The Heroes

Charles Kingsley

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Title: The Heroes
Author: Charles Kingsley
Release Date: October, 1996 [EBook #677] [This file was first posted
on October 4, 1996] [Most recently updated: September 8, 2002]
Edition: 10

Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII

Transcribed from the 1889 Macmillan and Co. edition by David Price,
email [email protected]


Contents: Preface Perseus How Perseus and his mother came to
Seriphos How Perseus vowed a Rash Vow How Perseus slew the
Gorgon How Perseus came to the AEthiops How Perseus came home
again The Argonauts How the Centaur trained the Heroes on Pelion
How Jason lost his sandal in Anauros How they built the ship 'Argo' in
Iolcos How the Argonauts sailed to Colchis How the Argonauts were
driven into the Unknown Sea What was the end of the Heroes Theseus
How Theseus lifted the stone How Theseus slew the devourers of men
How Theseus slew the minotaur How Theseus fell by his pride


Some of you have heard already of the old Greeks; and all of you, as
you grow up, will hear more and more of them. Those of you who are
boys will, perhaps, spend a great deal of time in reading Greek books;
and the girls, though they may not learn Greek, will be sure to come
across a great many stories taken from Greek history, and to see, I may
say every day, things which we should not have had if it had not been
for these old Greeks. You can hardly find a well- written book which
has not in it Greek names, and words, and proverbs; you cannot walk
through a great town without passing Greek buildings; you cannot go
into a well-furnished room without seeing Greek statues and ornaments,
even Greek patterns of furniture and paper; so strangely have these old

Greeks left their mark behind them upon this modern world in which
we now live. And as you grow up, and read more and more, you will
find that we owe to these old Greeks the beginners of all our
mathematics and geometry--that is, the science and knowledge of
numbers, and of the shapes of things, and of the forces which make
things move and stand at rest; and the beginnings of our geography and
astronomy; and of our laws, and freedom, and politics--that is, the
science of how to rule a country, and make it peaceful and strong. And
we owe to them, too, the beginning of our logic--that is, the study of
words and of reasoning; and of our metaphysics--that is, the study of
our own thoughts and souls. And last of all, they made their language
so beautiful that foreigners used to take to it instead of their own; and at
last Greek became the common language of educated people all over
the old world, from Persia and Egypt even to Spain and Britain. And
therefore it was that the New Testament was written in Greek, that it
might be read and understood by all the nations of the Roman empire;
so that, next to the Jews, and the Bible which the Jews handed down to
us, we owe more to these old Greeks than to any people upon earth.
Now you must remember one thing--that 'Greeks' was not their real
name. They called themselves always 'Hellens,' but the Romans
miscalled them Greeks; and we have taken that wrong name from the
Romans--it would take a long time to tell you why. They were made up
of many tribes and many small separate states; and when you hear in
this book of Minuai, and Athenians, and other such names, you must
remember that they were all different tribes and peoples of the
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