1540s, shortened from heroical (early 15c.), also heroycus "noble, magnanimous," from Latin heroicus "of a hero, heroic, mythical," from Greek heroikos "pertaining to heroes," from heros (see hero (n.1)). Earlier was heroical (early 15c.). The Heroic Age in Greece was the time before the return of the armies from the fall of Troy. Related: Heroically. Heroic verse (1610s), decasyllabic iambic, is from Italian.