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Hero

  • Version 1.0
  • published August 17, 2022

1. Definition – the hero as ‘heroic figure’

Attempts to capture the terms ‘hero(ine)’ and ‘heroic’ in supertemporal and essentialist definitions are rooted in a subliminal need and seem obvious due to the persistence and topicality of the subject. However, heroic properties (and their theoretical analyses) are, as a vast number of studies on the subject shows, specific to a culture, group and era. To date, all-encompassing definitions have not been able to reflect this historicity. Against this background, a heuristic working definition and delimitation of the concept appear sensible and necessary.

The definition of hero(ine) proposed herein is based on an understanding of ‘heroic’ as a culturally constructed, relational and processual phenomenon: hero(in)es substantially contribute to the establishment of collectively potent models of order, are created subject to certain social and historical conditions and are represented in various media. This understanding directs our attention towards the processes of ⟶heroization and ⟶heroism, i.e., firstly, towards the question of how a real (living or dead) person or a fictional character becomes a hero(ine) of a collective and, secondly, towards the collective guidance from and adoption of conduct considered heroic. Heroization and heroism occur within the framework of communicative processes that serve not only the social functionalisation of the heroic, but also have their own dynamic and creative power.1Cf. primarily von den Hoff, Ralf et al.: “Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms: Transformations and Conjunctures from Antiquity to Modernity: Foundational Concepts of the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 948”. In: Falkenhayner, Nicole / Meurer, Sebastian / Schlechtriemen, Tobias (Eds.): Analyzing Processes of Heroization. Theories, Methods, Histories (= helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu den Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 5 [2019]), 9-16. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2019/APH/02. For the original publication in German see von den Hoff, Ralf et al.: “Helden – Heroisierungen – Heroismen. Transformationen und Konjunkturen von der Antike bis zur Moderne. Konzeptionelle Ausgangspunkte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 948”. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen 1.1 (2013), 7-14. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2013/01/03.

The terms ‘hero’ or ‘heroine’ refer to individuals (or groups)

1) who are implicitly presented as heroic figures or explicitly designated as a ‘hero’, ‘héros’, ‘Held’ etc.;

2) to whom a ⟶heroic deed, i.e. an extraordinary, agonal achievement exceeding the human norm, is attributed;

3) who are ascribed a special presence, an auratic ‘radiance’, a ‘charismatic’ affect in connection with invoking that deed, but often also because of their appearance and/or their behaviour;

4) and who in the course of which are admired or adored by a community of followers (‘gefolgschaftlich’ – M. Weber)2Weber, Max: Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft: Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie. 5th edition. Tübingen 1980: Mohr, 140 and 654-661. of whatever size because they uniquely embody that community’s unifying values.3Gehring, Axel: Genie und Verehrergemeinde. Eine soziologische Analyse des Genieproblems, Bonn 1968, 148; Schilling, René: ‘Kriegshelden’. Deutungsmuster heroischer Männlichkeit in Deutschland 1813–1945. Paderborn et al. 2002, 23.

5) This ⟶admiration/adoration seems paradoxical insofar as individuals designated as hero(in)es do not assimilate into the community without complication. On the contrary, in committing their deed (and in ways going beyond that) they transgress certain norms of conduct held by the community. Hence, they stand at a transgressive distance to the everyday: ‘il n’y a pas de héros dans la proximité’.4Braun, L.: “Polysémie du concept de héros”. In: Hepp, Noémi / Livet, Georges (Eds.): Héroi͏̈sme et création littéraire sous les règnes d’Henri IV et de Louis XIII. Paris 1974, 19-28; Ferla, K.: Von Homers Achill zur Hekabe des Euripides: das Phänomen der Transgression in der griechischen Kultur. München 1996. Kollmann, A.: Gepanzerte Empfindsamkeit. Helden in Frauengestalt um 1800. Heidelberg 2004. The qualities attributed to hero(in)es are an expression of collective needs despite or, rather, precisely because of their transgressive character. They are historically variable and must satisfy the criterion of veridicality, which is the case if the individual adored as a hero(ine) is considered sufficiently suited to constitute a “Gestalt-like focal point” of a collective (‘gestalthafter Fokus eines Kollektivs’ – H. Plessner).5Plessner, Helmuth: Macht und menschliche Natur. Frankfurt a. M. 1981, 48.

6) Because hero(in)es are persons, they are characterised by elementary human qualities, all extraordinariness and transgressiveness notwithstanding: while hero(in)es may be idolised and/or deified, they nevertheless share with common humans ⟶corporal and emotional properties, agency and the capacity to feel pain.

On the one hand, this core definition describes a relational framework and specifies the necessary conditions for a (real of fictional) individual to be designated a hero(ine). On the other hand, it points to typological properties such as exceptionality, affective potential, agonality, transgressiveness and strong agency that are attributed to heroic figures in the course of the ⟶constitutive processes of heroization.6Cf. Schechtriemen, Tobias: “The Hero as an Effect: Boundary Work in Processes of Heroization”. In: Falkenhayner, Nicole / Meurer, Sebastian / Schlechtriemen, Tobias (Eds.): Analyzing Processes of Heroization. Theories, Methods, Histories (= helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu den Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 5 [2019]), 17-26. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2019/APH/03. For the original publication in German see Schechtriemen, Tobias: “Der ‘Held’ als Effekt. Boundary work in Heroisierungsprozessen”. In: Berliner Debatte Initial 29.1 (2018), 106-119.


The variety and heterogeneity of heroic phenotypes in the European tradition from antiquity to the beginning of the 20th century, however, results from a combination of additional characteristics. These accidental characteristics of the heroic can be described as a kind of family resemblance, i.e. as a “complicated network of similarities overlapping and criss-crossing”.7Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Philosophische Untersuchungen. Philosophical Investigations. Translated by G. E. M. Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker and Joachim Schulte. Revised 4th edition by P. M. S. Hacker and Joachim Schulte (Eds.). Hoboken, New Jersey 2010: Wiley-Blackwell, XCV. In them, the historical variability of manifestations of the heroic is expressed, on the one hand, and on the other hand the generic similarity guarantees the coherence of the subject matter. Attributions such as ‘overcoming adversity’, ‘sacrificing oneself willingly’, ‘protecting / saving / liberating others’ and ‘having virtue / honour / generosity’ can thereby give a concrete form to the heroic relational framework (human person, superhuman achievement / deed, charisma / allure, admiration, transgression).

The accidental attributions do not just reflect the variety that there is in the heroic. They are instead the key to precisely discerning cultural as well as historical differences between hero(ine) constructs. Moreover, the meaning of the heroic can only be understood in relation to and in distinguishing from other forms of the exceptional such as the superhuman-outstanding or the merely exemplary, the divine, the holy or the generally admired, but also to and from antitheses such as the everyday and the ‘anti-hero’.8Cf. Bröckling, Ulrich: “Negations of the Heroic – A Typological Essay”. In: Falkenhayner, Nicole / Meurer, Sebastian / Schlechtriemen, Tobias (Eds.): Analyzing Processes of Heroization. Theories, Methods, Histories (= helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu den Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 5 [2019]), 39-43. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2019/APH/05. For the original publication in German see Bröckling, Ulrich: “Negationen des Heroischen – ein typologischer Versuch”. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen, 3.1 (2015), 9-13. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros/2015/01/02. Therefore, heroic figures can be explained only within the framework of this complex web of interrelation between family resemblances in their historical conditionality and simultaneous persistence. That web must be explained in further detail.

2. Symbolic character and appellative power

Taking a stance on hero(in)es is obligatory: heroic figures are unifying elements of cultural systems of meaning. They offer a Gestalt-like surface on which to project collective desires, ideals and values, but also conflicts and contrarian needs. Heroizations and heroisms nevertheless elude clear definitions of their functional purposes; they yield unplanned and idiosyncratic surplus meanings, unexpected effects and divergent reactions. Hero(in)es are therefore social resonance phenomena that allow considerable potential for the imagination.

Sociology’s theory of institutions provides an explanatory model for the function and impact of heroic figures. According to this theory, the systems and institutions of social rule are only able to gain legitimacy and survive if they are made ‘visible’ and convincingly communicated through symbolisations. Symbolisations can occur in different forms: for example, through pure ‘representative symbols’ or through ‘symbols of presence’, which represent with greater immediacy that which is absent. In the latter sense, the symbol serves as a ‘marker of a shared identity’. Symbols of presence “do not merely define a sign of something, they are themselves a reality or part of a reality that is expressed in them”.9Soeffner, Hans G.: Symbolische Formung: Eine Soziologie des Symbols und des Rituals. Weilerswist 2010: Velbrück, 17; Rehberg, Karl-S.: “Institutionen, Kognitionen und Symbole – Institutionen als symbolische Verkörperungen”. In: Maurer, Andrea / Schmid, Michael (Eds.): Neuer Institutionalismus. Zur soziologischen Erklärung von Organisation, Moral und Vertrauen. Frankfurt a. M. 2002: Campus, 39-56, in particular 47-48. These symbols of presence consist not only of rites and rituals, which have attracted more and more attention in scholarship recently, but also of personality and habitus types, and they take concrete form in heroic figures, among other things. In a way, symbols of presence therefore belong to the “grand symbolism” of a society, which relies on them to assure itself of its identity and set of values.10“Die Große Symbolik ist hingegen die der Identitätsbildung in Gesellschaften und Gruppen. Sie hilft, die Kluft zwischen den beschränkten Erfahrungswelten interaktiver Kommunikationzusammenhänge und der auf größere Reichweite hin angelegten sozialen Interaktion zu überbrücken.” – Schlögl, Rudolf: “Symbole in der Kommunikation: Zur Einführung”. In: Schlögl, Rudolf / Giesen, Bernhard / Osterhammel, Hürgen (Eds.): Die Wirklichkeit der Symbole. Grundlagen der Kommunikation in historischen und gegenwärtigen Gesellschaften. Konstanz 2004: UVK, 9-40, 26. Symbols serve as way of identifying an affiliation (already implicated in the meaning of the Greek word symbolon).11See also Soeffner, Hans G.: Auslegung des Alltags – Der Alltag der Auslegung. Zur wissenssoziologischen Konzeption einer sozialwissenschaftlichen Hermeneutik. Stuttgart 2004: UTB, 184-185. According to Gehlen’s theory of institutions, they also enable relief and a certainty of what to expect, thereby providing a stabilising effect.12Gehlen, Arnold: Der Mensch. Seine Natur und seine Stellung in der Welt. 9th edition. Frankfurt a. M. 1971/2004: Athenäum, 204. Heroes could be understood as figures with this kind of symbolic significance, and heroization as the constitutive processes of this symbolism.

At the same time, heroizations do not generally go uncontested, but are the object and result of hegemonic struggles. They are subject to de-heroizations and to counter-heroizations by competing groups and/or within their own group, meaning that re-evaluations can occur.13Cf. Harrison, S. S.: “Four Types of Symbolic Conflict”. In: The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 1 (1995), 255-272, 258-260, 263-268. It has long been assumed that heroic figures emerge especially in crises of adaptation, when social orders erode or are not yet fully established.14Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich: Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik. Frankfurt a. M. 1970 [1835]: Suhrkamp, vol. 13: 236-252, vol. 15: 340-341. This is especially the case when collective systems of interpretation – such as morals, beliefs, or gender norms – fail to offer a convincing range of meanings in reaction to changed situations. As symbols of presence (in the sense mentioned above), heroic figures ‘embody’ contradictions in such a way that they simultaneously and paradoxically represent “an isolated contradiction and the process of its harmonisation”.15Soeffner: Symbolische Formung, 2010, 37; Soeffner, Hans G.: “Protosoziologische Überlegungen zur Soziologie des Symbols und des Rituals”. In: Schlögl, Rudolf / Giesen, Bernhard / Osterhammel, Jürgen (Eds.): Die Wirklichkeit der Symbole. Grundlagen der Kommunikation in historischen und gegenwärtigen Gesellschaften. Konstanz 2004, 41-72, 57. They allow “the dissonances of contradiction to be transformed into aesthetic consonances” in an especially effective way.16Soeffner: “Protosoziologische Überlegungen zur Soziologie des Symbols und des Rituals”, 2004, 58. From a terminological perspective, it is difficult to establish a single unifying term for this aesthetic effect; rather, the reference to heroes aims to “revoke the privilege of terms and arguments”.17Soeffner: Auslegung des Alltags, 2004, 163. Like other symbols referring to normative orders, heroic deeds and heroic figures bestow “their own language on what cannot be conveyed argumentatively or expressed discursively”.18Soeffner: “Protosoziologische Überlegungen zur Soziologie des Symbols und des Rituals”, 2004, 60.

Unlike many other symbolisations, heroes also oscillate between acting as human individuals and being ascribed superhuman achievement, between confounding and stabilising social order, between exceptionalism and the transgression or reassurance of norms. Within this suggestive field of tension, heroes possess a notable ability to motivate, inspire and lend meaning to the behaviour and actions of people. They encourage imitation or counteraction. One reason for this is that heroes are also human individuals with their own conflicts and emotions. The suggestive presence of heroes who are ‘Gestalt-like’ and active can suspend questions of meaning and reduce complexity because their presence prompts actions that no longer require reflection.19Langbein, Birte: “Die instrumentelle und die symbolische Dimension der Institutionen bei Arnold Gehlen”. In: Göhler, Gerhard (Ed.): Institution – Macht – Repräsentation. Wofür politische Institutionen stehen und wie sie wirken. Baden-Baden 1997: Nomos, 143-179, 158, 161-163. In this way, orientation towards heroic figures achieves the status of ultimate justification. According to Max Weber, this represents the very charismatic effect that causes people to follow them.20Weber, Max: Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie 1. 4th edition. Tübingen 1986, 272; Weber: Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 1980, 140, 654-661. The symbolic power of heroic figures is connected with the especially appellative character of their appearance and actions, which they acquire through their physicality and an often pronounced emotionality. Both their auratic presence and their performativity, which focuses strongly on public appearance, are important for their effectiveness; as a result, the special charisma of heroic figures is also an aspect of their medialisation.

3. The constitution of the heroic by media and communication

The heroic only actually becomes present in a society through its representation and communication via different media. In other words, “heroes need to be talked about”.21Münkler, Herfried: “Heroische und postheroische Gesellschaften”. In: Merkur 61.7-8 (2007), 742-752, 742. Following approaches of media theory, we propose that medialisation develops a dynamic of its own in the composition of the meaning of the heroic.22See, for example, Fohrmann, Jürgen / Schüttpelz, Erhard (Eds.): Die Kommunikation der Medien. Tübingen 2004. The representation of heroic figures in different media has an institutionalising power. We therefore analyse the mediality of the heroic and its foundation in social and personal figurations as mutually dependent factors in the creation of meaning.

For the analysis of the media-related conditions and communicative processes of heroization and heroisms, additional theoretical elements are required. The semiotics of culture, which understands and describes cultures as ‘systems of semiotic systems’23Posner, Roland: “Kultursemiotik”. In: Nünnung, Ansgar / Nünning, Vera (Eds.): Konzepte der Kulturwissenschaften. Stuttgart 2003: Metzler, 39-72, 55; cf. also Posner, Roland: “Kultur als Zeichensystem. Zur semiotischen Explikation kulturwissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe”. In: Assmann, Aleida / Harth, Dietrich (Eds.): Kultur als Lebenswelt und Monument. Frankfurt a. M. 1991: Fischer, 37-74; and for the greater context, Posner, Roland / Robering, Klaus / Seboek, Thomas E. (Eds.): Semiotik. Ein Handbuch zu den zeichentheoretischen Grundlagen von Natur und Kultur. 4 volumes. Berlin 1997–2004: de Gruyter., focuses on those agencies, cultural memories and archives, and processes of communication that are involved in heroizations within a society. In this context, codes function as rule-based connections between meanings and medialised forms of articulation. Within a given society, ideas of the heroic are coded by cultural conventions in a certain way and at a certain time; they can be passed down to following generations as traditions, which might then be transformed.24Cf. for example Nyíri, János K.: “Tradition and Related Terms. A Semantic Survey”. In: Semiotische Berichte 12.1-2 (1988), 113-134. However, codes of the heroic do not exist in conceptual isolation; instead, they create overarching systems of reference, or discursive orders and ‘languages of the heroic’ (borrowing from the term ‘language of discourse’ coined by John Pocock25Pocock, James G. A.: “Concepts and Discourses: A Difference in Culture?” In: Lehmann, Hartmut / Richter, Melvin (Eds.): The Meaning of Historical Terms and Concepts. New Studies on Begriffsgeschichte. Washington 1996: German Historical Institute, 47-58, 58; cf. also Pocock, James G. A. “The Concept of a Language and the métier d’historien: Some considerations on practice”. In: Pagden, Anthony (Ed.): The Languages of Political Theory in Early-modern Europe. Cambridge 1987: Cambridge University Press, 21-25.).

Additionally, it is essential for the (impact of the) heroic that meanings emerge outside of linguistic and conceptual codes and become part of languages that are not clearly ‘interpretable’. The appellative and affective character and the ‘radiance’ of heroic figures is based on such semantic excess, after all. It is certainly characteristic of the ability of the heroic to create meaning that it oscillates between conceptual comprehensibility and the ineffable.26Fischer-Lichte, Erika: Ästhetik des Performativen. Frankfurt a. M. 2005: Suhrkamp, 186. Heroes make an impact through ‘embodiment’ and through their ‘aura’. Their influence unfolds through their immediate ‘presence’ and aesthetic intensity27Cf. inter alia Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich: Diesseits der Hermeneutik: Die Produktion von Präsenz. Frankfurt a. M. 2004: Suhrkamp; cf. also Scherer, Stefan: “Die Evidenz der Literaturwissenschaft”. In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur (IASL). 30.2 (2006): 136-155., rather than through conceptual signification. The heroic is essentially performatively constructed in two ways: First, in the actual performance of a deed, and second, in the staging of the performance for (and by) others. As habitus patterns, heroisms are especially pronounced in staging the heroic; they are what allows communities to orientate themselves towards heroes.

