Was Hector Revered by Later Greeks?

Jan 2019
10
CA, U.S.A.
Did the Greeks, from the Archaic period and beyond through the Classical period, revere Hector in the same way as heroes like Achilles, Heracles, and others were? Were any hero cults devoted to him? Or were the Romans the only ones who looked up to the Trojan heroes?
 
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Sep 2014
962
Texas
I know more people named Hector than I do Achilles. I don't even know any Greeks named Achilles, and I'll be honest I don't know if this was from Greek or Roman influence. The Romans saw themselves allied with the Trojans and Hector was the greatest mortal in the story. Achilles was half god and practically immune to everything that could harm him. So the half gods are not held in as high esteem to me. But I don't think the Greeks ever warmed to Hector.The thing that horrified the Greeks about Hector according to my college philosophy teacher was in the end Hector ran away from Achilles.

In Irish legends, the Tuathe de Danann, the gods of Ireland (and maybe based on real mortal people) came from Troy.But yes, it does seem the name Hector survives through the Romans.
 
Sep 2019
68
Vergina
I know more people named Hector than I do Achilles. I don't even know any Greeks named Achilles, and I'll be honest I don't know if this was from Greek or Roman influence.
Interesting point. I recall that Parmenion's youngest son was named Hector. This leads me to believe it was still a common Greek name at least until the end of the Classical Period. I'd be curious to learn of any cults associated with him.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,610
Dispargum
If the Greeks ever did glorify Hector, it may have been to indirectly glorify Achilles. If Hector was a nobody, then Achilles gets no glory in defeating him. For Achilles to get the most possible glory, Hector must be made into a great foe. But ultimately, Hector was defeated, so there was only so much glory he could have. If you're seeing any glory attached to Hector, this might be the reason. They're not really glorifying Hector. Instead they are indirectly glorifying Achilles.
 
Jun 2017
523
maine
Homer seems to have thought so because he assigned to Hector a "heroic death" or "beautiful death". This concept was basic to Greek cult of the hero. Dr. Jason Hawreliak's "Heroism, Gaming and the Rhetoric of Immortality" points out that Hector typified the Hellenic view of heroism. Later Iliens (considered Greeks) were criticized by early Christians for their worship of Hector. In Song 44, Sappho praises Hector and even assigns his name to Zeus.
 
Jan 2013
1,067
Toronto, Canada
If the Greeks ever did glorify Hector, it may have been to indirectly glorify Achilles. If Hector was a nobody, then Achilles gets no glory in defeating him. For Achilles to get the most possible glory, Hector must be made into a great foe. But ultimately, Hector was defeated, so there was only so much glory he could have. If you're seeing any glory attached to Hector, this might be the reason. They're not really glorifying Hector. Instead they are indirectly glorifying Achilles.
I don't think you're giving Homer enough credit. Hector is as an ironic reflection of Achilles. The irony is that the antagonist is a better man than the hero.

They're both great warrior princes. Achilles is the better fighter, but Hector is portrayed more sympathetically. He doesn't fight with other Trojans or pout when he doesn't get his way. Achilles desecration of Hector's body by dragging it behind his chariot is presented as an act of shocking brutality.

Homer's Achilles is really an anti-hero and his duel with Hector challenges the listener about who deserves to win.
 

johnincornwall

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,790
Cornwall
I always had a soft spot for the Trojans against them nasty, bullying Greeks! (Even though Troy may ultimately have been another Greek civilisation?).

I'd have just let my missus **** off and saved 10 years of bother. Find another one.

Seriously - as a cause for such a war? Never in a million years.
 
Jun 2017
523
maine
I always had a soft spot for the Trojans against them nasty, bullying Greeks!
Me too! As a student I read and reread the Illiad, hoping for a different ending. Of course, nothing changed.
Seriously - as a cause for such a war? Never in a million years.
You're right: no one would go to war over so trivial a matter. I've always suspected some kind of commercial trade dispute since Troy must have had a lot of control over the Hellespont.
 
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Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,499
Netherlands
Homer is the patron saint of historians: He transformed a street fight between 2 rival gangs about a hooker into an epic for the ages.

Don't know about the Greeks, but in medieval times he was a mythological hero. One of the three pagan heroes of antiquity (Caesar and Alexander being the others)