In Greek mythology
: ) was a Greek hero
of the Trojan War
and the greatest
warrior of Homer
also has the attributes of being the most handsome of the heroes
assembled against Troy.
Later legends (beginning with a poem by Statius
in the first century AD) state that Achilles
was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel
. Since he died due to an arrow shot into his heel,
the "Achilles' heel
" has come to mean
a person's principal weakness.
Achilles was the son of the nymph Thetis
, the king of
had been rivals for the hand
of Thetis until Prometheus
fire-bringer, warned Zeus of a prophecy that Thetis would bear a
son greater than his father. For this reason, the two gods withdrew
their pursuit, and had her wed Peleus.
As with most mythology there is a tale which offers an alternative
version of these events: in Argonautica
alludes to Thetis's chaste resistance to the
advances of Zeus
, that Thetis was so loyal to
Hera's marriage bond that she coolly rejected him.
According to a fragment of an Achilleis
— the Achilleid
, written by Statius
in the first century AD, and to no other
sources, when Achilles was born Thetis tried to make him immortal
by dipping him in the river Styx
. However, he
was left vulnerable at the part of the body she held him by, his
heel. (See Achilles heel
, Achilles' tendon
.) It is not clear if this
version of events was known earlier. In another version of this
story, Thetis anointed the boy in ambrosia
and put him on top of a fire to burn away the mortal parts of his
body. She was interrupted by Peleus and abandoned both father and
son in a rage.
However none of the sources before Statius makes any reference to
this general invulnerability. To the contrary, in the
Homer mentions Achilles being wounded: in Book 21
, son of Pelagon, challenged Achilles
by the river Scamander. He cast two spears at once, one grazed
Achilles' elbow, "drawing a spurt of blood."
Also in the fragmentary poems of the Epic
in which we can find description of the hero's death,
(unknown author), Aithiopis
by Arctinus of Miletus
, Ilias Mikrá
by Lesche of Mytilene, Iliou
pérsis by Arctinus of Miletus
there is no trace of any reference to his general invulnerability
or his famous weakness (heel); in the later vase-paintings
presenting Achilles' death, the arrow (or in many cases, arrows)
hit his body.
Peleus entrusted Achilles to Chiron
, on Mt. Pelion, to be
Achilles in the Trojan War
The first two lines of the Iliad
- Sing, Goddess, of the rage, of Peleus' son Achilles
- the accursed rage, which brought pain to thousands of the
Achilles is the only mortal to experience consuming rage. His anger
is at some times wavering, but at other times he cannot be cooled.
The humanization of Achilles by the events of the war is an
important theme of the narrative.
When the Greeks left for the Trojan War, they accidentally stopped
, ruled by King Telephus
. In the resulting battle, Achilles gave
Telephus a wound that would not heal; Telephus consulted an oracle,
who stated that "he that wounded shall heal". Guided by the oracle,
he arrived at Argos, where
Achilles heals him in order that he become their guide for the
voyage to Troy.
According to other reports in Euripides
lost play about Telephus, he went to Aulis
pretending to be a beggar and asked Achilles to heal his wound.
Achilles refused, claiming to have no medical knowledge.
Alternatively, Telephus held Orestes
for ransom, the ransom being
Achilles' aid in healing the wound. Odysseus
reasoned that the spear had inflicted the
wound; therefore, the spear must be able to heal it. Pieces of the
spear were scraped off onto the wound and Telephus was
According to the Cypria
(the part of the
that tells the events of the
Trojan War before Achilles' Wrath), when the Achaeans desired to
return home, they were restrained by Achilles, who afterwards
attacked the cattle of Aeneas, sacked neighboring cities and killed
According to Dares Phrygius
Account of the Destruction of Troy
, the Latin summary
through which the story of Achilles was transmitted to medieval
was a young Trojan prince,
the youngest of King Priam
's (or sometimes
) and Hecuba
five legitimate sons. Despite his youth, he was one of the main
Trojan war leaders. Prophecies linked Troilus' fate to that of Troy
and so he was ambushed in an attempt to capture him. Yet Achilles,
struck by the beauty of both Troilus and his sister Polyxena
, and overcome with lust directed his
sexual attentions on the youth - who refusing to yield found
instead himself decapitated upon an altar-omphalos of Apollo. Later
versions of the story suggested Troilus was accidentally killed by
Achilles in an over-ardent lovers' embrace. In this version of the
myth, Achilles' death therefore came in retribution for this
sacrilege. Ancient writers treated Troilus as the epitome of a dead
child mourned by his parents. Had Troilus lived to adulthood, the
claimed Troy would have been invincible.
