Philostratus's On Heroes, only recently available in English translation, is a fictional dialogue set at the tomb of Protesilaos, the first hero to die in the Trojan War. Returning to life, Protesilaos reveals his insights about Homer, the Trojan War, its heroes, and their cults. The author of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana here molds heroic traditions to promote for his own day a renewed Greek cultural and religious outlook. The text's lively and provocative interaction with Homer's poems reveals that they are not fixed cultural artifacts but rather malleable symbols of religious and cultural identity. For those interested in religious practices, this text provides vivid and detailed descriptions of the workings of hero cults and explores issues of religious authority and revealed knowledge. With an insightful introduction and notes, an extensive glossary, maps, and topical bibliographies, Maclean and Aitken provide a volume that is indispensable for the study of Homer, heroes, literature, religion, and culture in the Roman Empire and Late Antiquity.
Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org).