Equally fundamental for the semiotics and performance of the heroic is the question of mediality and media contributions to the formation of meaning. The distinctive contribution of media and their materiality to the formation of meaning has increasingly gained attention in media and cultural studies.28Cf. with regard to such positions inter alia Fehrmann, Gisela / Erika Linz: “Resistenz und Transparenz der Zeichen: Der verdeckte Mechanismus in der Sprach- und Medientheorie”. In: Fohrmann, Jürgen / Schüttpelz, Erhard (Eds.): Die Kommunikation der Medien. Tübingen 2004: Niemeyer, 81-104, 81-82. Our research project also works on the assumption that different media can influence which qualities of the heroic may be represented poignantly (and to what degree), while also determining how heroic patterns are communicated and passed on in social contexts – one example being the comparison between verbal, pictorial and musical heroic narratives. This is why we incorporate a multitude of media and intermedia contexts, and this allows us to rely on a broad understanding of media. This understanding also includes the above-mentioned performative ‘embodiment’ of the heroic in heroic figures – in other words, the mediality of people and the body as a medium with its own forms of articulation.29Faulstich, Werner (Ed.): Grundwissen Medien. München 1994: Fink, 30-31.

The formative potential of the mediality of the heroic is especially pronounced in imaginative and artistic representations. Such representations, which constitute an important field of our investigation, not only include media of social self-observation and cultural self-interpretation30Bachmann-Medick, Doris: “Einleitung”. In: Bachmann-Medick, Doris (Ed.): Kultur als Text. Die anthropologische Wende in der Literaturwissenschaft. Frankfurt a. M. 1996: Fischer, 7-65.; they also have the potential to remodel notions of the heroic or imagine them in a completely new way. As such, they make a significant contribution to transformations of heroizations and heroisms.

4. Historical overview

In the longue durée of the heroic phases of radical change, critical intensification and reorientation can be identified. In these situations of transformation traditional and new heroizations, heroisms and different social forms of appropriating the heroic collided. Moreover, concepts of the heroic originating from different eras coexist and superimpose on each other such that the notion of ‘sediments of time’ (‘Zeitschichten’ – R. Koselleck)31Koselleck, Reinhart: “Geschichte, Geschichten und formale Zeitstrukturen”. In: Koselleck, Reinhart: Vergangene Zukunft. Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten, Frankfurt a. M. 1989 [1973], 130-143; Koselleck, Reinhart: “Zur historisch-politischen Semantik asymmetrischer Gegenbegriffe”. In: Koselleck, Reinhart: Vergangene Zukunft. Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten, Frankfurt a. M. 1992, 211-259; Koselleck, Reinhart: “Zeitschichten”. In: Koselleck, Reinhart: Zeitschichten. Studien zur Historik, Frankfurt a. M. 2000 [1995], 19-26. attains analytical significance (see ⟶Temporal Structures of the Heroic). Without the plurality of heroisms, which has resulted from criticism, differentiation and negation, the manifold complementary phenomena of the heroic, the conflicts and competition, the deheroizations and anti-heroisms, which have received too little attention in scholarship to date, cannot be understood. They can be regarded as significant indicators and factors of the transformation processes through which the notions and terms of the ‘hero’ changed again and again.

4.1. Antiquity

The hero(in)es that developed in the early period of Greek history by the 8th/7th century before Christ are characterised by a semantic vagueness unfamiliar to modern understandings of the heroic: the humans of the ‘grand’ past were called heroes, whose frequently agonal, martial deeds were imagined as ‘intentional history’ in mythoi. However, the term heroes was also used to describe religious figures who were often revered in the funerary cult, represented local identities and stood between gods and humans. A third semantic component arose in the 5th century before Christ from the fact that outstanding individuals of the present such as prominent athletes could also be approximated to heroes. However, it was not until a new sociopolitical situation emerged that a fundamental change in the understanding of the heroic occurred: with the establishment of monarchically ruled territorial empires, Alexander the Great and his successors, who were called charismatic rulers, asserted their legitimacy through explicit imitation of heroes32Cf. von den Hoff, Ralf / Schreurs-Morét, Anna / Posselt-Kuhli, Christina / Hubert, Hans W. / Heinzer, Felix: “Imitatio heroica. On the Impact of a Cultural Phenomenon”. In: Falkenhayner, Nicole / Meurer, Sebastian / Schlechtriemen, Tobias (Eds.): Analyzing Processes of Heroization. Theories, Methods, Histories (= helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu den Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 5 [2019]), 79-95. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2019/APH/09. For the original publication in German see von den Hoff, Ralf / Schreurs-Morét, Anna / Posselt-Kuhli, Christina / Hubert, Hans W. / Heinzer, Felix: “Imitatio heroica – Zur Reichweite eines kulturellen Phänomens”. In: von den Hoff, Ralf / Heinzer, Felix / Hubert, Hans W. / Schreurs-Morét, Anna (Eds.): Imitatio heroica. Heldenangleichung im Bildnis. Würzburg 2015: Ergon, 9-33., but also by instituting new formulas of representation by which the ruler was singled out. However, the reference to extraordinariness was in conflict with the kings’ aspirations for presence in ordinary life; their sacralisation through god-equivalent adoration stood in contrast to their appearance and their (re)presentation which was modelled on heroes adored in a completely different way in the public sphere.33Cf. von den Hoff, Ralf: “König, Tyrann, Bürger, Heros, Gott. Bilder von Monarchen in der visuellen Kultur des antiken Griechenland”. In: Rebenich, Stefan (Ed.): Monarchische Herrschaft im Altertum. Oldenbourg 2017: De Gruyter, 263-303. DOI: 10.1515/9783110463859-012. In the Hellenistic successor states, specific traditions of deifying the monarch arose in some cases as well. Alexander himself created a heroism model linked to the person of the ruler, but initially unrelated to familiar heroes imagery. Moreover, he himself became the object of an imitatio heroica.34Cf. von den Hoff, Ralf: “Alexanderbildnisse und Imitatio Alexandri in Baktrien”. In: Lindström, Gunvor et al. (Eds.): Zwischen Ost und West. Neue Forschungen zum antiken Zentralasien. Wissenschaftliches Kolloquium 30.9.–2.10.2009 in Mannheim. Mainz 2013: Philipp von Zabern, 83-98.

With the heroisms of Hellenistic monarchs, the military elements of the heroic intensified, which pointed to a need for new forms of legitimation. But it was not until roughly two generations after Alexander’s death that the heroic potential of his persona was used to legitimate political rule through (partial) approximation and identification (or even differentiation). However, these processes also yielded an intensified aesthetic effect, which allowed the Alexander code to become routine, a semantically reduced fad and a pictorial cliché by the 2nd century before Christ; explicit references to him were only seldom recognisable even in other heroes imagery. The transfer of Alexander imagery into new, non-Greek cultural spaces simultaneously led to specific adaptation processes. Social elites were beginning to also set themselves apart by invoking and comparing themselves to heroes while, in the funerary cult, the term heros was used for nearly every deceased citizen – an initial tendency of ‘embourgeoisement’ was manifesting itself. Latin, however, had no term of its own for heros, which permits the inference that the heroic in Rome constituted a guiding principle primarily as an exemplary quality relating to specific conduct and not a religious quality.


4.2. The middle ages

With Europe in late antiquity and in the early middle ages being strongly influenced by Christianity, the suffering Christ appeared as a model of ascetic-heroic self-denial and of the transgression of death, a model that was propagated for example as an exemplary ideal in the imitatio Christi of the saints and paradigmatically in the figure of the martyr.35 Cf. Bremmer, Jan N.: “From Heroes to Saints and from Martyrological to Hagiographical Discourse”. In: Heinzer, Felix / Leonhard, Jörn / von den Hoff, Ralf (Eds.): Sakralität und Heldentum. Würzburg 2017: Ergon, 35-66; for the imitatio Christi in the early modern period see Aurnhammer, Achim / Steiger, Johann Anselm (Eds.): Christus als Held und seine heroische Nachfolge. Zur ‚imitatio Christi‘ in der Frühen Neuzeit. Berlin/Boston 2020: De Gruyter. However, even given this new underlying situation, older concepts of heroism, some also rooted in pre-Christian notions (for instance that of the athleta Christi) persisted during this phase and fostered a greater veneration of certain saints.36Cf. Heinzer, Felix: “Hos multo elegantius, si ecclesiastica loquendi consuetudo pateretur, nostros heroas uocaremus. Sprachbilder im frühchristlichen Märtyrerdiskurs”. In: von den Hoff, Ralf et al. (Eds.): Imitatio heroica. Heldenangleichung im Bildnis, Würzburg 2015: Ergon, 119-136; Studt, Birgit: “Lorbeer, Vlies und Feuerstahl: Antikenrezeption als Herrscherheroisierung – die Bildpolitik der Herzöge von Burgund”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Bröckling, Ulrich (Eds.): Vom Weihegefäß zur Drohne. Kulturen des Heroischen und ihre Objekte. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 85-102.

The social relevance of heroizations and heroisms in the high middle ages manifested itself in the concept of agonally proven family honour, to which the traditional elites had adhered since antiquity.37Cf. Studt, Birgit: “Gründungsheroen, Ahnenreihen und historische Topographien. Genealogische Narrative und konkurrierende Formen politischer Raumbildung in den Geschichten von den Fürsten in Bayern”. In: Andenna, Cristina / Melville, Gert (Eds.): Idoneität – Genealogie – Legitimation. Begründung und Akzeptanz von dynastischer Herrschaft im Mittelalter. Köln 2015: Böhlau, 387-406. However, publicly staged manliness competed with new ideals of courtly culture.38Studt, Birgit: “Helden und Heilige. Männlichkeitsentwürfe im frühen und hohen Mittelalter”. In: Historische Zeitschrift 276 (2003), 1-36. The vir curialis could engage in downright anti-heroic courtly love without risking his heroic status because of it. In the reform movements of French monasteries, a monastic ideal of sainthood came to the fore that had to struggle with the fact that it was hardly realisable for secular elites. Attempts to render laymen as saints encountered major difficulties. At the same time, the heroic-agonal trial allowed the knight to distance himself from courtly ideals of life. Thus, an important realignment of the heroic habitus took place performatively on the stage of the medieval court.

Furthermore, as a result of the Crusades, the miles Christianus became even more established as a new model of the heroic, in which the ideal of Christian devotion was linked to the aspiration of the agonal-martial habitus. This model also corresponded to the widespread reference to historical hero figures as individuals, which can be increasingly observed in the 14th and 15th centuries. Although this individualisation was directed against the royal court and the pull of territorialisation and state formation proceeding from that court, it can in no way be equated with privatisation: the new heroism was made politically and socially potent through public monuments to heroes and thereby gained a trendsetting presence in public spaces.39Cf. for example Hubert, Hans W.: “Sanktifizierung als Heroisierung? Die Statuen Papst Bonifaz’ VIII. zwischen Bildnispolitik und Idolatrie”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Bröckling, Ulrich (Eds.): Vom Weihegefäß zur Drohne. Kulturen des Heroischen und ihre Objekte. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 59-84; Hans W. Hubert: “Michelangelo – Vom Ausnahmekünstler zum Denkmal”. In: Hubert, Hans W. / Helm, Katharina / Posselt-Kuhli, Christina / Schreurs-Morét, Anna (Eds.): Künstlerhelden? Heroisierung und mediale Inszenierung von Malern, Bildhauern und Architekten, Merzhausen 2015, 132-178; Hubert, Hans W.: “Gestaltungen des Heroischen in den Florentiner David-Plastiken”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Pfister, Manfred (Eds.): Heroen und Heroisierungen in der Renaissance. Wiesbaden 2013: Harrassowitz, 181-218.

Characteristic for the middle ages was the concurrence of and connection between persisting classical and new Christian hero(ine) models and not their strict delimitation from one another. In this regard, a pronounced superposition of different models in different ‘sediments of time’ can be seen.

4.3. The early modern period

The early modern period constituted a decisive era not just in respect of the intensive examination of the entire arsenal of classical hero figures and their revival, particularly in royal representation. In the 16th century, as the Western Church split into Protestantism and Catholicism and military conflicts between territorial states intensified, a pluralisation of notions of the heroic occurred and the competition among them grew.40Cf. Asch, Ronald G.: Herbst des Helden. Modelle des Heroischen und heroische Lebensentwürfe in England und Frankreich von den Religionskriegen bis zum Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Ein Essay. Würzburg 2016: Ergon. Urban monuments to heroes were now accompanied by new media such as printing and pamphlets that diversified the publicness of the heroic41Cf. Aurnhammer, Achim: “Der intermediale Held. Heroisierungsstrategien in Epicedien auf König Gustav II. Adolf”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Pfister, Manfred (Eds.): Heroen und Heroisierungen in der Renaissance. Wiesbaden 2013: Harrassowitz, 303-332. and fostered new visual links between prefigurative heroic models and the self-(re)presentation of social elites. The ideal of heroic virility was supplemented with elements such as self-control or religiously defined ideals like internalisation. Moreover, in the late 16th and early and mid-17th century, models of a heroic piety developed a strong subversive power, first in France and subsequently in England (Puritanism) as well.42Cf. Asch, Ronald G.: “Märtyrer, Mörder und Monarchen. Das Königtum zwischen Heroismus und Heroismus-Defizit. Ein Vergleich zwischen England und Frankreich (1589–1628)”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Pfister, Manfred (Eds.): Heroen und Heroisierungen in der Renaissance. Wiesbaden 2013: Harrassowitz, 283-302. The established ecclesiastical and political order with its many compromises saw its very existence threatened by that power. A greater spiritualisation and internalisation of piety (e.g. asceticism instead of conflict with the heretics) partly managed to stem this subversive power. However, this in turn provoked tension between a religious rigorism and the willingness to compromise with a secular morality.

In the course of the 17th century, the concept of the honnête homme, a rather unmartial and courtly model, confronted the martial hero. The courtly and the noble milieu once again proved to be social focal points for transformations of the heroic. Many of these changes did not become structurally dominant until the 17th century, when they intensified and caused a fundamental change: on the one hand, the ruler became nearly the sole subject of the imitatio heroica of classical heroes; on the other hand, in hearkening back to classical prototypes that to an extent already embodied internalised ideals, many heroic models forfeited their previous veridicality and appellative power, which allowed heroism to be criticised as mere superficial affectation.43Cf. Asch, Ronald G.: “Antike Herrschaftsmodelle und die frühneuzeitliche europäische Monarchie. Oder: Die heroische Inszenierung des Fürsten im Spannungsfeld zwischen republikanischem Erbe und dem Anspruch auf überzeitliche Größe”. In: Rebenich, Stefan (Ed.): Monarchische Herrschaft im Altertum. Oldenbourg 2017: de Gruyter, 637-661; Asch Ronald G.: “Heros, Friedensstifter oder Märtyrer? Optionen und Grenzen heroischen Herrschertums in England, ca. 1603–1660”. In: Wrede, Martin (Ed.): Die Inszenierung der heroischen Monarchie. Frühneuzeitliches Königtum zwischen ritterlichem Erbe und militärischer Herausforderung. München 2014: Oldenbourg, 198-215.

Starting in ca. 1650 in France, a transformation occurred in respect of the auratisation of the hero. The radiance (éclat du héros) metamorphosed from a figure of medialisation and articulation with many aesthetic and appellative effects into a reflexive figure of the heroic.44Gelz, Andreas: Der Glanz des Helden. Über das Heroische in der französischen Literatur des 17. bis 19. Jahrhunderts. Göttingen 2016: Wallstein. An affirmative (re)presentation of the heroic éclat, e.g. in panegyric, historiography and political treatise, contrasted with a reflexive and analytical use of the term in literary texts.45Cf. Willis, Jakob: Glanz und Blendung. Zur Ästhetik des Heroischen im Drama des Siècle classique. Bielefeld 2017: Transcript; Gelz, Andreas: “Der Glanz des Helden – Darstellungsformen des Heroischen in der französischen Literatur vom 17.-19. Jahrhundert”. In: französisch heute. 49.2 (2018), 5-13. This problematisation of forms of representing the heroic aura points to the fragility and ambivalence of the societal anchoring of the heroic.

As new needs for representation emerged, the nobility sought forms of affirmation and differentiation of traditional heroisms through reference to exotic heroes in the court drama of the late 17th century. Heroic properties were also projected onto ‘foreign’ figures46Cf. Aurnhammer, Achim / Korte, Barbara: (Eds.): Fremde Helden auf europäischen Bühnen (1600–1900). Würzburg 2017: Ergon., which can be described as transcultural forms of the heroic that brought attention to fractures and destabilisation of cultural notions. However, through their stylisation into heroes of the faith in the Latin dramas of the Jesuit Order, the heroic habitus of Japanese martyrs for example served as a mirror to a European audience. With the projection of the heroic onto intellectual personalities47Cf. Mommertz, Monika: “Heroization in Science, Scholarship, and Knowledge-Production: The Intellectual Hero in Transdisciplinary and Trans-Epochal Perspective”. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 4 (2018), 3-12. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2018/HS/01 ; Albrecht, Andrea: “’Helden der Wissenschaft’. Formen und Funktionen der Heroisierung des Gelehrten”. In: Andronikashvili, Zaal / Maisuradze, Giorgi / Schwartz, Matthias / Thun-Hohenstein, Franziska (Eds.): Kulturheros. Genealogien, Konstellationen, Praktiken. Berlin 2017: Kadmos, 110-135., an extension of the concept took place alongside an expansion into non-noble, bourgeois circles.

In the extent to which royal benefactors were attributed a heroic habitus as peacemakers and patrons of the arts48Cf. Posselt-Kuhli, Christina: “Kunstheld”. In: Compendium heroicum. Ed. von Ronald G. Asch, Achim Aurnhammer, Georg Feitscher und Anna Schreurs-Morét. Freiburg 10.08.2018. DOI: 10.6094/heroicum/kunstheld; Posselt-Kuhli, Christina: Kunstheld versus Kriegsheld? Heroisierung durch Kunst im Kontext von Krieg und Frieden in der Frühen Neuzeit. Würzburg 2017: Ergon; Helm, Katharina / Hubert, Hans W. / Posselt-Kuhli, Christina / Schreurs-Morét, Anna (Eds.): Künstlerhelden? Heroisierung und mediale Inszenierung von Malern, Bildhauern und Architekten. Merzhausen 2015: ad picturam; Posselt-Kuhli, Christina: “‘Der Kunstheld’: eine semantische Spurensuche in Panegyriken des 17. Jahrhunderts”. In: Wolfenbütteler Renaissance-Mitteilungen 35.1 (2014)., the notion of the heroic was no longer constrained to martial heroic deeds. Even in Louis XIV’s self-dramatisation as the roi connétable within a guerre spectacle, the heroic role gained autonomy from any overly narrow reference to reality. It was enough for Louis XIV to show himself at the fore of his troops to underline his aspiration that the victories ultimately were due to his genius, vigour and charismatic aura.49Cf. Asch: Herbst des Helden, 2016.

