Compendium heroicum

The Online Encyclopaedia on Heroes, Heroizations and Heroisms
by Sonderforschungsbereich 948 at the University of Freiburg

What is the Compendium heroicum?

The Compendium heroicum is an interdisciplinary reference work that provides access to the current state of the research on phenomena of the heroic in different cultures and time periods. It has been compiled from 2017 to 2024 by Sonderforschungsbereich 948 “Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms” at the University of Freiburg, Germany. Researchers from numerous disciplines in the humanities were involved, authoring articles collaboratively and making them available here as a digital open access publication.


Articles A–Z

What are heroines and heroes, how do they emerge and have an impact in different historical and cultural contexts? The articles presented here explain significant aspects of the heroic as well as theoretical concepts that enable an understanding of heroization processes and heroic phenomena.


German Edition

Find even more content in the German edition of the Compendium heroicum.


Soldier (Modern Era)

The image of the soldier underwent profound change from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries, linked to the industrialisation of warfare and the closer connection between the conflict and the community at home. This new type of mass warfare was increasingly difficult to reconcile with the traditional conception of the war hero. Notions of…

“Les héros obscurs”


Hero Types

Heroic figures and models of heroic action

Cultures & Practices

Communities and their heroes in historical context

Objects & Attributes

The materiality and symbolism of the heroic


On the representation, aesthetics and narrativity of the heroic


Concepts and approaches to explaining heroic phenomena