Achilles Facts

Achilles Facts
Achilles was a mythical Mycenean/Achaean/Greek warrior who played a central role in the eighth century Greek epic poem The Iliad, which was composed by Homer. In the centuries after Homer's poem was put into writing, Achilles was a popular character in classical and Hellenistic Greece, becoming the subject of later, apocryphal stories. According the most popular myth, Achilles was a mortal born to a woman named Thetis and a king named Peleus. Achilles mother bathed him in the River Styx, which made his skin impenetrable, with the exception of his left heal, which she was holding. In another myth, he was given the choice by the gods to live either a short exciting life, but he would become a legend, or a long and eventful life. He chose the former. Achilles is most well-known for his taking part in the Trojan War.
Interesting Achilles Facts:
According to Homer, Achilles grew up in Phthia.
In the Iliad, Achilles kills Troy's hero, Hector, after the latter killed Achilles' friend, Patroclus.
Paris later avenged Hector's death by shooting Achilles in his left heel with arrow, killing him on the spot.
The manner in which Hector and Achilles fought in the Iliad was more reminiscent of the Late Bronze Age/Mycenean Era than the Classical Era when the story was first put into writing.
The ruins of Troy discovered in the nineteenth century by the German archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann. The site was built and destroyed several times: the city associated with the legendary Trojan War is known as Troy VII.
The Trojan War's historicity is accepted by most historians. It was believed to have taken place sometime around the 1200 BC and was part of the larger "Sea Peoples" migrations.
Since the Trojan War is believed to have taken place, there is a strong possibility that the myth of Achilles was based on a real person.
The Iliad only says that Achilles and Patroclus were friends from the same town, but later Greek stories from eras when homosexuality was accepted and even promoted to a certain degree stated that they were lovers.
According to some traditions, Achilles father gave him to a centaur named Chiron to be raised on a mountain.
Contrary to what many believe, the Iliad ends before the death of Achilles.
Achilles was never involved with the famed "Trojan Horse." The Trojan Horse is mentioned is never mentioned in the Iliad and in only one brief passage of Homer's other poem about the Trojan War, the Odyssey. The most detailed account about the Trojan Horse comes from the first century BC Latin poem by Virgil, the Aeneid.
Following ancient Mycenean burial traditions, Achilles was cremated and his ashes placed in a mound at the Hellespont next to those of Patroclus.
What was believed to have been the tomb of Achilles was visited centuries later by Greeks, Persians, and Romans. He was also later deified and worshipped in both Greece and Rome.


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