Nowadays, the word hero has been devalued. A teacher who takes extra time with a student, a man who bears a 9-5 to support his family, and a kid who says no to drugs are all labeled heroes. But, this word was reserved to describe only the most excellent examples of honor, chivalry, and bravery made manifest in a person. Most people are familiar with the main Heroes of ancient Greece and Rome: Achilles, Odysseus, and Aeneas. But perhaps one of the best heroes of ancient Greece is one of the most obscured. That hero is Diomede.
The Trojan War
Diomedes is known primarily for his prowess in the Trojan War, although his backstory is equally interesting—his father died at 4, and as a result, he came into manhood early. During his assault on Troy, Diomede sailed to Troy with eighty ships, third only to Agamemnon, king of the Greeks, and Nestor, oldest and wisest of the Argives. Although Diomede was the youngest amongst all Achaean kings, he was considered the most experience, fighting in more battles than any Greek.
Second only to Achilles
Behind the great Achilles, Diomedes was the most valorous and skilled warrior. He even wounds Mars during the opening battle of Troy. What’s more, he was favored by Athena who drove his chariot into battle after his personal esquire was vanquished. He is the Iliad’s most important hero for the first third of the book, and he is praised both for his strength and wisdom.
Diomede is the perfect example the Greek’s emphasis on fate. Indeed, he contrasts Achilles who vehemently opposes the will of the Gods, demonstrating obedience to the will of Zeus. He also embarks on an extremely cool recon mission with Odysseus, where the cloak themselves in lion cloaks to spy on the sons of Illius.