An upcoming lecture hosted by the University of Sydney presents the multiple and diverse depictions of the most recognisable ancient Greek hero in popular art: Hercules.

The presentation focuses on the different facets of the hero examining how writers, film-makers and other artists have exploited them.

“We possess more stories about Hercules than any other figure from Greek myth […] Collectively, these tales depict a hero riven by contradiction; brave and stoic in one instance, cowardly and debauched in another,” reads part of the lecture blurb.

“Through the figure of Hercules, we can see the full gamut of human emotion and experience represented. He is us when we are at our best and worst. He inspires, amuses, and horrifies us in equal measure.”

The lecture will be presented at the University of Sydney by Professor Alastair Blanshard, the Paul Eliadis Professor of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Queensland.

The academic Chair was created thanks to a $1 million donation by Greek Australian oncologist Dr Paul Eliadis bestowed to the university in 2019.

Prof. Blanshard has recently co-edited a collection on the representation of Hercules in the 20th and 21st centuries and is also the author of ‘Hercules: A Heroic Life’.

‘Hercules: The hero with many faces’ will be presented on Thursday 8 December at the Nelson Meers Foundation Auditorium, Chau Chak Wing Museum, University Pl, Camperdown NSW 2006. Free entrance.

Following the talk, a reception will take place to officially launch the University of Sydney’s latest exhibition ‘Hercules: Myth and Legacy’ exploring the labours of the hero through the animals, art and cultural artefacts that have carried his name through the ages.

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Queensland academic explores ‘Hercules: The hero with many faces’

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