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troy of ılıad
the list of legendary deaths


Achilles or Achilleus is described as a Greek hero,  central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad & in Greek Mytholgy.  His mother was the immortal Nereid Thetis, and his father, the mortal Peleus who was the king of the Myrmidons.

Achilles' most important act during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan prince Hector outside the walls of Troy in a one-by-one fight. Although the death of Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that he was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Hector's little brother Paris, who was a great archer but a weak warrior, by shoting him to death in the heel with an arrow. Later legends derived from this, describes Achilles as a half god who was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel because of the fact that his mother Thetis dipped him in the river Styx when he was a baby by holding one of his heels. Alluding to these legends, the term "Achilles' heel" has come to mean a point of weakness. The anatomical word ''Achilles tendon'' was also derived from this legend.

Thetis brings Achilles armour


Before Achilles goes for a fight with Hector who killed his  beloved cousin Patroklus, his mother Thetis who is described as an immortal Nereid, brings the legendary shield, helmet & weapons  of Achilles which were forged by Hephaestus. 

By delivering this immortal armor to her son, Thetis will enables Achilles go into the front lines of the battle to kill the killer of patroklus, Hektor. Thetis knows the weapons will not change his destiny, but wwill help him to get the avenge of Patroklus. This scene mentioned by Homer in Iliad is one of the most inspiring scenes for medieval, modern or ancient artists and they have produced many works depicting this epic story.

Below, Hephaistos and Cyclops forging Achilles shield for Thetis, GrecoRoman bas-relief marble, from the Pinacoteca Capitolina, Palazzo Conservatori, Rome.

Hephaistos and Cyclops forging Achilles

Thetis Delivering New Armor to Achilles. Detail of an Attic Black-figure Hydria in the style of the Tyrrhenian Group, ca. 575-550 BCE (Below)

hydria_achilles_weapons_louvre color-cor

Below is the original epic from the book iliad

Now Dawn the saffron-robed arose from the streams of Oceanus
to bring light to immortals and to mortal men,
and Thetis came to the ships bearing gifts from the god.
And she found her dear son as he lay, clasping Patroclus,
and wailing aloud; and in throngs round about him
his comrades were weeping.

Then in the midst of them the bright goddess came to his side,
and she clasped his hand, and spake and addressed him:
“My child, this man must we let be, for all our sorrow, to lie as he is,
seeing he hath been slain once for all by the will of the gods.
But receive thou from Hephaestus glorious armour, exceeding fair,
such as never yet a man bare upon his shoulders.”

So saying the goddess set down the arms in front of Achilles,
and they all rang aloud in their splendour.
Then trembling seized all the Myrmidons,
neither dared any man to look thereon, but they shrank in fear.

Howbeit, when Achilles saw the arms,
then came wrath upon him yet the more, and his eyes blazed forth
in terrible wise from beneath their lids, as it had been flame;
and he was glad as he held in his arms the glorious gifts of the god.

But when in his soul he had taken delight in gazing on the glory of them,
forthwith to his mother he spake winged words:
“My mother, the arms that the god hath given
are such as the works of immortals should fitly be,
such as no mortal man could fashion.
Now therefore will I array me for battle”

Homer’s Iliad, Book 19:1-24 

translation by A.T. Murray



According to the Iliad, Achilles arrived at Troy with 50 ships, each carrying 50 Myrmidons. He appointed five leaders each of whom were commanding 500 Myrmidons. 

The ''Iliad'' is only about last few weeks of the decade-long war seige, and does not include Achilles' death & also the event when he was shot by Paris with an arrow. His death  is narrated on other sources. The epic story begins with the withdrawal of Achilleus & his forces from battle after being dishonoured by Agamemnon, the commander of the Achaean forces. Agamemnon commands that Achilles' battle prize Briseis, the daughter of Briseus, be brought to him to replace Chryseis who was a slave.  Achilleus gets angry with agamemnon because of his disrespectfull & tricky behaviour about Brisei, who he was in love with & refuses to fight for Agamemnon. Besides he prays to Thetis to persuade Zeus to help the Troja in the war.

As the battle turns against the Greeks, Agamemnon sends Odysseus, Ajax and Phoenix, to convince Achilleus by promising to gibe Bresseis back to  him. Achilles, as expected,  rejects Agamemnon and orders his men to prepare the ships to sail hom.

What changed the way where the war was going and the decision of Achilles was the unexpected death of Patroklus. Patroklus was his beloved cousin & he is killed by Hector in a fight while he was wearing the armour and helmet of Achilleus. This development convinces Akilleus to join back to war for his own revenge but for the sake of Agamemnon or any Achaians.

Below is the painting by Gavin hamilton about Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus.

Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclu

As described in Iliad, Hector, the prince of troy & the most effective fighter of Troja is killed in a one-by-one fight with Achilleus. Achilleus ties him from his feet at the back of his chariot and draggs his body around the walls of Troia in front of the eyes of his father Priam, his wife Andromache, his brother Paris and all the others. Then he takes the body to his camp.


Later on, Priam, the king of Troia & the father of Hector, goes to the camp of Achilleus to bag him for his son's dead body, insisting that such an honored warrior deserves an appropriate & respectfull funeral. Achilles relents and promises a truce for the duration of the funeral, lasting 9 days with a burial on the 10th . The poem ends with a description of Hector's funeral, with the doom of Troy and Achilles himself still to come. Below is, King Priam bags Achilleus & ransoms the Trojan prince Hector in a scene from The Iliad. A Carved Roman Sarcophagus from north-west Greece (c189-200AD)

King Priam Ransoms the Trojan Prince Hec

Tall Priam
came in unseen by the other men and stood close beside him
and caught the knees of Achilleus in his arms, and kissed the hands 
that were dangerous and manslaughtering and had killed so many
of his sons. As when dense disaster closes on one who has murdered
a man in his own land, and he comes to the country of others,
to a man of substance, and wonder seizes on those who behold him,
so Achilleus wondered as he looked on Priam, a godlike
man, and the rest of them wondered also, and looked at each other.
But now Priam spoke to him in the words of a suppliant:
“Remember your father . . . ”

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