One of the central ideas of the Iliad is the honor that soldiers earn in combat.
For an ancient Greek man, the ability to perform in battle is the single greatest source of worthiness.
The glory earned by soldiers on the battlefield enabled them to live on in legend, becoming heroes who would be remembered long after death.
The characters of the Iliad often make reference to the great heroes of past ages, such as Hercules and Theseus.
For the ancient Greeks, the term “hero” meant something stricter than it does today: the hero’s military glory could make him nearly as important as a god.
Head of Achilles.
Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein
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