Given the wide chronological and topical range and sheer number of papers delivered at the 2013 conference, immediate publication of the proceedings would have been impractical. Rather, the challenge for the second stage of the project has been to develop a selection of specific themes, with a view to publication of a series of volumes, each treating a particular period, medium or aspect of Herculean reception.

The publishers Brill have agreed to include four such volumes in their series Metaforms: Studies in the Reception of Classical Antiquity, subject to the usual conditions of peer review. Volumes 2-4 are under development.  They are likely to include a number of papers from the 2013 and 2017 conferences, revised as appropriate, with further papers being commissioned where required:

  1. Herakles inside and outside the Church: from the first Christian Apologists to the end of the Quattrocento
  2. The Exemplary Hercules
  3. Hercules Performed
  4. The Modern Hercules (2 volumes)

1. Herakles inside and outside the Church: from the first Christian Apologists to the end of the Quattrocento

Editors: Drs Arlene Allan (Otago), Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides (Macquarie) and Emma Stafford (Leeds).

This volume considers the Christian Herakles-Hercules – Herakles’ adoption inside and outside the early Church as an allegorical figure, effectively mediating between paganism and the new religion, and later Christian appropriations of this figure. A provisional table of contents is available here.

2.  The Exemplary Hercules

Editors: Drs Valerie Mainz (Leeds) and Emma Stafford (Leeds).

This volume will follow on both chronologically and thematically from the Christian Herakles volume, focusing on the exemplary Hercules from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment and beyond.  Individual papers will consider the hero as the incarnation of virtue in a wide range of literature and art, and in political as well as moralising contexts. A provisional table of contents is available here.

3.  Hercules Performed

Editors: Drs Eleftheria Ioannidou (Birmingham), Helen Slaney (Roehampton) and Emma Stafford (Leeds).

This volume will explore Hercules’ development in works written for performance, encompassing new works as well as re-workings of ancient tragedy and comedy, opera as well as stage plays, and other media.

4.  The Modern Hercules

Editors: Prof. Alastair Blanshard (Queensland) and Dr Emma Stafford (Leeds).

This pair of volumes will follow on chronologically from the ‘Exemplary’ volume, and be a companion to the ‘Performed’ volume, covering Hercules’ appearances in various media from the nineteenth century to the present day.  It will include considerations of contemporary art, children’s literature, cartoons, film, video-games, political and commercial discourses.

A provisional table of contents for Volume 1 (non-screen-based examples) is available here.

A provisional table on contents for Volume 2 (screen-based examples) is available here.