Kleos (κλέος) is a term used in Hellenic epic poetry that means immortal fame, but it can also mean rumor or renown. A very important theme in Homer's great epics The Iliad and The Odyssey, kleos often referred to having one's achievements venerated in poetry. Unlike the hero, the song would never die.

For example, in the Iliad Achilles discusses how his mother Thetis assured him his fame would be everlasting, that he would have a kleos that will be imperishable. A Hellenic soldier, like Achilles, could earn kleos through his own courage in battle, but he could also pass that kleos on to others. When Achilles's killed Hector in honor of Patroclus, he extended his own kleos to include Patroclus. A monument or proper burial could bring and reaffirm kleos, as can reports of one's offspring's virtuous deeds. The kleos of the mighty Hector survived his death, living on in the memory of his friends and the monuments built to honor him.

Although it was usually the bravest warriors who could achieve the long lasting fame of kleos, it was the poets who were responsible for making sure that their voices carried these tales far and wide and into the hands of future scholars.

Kleos, I feel, is something that translates well to modern culture. It's your reputation, the footprints you leave min the minds of others, but also online. It's what remains of your legacy once you die. It's the books you write, the work you do, the lives you change, the art you create. It's a part of arête, and thus it's something for us to be mindful of.

Arête is the act of living up to one's full potential. The term arête was applied to anything and anyone superior. It is linked to knowledge and wisdom as well as physical beauty. It could even be applied to an exceptionally well crafted vase, the person who made it or even the seller, who sold it for more than it was worth. Living up to arête challenges up to be our best mentally, physically, and spiritually. It means taking control of our life, to become an active participant in it. To place blame only on yourself when things go wrong, and to keep trying to reach your goals, no matter what setbacks you suffer.

In terms of Kleos, it means practicing self-control, to present ourselves as the version of ourselves we want others to remember after death. It means keeping in mind that all we do will be part of the poem of our lives and that that poem is our legacy. Make it a good one!