4.4. The Enlightenment and the Sattelzeit

In the age of the Enlightenment, the classic hero figures were joined by the genius. Semantically, the grand homme embodied the virtues of the citizen of a res publica, while the classic hero(in)es and those who emulated them oriented towards the ideal of aristocratic honour that tied back to monarchy. However, the 18th century cannot be described in general as a crisis of the heroic. Rather, this was a period in which new models of historical greatness overshadowed and replaced traditional role patterns. The trend towards moralisation and domestication of the hero is clearly recognisable, and the affinity of traditional martial hero figures towards ⟶violence became a problem at least in the French Enlightenment.

More greatly than previously, style and aesthetic languages of heroizations became the object of controversies – there was no really established canon of artistic forms of expression any more.50Cf. Asch: Herbst des Helden, 2016. No one believed any longer that mythological figures could be drawn upon, but there was no new, authoritative imagery to replace mythology and mark the boundary between the hero and the everyday. A stronger pluralisation of heroic models and their representation in the media was already manifesting itself. It would later be a defining characteristic for the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the present.

In the course of the upheaval in politics and society that marked the French Revolution and Revolutionary Wars, hero(ine) concepts, some of which had already become bourgeois, were transplanted onto new value models, primarily patrie and nation, but also the defensive-bellicist republic. The historical semantics of the lexical field underlines that ‘hero’/‘Held’/‘héro’ does not fit into the scheme of classic ‘concepts of movement’, the semantical contours of which changed during the Sattelzeit between 1770 and 1850, but was rather a term of tradition in which historically asynchronous elements were linked to one another. Invariably older patterns remained recognisable next to new elements of meaning. With the French Revolution, a novelly accentuated political-social hero cult emerged under the banner of the sacralised nation proceeding from the history of violence that was the revolution. The hero became a figure that marked the boundaries of his own national community and, simultaneously, possibly already stood on the edge of that society.

In the ⟶propaganda of the revolutionary regimes, the community of fraternally bound defenders of the fatherland appeared alongside the heroic individual, while internal and external violence more than ever became a constitutive element for defining the hero(ine). The political hero Napoleon, stylised into a model and amalgamating new and old heroisms (the social climber and war hero, the conqueror of nature and history, the Moses-like law-giver, the republican, later imperial roi connétable), had a suggestive and polarising impact precisely for that reason. However, from the period of revolution and Napoleonic rule, no uniform model of heroism emerged, rather a strong tension between universalist claim and a spectrum of ⟶nationally connoted hero(in)es (Lord Nelson, Queen Louise), who gained a presence in the politics of memory by struggling against revolution and Napoleon.

The particular quality of the period around 1800 as a critical phase of transformation for the heroic can also be seen in that entirely different societies also developed new heroisms: besides Bonapartism/Napoleonism as a political hero narrative, there was the hero worship of republican presidents in the United States51Cf. Butter, Michael: Der “Washington-Code”. Zur Heroisierung amerikanischer Präsidenten 1775–1865. Göttingen 2016: Wallstein. and the differentiation between national and folk heroes in Russia.52Cf. Neutatz, Dietmar: “Der Suvorov-Orden (1942/2010) und die Adaptierung einer historischen Heldenfigur für den modernen Massenkrieg”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Bröckling, Ulrich (Eds.): Vom Weihegefäß zur Drohne. Kulturen des Heroischen und ihre Objekte. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 255-274. The societal transformations of this era, the end of estate-based society and the emergence of socially defined classes, was also mirrored over the course of the 19th century in heroic qualities becoming applicable to representatives of new bourgeois professions such as inventor, engineer and scholar, and in the process casting doubt on social boundaries. Even more so than in the latter part of the 18th century, in the age of mass armies and conscription, public attention was devoted to the ‘common soldier’ and no longer just to the noble officer, just as the social range of the heroic began to expand to also include the working class.53Cf. Minelli, Kelly: “Soldat (Frühe Neuzeit)”. In: Compendium heroicum. Ed. by Ronald G. Asch, Achim Aurnhammer, Georg Feitscher and Anna Schreurs-Morét. Freiburg 14.02.2018. DOI: 10.6094/heroicum/soldat-fnz. In the course of ideological differentiation, however, political hero(in)es in particular became more disputed, less self-evident and increasingly in need of explanation; hero(in)es were producing counter-hero(in)es more and more often. Revolutionary heroes and national heroines may have been attributed a unifying impact, but in the dynamic of ideological disputes, after 1789 and 1849, heroizations often tended to be catalysts for political and social destabilisation and ideological fragmentation.

4.5. The modern period

The image of the hero in the 19th century was also fundamentally changed by a transforming media landscape, which included periodicals intended for a mass audience. In England, consumer magazines, for example those aimed at adolescents, propagated less an uncritical adoration of hero(in)es than an admiration intended to encourage emulation. That admiration could certainly also be associated with a criticism of the transgressive, violent traits of the heroic.54Cf. Korte, Barbara: “Viele Helden für viele Leser. Das Heroische in viktorianischen Publikumszeitschriften”. In: Asch, Ronald G. / Butter, Michael (Eds.): Bewunderer, Verehrer, Zuschauer. Die Helden und ihr Publikum. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 93-114; Korte, Barbara / Lethbridge, Stefanie (Eds.): Heroes and Heroism in British Fiction Since 1800. Case Studies. Basingstoke 2016: Palgrave; Korte, Barbara: “On Heroes and Hero Worship. Regimes of Emotional Investment in Mid-Victorian Popular Magazines”. In: Victorian Periodicals Review 49.2 (2016), 181-201. In the end, moral greatness counted more than the spectacular deed. The emphasis on moral heroism over heroism in deed also allowed room for feminine heroic life scripts. Notions of masculinity and femininity were in part debated anew in discourses on the heroic. Although the traditional hero figures were mostly male, the more silent female heroism could be presented as being superior.55Cf. Korte, Barbara: “The Promotion of the Heroic Woman in Victorian and Edwardian Gift Books”. In: Stead, Evanghelia (Ed.): Reading Books and Prints as Cultural Objects. Basingstoke 2018: Palgrave Macmillan, 159-177. However, in this way, the transgressive potential of heroine figures was also intentionally curtailed. Overall, in periodicals, the hero(ine) as a provocative transgressor of boundaries and violator of norms was largely edited out. That notion was replaced by the hero as an exemplary conformist.

However, in the 19th century, confronted with the challenge of demystification and rationalisation, which were widely recognised and subjectively experienced, the demand for extraordinary hero(in)es and their deeds also rose. The active boom of new heroizations and laments over an allegedly hero-less era underlined that, under the banner of mass societies that were increasingly being unified through media, the need for special figures of identification did not lessen – quite the opposite. To counter the banalisation of the heroic, Richard Wagner dramatised the hero holistically in opera and through voice.56Cf. Bahr, Carolin / Seedorf, Thomas: “Wagners Konzeption des Lohengrin und das Dresdner Sängerensemble”. In: wagnerspectrum 10.1 (2014), 145-161; Seedorf, Thomas: “Vom Tenorhelden zum Heldentenor – Wagners Ideal eines neuen Sängertypus”. In: Altenburg, Detlef (Ed.): Bericht über den XIII. Internationalen Kongress der Gesellschaft für Musikforschung vom 16. bis 21. September 2004 am Institut für Musikwissenschaft Weimar-Jena. Vol. 1. Kassel et al. 2012: Bärenreiter, 463-472; cf. with regard to the opera hero also Seedorf, Thomas: Heldensoprane. Die Stimmen der eroi in der italienischen Oper von Monteverdi bis Bellini. Göttingen 2015: Wallstein. Thomas Carlyle57Carlyle, Thomas: On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History. London 1841: Fraser. and Friedrich Nietzsche58Cf. Nietzsche, Friedrich: Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen. [Vol. 1.] Chemnitz 1983. also objected to the ‘trivialisation’ of the heroic, the latter creating an alternative script with his theory of the ‘Übermensch’: his concept transferred heroic properties such as self-mastery, discipline and body control into a heroic individualism, but detached them as a “metaphysic substitute” from the social and historical context.

The new science of sociology struggled with the exceptional and the irregular – which included the figures of the genius and the hero – and focused its theories more on the ‘homme moyen’ (Quételet), social averages and regularities than on exceptional phenomena.59Cf. Schlechtriemen, Tobias: “Nur das Publikum zählt. Wie Adolphe Quételet und Herbert Spencer ‘große Männer’ erklären”. In: Asch, Ronald G. / Butter, Michael (Eds.): Bewunderer, Verehrer, Zuschauer. Die Helden und ihr Publikum. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 179-198. Nevertheless, heroic motifs also appeared in sociological discourse, such as in Auguste Comte’s self-stylisations60Schlechtriemen, Tobias: “Auguste Comte als ‘großer Mann’. Zur Exzeptionalität des soziologischen Beobachters”. In: Gamper, Michael / Kleeberg, Ingrid (Eds.): Größe. Zur Medien- und Konzeptgeschichte personaler Macht im langen 19. Jahrhundert. Zürich 2015: Chronos, 153-172. or Max Weber’s fundamentally tragic heroism of ⟶enduring in a world deemed an ‘iron cage of serfdom’.61Weber, Max: Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus. Ed. by Dirk Kaesler. 3rd edition. München 2010 [1905]: Beck, 65-276, 197. Moreover, with Weber’s notion of ‘charisma’, a novel descriptive and analytical category of the heroic emerged, which documents an in-depth investigation of the phenomenon.62Cf. Ebertz, Michael: “Charisma und ‘das Heroische’”. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen 4.2 (2016), 5-16. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2016/02/01.

Around 1914, new heroic concepts formed, be it in economics – for instance the figure of the entrepreneur in Joseph A. Schumpeter’s writings – or in the opposition of ‘merchants and heroes’63Sombart, Werner: Händler und Helden. Patriotische Besinnungen. München/Leipzig 1915: Duncker & Humblot. coined by Werner Sombart as a result of the culture war of 1914. Against that background, the First World War constituted a profound crisis of the heroic. Mass death and the reality of industrialised warfare no longer allowed conventional notions of the heroic warrior as defender of the fatherland, even if long handed-down models of the heroic were referred to again and again.

A particular yearning for heroic figures or idolatrous stagings of the heroic can also be found at the start of the 20th century in literary groups, paradigmatic among them being the cult circle that formed around Stefan George.64Cf. Bolay, Ann-Christin: Dichter und Helden. Heroisierungsstrategien in der Biographik des George-Kreises. Würzburg 2017: Ergon. The circle especially distinguished itself from Wilhelmian heroic patterns by criticising how these became misconstrued and flat in the bourgeois-national canon. George and his circle used an elitist concept of the heroic habitus to counteract the structurally dominant national discourse. In this discourse, heroization served to outwardly distinguish the nation’s superiority over other nations, while inwardly homogenising it behind the idea of a shared heroism. An “expectation of the heroic” proclaims the “coming hero,” without the heroic requiring further definition. This let the circle form a group identity and raise its profile as a group of disciples with an affinity to heroism – or as so-called “heroes of demeanor”.

4.6. Postmodernity and ‘post-heroism’

After the paroxysm of heroic-martial life scripts and until the mid-20th century, Western Europe, but in particular Germany, experienced a largely ‘post-heroic’ age.65Cf. for exmple Münkler: “Heroische und postheroische Gesellschaften”, 2007; Bohrer, Karl Heinz / Scheel, Kurt (Eds.): Heldengedenken. Über das historische Phantasma. Sonderheft Merkur No. 724/725. Stuttgart 2009: Klett-Cotta. However, after the attack on the Charlie Hebdo editorial staff in Paris in January 2015, Berlin visual studies scholar Horst Bredekamp postulated the end of the ‘post-heroic society’ with the observation that in Western Europe sacrifices were again being made out of conviction .66Bredekamp, Horst: “Doppelmord an Mensch und Werk”. Interview in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nr. 8, 12. Januar 2015. Even Herfried Münkler, the most prominent advocate of the post-heroism theory in the German-speaking world, has posited that terrorists were “forcing us to readopt elements of the heroic” and that the post-heroic society was “unviable without invoking a remnant of the heroic”.67Münkler, Herfried: “Unser Recht auf Feigheit”. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nr. 15, 20. Januar 2015. This debate, which further gained steam as a result of the attacks in Paris in November 2015, exemplarily makes clear how the discussion on the possibility or necessity of heroic conduct directly informs the social and political self-interpretations of societies.

Hence, a renaissance of hero(ine) figures can be seen recently. Heterogeneous and hybrid notions have emerged as a result of manifold needs and references to traditional concepts of heroism. While competing political convictions are instrumentalised, there are also cultural contradictions. In current debates, an enduring scepticism, an ‘anti-heroic reflex’, even a heroism taboo68Cf. Bohrer / Scheel (Eds.): Heldengedenken, 2009. has manifested. However, a persistent and seemingly natural need for heroic figures remains and has been passed on for generations.69Cf. Körber-Stiftung: “Helden: Verehrt – verkannt – vergessen: Geschichtswettbewerb des Bundespräsidenten”. In: Spurensuchen. Vol. 22. Hamburg 2008: Körber-Stiftung.

In the creation of ‘new heroes’ – between 9/1170Cf. Hochbruck, Wolfgang: Raising the flag among the ruins of the World Trade Center. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen, 5.1 (2017), 71-79. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2017/01/08., sporting events71Cf. Bröckling, Ulrich: “Wettkampf und Wettbewerb. Semantiken des Erfolgs zwischen Sport und Ökonomie”. In: Denis Hänzi et al. (Eds.): Erfolg. Konstellationen und Paradoxien einer gesellschaftlichen Leitorientierung. Baden-Baden 2014: Nomos, 92-102. and first-person shooters – current needs are dominating. Even the current public and scholarly debates surrounding hero(in)es are characterised by a presentist perspective. The contemporary boom of the heroic can also be seen in everyday and popular culture.72Cf. Gebauer, Carla / Hadamitzky, Christiane (Eds.): Populärkultur. helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen 2.1 (2014), DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2014/01; cf. for a specific figuration of hero(in)es of popular culture also Korte, Barbara: Geheime Helden. Spione in der Populärkultur des 21. Jahrhunderts. Göttingen 2017: Wallstein. In the day-to-day, the inflationary use of the term ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’ has frequently entailed a banalisation of heroic models. For instance, advertisements use heroic semantics to attract attention and civil society organisations attempt to extol socially desirable conduct by selecting exemplary ‘everyday heroes’. The popularity of ⟶superhero figures in film, comics and computer games persists, although the figures continue to be adapted to changed societal role models. Even if they are often ironically broken, hero narratives continue to possess an enormously ⟶attractive power.

5. Research overview

5.1. Current research

A comprehensive, systematically organised report on the heroic in recent cultural history scholarship (Das Heroische in der neueren kulturhistorischen Forschung) has been available in German since 2015.73von den Hoff, Ralf et al.: “Das Heroische in der neueren kulturhistorischen Forschung. Ein kritischer Bericht”. In: H-Soz-Kult, 28.7.2015. Online at: https://www.hsozkult.de/literaturereview/id/forschungsberichte-2216 (accessed on 01.02.2019). The report was written by members of the Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) 948 “Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms” in Freiburg and covers the period between roughly 2003 and 2014. In addition, since 2015 the SFB has published an annotated Online Bibliography of Hero Scholarship.74Sonderforschungsbereich 948: E-Bibliographie “Helden”. Online at: https://biblio.ub.uni-freiburg.de/helden/ (accessed on 08.07.2022). We only want to summarily mention the SFB’s numerous own publications that have been released since its establishment at the University of Freiburg in 2012.75Cf. the list of publications by the Sonderforschungsbereichs 948 “Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms” here http://www.sfb948.uni-freiburg.de/de/publikationen/?page=1.

Among the notable publications that have been released since the scholarship report was completed or that are not mentioned therein, Hans Blumenberg’s posthumously published study Präfiguration. Arbeit am politischen Mythos (2014)76Blumenberg, Hans: Präfiguration. Arbeit am politischen Mythos. Berlin 2014: Suhrkamp. deals with the questions of the imitatio heroica and repeating structures with regard to the heroic (see ⟶Prefiguration), and Veronika Zink’s sociological dissertation Von der Verehrung (2014)77Zink, Veronika: Von der Verehrung. Eine kultursoziologische Untersuchung. Frankfurt a. M. 2014: Campus. differentiates between the relations between hero(in)es and followers, admirers and adorers. With analyses of not only ‘modern masculinity’, but primarily also ⟶martyrdom, self-sacrifice and societies moulded by Islam, Ulrike Brunotte’s monograph Helden des Todes (2015)78Brunotte, Ulrike: Helden des Todes. Studien zur Religion, Ästhetik und Politik moderner Männlichkeit. Würzburg 2015: Ergon. examines the relational framework of hero(in)es and gender. An extensive edited volume published in 2017 addresses ‘cultural heroes’ such as poets, scholars and intellectuals who are deemed to have a culture-creating role (Andronikashvili et al. 2017).79Andronikashvili, Zaal / Maisuradze, Giorgi / Schwartz, Matthias / Thun-Hohenstein, Franziska (Eds.): Kulturheros. Genealogien, Konstellationen, Praktiken. Berlin 2017: Kadmos. Another publication brings together systematic examinations of inter alia the violence, sacrality and resilience of heroes with case studies (Rolshoven et al. 2018).80Rolshoven, Johanna / Krause, Toni Janosch / Winkler Justin (Eds.): Heroes – Repräsentationen des Heroischen in Geschichte, Literatur und Alltag. Bielefeld 2018: Transcript. Equally pertinent is an edited volume published in 2014 on forms and notions of a changing Christian martyrdom (Blennemann/Herbers 2014; also cf. Bergjan/Näf 2014).81Blennemann, Gordon / Herbers, Klaus 2015: Vom Blutzeugen zum Glaubenszeugen? Formen und Vorstellungen des christlichen Martyriums im Wandel. Stuttgart 2015: Franz Steiner; Bergjan, Silke-Petra / Näf, Beat: Märtyrerverehrung im frühen Christentum. Zeugnisse und kulturelle Wirkungsweisen. Stuttgart 2014: Kohlhammer. A book on visual and literary notions of masculinity after 9/11 also touches on this topic (Tanrisever 2016).82Tanrisever, Ahu: Fathers, Warriors, and Vigilantes. Post-Heroism and the US Cultural Imaginary in the Twenty-First Century. Heidelberg 2016: Winter. Postcolonial perspectives are accentuated in several recent publications, including Hirsbrunner 2012 and Sèbe 2013 on heroic imperialists for example.83Hirsbrunner, Stefanie: Sorry about Colonialism. Weiße Helden in kontemporären Hollywoodfilmen. Marburg 2012: Tectum; Sèbe, Berny: Heroic Imperialists in Africa. The Promotion of British and French Colonial Heroes, 1870–1939. Manchester 2013: Manchester University Press.

