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The Evolution of the Hero from Arete and Pietas to Chivalry

Updated on January 11, 2013
King Arthur
King Arthur

It is often difficult to get students to make connections from one piece of literature to another, especially if the pieces were written hundreds and even thousands of years apart.

For many years, I have used the diagram below with my English and humanities classes to show the evolution of the hero from the Iliad and the Odyssey to the Aeneid to Beowulf up to the Arthurian legends. The diagram emphasizes the concepts of arĂȘte, pietas, The Warrior Code, and chivalry.

I have also used this diagram to flesh out the heroes I create in my novels because modern heroes can evolve, too.

The Evolution of the Hero from Arete to Chivalry
The Evolution of the Hero from Arete to Chivalry


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