In the Iliad
the most famous narrative of Achilles' deeds in the Trojan War
. The Homeric epic only covers a few
weeks of the war, and does not narrate Achilles' death. It begins
with Achilles' withdrawal from battle after he is dishonored by
, the commander of the Achaean
forces. Agamemnon had taken a woman named
as his slave. Her father Chryses
, a priest of Apollo
begged Agamemnon to return her to him. Agamemnon refused and Apollo
sent a plague amongst the Greeks. The prophet Calchas
correctly determined the source of the
troubles but would not speak unless Achilles vowed to protect him.
Achilles did so and Calchas declared Chryseis must be returned to
her father. Agamemnon consented, but then commanded that Achilles'
battle prize Briseis
be brought to replace
Chryseis. Angry at the dishonor (and as he says later, because he
loved Briseis) and at the urging of Thetis, Achilles refused to
fight or lead his troops alongside the other Greek forces.
As the battle turned against the Greeks, Nestor
declared that the Trojans were
winning because Agamemnon had angered Achilles, and urged the king
to appease the warrior. Agamemnon agreed and sent Odysseus
and two other chieftains to Achilles with
the offer of the return of Briseis and other gifts. Achilles took
back Briseis and refused the other gifts and urged the Greeks to
sail home as he was planning to do.
Eventually, however, hoping to retain glory despite his absence
from the battle, Achilles prayed to his mother Thetis, asking her
to plead with Zeus to allow the Trojans to push back the Greek
The Trojans, led by Hector
pushed the Greek army back toward the beaches and assaulted the
Greek ships. With the Greek forces on the verge of absolute
led the Myrmidons
into battle, though Achilles remained at
his camp. Patroclus succeeded in pushing the Trojans back from the
beaches, but was killed by Hector before he could lead a proper
assault on the city of Troy.
After receiving the news of the death of Patroclus from Antilochus
, the son of Nestor, Achilles grieved
over his close friend's death and held many funeral games in his
honor. His mother Thetis came to comfort the distraught Achilles.
She persuaded Hephaestus
to make new
armor for him, in place of the armor that Patroclus had been
wearing which was taken by Hector
. The new
armor included the Shield of
, described in great detail by the poet.
Enraged over the death of Patroclus, Achilles ended his refusal to
fight and took the field killing many men in his rage but always
seeking out Hector. Achilles even engaged in battle with the river
who became angry that
Achilles was choking his waters with all the men he killed. The god
tried to drown Achilles but was stopped by Hera
and Hephaestus. Zeus himself took note of Achilles' rage and sent
the gods to restrain him so that he would not go on to sack Troy
itself, seeming to show that the unhindered rage of Achilles could
defy fate itself as Troy was not meant to be destroyed yet. Finally
Achilles found his prey. Achilles chased Hector around the wall of
Troy three times before Athena
, in the form
of Hector's favorite and dearest brother, Deiphobus
, persuaded Hector to stop running and
fight Achilles face to face. After Hector realized the trick, he
knew the battle was inevitable. Wanting to go down fighting, he
charged at Achilles with his only weapon, his sword, but missed.
Accepting his fate, Hector begged Achilles – not to spare his life,
but to treat his body with respect after killing him. Achilles told
Hector it was hopeless to expect that of him, declaring that "my
rage, my fury would drive me now to hack your flesh away and eat
you raw — such agonies you have caused me". Achilles then got his
vengeance, killing Hector with a single blow to the neck and tying
the Trojan's body to his chariot
it around the battlefield for nine days.