Current scholarship on hero(in)es focuses on a number of characteristic fields of study: the historically conditioned, constructed nature of the heroic; its functions for negotiating values, in many cases while at odds with the religious; its unifying and mobilising capabilities; its popularity and its link to gender questions. However, there is an apparent lack of studies on the explosiveness of the heroic; on conflict intensification associated with the heroic; on its polarising and boundary-setting capabilities and on its unpredictable dynamic. Moreover, the current public and scholarly debates surrounding hero(in)es are characterised by a presentist perspective. In analytical terms, that perspective often does not extend further back than into the 19th and early 20th centuries when certain heroic figures and deeds were instrumentalised in the context of major ideologies such as nationalism, fascism and communism. Such an approach to the heroic risks committing the fallacy of retrospective causality, which focuses too greatly on the outcome. Moreover, diversity and individualisation in manifestations of the heroic necessitate comprehensive, supertemporal explanations for notions of the heroic. However, where the presentist view dominates attempts at explanation and coincides with the need for exhaustive explanation, it runs the risk of too greatly disregarding the diverse, competing and in some cases even fractured concepts of heroism, many of which are rooted in far older traditions and transformations. Longue durée studies thus continue to be overshadowed in current scholarship by studies and analyses of the reception of individual figures that examine the subject with hardly any theoretical approach or do not investigate it as a phenomenon of historical appropriation. Above all, theoretical approaches that in many cases provide (ideal) typologies or that are grounded in examples require historical verification through individual studies on different fields and eras of experience in order to avoid a too one-sided European perspective.

5.2. Earlier scholarship (until 2010)

The humanities first began to examine hero figures and the heroic as early as the 19th century (Hegel 1835/1970; D’Anvers 1878; Hager 1887/88; Bethe 1891)84Hegel: Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik, 1970 [1835]; D’Anvers, N.: Heroes of South African Discovery. London/Belfast 1878: Marcus Ward & Co; Hager, Friedrich: Die geschichtliche Entwicklung des Herakles-Mythos. Jahresbericht des Gymnasiums mit höherer Bürgerschule in Wandsbeck 15. Frankfurt a. M. 1887/88: Puvogel; Bethe, Erich Justus Adolf: Thebanische Heldenlieder. Untersuchungen über die Epen des thebanisch-argivischen Sagenkreises. Leipzig 1891: Hirzel., which with Carlyle’s and Nietzsche’s reflections for example provided a thought-provoking impetus for later scholarship. The earlier, comprehensive analyses that – in the footsteps of Carlyle or Nietzsche – seek to explain hero(in)es as fundamental phenomena of culture from religious, ethnological and/or psychological perspectives (such as Bloomhardt 1941; Hook 1943; Campbell 1949; Jung 1985)85Bloomhardt, Paul F.: The Great Man in History. Columbus, Ohio, 1941; Hook, Sidney: The Hero in History. A Study in Limitation and Possibility. Boston 1943: Beacon Press; Campbell, Joseph: The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New York 1949: Pantheon Books [dt.: Campbell, Joseph: Der Heros in tausend Gestalten. Frankfurt a. M. 1999: S. Fischer]; Jung, C. G.: Heros und Mutterarchetyp. Grundwerk vol. 8: Symbole der Wandlung. Olten et al. 1985. have not been continued, however, and have themselves become objects of academic study (Momm 1986; Higgins 2003).86Momm, Karina: Der Begriff des Helden in Thomas Carlyles On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History. Diss. Freiburg i. Br. 1986; Higgins, Geraldine: The Heroic Revival from Carlyle to Yeats. New York 2003: Palgrave Macmillan. Today, they are considered symbols of embrittled concepts of heroism and of a ‘heroic revival’, which Max Horkheimer describes as the ‘panacea’ for the crisis-ridden capitalism of the 1920s and 1930s (Horkheimer 1934, quoted according to Faber 1991/92)87Quoted according to Faber, Richard: “Heros und Heroismus”. In: Hephaistos. Kritische Zeitschrift zur Theorie und Praxis der Archäologie und angrenzender Wissenschaften 11/12 (1991/92), 171-186, 173., i.e. they are deemed indications of a fundamental change discernible in that era.

The scholarly research that has been published to date is extensive and heterogeneous; these publications have originated primarily in the study of classics, history, literature and art and have been supplemented increasingly by writings in sociology and cultural and media studies. The research landscape is dominated by a hardly fathomable abundance of publications devoted to individual heroic figures and their configurations, appropriations and receptions, particularly of those of antiquity (foremost among them being Achilles, Odysseus and Heracles), which are a part of the established repertoire of European hero figures and situated at the beginning of Greek-influenced European literature, art and religious history (cf. inter alia Stanford 1964; King 1987; Riha/Zelle 1989; Kray/Oettermann 1994a/b; Latacz 1995; Andreae 1999; Brinkmann/Wünsche 2003; Barnouw 2004; Albertz 2006; Zimmermann 2004; Gehrke 2009).88Stanford, William Bedell: The Ulysses Theme. A Study in the Adaptability of a Traditional Hero. New York 1964: Barnes and Noble; King, Katherine Callen: Achilles. Paradigms of the War Hero from Homer to the Middle Ages. Berkeley 1987: University of California Press; Riha, Karl / Zelle, Carsten: Herakles/Hercules. Rezeption von der frühen Neuzeit bis zur Gegenwart. Beiträge zur intermedialen Stoff- und Motivgeschichte. Ein Projektüberblick. Siegen 1989: Universität-GHS-Siegen; Kray, Ralph / Oettermann, Stephan (Eds.): Herakles, Herkules I. Metamorphosen des Heros in ihrer medialen Vielfalt. Basel 1994: Stroemfeld/Roter Stern; Kray, Ralph / Oettermann, Stephan (Eds.): Herakles, Herkules II. Medienhistorischer Aufriss. Repetitorium zur intermedialen Stoff- und Motivgeschichte. Basel 1994: Stroemfeld/Roter Stern; Latacz, Joachim: Achilleus. Wandlungen eines europäischen Heldenbildes. Stuttgart 1995: Teubner; Andreae, Bernard: Odysseus. Mythos und Erinnerung. Mainz 1999: von Zabern; Brinkmann, Vinzenz / Wünsche, Raimund (Eds.): Herakles-Herkules. Antikensammlungen München. München 2003: Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek; Barnouw, Jeffrey: Odysseus. Hero of Practical Intelligence. Deliberation and Signs in Homer’s Odyssey. Lanham 2004: University Press of America; Albertz, Anuschka: Exemplarisches Heldentum. Die Rezeptionsgeschichte der Schlacht an den Thermopylen von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. München 2006: Oldenbourg; Zimmermann, Bernhard (Ed.): Mythos Odysseus. Texte von Homer bis Günter Kunert. Leipzig 2004: Reclam; Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Ed.): Odysseus. Irrfahrten durch die Jahrhunderte. Freiburg i. Br. 2009: Rombach. As every society, culture and era creates for itself the hero(in)es that it requires (cf. Faliu/Tourret 2007; Allison/Goethals 2010)89Faliu, Odile / Tourret, Marc (Eds.): Héros d’Achille à Zidane. Paris 2007: Bibl. Nationale de France; Allison, Scott T. / Goethals, George R.: Heroes. What They Do and Why We Need Them. Oxford/New York 2010: Oxford University Press., there are also similar studies for hero figures of later eras that emphasise their role as unifying and remembrance figures of national significance (Nora 1984–1992; Makolkin 1992; Mosse 1993; Dörner 1996; Bell 2001; François/Schulze 2001; Hein-Kircher 2006; Gerwarth 2007; Riall 2007; Münkler 2009)90Nora, Pierre et al. (Eds.): Les lieux de mémoire. Paris 1984-1992: Gallimard; Makolkin, Anna: Name, Hero, Icon. Semiotics of Nationalism through Heroic Biography. Berlin/New York 1992: Mouton / de Gruyter; Mosse, George L.: Gefallen für das Vaterland. Nationales Heldentum und namenloses Sterben. Stuttgart 1993: Klett-Cotta; Dörner, Andreas: Politischer Mythos und symbolische Politik. Der Hermannmythos. Zur Entstehung des Nationalbewußtseins der Deutschen. Reinbek bei Hamburg 1996: Rowohlt; Bell, David Avrom: The Cult of the Nation in France. Inventing Nationalism, 1680–1800. Cambridge/Mass. 2001: Harvard Univiversity Press; François, Etienne / Schulze, Hagen (Eds.): Deutsche Erinnerungsorte. München 2001: Beck; Hein-Kircher, Heidi (Ed.): Politische Mythen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert in Mittel- und Osteuropa. Marburg 2006: Herder-Institut, 63-80; Gerwarth, Robert: Der Bismarck-Mythos. Die Deutschen und der Eiserne Kanzler. München 2007: Siedler; Riall, Lucy: Garibaldi. Invention of a Hero. New Haven 2007: Yale University Press; Münkler, Herfried: Die Deutschen und ihre Mythen. Berlin 2009: Rowohlt. and in some cases also take an internationally comparative perspective (Flacke 2001; Boudrot 2001; Gerwarth 2009).91Flacke, Monika (Ed.): Mythen der Nationen. Ein europäisches Panorama. München/Berlin 2001: Koehler und Amelang; Boudrot, Pierre: “Le héros fondateur Séminaire de l’École doctorale d’histoire coordonné par Pierre Boudrot”. In: Hypothèses: travaux de l’Ecole Doctorale d’Histoire de l’Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Paris 2001: Publications de la Sorbonne, 167-228; Gerwarth, Robert (Ed.): “Hero Cults and the Politics of the Past. Comparative European Perspectives”. In: European History Quarterly 39.3 (2009). The scholarship on national and war heroes has focused mostly on the 19th and 20th centuries; in the 20th century, heroes of fascism (Behrenbeck 1996; Baird 1990; Schilling 1999)92Behrenbeck, Sabine: Der Kult um die toten Helden. Nationalsozialistische Mythen, Riten und Symbole 1923 bis 1945. Köln 1996: SH-Verlag; Baird, Jay W.: To Die for Germany. Heroes in the Nazi Pantheon. Bloomington 1990: Indiana University Press; Schilling, Réne: “Die Helden der Wehrmacht. Konstruktion und Rezeption”. In: Müller, Rolf-Dieter et al. (Eds.): Die Wehrmacht. Mythos und Realität. München 1999: Oldenbourg, 550-572. and of the resistance against it (Meckl 2000)93Meckl, Markus: Helden und Märtyrer. Der Warschauer Ghettoaufstand in der Erinnerung. Berlin 2000: Metropol. have garnered particular attention – most recently with regard to discourses on victimhood as well (Sabrow 2008; Stegmann 2010; Kaiser 2010)94Sabrow, M.: “Heroismus und Viktimismus. Überlegungen zum deutschen Opferdiskurs in historischer Perspektive”. In: Potsdamer Bulletin für zeithistorische Studien 43/44 (2008), 7-20; Stegmann, Natali: Kriegsdeutungen, Staatsgründungen, Sozialpolitik. Der Helden- und Opferdiskurs in der Tschecheslowakei 1918–1948. München 2010: Oldenbourg; Kaiser, Alexandra: Von Helden und Opfern: Eine Geschichte des Volkstrauertags. Frankfurt a. M. 2010: Campus.. The visual perpetuation of nationally relevant heroizations in monuments (Yarrington 1988; Koselleck/Jeismann 1994; Völcker 2000; Bemmann 2007; Schult 2009)95Yarrington, Alison: The Commemoration of the Hero, 1800–1864. Monuments to the British Victors of the Napoleonic Wars. New York/London 1988: Garland; Koselleck, Reinhart / Jeismann, Michael (Eds.): Der politische Totenkult. Kriegerdenkmäler in der Moderne. München 1994: Fink; Völcker, Lars: Tempel für die Großen der Nation. Das kollektive Nationaldenkmal in Deutschland, Frankreich und Großbritannien im 18 und 19. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt a. M. 2000: Lang; Bemmann, Klaus: Deutsche Nationaldenkmäler und Symbole im Wandel der Zeiten. Göttingen 2007: MatrixMedia; Schult, Tanja: A Hero’s Many Faces. Raoul Wallenberg in Contemporary Monuments. Basingstoke 2009: Palgrave Macmillan. and history painting (Hichberger 1985; Mai 1988; Kirchner 2001)96Hichberger, Joan Winifred Martin: Military Themes in British Painting 1815–1914. London 1985: Manchester University Press; Mai, Ekkehard. et al. (Eds.): Triumph und Tod des Helden: europäische Historienmalerei von Rubens bis Manet. Mailand 1988: Electa; Kirchner, Thomas: Der epische Held. Historienmalerei und Kunstpolitik im Frankreich des 17. Jahrhunderts. München 2001: Fink. has also been examined. Other studies have focused on discourses of the heroic in certain eras or ⟶genres of European literature (cf. for example Hepp 1974; Folkenflik 1982; Duncan 1990; Disselkamp 2002; Plett 2002; Wein 2002; Reiling/Rohde 2011).97Hepp, Noémi / Livet, Georges (Eds.): Héroisme et création littéraire sous les règnes d’Henri IV et de Louis XIII. Paris 1974: Klincksieck. Folkenflik, Robert: The English Hero 1660 –1800. London et al. 1982: University of Delaware Press. Duncan, M. B.: Aspects of the Hero in Eighteenth Century English Literature. California 1990; Disselkamp, Martin: Barockheroismus. Konzeptionen politischer Größe in Literatur und Traktatistik des 17. Jahrhunderts. Tübingen 2002: Niemeyer; Plett, Bettina: Problematische Naturen? Heldenkonzept und Heroismusdiskurs in der deutschsprachigen Erzählliteratur 1860–1898. Paderborn 2002: Schöningh; Wein, Toni: British Identities, Heroic Nationalisms, and the Gothic Novel, 1764–1824. Basingstoke 2002: Palgrave; Reiling, Jesko / Rohde, Carsten: Das 19. Jahrhundert und seine Helden. Literarische Figurationen des (Post-) Heroischen. Bielefeld 2011: Aisthesis. However, typological manifestations of the heroic such as anti-heroes (Thorslev 1962; Lubin 1968; Rollin 1973; Bernstein 1992; Plett 2002; Dallapiazza/Anichini/Bravi 2007)98Thorslev, Peter L.: The Byronic Hero. Types and Prototypes. Minneapolis 1962: University of Minnesota Press; Lubin, Harold: Heroes and Anti-Heroes. A Reader in Depth. San Francisco 1968: Chandler Publishing Company, Rollin, Roger B.: Hero-Anti-Hero. New York 1973: McGraw-Hill; Bernstein, Michael André: Bitter Carnival. Ressentiment and the Abject Hero. Princeton/N. J. 1992: University Press; Plett: Problematische Naturen, 2002; Dallapiazza, Michael / Anichini, Federica (Eds.) et al.: Krieg, Helden und Antihelden in der Literatur des Mittelalters. Beiträge der II. Internationalen Giornata di Studio sul Medioevo in Urbino. Göppingen 2007: Kümmerle. have also been examined. Since the 1990s, gender aspects of the heroic have often been contemplated, both with regard to manliness and notions of feminine heroism (Larson 1995; Plume 1996; Lyons 1997; Götz 1999a/b; Foyster 1999; Böhm 2000; Hagemann 2002 and 2007; Rose 2002; Schilling 2002; Studt 2003; Kollmann 2004; Bohrer et al. 2009; Gerwarth 2009; Keller/Kragl 2010; van Marwyck 2010; Mennenga 2011).99Larson, Jennifer: Greek Heroine Cults. Madison 1995: University of Wisconsin Press; Plume, Cornelia: Heroinen in der Geschlechterordnung. Weiblichkeitsprojektionen bei Daniel Casper von Lohenstein und die Querelle des Femmes. Stuttgart/Weimar 1996: Metzler; Lyons, Deborah: Gender and Immortality. Heroines in Ancient Greek Myth and Cult. Princeton 1997: Princeton University Press; Götz, Maya: Männer sind die Helden: Geschlechterverhältnisse im Kinderfernsehen. In: TELEVIZION 12/1 (1999), 33-35; Foyster, Elizabeth A.: Manhood in Early Modern England. Honour, Sex and Marriage. New York 1999: Longman; Böhm, Stephanie: “Griechische Heroinen. Girl power und andere Frauenideale im antiken Griechenland”. In: Klinger, Elmar (Ed.): Der Körper und die Religion. Würzburg 2000: Echter, 67-91; Hagemann, Karen: “Mannlicher Muth und teutsche Ehre”. Nation, Militär und Geschlecht zur Zeit der antinapoleonischen Kriege Preußens. Paderborn et al. 2002: Schöningh; Hagemann, Karen: “Heroic Virgins and Bellicose Amazons. Armed Women, the Gender Order and the German Public during and after the Anti-Napoleonic Wars”. In: European History Quarterly 37.4 (2007), 507-527; Rose, Mary Beth: Gender and Heroism in Early Modern English Literature. Chicago et al. 2002: University of Chicago Press; Schilling, René: “Kriegshelden”. Deutungsmuster heroischer Männlichkeit in Deutschland 1813–1945. Paderborn et al. 2002: Schöningh; Studt, Birgit: “Helden und Heilige. Männlichkeitsentwürfe im frühen und hohen Mittelalter”. In: Historische Zeitschrift 276 (2003), 1-36; Kollmann, Anett: Gepanzerte Empfindsamkeit. Helden in Frauengestalt um 1800. Heidelberg 2004: Winter; Bohrer, Karl Heinz et al. (Eds.): Heldengedenken. Über das historische Phantasma. Sonderheft Merkur, vol. 724/725. Stuttgart 2009: Klett-Cotta; Gerwarth, Robert (Ed.): “Hero Cults and the Politics of the Past. Comparative European Perspectives”. In: European History Quarterly 39.3 (2009); Keller, Johannes / Kragl, Florian (Eds.): Heldinnen. 10. Pöchlarner Heldenliedgespräch. Wien 2010: Fassbänder; van Marwyck, Mareen: Gewalt und Anmut. Weiblicher Heroismus in der Literatur und Ästhetik um 1800. Bielefeld 2010: transcript; Mennenga, Hans-Christian: Präödipale Helden. Neuere Männlichkeitsentwürfe im Hollywoodfilm. Die Figuren von Michael Douglas und Tom Cruise. Bielefeld 2011: transcript. Together with gender questions, the emotionality and affectivity of hero(ine) figures have also garnered greater attention (Scholz 2010; Immer/van Marwyck 2011)100Scholz, Sylka: “Vom starken Helden zum zärtlichen Vater? Männlichkeit und Emotionalität in der DDR”. In: Borutta, Manuel (Ed.): Die Präsenz der Gefühle. Männlichkeit und Emotion in der Moderne. Bielefeld 2010: transcript; Immer, Nikolas / van Marwyck, Mareen (Eds.): Ästhetischer Heroismus. Konzeptionelle und figurative Paradigmen des Helden. Bielefeld 2011: transcript., which is especially evident in such phenomena as the heroic death (Koselleck 1998)101Koselleck, Reinhart: Zur politischen Ikonologie des gewaltsamen Todes. Ein deutsch-französischer Vergleich. Basel 1998: Schwabe. and the figure of the martyr (Burschel 2004; Freeman/Mayer 2007; Niewiadomski 2011).102Burschel, Peter: Sterben und Unsterblichkeit. Zur Kultur des Martyriums in der Frühen Neuzeit. München 2004: Oldenbourg; Freeman, Thomas S. / Mayer, Thomas F. (Eds.): Martyrs and Martyrdom in England, ca. 1400–1700. Woodbridge 2007: Boydell Press; Niewiadomski, Józef et al. (Eds.): Opfer – Helden – Märtyrer. Das Martyrium als religionspolitologische Herausforderung. Innsbruck 2011: Tyrolia.

