In classical mythology, a man — or woman (heroine) — particularly the son of a deity and a mortal, who through his actions proved to be a blessing to his country and people. Even though these heroes were mortal, their exceptional skills or gifts raised them far above ordinary people. Heroes were revered and venerated as divinities, and altars (ἡρῷον, heroum or heroon) were built in their honor. The founders of cities were generally venerated as heroes.

Some famous Greek heroes are Heracles, Perseus, Achilles, Odysseus, and Theseus.

Mid-16th century. Via Latin from Greek ἥρως (hērōs), "hero, warrior."



  • Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Bartelink, Dr. G.J.M. (1988). Prisma van de mythologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum.