Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece

Edited by Sabine Albersmeier; With essays by Michael J. Anderson, Jorge J. Bravo III, Gunnel Ekroth, Guy Hedreen, Ralf von den Hoff, Jennifer Larson, Jenifer Neils, John H. Oakley, Corinne Ondine Pache, and H. A. Shapiro

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This handsome volume explores the integral role of heroes in ancient Greek art and culture. More than a hundred stunning statues, reliefs, vases, bronzes, coins, and gems drawn from major American and European collections highlight how heroes were represented, why they were important, and what encouraged individuals to seek them out.


To contemporary eyes, Greek heroes embody contradiction: they might have superhuman powers, but their mortality was what made them heroic. Many were regarded as benevolent ancestors with powers to protect and heal, but others were dangerous and haunted spirits of the dead, who had to be appeased. Although epic, drama, and the visual arts abound in representations of heroes whose fame has carried over into modern times, cult and funerary architecture commemorate many more individuals whose names and deeds are entirely lost to us. 


Featuring essays by leading authorities in the field, this book draws on recent archaeological, literary, and art historical research to explore such issues as gender, cult, and iconography, as well as overlooked aspects of familiar (Herakles, Achilles, and Odysseus) and unfamiliar heroes (Helen of Troy).

Sabine Albersmeier is associate curator of ancient art at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.


Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (10/11/09 – 1/3/10)

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville (1/29/10 – 4/25/10) 

San Diego Museum of Art (5/22/10 – 8/25/10)

Onassis Cultural Center, New York (10/4/10 – 1/3/11)

‘To anybody interested in the Classics, this book provides an attractive and informative resource for understanding the central role of the hero in Greek art, life and literature.’ — Ian Jenkins, British Museum Magazine, Spring/Summer 2010

"This is a superb study. . . . [that] brilliantly reveals the lives and deaths of Greek heroes. . . . Highly recommended." —D. K. Haworth, Choice
ISBN: 9780300154726
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Walters Art Museum
328 pages, 10 1/2 x 12
116 b/w + 154 color illus.
The Berlin Painter and His World

Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C.

Edited by J. Michael Padgett

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