1.a hero, in Hom. used of the Greeks before Troy, then of warriors generally; and then of all free men of the heroic age, as the minstrel Demodocus, the herald Mulius, even the unwarlike Phaeacians.
2.in Hes. the blessed heroes are the fourth age of men, who fell before Thebes and Troy, and then passed to the Islands of the Blest.
3.heroes, as objects of worship, demigods or men born from a god and a mortal, as Hercules, Aeneas, Memnon, Hdt., Pind.; then of such as had done great services to mankind, as Daedalus, Triptolemus, Theseus, Anth.
later, the heroes are inferior local deities
, patrons of tribes, cities, guilds, founders of cities, etc.; as at Athens, the ἥρωες ἐπώνυμοι
were the heroes after whom the φυλαί were named