In general, there are only few studies that deal with elementary processes of heroization and the transformation of heroic concepts. As regards antiquity, studies on the religious dimension of the hero cult bear particular mention (Deoudi 1999; Boehringer 2001)103Deoudi, Maria: Heroenkulte in homerischer Zeit. Oxford 1999: Archaeopress; Boehringer, David: Heroenkulte in Griechenland von der geometrischen bis zur klassischen Zeit. Berlin 2001: Akademie. as well as studies on the heros concept itself (e.g. Brelich 1958; Nagy 1991; Albersmeier 2009; Jones 2010).104Brelich, Angelo: Gli eroi greci. Un problema storico-religioso. Rom 1958: Ediziono dell’Ateneo; Nagy, Gregory: The Best of the Achaeans. Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry. Baltimore/MD et al. 1991: Johns Hopkins University Press; Albersmeier, Sabine: Heroes. Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greek. Baltimore 2009: Walters Art Museum; Jones, Christopher: New Heroes in Antiquity: From Achilles to Antinoos. Cambridge 2010: Harvard University Press. With respect to the middle ages and the period of transition to the Renaissance, there are a number of comprehensive studies on concepts of heroism (Burns/Reagan 1976; Cauchies/Small/Brown 2001)105Burns, Norman T. / Reagan, Christopher R.: Concepts of the Hero in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Albany 1975: State University of New York Press; Cauchies, Jean-Marie / Small, Graeme / Brown, Andrew D. (Eds.): Le héros bourguignon. Historie et épogée. Neuchâtel 2001.; however, the examination of changing notions of the heroic remained limited to individual aspects, such as the transition from the classical heros to the Christian heroes, martyrs and saints (cf. Crouzet 1990; Müller/Wunderlich 1996; Freyburger 1997; Studt 2003; Freeman/Mayer 2007; Hammer/Seidl 2010).106Crouzet, Denis: Les Guerriers de Dieu, Vol. 2. Paris 1990: Champ Vallon; Müller, Ulrich / Wunderlich, Werner (Eds.): Herrscher, Helden, Heilige. St. Gallen 1996: UVK, Fachverlag für Wissenschaft und Studium; Freyburger, Gérard (Ed.): Du héros païen au saint chrétien. Actes du colloque organisé par le Centre d’Analyse des Rhétoriques Religieuses de l’Antiquité (CARRA). Strasbourg, 1er – 2 décembre 1995. Paris 1997: Inst. d’Etudes Augustiniennes; Studt: “Helden und Heilige”, 2003; Freeman, Thomas S. / Mayer, Thomas F. (Eds.): Martyrs and Martyrdom in England, ca. 1400–1700. Woodbridge 2007: Boydell Press; Hammer, Andreas / Seidl, Stephanie (Eds.): Helden und Heilige. Kulturelle und literarische Integrationsfiguren des europäischen Mittelalters. Heidelberg 2010: Winter. In the scholarship on the early modern period, primarily knightly ideals and their heroic implications have been examined (Adamson 1994; Anglo 1990; Braudy 2003, Wrede 2009).107Adamson, J. S. A.: “Chivalry and Political Culture in Caroline England”. In: Lake, Peter et al. (Eds.): Culture and Politics in Early Stuart England. Basingstoke 1994: Macmillan, 161-197; Anglo, Sidney (Ed.): Chivalry in the Renaissance. Woodbridge 1990: Boydell; Braudy, Leo: From Chivalry to Terrorism. War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity. New York 2003: Knopf; Wrede, Martin: Ohne Furcht und Tadel. Für König und Vaterland? Frühneuzeitlicher Hochadel zwischen Familienehre, Ritterideal und Fürstendienst, Habilitationsschrift Gießen 2009. Ostfildern 2012: Thorbecke. With respect to the late early modern period, rulers as heroes, their imitatio heroica and their staging in different media have become a prime object of scholarly interest (Burke 1992; Cornette 1993; Sabatier 1999; Oredsson 1994; Heyde 1995; Goloubeva 2000).108Burke, Peter: The Fabrication of Louis XIV. New Haven 1992: Yale University Press; Cornette, Joe͏̈l: Le Roi de Guerre. Essai sur la souveraineté dans la France du Grand Siècle. Paris 1993: Payot et Rivages; Sabatier, Gérard: Versailles ou la figure de roi. Paris 1999: Michel; Oredsson, Sverker: Geschichtsschreibung und Kult. Gustav Adolf Schweden und der Dreißigjährige Krieg. Berlin 1994: Duncker und Humblot; Heyde, Astrid: Die Darstellungen König Gustav II. Adolfs von Schweden. Studien zum Verhältnis von Herrscherbild und Herrschermythos im Zeitraum 1607 – 1932, Dissertation. Kiel 1995; Goloubeva, Maria: The Glorification of Emperor Leopold I in Image, Spectacle and Text. Mainz 2000: von Zabern. Such heroic role models have also been examined for antiquity (Wrede 1981; Huttner 1997; Bergmann 1998)109Wrede, Henning: Consecratio in formam deorum. Vergöttlichte Privatpersonen in der römischen Kaiserzeit. Frankfurt a.M. 1981: von Zabern; Huttner, Ulrich: Die politische Rolle der Heraklesgestalt im griechischen Herrschertum. Stuttgart 1997: Steiner; Bergmann, Marianne: Die Strahlen der Herrscher. Theomorphes Herrscherbild und politische Symbolik im Hellenismus und in der römischen Kaiserzeit. Mainz 1998: von Zabern., but have not yet been comparatively assessed for subsequent eras. In a provocative study, Harari asserts that there has been a pronounced psychologisation of martial heroism since the second half of the 18th century (Harari 2008)110Harari, Yuval Noah: The Ultimate Experience. Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450–2000. Basingstoke 2008: Palgrave Macmillan., while Drévillon has analysed inter alia the redefining of the heroic warrior as standing armies grew (Drévillon 2005).111Drévillon, Hervé.: L’impôt du sang. Le métier des armes sous Louis XIV. Paris 2005. One study focusing on revolutionary heroes since 1789 (Naumann 1984)112Naumann, Michael: Strukturwandel des Heroismus. Vom sakralen zum revolutionären Heldentum. Königstein/Ts 1984: Athenäum. describes the late 18th and early 19th centuries as an era in which a heroism originally defined in mythical-sacred terms became secular, but without mentioning the earlier religious connotations of heroism or religious instrumentalisation since the early modern period. As regards long-term processes of change in the modern period, primarily national heroes emerging and competing within European nationalisms have been studied. The transition from the concept of the ‘hero of the deed’ to the grands hommes in the 18th century (cf. Pigeaud/Barbe 1998; Ritter 2004)113Pigeaud, Jackie / Barbe, Jean.-Paul (Eds.): Le culte des Grand Hommes au XVIIIe siècle. Entretiens de la Garenne-Lemot. Actes du Colloque 3 au 5 octobre 1996. Nantes 1998: Université de Nantes; Ritter, Henning: Die Krise des Helden. der Ruhm und die großen Männer im Ancient Régime. In: Warnke, Martin (Ed.): Politische Kunst. Gebärden und Gebaren, Berlin 2004: Akademie, 1-16. or to the heroic common man in the 19th century (Smith 2005; MacLeod 2007)114Smith, Jay M.: Nobility Reimagined. The Patriotic Nation in Eighteenth Century France. Ithaca 2005: Cornell University Press; MacLeod, Christine: Heroes of Invention. Technolog/y, Liberalism and British Identity, 1750–1914. Cambridge 2007: Cambridge University Press. has been interpreted as a crisis of the heroic. In general, aspects of crisis in the heroic have been demonstrated during the modern period on the basis of accounts in various media (Coenen-Mennemaier 1999; Kirchner 2001; Plett 2002; Herding 2004)115Coenen-Mennemaier, Brigitta: Der schwache Held. Heroismuskritik in der französischen Erzählliteratur des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Frankfurt a. M. 1999: Lang; Kirchner, Thomas: Der epische Held: Historienmalerei und Kunstpolitik im Frankreich des 17. Jahrhunderts. München 2001: Fink; Herding, K.: “Schwindender Heroismus gesteigerte Sinnlichkeit. Pugets Milon von Kroton als Ausdruck einer Krise der Männlichkeit im absolutistischen Zeitalter”. In: Fend, M. (Ed.): Männlichkeit im Blick. Visuelle Inszenierungen in der Kunst seit der Frühen Neuzeit. Köln 2004, 137-160., but without competing contemporaneous affirmations of the heroic being sufficiently acknowledged. The competitiveness of rival models, however, has evidently been a central phenomenon from the early modern period until today. It appears symptomatic in this context that Früchtl (2004)116Früchtl, Josef: Das unverschämte Ich. Eine Heldengeschichte der Moderne. Frankfurt a. M. 2004. in a philosophical and historical study describes the self as an ambivalent hero of modernity, while Allison/Goethals (2010)117Allison / Goethals: Heroes, 2010. take a psychological approach to analysing the competition and diversity of heroes.

In a debate on ‘new heroes’ ranging between taboo and acceptance, which was often taking place apart from the scholarly discussion, post-heroic ideals and martial heroism’s loss of credibility following both World Wars clashed with new needs for hero(in)es in Germany (Körber-Stiftung 2008; Münkler 2006; Münkler 2009; Bohrer et al. 2009; Reemtsma 2009; Essig 2010; Klonovsky 2011; SZ für Kinder 2011; brand eins 2011).118Cf. Körber-Stiftung: “Helden: Verehrt – verkannt – vergessen”, 2008; Münkler, Herfried: Der Wandel des Krieges. Weilerswist 2006: Verlbrück; Münkler: Die Deutschen und ihre Mythen, 2009; Bohrer / Scheel (Eds.): Heldengedenken, 2009; Reemtsma, Jan Philipp: “Der Held, das Ich und das Wir”. In: Mittelweg 36. Zeitschrift des Hamburger Instituts für Sozialforschung, 18.4 (2009), 41-64; Essig, Rolf-Bernhard: Wann ist ein Held ein Held? München 2010: Hanser; Klonovsky, Michael: Der Held. Ein Nachruf. München 2011: Diederichs; SZ für Kinder (=Süddeutsche Zeitung für Kinder): Helden. Ein Heft über Superkräfte, Eigensinn und Wagemut, Nr. 5 (2011); brand eins 08/2011: Auch Batman hat klein angefangen. Schwerpunkt Heimliche Helden. However, in other societies as well, individualistic concepts of heroism exist alongside ⟶collective ones, just as private heroes exist alongside ones propagated widely through media. At times, these concepts are certainly competitive and contradictory to each other, as can be seen in the heroizations of the actors of 11 September 2001 that were informed by different cultures and ideologies. Here, questions of morality as well as identity and culture come into play that are difficult to relativise (Mayeur-Jaouen 2002 [on the Near East]; Faliu/Tourret 2007; cf. the contrasting between civil courage and heroism in Bohrer et al. 2009; Bultmann 2010).119Mayeur-Jaouen, Catherine (Ed.): Saints et héros du Moyen-Orient contemporain. Paris 2002: Maisonneuve & Larose; Faliu / Tourret (Eds.): Héros d’Achille à Zidane, 2007; Bohrer / Scheel (Eds.): Heldengedenken, 2009; Bultmann, Antje: Helden im Schatten der Gesellschaft. Zivilcourage und Whistleblowing. Peiting 2010: Michaels. Simultaneously, attention has been drawn to the constant, but in recent years intensified, presence of heroic figures in popular culture – in film, literature and comics, but also in the new digital entertainment media (e.g. Colebatch 1990; Drucker 1994; Sparks 1996; Bongco 2000; Wrigley 2005; Landa 2007; Bohrmann 2009; Kainz 2009; Mittermayer 2009; Shimpach 2010; Heimerl/Feichtinger 2011; Imorde/Scheller 2011).120Colebatch, Hal: Return of the Heroes. The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Contemporary Culture. Perth/W. A 1990: Australian Institute for Public Policy; Drucker, Susan (Ed.): American Heroes in a Media Age. Cresskill/NJ 1994: Hampton; Sparks, R.: “Masculinity and heroism in the Hollywood ‘blockbuster’: the culture industry and contemporary images of crime and law enforcement”. In: British journal of criminology 36 (1996), 348-360; Bongco, Mila: Reading Comics. Language, Culture, and the Concept of the Superhero in Comic Books. New York 2000: Garland; Wrigley, Christopher: The Return of the Hero. Rowling, Tolkien, and Pullman. Sussex, England 2005: Book Guild; Landa, Ishay: The Overman in the Marketplace. Nietzschean Heroism in Popular Culture. Lexington 2007: Lexington Books; Bohrmann, Thomas: “‘Aus großer Kraft folgt große Verantwortung’: Superhelden im Kino”. In: Bohrmann, Thomas et al. (Eds.): Handbuch Theologie und Populärer Film. Vol. 2. Paderborn 2009, 199-212; Kainz, Barbara: Comic. Film. Helden. Heldenkonzepte und medienwissenschaftliche Analysen. Wien 2009: Löcker; Mittermayer, Manfred (Ed.): Ikonen, Helden, Außenseiter. Film und Biographie. Wien 2009: Paul Zsolnay; Shimpach, Shawn: Television in Transition. The Life and Afterlife of the Narrative Action Hero. Chichester 2010: Wiley-Blackwell; Heimerl, Theresia / Feichtinger, Christian (Eds.): Dunkle Helden. Vampire als Spiegel religiöser Diskurse in Film und TV. Marburg 2011: Schüren; Imorde, Joseph / Scheller, Jörg: „Superhelden. Zur Ästhetik und Politisierung menschlicher Außerordentlichkeit”. In: Kritische Berichte Nr. 1 (2011), 3-4. The fact that classical heroes have again been extensively discussed in new surveys and exhibitions (Albersmeier 2009; Trofimova 2010)121Albersmeier: Heroes. Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greek, 2009; Trofimova, Anna (Ed.): The Immortal Alexander the Great: The Myth, the Reality, his Journey, his Legacy. Catalogue for the exhibition from 18 September 2010 to 18 March 2011 organised by the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Hermitage Amsterdam. Amsterdam 2010. – including their transmission and transformation over time through to the modern period (Faliu/Tourret 2007; perpetuated on the website http://classes.bnf.fr/heros/index.htm)122Faliu / Tourret (Eds.): Héros d’Achille à Zidane, 2007. – shows how references back to a historically grounded identity seem to be greatly important in this context (cf. also Ernstell 2009; Frankhäuser/Paas 2009).123Ernstell, E.-S. (Ed.) 2009: Hjältar/Heroes. An Exhibition about Courage. Ausstellungskatalog Armémuseum Stockholm, 14.2.–30.11.2009. Stockholm 2009; Frankhäuser, Gernot /Paas, Sigrun: Götter, Helden, Heilige. Italienische Malerei des Barock aus dem Landesmuseum Mainz. Katalogbuch zur Ausstellung, Max-Slevogt-Galerie auf Schloss Villa Ludwigshöhe in Edenkoben (Pfalz), 11.01.–19.04.2009, Landesmuseum Mainz, 17.5.–5.7.2009. München 2009: Deutscher Kunstverlag.

