnon wants her as well and refuses to fight (Homer).

This rejection of masculinity plays into the idea that part of the heroism archetype deals with femininity.

Furthermore, Odysseus feigned insanity by ploughing his fields and sowing salt. To prove his sanity, Palamedes places Odysseus’s infant son in front of the plow and thus Odysseus stops ploughing (Hunter). Traditionally, insanity correlates to femininity, so again there is an aspect of femininity in Odysseus’s heroism.

The fact that the Homeric epics could have been written down by a woman support the idea of femininity seeping into the heroism archetype of cultures since the Aeneid is based on the Iliad and Odyssey.

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads


I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Mourning The Loss

She had no direction and already felt like she had lost herself, anyway.


She wore her heart on her sleeve but covered her innermost feeling with laughs, smiles, and awkward jokes that only some thought were funny at all. She was happy on the outside and this got her to the place where she is now. Faking it till she made it made sense until she realized she didn't know what she was making it to.

Regardless, she was a bright light in the hallways of her grade school filled with small plastic chairs and brown square desks. She acted most days as a clown in the classroom in order for her to get some kind of attention. She worked on Accelerated Math and reading books extensively, and in her free time her studying habits were almost obsessive.

Brianna Gavin

When asked to do anything for anyone, she dropped all of what she was doing to help.

High school came around and after being separated from her best friend going to a different school, she knew this time she really had to reinvent herself. At first, she stayed in the bubble of grade school friends and found it hard to ever speak up about anything.

Brianna Gavin

She kept her mouth shut for the first year of high school and lived in the shadows of her siblings' bad decisions. That first year, teachers even called her "little Gavin".

As sophomore year of high school came around, she met a teacher that would forever change her life and brought her out of the shadow of her siblings past. She was the first teacher in that high school to see her as her own person, different from her family.

After meeting this teacher, she stepped into the role of being a leader. She went to summer leadership camps and became actively involved in the Social Committee of Student Council. She created a service club and became the president. She got over 100 hours of service done each year, went on mission trips, led and spoke her story at retreats, went to every football game dressed UP in the theme, and still had time to get a high GPA.

Brianna Gavin

She was KILLING it.

In the mornings before school started, she sat in her car for five minutes by herself to separate her home life from her school life. She listened to "One Man Can Change The World" by Big Sean and sang the words to herself as she began to put on a mask for the day.

Brianna Gavin

She was sometimes a clown. She'd walk around the hallways and go to class while eating boxes of cereal and constantly made jokes about ANYTHING going on. One thing you could always count on her for was authenticity and hope.

Brianna Gavin

Even at her job teaching kids how to swim, the second she came out in her brightly colored swimsuit, her kids were already there and ready to say hi to her. Kids would make her cards and families constantly asked her to babysit and told her stories of how much their kids loved her.

One day during school, she was awarded with a scholarship called "You Can Count On Me", given to her because of how reliable, dependable, and important she was to all those around her. She remembered the words that were said about her when she received the scholarship and those were the driving force for her to continue helping others and being there for herself.

But then came college. And with the goodbye to all of her friends, family, and popular school life also came the goodbye to herself.

Brianna Gavin

She now became something she didn't want to be anymore. She stayed in her room, struggled extensively with mental illness, and looked in the mirror without knowing what she was looking at. She didn't have many friends and she felt alone most of the time.

With change and loss, she lost herself. She, in a sense, died as soon as her relationships with those close friends and family died. And no matter how hard she tries, she will never be the happy, energetic, inspiring, motivational, giving, faithful, loving person she once was.

The truth she has to share...she is gone.

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