With the assistance of the god Hermes
Hector's father, Priam
, went to Achilles' tent
to plead with Achilles to permit him to perform for Hector his
funeral rites. The final passage in the Iliad
funeral, after which the doom of Troy was just a matter of
Achilles, after his temporary truce with Priam, fought and killed
warrior queen Penthesilea
, but later grieved over her death.
At first, he was so distracted by her beauty, he did not fight as
intensely as usual. Once he realized that his distraction was
endangering his life, he refocused, and killed her. As he grieved
over the death of such a rare beauty, a notorious Greek jeerer by
the name of Thersites laughed and mocked the great Achilles.
Annoyed by his insensitivity and disrespect, Achilles punched him
in the face and killed him instantly.
Memnon, and the fall of Achilles
Following the death of Patroclus, Achilles' closest companion was
Nestor's son Antilochus
. When Memnon
, king of Ethiopia
killed Antilochus, Achilles
was once again drawn onto the battlefield to seek revenge. The
fight between Achilles and Memnon over Antilochus echoes that of
Achilles and Hector over Patroclus, except that Memnon (unlike
Hector) was also the son of a goddess.
Many Homeric scholars argued that episode inspired many details in
s description of the death of Patroclus and
Achilles' reaction to it. The episode then formed the basis of the
cyclic epic Aethiopis
, which was composed after the
, possibly in the 7th century B.C. The
is now lost, except for scattered fragments
quoted by later authors.
As predicted by Hector
with his dying breath,
Achilles was thereafter killed by Paris
with an arrow (to the heel according
). In some versions, the god
guided Paris's arrow. Some retellings
also state that Achilles was scaling the gates of Troy and was hit
with a poisoned arrow.
Both versions conspicuously deny the killer any sort of valor owing
to the common conception that Paris was a coward and not the man
his brother Hector was, and Achilles remained undefeated on the
battlefield. His bones were mingled with those of Patroclus
, and funeral games were held. He was
represented in the lost Trojan War epic of Arctinus of Miletus
as living after his
death in the island of Leuke
at the mouth of
the river Danube
(see below). Another version
of Achilles' death is that he fell deeply in love with one of the
Trojan princesses, Polyxena, Achilles asks Priam for Polyxena's
hand in marriage. Priam is willing because it would mean the end of
the war and an alliance with the world's greatest warrior. But
while Priam is overseeing the private marriage of Polyxena and
Achilles, Paris who would have to give up Helen if Achilles married
his sister hides in the bushes and shoots Achilles with a divine
arrow killing him.
Achilles was cremated and his ashes buried in the same urn as those
Paris was later killed by Philoctetes
using the enormous bow of Heracles
Fate of Achilles' armor
Achilles' armor was the object of a feud between Odysseus
(Ajax the greater). They competed for it by giving
speeches on why they were the bravest after Achilles to their
Trojan prisoners, who after considering both men came to a
consensus. Odysseus won. Furious, Ajax cursed Odysseus, which
earned the ire of Athena. Athena temporarily made Ajax mad with
grief and anguish as he began killing sheep, thinking they were his
comrades. After a while, Athena had lifted the madness and Ajax had
seen that he had actually been killing sheep. In his embarrassment,
he then committed suicide. Odysseus eventually gave the armor to
, the son of Achilles.
claimed to be Achilles' bronze-headed spear was for centuries
preserved in the temple of Athena on the acropolis of Phaselis, Lycia, a
port on the Pamphylian Gulf.
The city was visited in 333 by
Alexander the Great
envisioned himself as the new Achilles and carried the
with him, but his court biographers do not mention
the spear, which he would indeed have touched with excitement. But
it was being shown in the time of Pausanias
in the second century
Achilles and Patroclus
Achilles' relationship with Patroclus is a key aspect of his myth.
