The Hero, with Professor Ronald Hutton

Ronald Hutton, Professor of History at the University of Bristol, author the bestseller Pagan Britain, on the role of The Hero in traditional societies, and the famous literature built up around these figures

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In particular, Ronald will take a special look at the three most famous heroic figures of three different peoples, each attached to a celebrated national epic - Achilles for the ancient Greeks, Cu Chulainn for the medieval Irish, and El Cid for the medieval Spanish...

One of these is a pagan warrior who features in a pagan work, one a pagan warrior who features in a Christian work, and one a Christian warrior who features in a Christian work. All three tales, however, can be said to question a traditional, uncomplicated, view of heroism, and to force hearers to think harder about issues such as just reasons for fighting and the necessity for violence. This talk invites us to look at them all in an unfamiliar way, which seems to correspond more closely to that originally intended by the authors.

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Ronald Hutton

Ronald is Professor of History at the University of Bristol, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Society of Antiquaries, the Learned Society of Wales, and the British Academy.

He has published fifteen books, including the bestseller Pagan Britain and is the author, The Rise and Fall of Merry England: The Ritual Year, 1400-1700, a comprehensive account of the religious and secular rituals of late medieval and early modern England. Click for all Ronald's books.

He is a familiar contributor to radio and television programmes such as Neil Oliver's Sacred Wonders of Britain and Time Team, and has written and presented a number of documentaries, including a series for Radio Four and one for the Discovery Channel.

He has degrees from Cambridge and Oxford and was formerly a Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford, before moving to Bristol in 1981.

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2017Martin Keeley