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Criteria for Heroes The ancient Greeks had strict criteria for individuals to follow if they were to be seen as heroes Above all a man needed to be a skilled warrior but this was not the only requirement To be a hero a warrior had to respect authority both governmental and religious The Greeks gave heroes no room for pride These men were to be modest not only giving credit to their culture and the gods for any great deeds they had done but also accepting everything that happened as Fate not scenarios they had created for themselves In other words they did not make themselves what they were rather they had been predestined to become it The final requirement of being a hero was coolness Heroes were not permitted to be blinded by rage or have mood swings In The Iliad two Greeks are presented to the reader as heroes They are Achilles and Diomedes Although they are both good contenders for the title of hero Diomedes is by far the better of the two Diomedes is one of the finest and bravest of the Greek warriors He is respectful to all authority figures and has little or no pride Always wise and reasonable he may be the vision of the perfect nobleman Both Achilles and Diomedes easily meet the first requirement that a hero must have skill on the battlefield Throughout The Iliad Homer tells of their incredible though usually god-aided feats during the many battles of the Trojan War Perhaps the greatest example of Achilles fighting skill is when he fights with and kills Hector the greatest of the Trojan warriors 260-261 However this fight may have never happened if Athena had not disguised herself as one of Hectors brothers and convinced him to fight 260 That was not enough though as Athena then helped Achilles win the fight 260-261 This seems to be the case with all of Achilles battles A
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