Public Domain Super Heroes
Ben Hur

Real Name

Judah Ben Hur

First Appearance

Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (November 12, 1880)

Original Publisher

Harper & Brothers

Created by

Lew Wallace


Ben Hur was a wealthy Jewish prince and merchant in Jerusalem at the beginning of the 1st century. His childhood friend Messala becomes the commanding officer of the Roman legions, and when the two are reunited, they find their political views are drastically different. Judah decides to go to the Roman military academy to acquire the skills to fight Rome. When a tile from a roof falls and injures a Roman governor, Messala blames Ben Hur and sends him into slavery without a trial, while his mother and sister are sent to prison. Ben Hur vows revenge. He is eventually freed, and defeats Messala in a chariot race. He also manages to gain back some of his fortune and to free his mother and sister, though they have become lepers. He battles an assassin sent by Messala and while he is supposed dead, he organizes a revolution against Rome. However, he later becomes a follower of Jesus Christ and witnesses both Christ's miracles and his crucifixion. After he is married and grows old, he helps to support Christians who are persecuted by the Roman Emperor Nero.

Public Domain Comic Appearances

  • Popular Comics #40-44
  • Stories by Famous Authors Illustrated #11
  • A Treasury of Horses (Dell)

Public Domain Film Appearances

  • Ben Hur (1907)

See Also