Its exact nature has been a subject of dispute in both the
classical period and modern times. In the Iliad
, they appeared to be generally portrayed as
a model of deep and loyal friendship. However, commentators from
the classical period to today have tended to interpret the
relationship through the lens of their own cultures. Thus, in 5th
century BC Athens the relationship was commonly interpreted as
. Contemporary readers may
interpret the two heroes either as relatives or close friends, as
"war buddies," as being in a teacher/student pederastic
relationship, or in love with each other as an egalitarian homosexual
couple. Whichever the case may be,
Achilles nevertheless continued to have sexual relationships with
The cult of Achilles in antiquity
an archaic heroic cult of Achilles on
the White Island,
Leuce, in the Black
Sea off the modern coasts of Romania and Ukraine, with a
temple and an oracle which survived into the
Achilles and Briseis
In the lost epic Aithiopis
continuation of the Iliad
to Arktinus of Miletos
, Achilles’ mother
Thetis returned to mourn him and removed his ashes from the pyre
and took them to Leuce at the mouths of the Danube. There the
Achaeans raised a tumulus
for him and
celebrated funeral games.
Pliny's Natural History
(IV.27.1) mentions a tumulus that is no longer evident (Insula
Akchillis tumulo eius viri clara
), on the island consecrated
to him, located at a distance of fifty Roman miles from Peuce
by the Danube Delta
and the temple there. Pausanias
has been told that the
island is "covered with forests and full of animals, some wild,
some tame. In this island there is also Achilles’ temple and his
statue” (III.19.11). Ruins of a square temple 30 meters to a side,
possibly that dedicated to Achilles, were discovered by Captain
Kritzikly in 1823, but there has been no modern archeological work
done on the island.
tells that Achilles is
buried in the island named Achillea, between Boristhene and Ister
(De situ orbis
, II, 7). And the Greek geographer Dionysius
Periegetus of Bithynia, who lived at the time of Domitian, writes
that the island was called Leuce
"because the wild animals
which live there are white. It is said that there, in Leuce island,
reside the souls of Achilles and other heroes, and that they wander
through the uninhabited valleys of this island; this is how Jove
rewarded the men who had distinguished themselves through their
virtues, because through virtue they had acquired everlasting
honor” (Orbis descriptio
, v. 541, quoted in Densuşianu
The Periplus of the Euxine
gives the following details: "It is said that the
goddess Thetis raised this island from the sea, for her son
Achilles, who dwells there. Here is his temple and his statue, an
archaic work. This island is not inhabited, and goats graze on it,
not many, which the people who happen to arrive here with their
ships, sacrifice to Achilles. In this temple are also deposited a
great many holy gifts, craters, rings and precious stones, offered
to Achilles in gratitude. One can still read inscriptions in Greek
and Latin, in which Achilles is praised and celebrated. Some of
these are worded in Patroclus’ honor, because those who wish to be
favored by Achilles, honor Patroclus at the same time. There are
also in this island countless numbers of sea birds, which look
after Achilles’ temple. Every morning they fly out to sea, wet
their wings with water, and return quickly to the temple and
sprinkle it. And after they finish the sprinkling, they clean the
hearth of the temple with their wings. Other people say still more,
that some of the men who reach this island, come here
intentionally. They bring animals in their ships, destined to be
sacrificed. Some of these animals they slaughter, others they set
free on the island, in Achilles’ honor. But there are others, who
are forced to come to this island by sea storms. As they have no
sacrificial animals, but wish to get them from the god of the
island himself, they consult Achilles’ oracle. They ask permission
to slaughter the victims chosen from among the animals that graze
freely on the island, and to deposit in exchange the price which
they consider fair. But in case the oracle denies them permission,
because there is an oracle here, they add something to the price
offered, and if the oracle refuses again, they add something more,
until at last, the oracle agrees that the price is sufficient. And
then the victim doesn’t run away any more, but waits willingly to
be caught. So, there is a great quantity of silver there,
consecrated to the hero, as price for the sacrificial victims. To
some of the people who come to this island, Achilles appears in
dreams, to others he would appear even during their navigation, if
they were not too far away, and would instruct them as to which
part of the island they would better anchor their ships”. (quoted
cult of Achilles on Leuce island was widespread in antiquity, not
only along the sea lanes of the Pontic Sea but also in maritime cities whose economic
interests were tightly connected to the riches of the Black
Achilles from Leuce island was venerated as Pontarches
lord and master of the Pontic (Black) Sea, the protector of sailors
and navigation. Sailors went out of their way to offer sacrifice.
