The ideal of heroic citizenship has evolved from one period to the other. Indeed, the practice, which began as early within the contextual framework of the Greek mythopoetic tradition, has changed over time. This paper considers the changes that took place in the ideal of heroic citizenship through these periods.
The ideal of Heroic Citizenship
The Greek mythopoetic era, the ideal of heroic citizenship was characterized by wars and conflicts. At this period, the Greeks were engaged in a number of wars and conflicts. It is within this framework that the man heroes were identified and appraised. The contextual framework of wars and conflicts provided a framework where the heroes from the wars were appraised. Indeed, the Greek mythopoetic traditional era, the Greeks ideal of heroic citizenship was based on the ideal of excellence demonstrated at the bravery that was applied in battle, as well as, the honorable life that the heroes lived back in the society. In this case, the individuals that demonstrated bravery during the battles that Greeks were involved, and led a good life in the society were considered heroes. These ideals were considered unique, and highly esteemed by the Greek society making the individuals who maintained such achievements to qualify as heroes in the society.
In addition, the Greeks in the Greek mythopoetic era associated heroism with individuals who had strong allegiance to their families, as well as, to the State. IN other words, for an individual to qualify as a hero in the Greek society, he had to demonstrate undivided allegiance to his family, as well as, to the State. This was seen, as a strong value by which one is worth in the society would be measured.
The Greek society also at the time stressed on the need for such individuals to go out for battle regardless of the chances they faced of winning. The heroes were expected to be ready for battle, and beyond readiness; they were to be willing to risk their life for the well-being of others. Indeed, the heroes in this period demonstrated the attributes of courage, risk takers, bravery, strength, and honor.
However, the ideal of heroic citizenship changed slightly in the Greek tragic drama times. The changes involved heroes being looked from their physical size. The heroes at this period were masculine and noble. In addition, to this they also had similar traits like the ones in the mythopoetic era, in that they valued chivalry and morals. They were also able to do their tasks with pride and power. This is alongside their ability to make gallant decisions on their own. A number of them were also considered arrogant, though this was in the context of their duty to protect the Greek society.
Lastly, the other change in the ideals of heroic citizenship was evidenced during the Roman imperialism. At this period, heroism shifted from being centered on the physical strength that the heroes had; to the personal integrity that they maintained. This personal integrity was weighed against the responsibility that the individuals had in the society. The core attributes for heroism in this period-included acceptance of duty, as well as, the kinship of people. The beliefs at the time was one was born for a purpose to accomplish for the public good. Thus, individuals who were well responsible and dutiful were considered as heroes.
Overall, the essence of the heroic ideal was to protect the interests of the Greek society. This paper has demonstrated the changes that took place with regard to the ideals of heroic citizenship. This begins from the ideals of the Greek mythopoetic era, where heroism was seen by ones bravery and willingness to go to war regardless of the outcome. The Greeks perceived themselves as the emerging heroes in every activity they involved themselves to take. The dawn of the tragic drama, led the Greeks ideal of heroism acknowledged man as prone to suffering and torture, and finally, Greeks perfecting their intellectual and emotional personalities characterized the rise of stoicism. Heroism was associated with how one met his responsibility in the society.