In Ancient Greek Heroes, Athletes, Poetry, Gregory Nagy continues where The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours left off. This book is also centered on some of the greatest masterpieces of ancient Greek literature—including the Homeric Iliad and Odyssey and seven tragedies stemming from the grand masters of the Classical Age of Athens. It returns to the same grand era and then moves beyond, in both time and space, with a new emphasis: how did the heroes of ancient Greek poetry relate to athletes, female as well as male, who competed in the athletic festivals of ancient Greece? A primary point of interest here is the seasonally recurring festival of the ancient Olympics, notionally founded by the hero Herakles.
Gregory Nagy is Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University.