Achilles of Leuce were dedicated a number of important commercial
port cities of the Greek waters: Achilleion in Messenia (Stephanus Byzantinus), Achilleios in
Laconia (Pausanias, III.25,4)
(Densuşianu 1913) even thought he recognized Achilles in the name
of Aquileia and in the
north arm of the Danube delta, the arm of Chilia ("Achileii"),
though his conclusion, that Leuce had sovereign rights over Pontos,
evokes modern rather than archaic sea-law."
Leuce had also a reputation as a place of healing. Pausanias (III.19,13)
reports that the Delphic
Pythia sent a lord of Croton to be cured of a chest
(XXII.8) attributes the healing to waters
) on the island.
The cult of Achilles in modern times: The Achilleion in
region of Gastouri (Γαστούρι) to the south of the city of Corfu Greece, Empress of
Austria Elisabeth of Bavaria
also known as Sissi built in 1890 a summer palace with Achilles as
its central theme and it is a monument to platonic romanticism.
The palace, naturally, was
named after Achilles: Achilleion
(Αχίλλειον). This elegant structure abounds with paintings and
statues of Achilles both in the main hall and in the lavish gardens
depicting the heroic and tragic scenes of the Trojan war
The name of Achilles
Achilles' name can be analyzed as a combination of (akhos
"grief" and (Laos
) "a people, tribe, nation, etc." In
other words, Achilles is an embodiment of the grief of the people,
grief being a theme raised numerous times in the Iliad
(frequently by Achilles). Achilles' role as the hero of grief forms
an ironic juxtaposition with the conventional view of Achilles as
the hero of kleos
(glory, usually glory in war).
has been construed by Gregory
, following Leonard Palmer, to mean a corps of
, a muster
. With this
derivation, the name would have a double meaning in the poem: When
the hero is functioning rightly, his men bring grief to the enemy,
but when wrongly, his men get the grief of war. The poem is in part
about the misdirection of anger on the part of leadership.
The name Achilleus was a common and attested name among the Greeks
early after 7th century BC. It was also turned into the female form
of Ἀχιλλεία, Achilleía
, firstly attested in Attica,4th
century BC, (IG II² 1617) and Achillia
, a relief from Halicarnassus
the name of a female gladiator fighting, 'Amazonia'. Roman
gladiatorial games often referenced classical mythology and this
seems to reference Achilles' fight with Penthesilea, but give it an
extra twist of Achilles being 'played' by a woman.
Other stories about Achilles
post-Homeric sources claim that in order to keep Achilles safe from
the war, Thetis (or, in some versions, Peleus) hides the young man
at the court of Lycomedes, king of
There, Achilles is disguised as a girl and lives among Lycomedes'
daughters, perhaps under the name "Pyrrha" (the red-haired girl).
With Lycomedes' daughter Deidamia
, whom in the account of
he rapes, Achilles there fathers a
(also called Pyrrhus,
after his father's possible alias). According to this story,
Odysseus learns from the prophet Calchas
that the Achaeans would be unable to capture Troy without Achilles'
aid. Odysseus goes to Skyros in the guise of a peddler selling
women's clothes and jewelry and places a shield and spear among his
goods. When Achilles instantly takes up the spear, Odysseus sees
through his disguise and convinces him to join the Greek campaign.
In another version of the story, Odysseus arranges for a trumpet
alarm to be sounded while he was with Lycomedes' women; while the
women flee in panic, Achilles prepares to defend the court, thus
giving his identity away.
