The greatest Greek heroes are often lost in the shadows of the spectacular gods, but here they emerge into the full light of day.

Greatest Greek heroes names
On this Greek krater are shown Jason and the Argonauts, including Heracles (center) and Theseus (bottom)

The 10 Greatest Greek Heroes

Heracles, later called Hercules by the Romans, rose to glory by performing twelve exceedingly difficult labors. He was the son of Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene, who was from a noble Greek family.

Achilles was one of the greatest Greek warriors, who accomplished famous deeds during the Trojan War. He fought and killed Hector, the celebrated Trojan hero, spelling the end of Troy.

Odysseus was the Greek champion whose adventures were told in Homer’s Odyssey. After many deadly experiences on the way home from the Trojan War he finally became reunited with his wife and son.

Perseus was one of the early Greek heroes who successfully killed Medusa, whose gaze would turn men into stone. He founded a dynasty of kings at Mycenae.

Theseus was the son of Aegeus, after whom the Aegean Sea was named. His most famous deed was to slay the Minotaur monster on Crete. He then became king of Athens.

Jason set out on an epic adventure to win the Golden Fleece from a land on the Black Sea, and assembled a crew of champions to help him — who became known as the Argonauts.

Bellerophon was the horse-master of ancient Greece who tamed the legendary flying horse Pegasus and killed the Chimera monster which had the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a serpent.

Atalanta was a young woman involved with the Argonaut adventures. She was also renowned as the fastest runner — man or woman — of her day in ancient Greece.

Orpheus was a legendary bard, musician and prophet among the Greeks whose music was said to charm even the stones. He also was one of the Argonauts.

Cadmus was a Phoenician hero credited with founding the city of Thebes and the powerful fortress at the center of the city, which was called the Cadmea in his honor.

Who is the most famous Greek hero?

Heracles is by far the most famous Greek hero, thanks in large part to the Romans who continued to celebrate his great deeds and called him Hercules, the ideal indomitable man.

Who is the most cunning Greek hero?

Odysseus is described by Homer as being the most cunning Greek hero in the Trojan War who continues to outwit many powerful and devious adversaries during his Odyssey adventures.

Who is the greatest Greek warrior?

Achilles is universally regarded as the greatest Greek warrior in the Trojan War, and the one most feared by his adversaries. He eventually leads the Greeks to victory at Troy.

Who is the greatest Trojan hero?

Hector is the greatest Trojan hero, not only by virtue of being the son of King Priam but because of his renowned prowess in battle, second only to Achilles.

Who is the oldest Greek hero?

Cadmus is widely accepted as the oldest Greek hero because his founding of the city of Thebes is an event lost in the early mists of antiquity.

Who is the strongest man in mythology?

Heracles is the strongest man in mythology according to the many ancient Greek and Roman writers who told of his great feats. His statues show a man of immensely solid build compared to others around him.

Who is the smartest Greek hero?

Odysseus is the smartest Greek hero in the Iliad and the Odyssey who constantly stands out for his ability to solve problems and to outwit those around him.

Greatest Greek Heroes Names

The content of this website is drawn from the research of historian Sanford Holst

Updated October 22, 2023

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