A hero is a person who accomplishes great feats, otherwise inconceivable by normal people. In Greek Mythology, a typical hero fights monsters, deals with the Gods, start new cities and participate in wars.
It is unknown, who was the first hero. The stories of these heroes are a distinctive feature in Greek Mythology. No other culture gives specific attention to heroes. Almost all heroes are descendants of Zeus and carry divine blood. Some heroes are born as Demigods, the offspring of a Deity and a human being. All heroes suffer a tragedy at some point or the other of their lives.
List of Greek Heroes
First Generation Heroes:
- Perseus: Son of Zeus and Danäe, Princess of Argos. He killed the repulsive Medusa, the Gorgon, who could turn people to stone, as well as the Ethiopian Sea Monster, Cetus. Perseus married the Ethiopian princess Andromeda. He accidentally killed his grandfather, Acrisius. Perseus founded the city of Mycenae and ruled over it. He died of old age.
- Bellerophon: Son of Poseidon and Eurynome, Princess of Corinth. Bellerophon tamed Pegasus, the winged horse, and slew the fire breathing Chimera. He was the first man to defeat the Amazons in combat, and slew Queen Otrera, daughter of Ares, and the founder of Amazons. He defeated pirates and many tribes and ruled Lycia. In his hubris, he attempted to fly to Olympus, but Zeus made Pegasus to throw Bellerophon off. Bellerophon was crippled and blinded and died as an old beggar.
- Cadmus: Grandson of Poseidon and son of Agenor, King of Phoenicia. He went in search of his sister, Europa, who was abducted by Zeus, but failed. On Athena's advice, Cadmus killed a dragon sacred to Ares and founded the city of Thebes. After ruling Thebes, Cadmus was turned into a snake by Ares, and died some time later.
Second Generation Heroes:
- Heracles: Son of Zeus and Alcmene, Princess of Thebes. Great Grandson of Perseus, slayer of Medusa. Heracles is the greatest hero of all time, renowned for his enormous strength. He is most famous for performing the Twelve Labors, to cleanse him of innocent murder. Heracles was also an Argonaut. He fought alongside the Olympians in the Giant War. He waged the first Trojan War and sacked many kingdoms, slew many heroes and monsters. He participated in the Calydonian Boar Hunt. Heracles was killed when he was tricked into wearing a poisoned robe, and was made into a god upon his death.
- Theseus: Son of Poseidon and Aethra, Princess of Troezen. Theseus performed the Six Labors, which involved killing bandits in the same way they murdered innocent victims. Fought Centaurs and slew the fifty Pallantides princes in battle. Theseus navigated through the Labyrinth and slew the Minotaur, and escaped. He ruled the city of Athens wisely. He defeated Amazons and participated in the Calydonian boar hunt. In his later life, Theseus fell in bad company and became a villain. He became tyrannical, kidnapped Helen of Troy before Paris, went to the Underworld and committed filicide. He was overthrown and he died in obscurity.
- Jason: Son of Iason. His great grandfather was Hermes. Jason was tasked with locating the Golden Fleece, in Colchis and return to Iolcus. Dozens of princes and heroes volunteered for the quest, built the ship, the Argo and elected Jason as leader of the Argonauts. Jason and his gang overcame many obstacles and fought the six armed Gegenee monsters. When they reached their destination, Medea, the Princess of Colchis fell in love with Jason and aided him with the three tasks (taming fire breathing bulls, fighting skeleton warriors and killing the Dragon of Ares). The Argonauts escaped from Colchis. On the way, Jason killed a dragon and founded the city of Ljubljana. The Argonauts also came across Talos, the giant robot and defeated him. Jason ruled Corinth for a while, but was banished and was killed when the mast of the Argo ship fell on his head.
- Castor and Pollux: Twin sons of Zeus and Leda, Queen of Sparta. They trained Heracles in fighting, and served as Argonauts. They were killed in combat against their cousins.
- Periclymenus: Grandson of Poseidon and Prince of Pylos. He was renowned for his shapeshifting abilities. Periclymenus was an Argonaut, but was killed by Heracles.
- Atalanta: Daughter of Iasus, King of Arcadia and descendant of Zeus. She was raised in the forest by bears and fought like a man. She killed two Centaurs, was an Argonaut, defeated Peleus and participated in the Calydonian Boar hunt. She was the fastest foot racer and was beaten by Prince Hippomenes through cheating. One day after hunting, Atalanta and her husband showed affection to each other near a temple and were turned into lions.
- Meleager: Prince of Calydon. Slew the Calydonian Boar, but he was killed by his mother, who burnt a piece of wood which was attached to Meleager's life force.
Third Generation Heroes:
- Achilles: Son of Peleus, the Argonaut and Thetis, a sea nymph. His great grandfather was Zeus. Thetis dipped Achilles in the River Styx, which made him invulnerable to weapons and attacks, except his heel. Achilles was trained as a warrior by Chiron, the wise centaur. He became the greatest warrior of all time, and was known as the "Shield of Achaeans". He fought in the Trojan War and slew Hector. Achilles was killed when Apollo guided Paris's arrow to his heel.
- Aeneas: He was the son of Anchises, a Trojan Prince and Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. The second greatest Trojan warrior after Hector. Aeneas was spared by the Greeks and he sailed to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. He died of old age.
- Diomedes: King of Argolis and a descendant of Zeus. He sacked Thebes as a teenager and fought against Troy. He is the second greatest warrior after Achilles. Diomedes injured Ares and Aphrodite and attacked Apollo. Diomedes sailed to Italy where he met Aeneas. He made peace with the Trojan and settled down. He died of old age.
- Odysseus: King of Ithaca and the last hero. He was a descendant of Zeus from his father's side and a great grandson of Hermes from his mother's side. He was the smartest of the Greeks and fought against Troy. Odysseus' story is chronicled in the Odyssey, where he is forced to spend ten years in the sea, when Poseidon was angered by the hero's arrogance. After ten years, Odysseus returned to Ithaca. He was happily reunited with his wife, Penelope and son, Telemachus, after he massacred Penelope's hundred suitors. It is rumored that Odysseus was slain by his other son, Telegonus.