The word "hero" seems in its present usage, an all-purpose moniker applied to everyone from Medal of Honor recipients to celebrities to comic book characters. This book explores the Western idea of the hero, from its initial use in ancient Greece, where it identified demigods or aristocratic, mortal warriors, through today. Sections examine the concept of the hero as presented in the ancient, medieval, and modern worlds. Special attention is paid to particular heroic types, such as warriors, martyrs, athletes, knights, saints, scientists, rebels, secret servicemen, and even anti-heroes. This book also reconstructs how definitions of heroism have been inextricably linked to shifts in Western thinking about religion, social relations, political authority, and ethical conduct. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.