RE: RARA-AVIS: heroes/Achilles

From: George C. Upper III (
Date: 26 Jul 2002

--- Robison Michael R CNIN <> wrote:
> the farthest back i can put
> a
> finger on this kind of hero ideal is the concept of
> chiv-
> alry, which evolved during the medieval period, but
> because
> of a breakdown in author/publisher negotiations,
> didn't
> show up in literature until the 14th (_sir gawain
> and the
> green knight_) and 15th (_le morte d'arthur_)
> centuries.

It's not really on topic, but I have to argue for a much, much earlier date for the origins of chivalric literature. Certainly we see this ideal in The Song of Roland which dates back probably to something like 1050 (and is a fun read, if you're into that kind of thing).

Actually, since I think of detective fiction as chivalric, I suppose I can consider myself on-topic here, although I may be the only one.

Someone, I don't remember who but don't think it was miker, mentioned the classical Greeks as looking down on homosexual behavior, unless I misunderstood the post. This is incorrect. Homosexual behavior (I'm using that phrase on purpose, because the idea of being "gay" or "straight" would have been alien to the Greeks of that time, so I'm strictly talking behavior here) was widespread, particularly among the upper classes. This continued on into the Hellenistic period until the spread of Christianity throughout Europe.


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

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