6. References

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  • 2
    Weber, Max: Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft: Grundriss der verstehenden Soziologie. 5th edition. Tübingen 1980: Mohr, 140 and 654-661.
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    Gehring, Axel: Genie und Verehrergemeinde. Eine soziologische Analyse des Genieproblems, Bonn 1968, 148; Schilling, René: ‘Kriegshelden’. Deutungsmuster heroischer Männlichkeit in Deutschland 1813–1945. Paderborn et al. 2002, 23.
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    Braun, L.: “Polysémie du concept de héros”. In: Hepp, Noémi / Livet, Georges (Eds.): Héroi͏̈sme et création littéraire sous les règnes d’Henri IV et de Louis XIII. Paris 1974, 19-28; Ferla, K.: Von Homers Achill zur Hekabe des Euripides: das Phänomen der Transgression in der griechischen Kultur. München 1996. Kollmann, A.: Gepanzerte Empfindsamkeit. Helden in Frauengestalt um 1800. Heidelberg 2004.
  • 5
    Plessner, Helmuth: Macht und menschliche Natur. Frankfurt a. M. 1981, 48.
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    Cf. Schechtriemen, Tobias: “The Hero as an Effect: Boundary Work in Processes of Heroization”. In: Falkenhayner, Nicole / Meurer, Sebastian / Schlechtriemen, Tobias (Eds.): Analyzing Processes of Heroization. Theories, Methods, Histories (= helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu den Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 5 [2019]), 17-26. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2019/APH/03. For the original publication in German see Schechtriemen, Tobias: “Der ‘Held’ als Effekt. Boundary work in Heroisierungsprozessen”. In: Berliner Debatte Initial 29.1 (2018), 106-119.
  • 7
    Wittgenstein, Ludwig: Philosophische Untersuchungen. Philosophical Investigations. Translated by G. E. M. Anscombe, P. M. S. Hacker and Joachim Schulte. Revised 4th edition by P. M. S. Hacker and Joachim Schulte (Eds.). Hoboken, New Jersey 2010: Wiley-Blackwell, XCV.
  • 8
    Cf. Bröckling, Ulrich: “Negations of the Heroic – A Typological Essay”. In: Falkenhayner, Nicole / Meurer, Sebastian / Schlechtriemen, Tobias (Eds.): Analyzing Processes of Heroization. Theories, Methods, Histories (= helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu den Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 5 [2019]), 39-43. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2019/APH/05. For the original publication in German see Bröckling, Ulrich: “Negationen des Heroischen – ein typologischer Versuch”. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen, 3.1 (2015), 9-13. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros/2015/01/02.
  • 9
    Soeffner, Hans G.: Symbolische Formung: Eine Soziologie des Symbols und des Rituals. Weilerswist 2010: Velbrück, 17; Rehberg, Karl-S.: “Institutionen, Kognitionen und Symbole – Institutionen als symbolische Verkörperungen”. In: Maurer, Andrea / Schmid, Michael (Eds.): Neuer Institutionalismus. Zur soziologischen Erklärung von Organisation, Moral und Vertrauen. Frankfurt a. M. 2002: Campus, 39-56, in particular 47-48.
  • 10
    “Die Große Symbolik ist hingegen die der Identitätsbildung in Gesellschaften und Gruppen. Sie hilft, die Kluft zwischen den beschränkten Erfahrungswelten interaktiver Kommunikationzusammenhänge und der auf größere Reichweite hin angelegten sozialen Interaktion zu überbrücken.” – Schlögl, Rudolf: “Symbole in der Kommunikation: Zur Einführung”. In: Schlögl, Rudolf / Giesen, Bernhard / Osterhammel, Hürgen (Eds.): Die Wirklichkeit der Symbole. Grundlagen der Kommunikation in historischen und gegenwärtigen Gesellschaften. Konstanz 2004: UVK, 9-40, 26.
  • 11
    See also Soeffner, Hans G.: Auslegung des Alltags – Der Alltag der Auslegung. Zur wissenssoziologischen Konzeption einer sozialwissenschaftlichen Hermeneutik. Stuttgart 2004: UTB, 184-185.
  • 12
    Gehlen, Arnold: Der Mensch. Seine Natur und seine Stellung in der Welt. 9th edition. Frankfurt a. M. 1971/2004: Athenäum, 204.
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    Cf. Harrison, S. S.: “Four Types of Symbolic Conflict”. In: The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 1 (1995), 255-272, 258-260, 263-268.
  • 14
    Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich: Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik. Frankfurt a. M. 1970 [1835]: Suhrkamp, vol. 13: 236-252, vol. 15: 340-341.
  • 15
    Soeffner: Symbolische Formung, 2010, 37; Soeffner, Hans G.: “Protosoziologische Überlegungen zur Soziologie des Symbols und des Rituals”. In: Schlögl, Rudolf / Giesen, Bernhard / Osterhammel, Jürgen (Eds.): Die Wirklichkeit der Symbole. Grundlagen der Kommunikation in historischen und gegenwärtigen Gesellschaften. Konstanz 2004, 41-72, 57.
  • 16
    Soeffner: “Protosoziologische Überlegungen zur Soziologie des Symbols und des Rituals”, 2004, 58.
  • 17
    Soeffner: Auslegung des Alltags, 2004, 163.
  • 18
    Soeffner: “Protosoziologische Überlegungen zur Soziologie des Symbols und des Rituals”, 2004, 60.
  • 19
    Langbein, Birte: “Die instrumentelle und die symbolische Dimension der Institutionen bei Arnold Gehlen”. In: Göhler, Gerhard (Ed.): Institution – Macht – Repräsentation. Wofür politische Institutionen stehen und wie sie wirken. Baden-Baden 1997: Nomos, 143-179, 158, 161-163.
  • 20
    Weber, Max: Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Religionssoziologie 1. 4th edition. Tübingen 1986, 272; Weber: Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, 1980, 140, 654-661.
  • 21
    Münkler, Herfried: “Heroische und postheroische Gesellschaften”. In: Merkur 61.7-8 (2007), 742-752, 742.
  • 22
    See, for example, Fohrmann, Jürgen / Schüttpelz, Erhard (Eds.): Die Kommunikation der Medien. Tübingen 2004.
  • 23
    Posner, Roland: “Kultursemiotik”. In: Nünnung, Ansgar / Nünning, Vera (Eds.): Konzepte der Kulturwissenschaften. Stuttgart 2003: Metzler, 39-72, 55; cf. also Posner, Roland: “Kultur als Zeichensystem. Zur semiotischen Explikation kulturwissenschaftlicher Grundbegriffe”. In: Assmann, Aleida / Harth, Dietrich (Eds.): Kultur als Lebenswelt und Monument. Frankfurt a. M. 1991: Fischer, 37-74; and for the greater context, Posner, Roland / Robering, Klaus / Seboek, Thomas E. (Eds.): Semiotik. Ein Handbuch zu den zeichentheoretischen Grundlagen von Natur und Kultur. 4 volumes. Berlin 1997–2004: de Gruyter.
  • 24
    Cf. for example Nyíri, János K.: “Tradition and Related Terms. A Semantic Survey”. In: Semiotische Berichte 12.1-2 (1988), 113-134.
  • 25
    Pocock, James G. A.: “Concepts and Discourses: A Difference in Culture?” In: Lehmann, Hartmut / Richter, Melvin (Eds.): The Meaning of Historical Terms and Concepts. New Studies on Begriffsgeschichte. Washington 1996: German Historical Institute, 47-58, 58; cf. also Pocock, James G. A. “The Concept of a Language and the métier d’historien: Some considerations on practice”. In: Pagden, Anthony (Ed.): The Languages of Political Theory in Early-modern Europe. Cambridge 1987: Cambridge University Press, 21-25.
  • 26
    Fischer-Lichte, Erika: Ästhetik des Performativen. Frankfurt a. M. 2005: Suhrkamp, 186.
  • 27
    Cf. inter alia Gumbrecht, Hans Ulrich: Diesseits der Hermeneutik: Die Produktion von Präsenz. Frankfurt a. M. 2004: Suhrkamp; cf. also Scherer, Stefan: “Die Evidenz der Literaturwissenschaft”. In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur (IASL). 30.2 (2006): 136-155.
  • 28
    Cf. with regard to such positions inter alia Fehrmann, Gisela / Erika Linz: “Resistenz und Transparenz der Zeichen: Der verdeckte Mechanismus in der Sprach- und Medientheorie”. In: Fohrmann, Jürgen / Schüttpelz, Erhard (Eds.): Die Kommunikation der Medien. Tübingen 2004: Niemeyer, 81-104, 81-82.
  • 29
    Faulstich, Werner (Ed.): Grundwissen Medien. München 1994: Fink, 30-31.
  • 30
    Bachmann-Medick, Doris: “Einleitung”. In: Bachmann-Medick, Doris (Ed.): Kultur als Text. Die anthropologische Wende in der Literaturwissenschaft. Frankfurt a. M. 1996: Fischer, 7-65.
  • 31
    Koselleck, Reinhart: “Geschichte, Geschichten und formale Zeitstrukturen”. In: Koselleck, Reinhart: Vergangene Zukunft. Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten, Frankfurt a. M. 1989 [1973], 130-143; Koselleck, Reinhart: “Zur historisch-politischen Semantik asymmetrischer Gegenbegriffe”. In: Koselleck, Reinhart: Vergangene Zukunft. Zur Semantik geschichtlicher Zeiten, Frankfurt a. M. 1992, 211-259; Koselleck, Reinhart: “Zeitschichten”. In: Koselleck, Reinhart: Zeitschichten. Studien zur Historik, Frankfurt a. M. 2000 [1995], 19-26.
  • 32
    Cf. von den Hoff, Ralf / Schreurs-Morét, Anna / Posselt-Kuhli, Christina / Hubert, Hans W. / Heinzer, Felix: “Imitatio heroica. On the Impact of a Cultural Phenomenon”. In: Falkenhayner, Nicole / Meurer, Sebastian / Schlechtriemen, Tobias (Eds.): Analyzing Processes of Heroization. Theories, Methods, Histories (= helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu den Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 5 [2019]), 79-95. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2019/APH/09. For the original publication in German see von den Hoff, Ralf / Schreurs-Morét, Anna / Posselt-Kuhli, Christina / Hubert, Hans W. / Heinzer, Felix: “Imitatio heroica – Zur Reichweite eines kulturellen Phänomens”. In: von den Hoff, Ralf / Heinzer, Felix / Hubert, Hans W. / Schreurs-Morét, Anna (Eds.): Imitatio heroica. Heldenangleichung im Bildnis. Würzburg 2015: Ergon, 9-33.
  • 33
    Cf. von den Hoff, Ralf: “König, Tyrann, Bürger, Heros, Gott. Bilder von Monarchen in der visuellen Kultur des antiken Griechenland”. In: Rebenich, Stefan (Ed.): Monarchische Herrschaft im Altertum. Oldenbourg 2017: De Gruyter, 263-303. DOI: 10.1515/9783110463859-012.
  • 34
    Cf. von den Hoff, Ralf: “Alexanderbildnisse und Imitatio Alexandri in Baktrien”. In: Lindström, Gunvor et al. (Eds.): Zwischen Ost und West. Neue Forschungen zum antiken Zentralasien. Wissenschaftliches Kolloquium 30.9.–2.10.2009 in Mannheim. Mainz 2013: Philipp von Zabern, 83-98.
  • 35
    Cf. Bremmer, Jan N.: “From Heroes to Saints and from Martyrological to Hagiographical Discourse”. In: Heinzer, Felix / Leonhard, Jörn / von den Hoff, Ralf (Eds.): Sakralität und Heldentum. Würzburg 2017: Ergon, 35-66; for the imitatio Christi in the early modern period see Aurnhammer, Achim / Steiger, Johann Anselm (Eds.): Christus als Held und seine heroische Nachfolge. Zur ‚imitatio Christi‘ in der Frühen Neuzeit. Berlin/Boston 2020: De Gruyter.
  • 36
    Cf. Heinzer, Felix: “Hos multo elegantius, si ecclesiastica loquendi consuetudo pateretur, nostros heroas uocaremus. Sprachbilder im frühchristlichen Märtyrerdiskurs”. In: von den Hoff, Ralf et al. (Eds.): Imitatio heroica. Heldenangleichung im Bildnis, Würzburg 2015: Ergon, 119-136; Studt, Birgit: “Lorbeer, Vlies und Feuerstahl: Antikenrezeption als Herrscherheroisierung – die Bildpolitik der Herzöge von Burgund”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Bröckling, Ulrich (Eds.): Vom Weihegefäß zur Drohne. Kulturen des Heroischen und ihre Objekte. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 85-102.
  • 37
    Cf. Studt, Birgit: “Gründungsheroen, Ahnenreihen und historische Topographien. Genealogische Narrative und konkurrierende Formen politischer Raumbildung in den Geschichten von den Fürsten in Bayern”. In: Andenna, Cristina / Melville, Gert (Eds.): Idoneität – Genealogie – Legitimation. Begründung und Akzeptanz von dynastischer Herrschaft im Mittelalter. Köln 2015: Böhlau, 387-406.
  • 38
    Studt, Birgit: “Helden und Heilige. Männlichkeitsentwürfe im frühen und hohen Mittelalter”. In: Historische Zeitschrift 276 (2003), 1-36.
  • 39
    Cf. for example Hubert, Hans W.: “Sanktifizierung als Heroisierung? Die Statuen Papst Bonifaz’ VIII. zwischen Bildnispolitik und Idolatrie”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Bröckling, Ulrich (Eds.): Vom Weihegefäß zur Drohne. Kulturen des Heroischen und ihre Objekte. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 59-84; Hans W. Hubert: “Michelangelo – Vom Ausnahmekünstler zum Denkmal”. In: Hubert, Hans W. / Helm, Katharina / Posselt-Kuhli, Christina / Schreurs-Morét, Anna (Eds.): Künstlerhelden? Heroisierung und mediale Inszenierung von Malern, Bildhauern und Architekten, Merzhausen 2015, 132-178; Hubert, Hans W.: “Gestaltungen des Heroischen in den Florentiner David-Plastiken”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Pfister, Manfred (Eds.): Heroen und Heroisierungen in der Renaissance. Wiesbaden 2013: Harrassowitz, 181-218.
  • 40
    Cf. Asch, Ronald G.: Herbst des Helden. Modelle des Heroischen und heroische Lebensentwürfe in England und Frankreich von den Religionskriegen bis zum Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Ein Essay. Würzburg 2016: Ergon.
  • 41
    Cf. Aurnhammer, Achim: “Der intermediale Held. Heroisierungsstrategien in Epicedien auf König Gustav II. Adolf”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Pfister, Manfred (Eds.): Heroen und Heroisierungen in der Renaissance. Wiesbaden 2013: Harrassowitz, 303-332.
  • 42
    Cf. Asch, Ronald G.: “Märtyrer, Mörder und Monarchen. Das Königtum zwischen Heroismus und Heroismus-Defizit. Ein Vergleich zwischen England und Frankreich (1589–1628)”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Pfister, Manfred (Eds.): Heroen und Heroisierungen in der Renaissance. Wiesbaden 2013: Harrassowitz, 283-302.
  • 43
    Cf. Asch, Ronald G.: “Antike Herrschaftsmodelle und die frühneuzeitliche europäische Monarchie. Oder: Die heroische Inszenierung des Fürsten im Spannungsfeld zwischen republikanischem Erbe und dem Anspruch auf überzeitliche Größe”. In: Rebenich, Stefan (Ed.): Monarchische Herrschaft im Altertum. Oldenbourg 2017: de Gruyter, 637-661; Asch Ronald G.: “Heros, Friedensstifter oder Märtyrer? Optionen und Grenzen heroischen Herrschertums in England, ca. 1603–1660”. In: Wrede, Martin (Ed.): Die Inszenierung der heroischen Monarchie. Frühneuzeitliches Königtum zwischen ritterlichem Erbe und militärischer Herausforderung. München 2014: Oldenbourg, 198-215.
  • 44
    Gelz, Andreas: Der Glanz des Helden. Über das Heroische in der französischen Literatur des 17. bis 19. Jahrhunderts. Göttingen 2016: Wallstein.
  • 45
    Cf. Willis, Jakob: Glanz und Blendung. Zur Ästhetik des Heroischen im Drama des Siècle classique. Bielefeld 2017: Transcript; Gelz, Andreas: “Der Glanz des Helden – Darstellungsformen des Heroischen in der französischen Literatur vom 17.-19. Jahrhundert”. In: französisch heute. 49.2 (2018), 5-13.
  • 46
    Cf. Aurnhammer, Achim / Korte, Barbara: (Eds.): Fremde Helden auf europäischen Bühnen (1600–1900). Würzburg 2017: Ergon.
  • 47
    Cf. Mommertz, Monika: “Heroization in Science, Scholarship, and Knowledge-Production: The Intellectual Hero in Transdisciplinary and Trans-Epochal Perspective”. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 4 (2018), 3-12. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2018/HS/01 ; Albrecht, Andrea: “’Helden der Wissenschaft’. Formen und Funktionen der Heroisierung des Gelehrten”. In: Andronikashvili, Zaal / Maisuradze, Giorgi / Schwartz, Matthias / Thun-Hohenstein, Franziska (Eds.): Kulturheros. Genealogien, Konstellationen, Praktiken. Berlin 2017: Kadmos, 110-135.
  • 48
    Cf. Posselt-Kuhli, Christina: “Kunstheld”. In: Compendium heroicum. Ed. von Ronald G. Asch, Achim Aurnhammer, Georg Feitscher und Anna Schreurs-Morét. Freiburg 10.08.2018. DOI: 10.6094/heroicum/kunstheld; Posselt-Kuhli, Christina: Kunstheld versus Kriegsheld? Heroisierung durch Kunst im Kontext von Krieg und Frieden in der Frühen Neuzeit. Würzburg 2017: Ergon; Helm, Katharina / Hubert, Hans W. / Posselt-Kuhli, Christina / Schreurs-Morét, Anna (Eds.): Künstlerhelden? Heroisierung und mediale Inszenierung von Malern, Bildhauern und Architekten. Merzhausen 2015: ad picturam; Posselt-Kuhli, Christina: “‘Der Kunstheld’: eine semantische Spurensuche in Panegyriken des 17. Jahrhunderts”. In: Wolfenbütteler Renaissance-Mitteilungen 35.1 (2014).
  • 49
    Cf. Asch: Herbst des Helden, 2016.
  • 50
    Cf. Asch: Herbst des Helden, 2016.
  • 51
    Cf. Butter, Michael: Der “Washington-Code”. Zur Heroisierung amerikanischer Präsidenten 1775–1865. Göttingen 2016: Wallstein.
  • 52
    Cf. Neutatz, Dietmar: “Der Suvorov-Orden (1942/2010) und die Adaptierung einer historischen Heldenfigur für den modernen Massenkrieg”. In: Aurnhammer, Achim / Bröckling, Ulrich (Eds.): Vom Weihegefäß zur Drohne. Kulturen des Heroischen und ihre Objekte. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 255-274.
  • 53
    Cf. Minelli, Kelly: “Soldat (Frühe Neuzeit)”. In: Compendium heroicum. Ed. by Ronald G. Asch, Achim Aurnhammer, Georg Feitscher and Anna Schreurs-Morét. Freiburg 14.02.2018. DOI: 10.6094/heroicum/soldat-fnz.
  • 54
    Cf. Korte, Barbara: “Viele Helden für viele Leser. Das Heroische in viktorianischen Publikumszeitschriften”. In: Asch, Ronald G. / Butter, Michael (Eds.): Bewunderer, Verehrer, Zuschauer. Die Helden und ihr Publikum. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 93-114; Korte, Barbara / Lethbridge, Stefanie (Eds.): Heroes and Heroism in British Fiction Since 1800. Case Studies. Basingstoke 2016: Palgrave; Korte, Barbara: “On Heroes and Hero Worship. Regimes of Emotional Investment in Mid-Victorian Popular Magazines”. In: Victorian Periodicals Review 49.2 (2016), 181-201.
  • 55
    Cf. Korte, Barbara: “The Promotion of the Heroic Woman in Victorian and Edwardian Gift Books”. In: Stead, Evanghelia (Ed.): Reading Books and Prints as Cultural Objects. Basingstoke 2018: Palgrave Macmillan, 159-177.
  • 56
    Cf. Bahr, Carolin / Seedorf, Thomas: “Wagners Konzeption des Lohengrin und das Dresdner Sängerensemble”. In: wagnerspectrum 10.1 (2014), 145-161; Seedorf, Thomas: “Vom Tenorhelden zum Heldentenor – Wagners Ideal eines neuen Sängertypus”. In: Altenburg, Detlef (Ed.): Bericht über den XIII. Internationalen Kongress der Gesellschaft für Musikforschung vom 16. bis 21. September 2004 am Institut für Musikwissenschaft Weimar-Jena. Vol. 1. Kassel et al. 2012: Bärenreiter, 463-472; cf. with regard to the opera hero also Seedorf, Thomas: Heldensoprane. Die Stimmen der eroi in der italienischen Oper von Monteverdi bis Bellini. Göttingen 2015: Wallstein.
  • 57
    Carlyle, Thomas: On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History. London 1841: Fraser.
  • 58
    Cf. Nietzsche, Friedrich: Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen. [Vol. 1.] Chemnitz 1983.
  • 59
    Cf. Schlechtriemen, Tobias: “Nur das Publikum zählt. Wie Adolphe Quételet und Herbert Spencer ‘große Männer’ erklären”. In: Asch, Ronald G. / Butter, Michael (Eds.): Bewunderer, Verehrer, Zuschauer. Die Helden und ihr Publikum. Würzburg 2016: Ergon, 179-198.
  • 60
    Schlechtriemen, Tobias: “Auguste Comte als ‘großer Mann’. Zur Exzeptionalität des soziologischen Beobachters”. In: Gamper, Michael / Kleeberg, Ingrid (Eds.): Größe. Zur Medien- und Konzeptgeschichte personaler Macht im langen 19. Jahrhundert. Zürich 2015: Chronos, 153-172.
  • 61
    Weber, Max: Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus. Ed. by Dirk Kaesler. 3rd edition. München 2010 [1905]: Beck, 65-276, 197.
  • 62
    Cf. Ebertz, Michael: “Charisma und ‘das Heroische’”. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen 4.2 (2016), 5-16. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2016/02/01.
  • 63
    Sombart, Werner: Händler und Helden. Patriotische Besinnungen. München/Leipzig 1915: Duncker & Humblot.
  • 64
    Cf. Bolay, Ann-Christin: Dichter und Helden. Heroisierungsstrategien in der Biographik des George-Kreises. Würzburg 2017: Ergon.
  • 65
    Cf. for exmple Münkler: “Heroische und postheroische Gesellschaften”, 2007; Bohrer, Karl Heinz / Scheel, Kurt (Eds.): Heldengedenken. Über das historische Phantasma. Sonderheft Merkur No. 724/725. Stuttgart 2009: Klett-Cotta.
  • 66
    Bredekamp, Horst: “Doppelmord an Mensch und Werk”. Interview in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nr. 8, 12. Januar 2015.
  • 67
    Münkler, Herfried: “Unser Recht auf Feigheit”. In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nr. 15, 20. Januar 2015.
  • 68
    Cf. Bohrer / Scheel (Eds.): Heldengedenken, 2009.
  • 69
    Cf. Körber-Stiftung: “Helden: Verehrt – verkannt – vergessen: Geschichtswettbewerb des Bundespräsidenten”. In: Spurensuchen. Vol. 22. Hamburg 2008: Körber-Stiftung.
  • 70
    Cf. Hochbruck, Wolfgang: Raising the flag among the ruins of the World Trade Center. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen, 5.1 (2017), 71-79. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2017/01/08.
  • 71
    Cf. Bröckling, Ulrich: “Wettkampf und Wettbewerb. Semantiken des Erfolgs zwischen Sport und Ökonomie”. In: Denis Hänzi et al. (Eds.): Erfolg. Konstellationen und Paradoxien einer gesellschaftlichen Leitorientierung. Baden-Baden 2014: Nomos, 92-102.
  • 72
    Cf. Gebauer, Carla / Hadamitzky, Christiane (Eds.): Populärkultur. helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen 2.1 (2014), DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2014/01; cf. for a specific figuration of hero(in)es of popular culture also Korte, Barbara: Geheime Helden. Spione in der Populärkultur des 21. Jahrhunderts. Göttingen 2017: Wallstein.
  • 73
    von den Hoff, Ralf et al.: “Das Heroische in der neueren kulturhistorischen Forschung. Ein kritischer Bericht”. In: H-Soz-Kult, 28.7.2015. Online at: https://www.hsozkult.de/literaturereview/id/forschungsberichte-2216 (accessed on 01.02.2019).
  • 74
    Sonderforschungsbereich 948: E-Bibliographie “Helden”. Online at: https://biblio.ub.uni-freiburg.de/helden/ (accessed on 08.07.2022).
  • 75
    Cf. the list of publications by the Sonderforschungsbereichs 948 “Heroes – Heroizations – Heroisms” here http://www.sfb948.uni-freiburg.de/de/publikationen/?page=1.
  • 76
    Blumenberg, Hans: Präfiguration. Arbeit am politischen Mythos. Berlin 2014: Suhrkamp.
  • 77
    Zink, Veronika: Von der Verehrung. Eine kultursoziologische Untersuchung. Frankfurt a. M. 2014: Campus.
  • 78
    Brunotte, Ulrike: Helden des Todes. Studien zur Religion, Ästhetik und Politik moderner Männlichkeit. Würzburg 2015: Ergon.
