Comparison of the Roman and the Greek Mythology

Greta Nevsimal

Walter Huttner

Masterpieces of World Lit 203-17


Comparison of the Roman and the Greek Mythology


This paper provides for the comparison of Greek and Roman mythology. To understand the topic well, this paper offers different annotations of the bibliographies related to both the Greek and Roman philosophers’ early works. It then analyzes the literature works by the Greek and Roman philosophers to understand the topic well.

Thesis statement: Comparing and contrasting the literature between Roman and Greek literature.Heracles Story.

Greece Literature

Vollkommer, Rainer. Herakles in the art of classical Greece. Vol. 25. Oxford University School of Archaeology, 1988.

This particular research provides an understanding of Hercules’ description of the ancient Hercules and how the literature describes him. The provisions of both the literature and the heroic figure’s artistic version will help us understand Greece’s mythology comprehensively. Hercules’ iconographic description and thorough analysis of how to represent the heroic character in the literature helps us understand the similarity and differences between ancient Greek literature.Hercules’ providence, for example, the Geras artwork naming, shows Hercules’ concept as recorded by the author.  Another essential factor is how Gera describes the fight with the great hero Hercules.  The Greek providence of thecharacter description according to the struggle with Apollo for the Tripod, the Apotheosis, the Gods’ and goddesses depiction and also the instance of the popularity of the characters. The article also analyses the different descriptions of the ancient eras, such as the attic period and the black figures.

The article describes Hercules as a community hero who has a glorious reputation in the community. Additionally, his imposition of order to the wild, defeating the monsters, and punishing villains make him an untimely hero of the Greek people.

Padilla, Mark William. The Myths of Herakles in Ancient Greece: survey and profile. University Press of Amer, 1998.

To understanding Hercules’s contributions to society, the legacy, and how the heroic nature was developing over the years, this book provides for analysis of the early classical and archaic era where the heroic figure Hercules’s development was majorly witnessed. The vivid descriptions of Hercules’ context refer to the different perspectives through synchronic and diachronic means. The article also provides the context that describes the existence of the sea monsters fought and killed by Hercules’ heroic character.  He was depicted differently from Greek and Roman mythology. For instance, there was also the hero’s violence aspect, the lust, and the mania character portrayed differently according to Greek and Roman texts. The mythological underpinning also describes Hercules’ superhuman nature that shows the negative implications of his mission. For instance, his erotic attachments are the main reason he shifts from the primary goal of saving his community from the impending danger that he previously defeated. There were singers,poets, and painters who showed the need to justify heroism to understand what it means to be a real hero and under what cost the heroes cease to become one or are unrecognized by the community.

Roman Literature

Galinsky, Karl. The Herakles Theme: the adaptations of the hero in literature from Homer to the twentieth century. Oxford: Blackwell, 1972.

The chapter analysis understands that Hercules will not form a significant part of his works, and he provides the reasons for that. Homer provides that the Heracles character misused his supernatural powers to harm specific people in the community. For that reason, he is not a hero since he has shown instances of being a villain. Instead, he provides information that will be essential for the use Trojan War. The article analyzes the difference between tragic heroes and comic heroes in the same respect. Itdescribes Heracles from the ancient philosophers and their opinion of the legacy of Heracles. Hercules’s action hero does not comply with the comics, and for that reason, he is not discussed widely in the articles that are talking about the comic heroes. He embraced violence, and his legacy came from his violent behavior. He defeated many community enemies, gaining himself the heroic tittle as much as some authors who feel like Heracles did not deserve to be known as a hero instead of a villain. The comic hero categorization shows some aspects in which Heracles belongs to one of the groups. For instance, there is an excellent example of where the heroic Heracles shows funny moments. This comic hero provides various pieces of evidence that show the fun character of Heracles. Such a model comes from the Epicharmus and Aristophanes. For instance, the books discuss the various provisions that shows the comical aspect of Heracles, such as the provision that states,'”amid all the concomitant horseplay . . . [he continued] his role as the purifier, savior, and bringer of justice and Greek standards to oriental lands” (84).

Brommer, Frank. Heracles: the twelve labors of the hero in ancient art and literature. Aristide d Caratzas Pub, 1986.

This article focuses mainly on the artistic and labor representation, which pertains primarily to the twelve labors’ existence. There are only two provisions that show significant culturalexpressions of Cerberus and Herd of Geryon during those times. The laborers’ conditions are solely from Heracles, but the other instances only function to show his popularity through his reign. The article continues to understand the overtime changing of the imaging of Heracles from the time when his depiction did not align with the late description whereby he was described as having the skin of a lion and also Zeus, on the other hand, was not described as Go with the following of thunder and such descriptions. But overtime, their characters changed drastically.

Similarities and differences between Greekand Roman Literature

The Greeks called him Heracles, while the Romans called him Hercules. While the Romans depictHercules’ father as Zeus and the mother as Alkmene, who was a mortal and died during the infamous war, the Greeks refer to Hercules’ father as Jupiter. That shows the existing significant differences between the two conflicting sides with an almost similar depiction. Additionally, many semantics try to relate Jupiter to Zeus to show comparison but do not provide proper evidence to back up the said claims (Stewart,np). However, the similarities between the Greek and Roman mythological about the literal provisions are that the period of the stories is evidently during the same time and the same technological existence. It ends up showing the possibilities that the Greeks and Romans might be describing the same hero who lived at the same period. The matter is still debatable. The name Roman Hercules’ origin is shown to have been the name that replaces a less renowned leader who was known as Roman Pantheon by the name Recaranus.  On the other hand, the origin of Heracles’ name came from the illegitimate wife of Zeus known as Hera.















Works cited

Brommer, Frank. Heracles: the twelve labors of the hero in ancient art and literature. Aristide d Caratzas Pub, 1986.

Galinsky, Karl. The Herakles Theme: the adaptations of the hero in literature from Homer to the twentieth century. Oxford: Blackwell, 1972

Padilla, Mark William. The Myths of Herakles in Ancient Greece: survey and profile. University Press of Amer, 1998

Stewart, Michael. “Herakles vs. Hercules”, Greek Mythology: From the Iliad to the Fall of the Last Tyrant. (June 26, 2009)

Vollkommer, Rainer. Herakles in the art of classical Greece. Vol. 25. Oxford University School of Archaeology, 1988.



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