Andreas N. Michalopoulos
‘Ο Ηρακλής πήρε το ρόπαλό του’ [‘Herakles took up his club’]: the reception of Herakles in the modern Greek press
Herakles is taught in Greek elementary schools, from the first grade onwards, as the most important hero of Greek mythology. His labours are widely known to the average Greek and form part of the collective ‘national’ culture and identity. Herakles’ great significance as a cultural figure in modern Greece is strongly felt in various fields, from art and culture to politics, economics and sport.
This chapter explores the reception of Herakles and his labours in the modern Greek press, both printed and electronic. The chapter discusses selected symptomatic appearances of Herakles in a wide range of media, from political newschapters and websites to arts and sporting columns, in order to address a range of questions. These will include: which Heraklean labours are most commonly used and why; what aspect of the hero is most regularly highlighted; what is Herakles’ ideological stamp in modern Greece; for what reasons and purposes and on what occasions is the hero mentioned in news reports and articles’ what (if any) is the development of his image from antiquity to present-day Greece.