  • 79
    Andronikashvili, Zaal / Maisuradze, Giorgi / Schwartz, Matthias / Thun-Hohenstein, Franziska (Eds.): Kulturheros. Genealogien, Konstellationen, Praktiken. Berlin 2017: Kadmos.
  • 80
    Rolshoven, Johanna / Krause, Toni Janosch / Winkler Justin (Eds.): Heroes – Repräsentationen des Heroischen in Geschichte, Literatur und Alltag. Bielefeld 2018: Transcript.
  • 81
    Blennemann, Gordon / Herbers, Klaus 2015: Vom Blutzeugen zum Glaubenszeugen? Formen und Vorstellungen des christlichen Martyriums im Wandel. Stuttgart 2015: Franz Steiner; Bergjan, Silke-Petra / Näf, Beat: Märtyrerverehrung im frühen Christentum. Zeugnisse und kulturelle Wirkungsweisen. Stuttgart 2014: Kohlhammer.
  • 82
    Tanrisever, Ahu: Fathers, Warriors, and Vigilantes. Post-Heroism and the US Cultural Imaginary in the Twenty-First Century. Heidelberg 2016: Winter.
  • 83
    Hirsbrunner, Stefanie: Sorry about Colonialism. Weiße Helden in kontemporären Hollywoodfilmen. Marburg 2012: Tectum; Sèbe, Berny: Heroic Imperialists in Africa. The Promotion of British and French Colonial Heroes, 1870–1939. Manchester 2013: Manchester University Press.
  • 84
    Hegel: Vorlesungen über die Ästhetik, 1970 [1835]; D’Anvers, N.: Heroes of South African Discovery. London/Belfast 1878: Marcus Ward & Co; Hager, Friedrich: Die geschichtliche Entwicklung des Herakles-Mythos. Jahresbericht des Gymnasiums mit höherer Bürgerschule in Wandsbeck 15. Frankfurt a. M. 1887/88: Puvogel; Bethe, Erich Justus Adolf: Thebanische Heldenlieder. Untersuchungen über die Epen des thebanisch-argivischen Sagenkreises. Leipzig 1891: Hirzel.
  • 85
    Bloomhardt, Paul F.: The Great Man in History. Columbus, Ohio, 1941; Hook, Sidney: The Hero in History. A Study in Limitation and Possibility. Boston 1943: Beacon Press; Campbell, Joseph: The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New York 1949: Pantheon Books [dt.: Campbell, Joseph: Der Heros in tausend Gestalten. Frankfurt a. M. 1999: S. Fischer]; Jung, C. G.: Heros und Mutterarchetyp. Grundwerk vol. 8: Symbole der Wandlung. Olten et al. 1985.
  • 86
    Momm, Karina: Der Begriff des Helden in Thomas Carlyles On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History. Diss. Freiburg i. Br. 1986; Higgins, Geraldine: The Heroic Revival from Carlyle to Yeats. New York 2003: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 87
    Quoted according to Faber, Richard: “Heros und Heroismus”. In: Hephaistos. Kritische Zeitschrift zur Theorie und Praxis der Archäologie und angrenzender Wissenschaften 11/12 (1991/92), 171-186, 173.
  • 88
    Stanford, William Bedell: The Ulysses Theme. A Study in the Adaptability of a Traditional Hero. New York 1964: Barnes and Noble; King, Katherine Callen: Achilles. Paradigms of the War Hero from Homer to the Middle Ages. Berkeley 1987: University of California Press; Riha, Karl / Zelle, Carsten: Herakles/Hercules. Rezeption von der frühen Neuzeit bis zur Gegenwart. Beiträge zur intermedialen Stoff- und Motivgeschichte. Ein Projektüberblick. Siegen 1989: Universität-GHS-Siegen; Kray, Ralph / Oettermann, Stephan (Eds.): Herakles, Herkules I. Metamorphosen des Heros in ihrer medialen Vielfalt. Basel 1994: Stroemfeld/Roter Stern; Kray, Ralph / Oettermann, Stephan (Eds.): Herakles, Herkules II. Medienhistorischer Aufriss. Repetitorium zur intermedialen Stoff- und Motivgeschichte. Basel 1994: Stroemfeld/Roter Stern; Latacz, Joachim: Achilleus. Wandlungen eines europäischen Heldenbildes. Stuttgart 1995: Teubner; Andreae, Bernard: Odysseus. Mythos und Erinnerung. Mainz 1999: von Zabern; Brinkmann, Vinzenz / Wünsche, Raimund (Eds.): Herakles-Herkules. Antikensammlungen München. München 2003: Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek; Barnouw, Jeffrey: Odysseus. Hero of Practical Intelligence. Deliberation and Signs in Homer’s Odyssey. Lanham 2004: University Press of America; Albertz, Anuschka: Exemplarisches Heldentum. Die Rezeptionsgeschichte der Schlacht an den Thermopylen von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart. München 2006: Oldenbourg; Zimmermann, Bernhard (Ed.): Mythos Odysseus. Texte von Homer bis Günter Kunert. Leipzig 2004: Reclam; Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Ed.): Odysseus. Irrfahrten durch die Jahrhunderte. Freiburg i. Br. 2009: Rombach.
  • 89
    Faliu, Odile / Tourret, Marc (Eds.): Héros d’Achille à Zidane. Paris 2007: Bibl. Nationale de France; Allison, Scott T. / Goethals, George R.: Heroes. What They Do and Why We Need Them. Oxford/New York 2010: Oxford University Press.
  • 90
    Nora, Pierre et al. (Eds.): Les lieux de mémoire. Paris 1984-1992: Gallimard; Makolkin, Anna: Name, Hero, Icon. Semiotics of Nationalism through Heroic Biography. Berlin/New York 1992: Mouton / de Gruyter; Mosse, George L.: Gefallen für das Vaterland. Nationales Heldentum und namenloses Sterben. Stuttgart 1993: Klett-Cotta; Dörner, Andreas: Politischer Mythos und symbolische Politik. Der Hermannmythos. Zur Entstehung des Nationalbewußtseins der Deutschen. Reinbek bei Hamburg 1996: Rowohlt; Bell, David Avrom: The Cult of the Nation in France. Inventing Nationalism, 1680–1800. Cambridge/Mass. 2001: Harvard Univiversity Press; François, Etienne / Schulze, Hagen (Eds.): Deutsche Erinnerungsorte. München 2001: Beck; Hein-Kircher, Heidi (Ed.): Politische Mythen im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert in Mittel- und Osteuropa. Marburg 2006: Herder-Institut, 63-80; Gerwarth, Robert: Der Bismarck-Mythos. Die Deutschen und der Eiserne Kanzler. München 2007: Siedler; Riall, Lucy: Garibaldi. Invention of a Hero. New Haven 2007: Yale University Press; Münkler, Herfried: Die Deutschen und ihre Mythen. Berlin 2009: Rowohlt.
  • 91
    Flacke, Monika (Ed.): Mythen der Nationen. Ein europäisches Panorama. München/Berlin 2001: Koehler und Amelang; Boudrot, Pierre: “Le héros fondateur Séminaire de l’École doctorale d’histoire coordonné par Pierre Boudrot”. In: Hypothèses: travaux de l’Ecole Doctorale d’Histoire de l’Université de Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. Paris 2001: Publications de la Sorbonne, 167-228; Gerwarth, Robert (Ed.): “Hero Cults and the Politics of the Past. Comparative European Perspectives”. In: European History Quarterly 39.3 (2009).
  • 92
    Behrenbeck, Sabine: Der Kult um die toten Helden. Nationalsozialistische Mythen, Riten und Symbole 1923 bis 1945. Köln 1996: SH-Verlag; Baird, Jay W.: To Die for Germany. Heroes in the Nazi Pantheon. Bloomington 1990: Indiana University Press; Schilling, Réne: “Die Helden der Wehrmacht. Konstruktion und Rezeption”. In: Müller, Rolf-Dieter et al. (Eds.): Die Wehrmacht. Mythos und Realität. München 1999: Oldenbourg, 550-572.
  • 93
    Meckl, Markus: Helden und Märtyrer. Der Warschauer Ghettoaufstand in der Erinnerung. Berlin 2000: Metropol.
  • 94
    Sabrow, M.: “Heroismus und Viktimismus. Überlegungen zum deutschen Opferdiskurs in historischer Perspektive”. In: Potsdamer Bulletin für zeithistorische Studien 43/44 (2008), 7-20; Stegmann, Natali: Kriegsdeutungen, Staatsgründungen, Sozialpolitik. Der Helden- und Opferdiskurs in der Tschecheslowakei 1918–1948. München 2010: Oldenbourg; Kaiser, Alexandra: Von Helden und Opfern: Eine Geschichte des Volkstrauertags. Frankfurt a. M. 2010: Campus.
  • 95
    Yarrington, Alison: The Commemoration of the Hero, 1800–1864. Monuments to the British Victors of the Napoleonic Wars. New York/London 1988: Garland; Koselleck, Reinhart / Jeismann, Michael (Eds.): Der politische Totenkult. Kriegerdenkmäler in der Moderne. München 1994: Fink; Völcker, Lars: Tempel für die Großen der Nation. Das kollektive Nationaldenkmal in Deutschland, Frankreich und Großbritannien im 18 und 19. Jahrhundert. Frankfurt a. M. 2000: Lang; Bemmann, Klaus: Deutsche Nationaldenkmäler und Symbole im Wandel der Zeiten. Göttingen 2007: MatrixMedia; Schult, Tanja: A Hero’s Many Faces. Raoul Wallenberg in Contemporary Monuments. Basingstoke 2009: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 96
    Hichberger, Joan Winifred Martin: Military Themes in British Painting 1815–1914. London 1985: Manchester University Press; Mai, Ekkehard. et al. (Eds.): Triumph und Tod des Helden: europäische Historienmalerei von Rubens bis Manet. Mailand 1988: Electa; Kirchner, Thomas: Der epische Held. Historienmalerei und Kunstpolitik im Frankreich des 17. Jahrhunderts. München 2001: Fink.
  • 97
    Hepp, Noémi / Livet, Georges (Eds.): Héroisme et création littéraire sous les règnes d’Henri IV et de Louis XIII. Paris 1974: Klincksieck. Folkenflik, Robert: The English Hero 1660 –1800. London et al. 1982: University of Delaware Press. Duncan, M. B.: Aspects of the Hero in Eighteenth Century English Literature. California 1990; Disselkamp, Martin: Barockheroismus. Konzeptionen politischer Größe in Literatur und Traktatistik des 17. Jahrhunderts. Tübingen 2002: Niemeyer; Plett, Bettina: Problematische Naturen? Heldenkonzept und Heroismusdiskurs in der deutschsprachigen Erzählliteratur 1860–1898. Paderborn 2002: Schöningh; Wein, Toni: British Identities, Heroic Nationalisms, and the Gothic Novel, 1764–1824. Basingstoke 2002: Palgrave; Reiling, Jesko / Rohde, Carsten: Das 19. Jahrhundert und seine Helden. Literarische Figurationen des (Post-) Heroischen. Bielefeld 2011: Aisthesis.
  • 98
    Thorslev, Peter L.: The Byronic Hero. Types and Prototypes. Minneapolis 1962: University of Minnesota Press; Lubin, Harold: Heroes and Anti-Heroes. A Reader in Depth. San Francisco 1968: Chandler Publishing Company, Rollin, Roger B.: Hero-Anti-Hero. New York 1973: McGraw-Hill; Bernstein, Michael André: Bitter Carnival. Ressentiment and the Abject Hero. Princeton/N. J. 1992: University Press; Plett: Problematische Naturen, 2002; Dallapiazza, Michael / Anichini, Federica (Eds.) et al.: Krieg, Helden und Antihelden in der Literatur des Mittelalters. Beiträge der II. Internationalen Giornata di Studio sul Medioevo in Urbino. Göppingen 2007: Kümmerle.
  • 99
    Larson, Jennifer: Greek Heroine Cults. Madison 1995: University of Wisconsin Press; Plume, Cornelia: Heroinen in der Geschlechterordnung. Weiblichkeitsprojektionen bei Daniel Casper von Lohenstein und die Querelle des Femmes. Stuttgart/Weimar 1996: Metzler; Lyons, Deborah: Gender and Immortality. Heroines in Ancient Greek Myth and Cult. Princeton 1997: Princeton University Press; Götz, Maya: Männer sind die Helden: Geschlechterverhältnisse im Kinderfernsehen. In: TELEVIZION 12/1 (1999), 33-35; Foyster, Elizabeth A.: Manhood in Early Modern England. Honour, Sex and Marriage. New York 1999: Longman; Böhm, Stephanie: “Griechische Heroinen. Girl power und andere Frauenideale im antiken Griechenland”. In: Klinger, Elmar (Ed.): Der Körper und die Religion. Würzburg 2000: Echter, 67-91; Hagemann, Karen: “Mannlicher Muth und teutsche Ehre”. Nation, Militär und Geschlecht zur Zeit der antinapoleonischen Kriege Preußens. Paderborn et al. 2002: Schöningh; Hagemann, Karen: “Heroic Virgins and Bellicose Amazons. Armed Women, the Gender Order and the German Public during and after the Anti-Napoleonic Wars”. In: European History Quarterly 37.4 (2007), 507-527; Rose, Mary Beth: Gender and Heroism in Early Modern English Literature. Chicago et al. 2002: University of Chicago Press; Schilling, René: “Kriegshelden”. Deutungsmuster heroischer Männlichkeit in Deutschland 1813–1945. Paderborn et al. 2002: Schöningh; Studt, Birgit: “Helden und Heilige. Männlichkeitsentwürfe im frühen und hohen Mittelalter”. In: Historische Zeitschrift 276 (2003), 1-36; Kollmann, Anett: Gepanzerte Empfindsamkeit. Helden in Frauengestalt um 1800. Heidelberg 2004: Winter; Bohrer, Karl Heinz et al. (Eds.): Heldengedenken. Über das historische Phantasma. Sonderheft Merkur, vol. 724/725. Stuttgart 2009: Klett-Cotta; Gerwarth, Robert (Ed.): “Hero Cults and the Politics of the Past. Comparative European Perspectives”. In: European History Quarterly 39.3 (2009); Keller, Johannes / Kragl, Florian (Eds.): Heldinnen. 10. Pöchlarner Heldenliedgespräch. Wien 2010: Fassbänder; van Marwyck, Mareen: Gewalt und Anmut. Weiblicher Heroismus in der Literatur und Ästhetik um 1800. Bielefeld 2010: transcript; Mennenga, Hans-Christian: Präödipale Helden. Neuere Männlichkeitsentwürfe im Hollywoodfilm. Die Figuren von Michael Douglas und Tom Cruise. Bielefeld 2011: transcript.
  • 100
    Scholz, Sylka: “Vom starken Helden zum zärtlichen Vater? Männlichkeit und Emotionalität in der DDR”. In: Borutta, Manuel (Ed.): Die Präsenz der Gefühle. Männlichkeit und Emotion in der Moderne. Bielefeld 2010: transcript; Immer, Nikolas / van Marwyck, Mareen (Eds.): Ästhetischer Heroismus. Konzeptionelle und figurative Paradigmen des Helden. Bielefeld 2011: transcript.
  • 101
    Koselleck, Reinhart: Zur politischen Ikonologie des gewaltsamen Todes. Ein deutsch-französischer Vergleich. Basel 1998: Schwabe.
  • 102
    Burschel, Peter: Sterben und Unsterblichkeit. Zur Kultur des Martyriums in der Frühen Neuzeit. München 2004: Oldenbourg; Freeman, Thomas S. / Mayer, Thomas F. (Eds.): Martyrs and Martyrdom in England, ca. 1400–1700. Woodbridge 2007: Boydell Press; Niewiadomski, Józef et al. (Eds.): Opfer – Helden – Märtyrer. Das Martyrium als religionspolitologische Herausforderung. Innsbruck 2011: Tyrolia.
  • 103
    Deoudi, Maria: Heroenkulte in homerischer Zeit. Oxford 1999: Archaeopress; Boehringer, David: Heroenkulte in Griechenland von der geometrischen bis zur klassischen Zeit. Berlin 2001: Akademie.
  • 104
    Brelich, Angelo: Gli eroi greci. Un problema storico-religioso. Rom 1958: Ediziono dell’Ateneo; Nagy, Gregory: The Best of the Achaeans. Concepts of the Hero in Archaic Greek Poetry. Baltimore/MD et al. 1991: Johns Hopkins University Press; Albersmeier, Sabine: Heroes. Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greek. Baltimore 2009: Walters Art Museum; Jones, Christopher: New Heroes in Antiquity: From Achilles to Antinoos. Cambridge 2010: Harvard University Press.
  • 105
    Burns, Norman T. / Reagan, Christopher R.: Concepts of the Hero in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Albany 1975: State University of New York Press; Cauchies, Jean-Marie / Small, Graeme / Brown, Andrew D. (Eds.): Le héros bourguignon. Historie et épogée. Neuchâtel 2001.
  • 106
    Crouzet, Denis: Les Guerriers de Dieu, Vol. 2. Paris 1990: Champ Vallon; Müller, Ulrich / Wunderlich, Werner (Eds.): Herrscher, Helden, Heilige. St. Gallen 1996: UVK, Fachverlag für Wissenschaft und Studium; Freyburger, Gérard (Ed.): Du héros païen au saint chrétien. Actes du colloque organisé par le Centre d’Analyse des Rhétoriques Religieuses de l’Antiquité (CARRA). Strasbourg, 1er – 2 décembre 1995. Paris 1997: Inst. d’Etudes Augustiniennes; Studt: “Helden und Heilige”, 2003; Freeman, Thomas S. / Mayer, Thomas F. (Eds.): Martyrs and Martyrdom in England, ca. 1400–1700. Woodbridge 2007: Boydell Press; Hammer, Andreas / Seidl, Stephanie (Eds.): Helden und Heilige. Kulturelle und literarische Integrationsfiguren des europäischen Mittelalters. Heidelberg 2010: Winter.
  • 107
    Adamson, J. S. A.: “Chivalry and Political Culture in Caroline England”. In: Lake, Peter et al. (Eds.): Culture and Politics in Early Stuart England. Basingstoke 1994: Macmillan, 161-197; Anglo, Sidney (Ed.): Chivalry in the Renaissance. Woodbridge 1990: Boydell; Braudy, Leo: From Chivalry to Terrorism. War and the Changing Nature of Masculinity. New York 2003: Knopf; Wrede, Martin: Ohne Furcht und Tadel. Für König und Vaterland? Frühneuzeitlicher Hochadel zwischen Familienehre, Ritterideal und Fürstendienst, Habilitationsschrift Gießen 2009. Ostfildern 2012: Thorbecke.
  • 108
    Burke, Peter: The Fabrication of Louis XIV. New Haven 1992: Yale University Press; Cornette, Joe͏̈l: Le Roi de Guerre. Essai sur la souveraineté dans la France du Grand Siècle. Paris 1993: Payot et Rivages; Sabatier, Gérard: Versailles ou la figure de roi. Paris 1999: Michel; Oredsson, Sverker: Geschichtsschreibung und Kult. Gustav Adolf Schweden und der Dreißigjährige Krieg. Berlin 1994: Duncker und Humblot; Heyde, Astrid: Die Darstellungen König Gustav II. Adolfs von Schweden. Studien zum Verhältnis von Herrscherbild und Herrschermythos im Zeitraum 1607 – 1932, Dissertation. Kiel 1995; Goloubeva, Maria: The Glorification of Emperor Leopold I in Image, Spectacle and Text. Mainz 2000: von Zabern.
  • 109
    Wrede, Henning: Consecratio in formam deorum. Vergöttlichte Privatpersonen in der römischen Kaiserzeit. Frankfurt a.M. 1981: von Zabern; Huttner, Ulrich: Die politische Rolle der Heraklesgestalt im griechischen Herrschertum. Stuttgart 1997: Steiner; Bergmann, Marianne: Die Strahlen der Herrscher. Theomorphes Herrscherbild und politische Symbolik im Hellenismus und in der römischen Kaiserzeit. Mainz 1998: von Zabern.
  • 110
    Harari, Yuval Noah: The Ultimate Experience. Battlefield Revelations and the Making of Modern War Culture, 1450–2000. Basingstoke 2008: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 111
    Drévillon, Hervé.: L’impôt du sang. Le métier des armes sous Louis XIV. Paris 2005.
  • 112
    Naumann, Michael: Strukturwandel des Heroismus. Vom sakralen zum revolutionären Heldentum. Königstein/Ts 1984: Athenäum.
  • 113
    Pigeaud, Jackie / Barbe, Jean.-Paul (Eds.): Le culte des Grand Hommes au XVIIIe siècle. Entretiens de la Garenne-Lemot. Actes du Colloque 3 au 5 octobre 1996. Nantes 1998: Université de Nantes; Ritter, Henning: Die Krise des Helden. der Ruhm und die großen Männer im Ancient Régime. In: Warnke, Martin (Ed.): Politische Kunst. Gebärden und Gebaren, Berlin 2004: Akademie, 1-16.
  • 114
    Smith, Jay M.: Nobility Reimagined. The Patriotic Nation in Eighteenth Century France. Ithaca 2005: Cornell University Press; MacLeod, Christine: Heroes of Invention. Technolog/y, Liberalism and British Identity, 1750–1914. Cambridge 2007: Cambridge University Press.
  • 115
    Coenen-Mennemaier, Brigitta: Der schwache Held. Heroismuskritik in der französischen Erzählliteratur des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Frankfurt a. M. 1999: Lang; Kirchner, Thomas: Der epische Held: Historienmalerei und Kunstpolitik im Frankreich des 17. Jahrhunderts. München 2001: Fink; Herding, K.: “Schwindender Heroismus gesteigerte Sinnlichkeit. Pugets Milon von Kroton als Ausdruck einer Krise der Männlichkeit im absolutistischen Zeitalter”. In: Fend, M. (Ed.): Männlichkeit im Blick. Visuelle Inszenierungen in der Kunst seit der Frühen Neuzeit. Köln 2004, 137-160.
  • 116
    Früchtl, Josef: Das unverschämte Ich. Eine Heldengeschichte der Moderne. Frankfurt a. M. 2004.
  • 117
    Allison / Goethals: Heroes, 2010.
  • 118
    Cf. Körber-Stiftung: “Helden: Verehrt – verkannt – vergessen”, 2008; Münkler, Herfried: Der Wandel des Krieges. Weilerswist 2006: Verlbrück; Münkler: Die Deutschen und ihre Mythen, 2009; Bohrer / Scheel (Eds.): Heldengedenken, 2009; Reemtsma, Jan Philipp: “Der Held, das Ich und das Wir”. In: Mittelweg 36. Zeitschrift des Hamburger Instituts für Sozialforschung, 18.4 (2009), 41-64; Essig, Rolf-Bernhard: Wann ist ein Held ein Held? München 2010: Hanser; Klonovsky, Michael: Der Held. Ein Nachruf. München 2011: Diederichs; SZ für Kinder (=Süddeutsche Zeitung für Kinder): Helden. Ein Heft über Superkräfte, Eigensinn und Wagemut, Nr. 5 (2011); brand eins 08/2011: Auch Batman hat klein angefangen. Schwerpunkt Heimliche Helden.
  • 119
    Mayeur-Jaouen, Catherine (Ed.): Saints et héros du Moyen-Orient contemporain. Paris 2002: Maisonneuve & Larose; Faliu / Tourret (Eds.): Héros d’Achille à Zidane, 2007; Bohrer / Scheel (Eds.): Heldengedenken, 2009; Bultmann, Antje: Helden im Schatten der Gesellschaft. Zivilcourage und Whistleblowing. Peiting 2010: Michaels.
  • 120
    Colebatch, Hal: Return of the Heroes. The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Contemporary Culture. Perth/W. A 1990: Australian Institute for Public Policy; Drucker, Susan (Ed.): American Heroes in a Media Age. Cresskill/NJ 1994: Hampton; Sparks, R.: “Masculinity and heroism in the Hollywood ‘blockbuster’: the culture industry and contemporary images of crime and law enforcement”. In: British journal of criminology 36 (1996), 348-360; Bongco, Mila: Reading Comics. Language, Culture, and the Concept of the Superhero in Comic Books. New York 2000: Garland; Wrigley, Christopher: The Return of the Hero. Rowling, Tolkien, and Pullman. Sussex, England 2005: Book Guild; Landa, Ishay: The Overman in the Marketplace. Nietzschean Heroism in Popular Culture. Lexington 2007: Lexington Books; Bohrmann, Thomas: “‘Aus großer Kraft folgt große Verantwortung’: Superhelden im Kino”. In: Bohrmann, Thomas et al. (Eds.): Handbuch Theologie und Populärer Film. Vol. 2. Paderborn 2009, 199-212; Kainz, Barbara: Comic. Film. Helden. Heldenkonzepte und medienwissenschaftliche Analysen. Wien 2009: Löcker; Mittermayer, Manfred (Ed.): Ikonen, Helden, Außenseiter. Film und Biographie. Wien 2009: Paul Zsolnay; Shimpach, Shawn: Television in Transition. The Life and Afterlife of the Narrative Action Hero. Chichester 2010: Wiley-Blackwell; Heimerl, Theresia / Feichtinger, Christian (Eds.): Dunkle Helden. Vampire als Spiegel religiöser Diskurse in Film und TV. Marburg 2011: Schüren; Imorde, Joseph / Scheller, Jörg: „Superhelden. Zur Ästhetik und Politisierung menschlicher Außerordentlichkeit”. In: Kritische Berichte Nr. 1 (2011), 3-4.
  • 121
    Albersmeier: Heroes. Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greek, 2009; Trofimova, Anna (Ed.): The Immortal Alexander the Great: The Myth, the Reality, his Journey, his Legacy. Catalogue for the exhibition from 18 September 2010 to 18 March 2011 organised by the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Hermitage Amsterdam. Amsterdam 2010.
  • 122
    Faliu / Tourret (Eds.): Héros d’Achille à Zidane, 2007.
  • 123
    Ernstell, E.-S. (Ed.) 2009: Hjältar/Heroes. An Exhibition about Courage. Ausstellungskatalog Armémuseum Stockholm, 14.2.–30.11.2009. Stockholm 2009; Frankhäuser, Gernot /Paas, Sigrun: Götter, Helden, Heilige. Italienische Malerei des Barock aus dem Landesmuseum Mainz. Katalogbuch zur Ausstellung, Max-Slevogt-Galerie auf Schloss Villa Ludwigshöhe in Edenkoben (Pfalz), 11.01.–19.04.2009, Landesmuseum Mainz, 17.5.–5.7.2009. München 2009: Deutscher Kunstverlag.

