Excellence (Ideally) = Honour = Deeds + Glory + Prizes

Excellence (Ideally) = Honour = Deeds + Glory + Prizes

Every person is born with a predetermined amount of excellence, from the poorest
farmer to the greatest hero. Only the gods know how large a portion of excellence a
person has received, and they aren’t telling. In order to demonstrate how excellent they are,
heroes attempt to increase their honour to match it. The more honour they have, the
more excellence they are assumed to have, because a person’s honour should not be able
to exceed the amount of excellence he was given at birth. A hero displays his honour by
acquiring three things: deeds, glory and prizes. Gathering deeds involves acts such as
killing many men in a battle, defeating powerful monsters, tricking an enemy with a
clever plot or delivering a stirring speech that rallies an army to victory. Glory is getting
stories told about you, having your name and reputation spread far and wide. Glory often
comes as a result of doing great deeds, but it is possible to be an unsung hero. Prizes are
the spoils acquired in heroic deeds. Prizes could be large amounts of mundane wealth,
like coin, slave women and horses gained through sacking a city or it could be objects
of special power and significance, like the Golden Fleece or the hide of the Nemean
Lion. Those three aspects compose the signs of a hero’s honour, which demonstrates how
much excellence the hero must have.

Nowhere in that code is morality or altruism represented. Deeds are measured by how
grand the actions are, not how good. In ancient Greek myth, singlehandedly killing a
thousand soldiers and taking their wealth was very heroic, even if you actually have no right
to it. In all three elements of honour, more is better and it doesn’t matter how you do it.

For instance, Paris the prince of Troy abducts Helen, the most beautiful woman in Greece.
This action begins the ten year long Trojan war, costing thousands of lives and causing
the eventually destruction of Troy. All of that was over him taking a woman who was
already married to another man. We would consider this a vile act, but to the Greeks it is
heroic. Paris increased his honour by getting the impressive prize of the most beautiful
woman in the world. The consequences of that action are irrelevant to Paris’ heroism.

Excellence (Ideally) = Honour = Deeds + Glory + Prizes

Mythic Greece johnnynapalm