The Free essays given on our site were donated by anonymous users and should not be viewed as samples of our custom writing service. You are welcome to use them to inspire yourself for writing your own term paper. If you need a custom term paper related to the subject of Ancient Greek or Greek Heroine Cults , you can hire a professional writer here in just a few clicks.
Larson, Jennifer Greek Heroine Cults. University of Wisconsin Press, 1995. Jennifer Larson’s extensive knowledge on the subject of ancient women, goddesses, gods, and mythology is very apparent in this book. I found the book difficult to read as one would read a novel or even a textbook. However, I thought that Larson’s very detailed (and referenced and cross-referenced) descriptions of heroine cults would make an excellent reference book. This comprehensive book details Greek heroin cults and their place in Greek society, from the worship of them, to a definition of who could be considered a heroine, to stories about them. Citing many sources and references, Larson gives an unbiased view to the many different theories and interpretations of the evidence found about the heroine cults. Larson’s studies have concluded that there were many more heroine cults than history would lead one to believe (p. 4). She says that in the time of the ancient Greece, many individual families, or larger extended families worshiped their own heroines that might not be known to other Greek citizens. An other reason why heroines might not get much recognition is that they were often paired with a hero, and thus overshadowed by him. In our discussions in class, we too have talked about the fact that women are not as equally represented in history as men are, and this seems to be the case for heroines as well as for regular women. Since men were writing the histories, they wrote about their version of a “hero.” The famous history writers from ancient Greece would undoubtedly consider the traits of a fearless warrior to be the great heroic standard. The trials, tribulations, and wisdom of women would likely not be as interesting to the notable Greek history writers, and certainly not considered heroic, therefore the many heroine cults would not have been written about. Heroes may be defined by their courage and military prowess, but what makes a heroine in ancient Greek culture? According to Larson, many of the heroines are defined by their death (p. 136). These women (and girls) die from wrongful deaths, i.e. as a scapegoat, rape victim, or sacrifice. Others die by suicide precipitating from escape from rape (p 137). Unlike some scholars, Larson deems only women which were at one time mortal to be considered as heroines. Although some nymphs and goddesses are listed as heroines, they begin as mortal women who are later transformed into immortal status. Larson analyzes various heroine stories in the book. A common theme to some of the stories is the heroine committing suicide. According to Larson, “The strongest form of female aggression it these stories, the dying curse, is paradoxically combined with the act of suicide. The woman’s physical violence is directed toward herself, while the vengeance on the one who wronged her is carried out through impersonal agencies (p. 135).” An example of this is the story of a Thracian princess named Phyllis. Phyllis was in love with an Athenian prince named Demophon. Evidently Phyllis and Demophon had a love affair which ended when Demophon had to leave Phyllis’ country for a while. He promised her that he would come back for her in one year, but did not, opting instead to settle in Cyprus. Her love denied and betrayed, Phyllis hangs herself after calling down curses upon her former lover. Demophon meanwhile, had a box that Phyl

Our inspirational collection of essays and research papers is available for free to our registered users

Related Essays on Ancient Greek

Greek Architectural Digest

To represent the 'splitters' I single out the collection of essays by the late Jack Winkler on gender-protocols in 'ancient Greece', which he interprets more widely than Cohen to include texts ...

read more
Hospitality

“HOSPITALITY” Greek mythological stories contain many entertaining features: terrible monsters-Medusa and Hydra-, adventurous heroes-Perseus and Hercules-, and amazing gods-Zeus ...

read more
Greek Mythology

Since the days when man lived in caves and struggled to survive, he has wondered about the world that surrounds him. What makes the sun rise and set? Why are there seasons? Where do things go whe...

read more
Negative Vs. Positive In Ancient Greek Life

In ancient Greece there was a belief that an equal, but justified, negative event offset every positive event. Likewise, a positive experience justified every negative escapade. This Greek be...

read more
Greek Gods Vs. God--Response Paper

Response Paper Many of the stories written by Greek authors fill the mind with questions that parallel those asked by Christian minds throughout the world. Does God or the Greek gods prede...

read more
Divine Power In Greek Religion

Divine Power in Greek Religion Most religions have some sort of a divine being or beings. Some religions focus on one god or higher power while others have multiple gods. Usually a god is omnipoten...

read more