7. Selected literature

  • Andronikashvili, Zaal / Maisuradze, Giorgi / Schwartz, Matthias / Thun-Hohenstein, Franziska (eds.): Kulturheros. Genealogien, Konstellationen, Praktiken. Berlin 2017: Kadmos.
  • Asch, Ronald G.: Herbst des Helden. Modelle des Heroischen und heroische Lebensentwürfe in England und Frankreich von den Religionskriegen bis zum Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Ein Essay. Würzburg 2016: Ergon.
  • Asch, Ronald G. / Butter, Michael (Eds.): Bewunderer, Verehrer, Zuschauer. Die Helden und ihr Publikum. Würzburg 2016: Ergon.
  • Aurnhammer, Achim / Pfister, Manfred (Eds.): Heroen und Heroisierungen in der Renaissance. Wiesbaden 2013: Harrassowitz.
  • Aurnhammer, Achim / Korte, Barbara: (Eds.): Fremde Helden auf europäischen Bühnen (1600–1900). Würzburg 2017: Ergon.
  • Aurnhammer, Achim / Bröckling, Ulrich (Eds.): Vom Weihegefäß zur Drohne. Kulturen des Heroischen und ihre Objekte. Würzburg 2016: Ergon.
  • Bohrer, Karl Heinz / Scheel, Kurt (Eds.): Heldengedenken. Über das historische Phantasma. Sonderheft Merkur Nr. 724/725. Stuttgart 2009: Klett-Cotta.
  • Bröckling, Ulrich: “Negationen des Heroischen – ein typologischer Versuch”. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen, 3.1 (2015), 9-13. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros/2015/01/02.
  • Brunotte, Ulrike: Helden des Todes. Studien zur Religion, Ästhetik und Politik moderner Männlichkeit. Würzburg 2015: Ergon.
  • Carlyle, Thomas: On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History. London 1841: Fraser.
  • Heinzer, Felix / Leonhard, Jörn / von den Hoff, Ralf (Eds.): Sakralität und Heldentum. Würzburg 2017: Ergon.
  • Immer, Nikolas / van Marwyck, Mareen (Eds.): Ästhetischer Heroismus. Konzeptionelle und figurative Paradigmen des Helden. Bielefeld 2011: transcript.
  • Korte, Barbara / Lethbridge, Stefanie (Eds.): Heroes and Heroism in British Fiction Since 1800. Case Studies. Basingstoke 2016: Palgrave.
  • Münkler, Herfried: “Heroische und postheroische Gesellschaften”. In: Merkur 61.7-8 (2007), 742-752.
  • Rolshoven, Johanna / Krause, Toni Janosch / Winkler Justin (Eds.): Heroes – Repräsentationen des Heroischen in Geschichte, Literatur und Alltag. Bielefeld 2018: Transcript.
  • Schlechtriemen, Tobias: “The Hero as an Effect. Boundary Work in Processes of Heroization”. In: Falkenhayner, Nicole / Meurer, Sebastian / Schlechtriemen, Tobias (Eds.): Analyzing Processes of Heroization. Theories, Methods, Histories (= helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu den Kulturen des Heroischen. Special Issue 5 [2019]), 17-26. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2019/APH/03
  • van Marwyck, Mareen: Gewalt und Anmut. Weiblicher Heroismus in der Literatur und Ästhetik um 1800. Bielefeld 2010: transcript.
  • von den Hoff, Ralf / Asch, Ronald G. / Aurnhammer, Achim / Bröckling, Ulrich / Korte, Barbara / Leonhard, Jörn / Studt, Birgit: “Helden – Heroisierungen – Heroismen. Transformationen und Konjunkturen von der Antike bis zur Moderne. Konzeptionelle Ausgangspunkte des Sonderforschungsbereichs 948”. In: helden. heroes. héros. E-Journal zu Kulturen des Heroischen 1.1 (2013), 7-14. DOI: 10.6094/helden.heroes.heros./2013/01/03.
  • von den Hoff, Ralf et al.: “Das Heroische in der neueren kulturhistorischen Forschung. Ein kritischer Bericht”. In: H-Soz-Kult, 28.7.2015. Online at: https://www.hsozkult.de/literaturereview/id/forschungsberichte-2216 (accessed on 01.02.2019).
  • von den Hoff, Ralf / Heinzer, Felix / Hubert, Hans W. / Schreurs-Morét, Anna (Eds.): Imitatio heroica. Heldenangleichung im Bildnis. Würzburg 2015: Ergon.
  • Zink, Veronika: Von der Verehrung. Eine kultursoziologische Untersuchung. Frankfurt a. M. 2014: Campus.

Citation

Sonderforschungsbereich 948: Hero. In: Compendium heroicum, ed. by Ronald G. Asch, Achim Aurnhammer, Georg Feitscher, Anna Schreurs-Morét, and Ralf von den Hoff, published by Sonderforschungsbereich 948, University of Freiburg, Freiburg 2022-08-17. DOI: 10.6094/heroicum/hde1.0.20220817