In book 11 of Homer's Odyssey,
Odysseus sails to the underworld and converses with the shades. One
of these is Achilles, who when greeted as "blessed in life, blessed
in death", responds that he would rather be a slave to the worst of
masters than be king of all the dead. But Achilles then asks
Odysseus of his son's exploits in the Trojan war, and when Odysseus
tells of Neoptolemus' heroic actions, Achilles is filled with
satisfaction. This leaves the reader with an ambiguous
understanding of how Achilles felt about the heroic life.
was worshipped as a sea-god in many of the Greek colonies on the Black Sea, the location of the mythical "White Island" which
he was said to inhabit after his death, together with many other
The kings of the Epirus
to be descended from Achilles through his son, Neoptolemus.
Alexander the Great
, son of the
Epiran princess Olympias
, could therefore
also claim this descent, and in many ways strove to be like his
great ancestor; he is said to have visited his tomb while passing
Achilles fought and killed the Amazon
. Some also said he married
, and that after both their deaths they
were united in the Elysian Fields of Hades — as Hera promised
Thetis in Apollonius' Argonautica
some versions of the myth, Achilles has a relationship with his
Achilles in Greek tragedy
The Greek tragedian Aeschylus
wrote a trilogy of plays about Achilles,
given the title Achilleis
by modern scholars. The
tragedies relate the deeds of Achilles during the Trojan War
, including his defeat of Hector
and eventual death when an arrow shot by
and guided by Apollo
punctures his heel. Extant fragments of the
and other Aeschylean fragments have been
assembled to produce a workable modern play. The first part of the
trilogy, The Myrmidons
, focused on the
relationship between Achilles and chorus, who represent the Achaean
army and try to convince Achilles to give up his quarrel with
Agamemnon; only a few lines survive today.
The tragedian Sophocles
also wrote a play
with Achilles as the main character, The Lovers of
. Only a few fragments survive.
Achilles in Greek philosophy
The philosopher Zeno of Elea
one of his paradoxes
imaginary footrace between "swift-footed" Achilles and a
, by which he attempted to show that Achilles could not
catch up to a tortoise with a head start, and therefore that motion
and change were impossible. As a student of the monist Parmenides
and a member of the Eleatic school, Zeno believed time and motion
to be illusions.
Spoken-word myths (audio)
|Achilles myths as told by story
|Bibliography of reconstruction: Homer
Iliad, 9.308, 16.2, 11.780, 23.54 (700 BC); Pindar Olympian
Odes, IX (476 BC); Aeschylus
Myrmidons, F135-36 (495 BC); Euripides Iphigenia in Aulis, (405 BC);
Plato Symposium, 179e (388 BC-367
BC); Statius Achilleid, 161, 174,
182 (96 CE)
Achilles in later art
- Achilles is portrayed as a former hero, who has become lazy and
devoted to the love of Patroclus, in William Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida.
- Achilles is a major character in Paris, a musical
based on the Trojan War written by Jon English and David MacKay
which premiered in October 2003 in Australia.
- Achilles appears in Dante's Inferno and is compared to in
- Achilles is mentioned in John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667). In Book 9 Milton
tells us that he is looking for an "argument / Not less but more
Heroic than the wrath / Of stern Achilles on his Foe pursu'd /
Thrice fugitive about Troy wall". He thus invokes Achilles as the
standard of heroism at the point where Adam and Eve are about to
face their greatest test.
- The Wrath of Achilles is a starship in 'Gene
- Achilles appears in the novel Inside The Walls of
Troy, with emphasis on his relationship to Polyxena
- Achilles appears in the book trilogy
Troy by the late heroic fantasy novelist David
- Achilles is featured heavily in the novel The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer
- The comic book hero Captain Marvel is endowed
with the courage of Achilles, as well as other legendary
- In the Flash Gordon comic strip
published in 1974-75, the titular hero time-travels to Troy where,
posing as an envoy of the gods, he gives the Greeks the idea of the
Trojan Horse. Achilles and Hector are
still alive and the former takes the latter prisoner during the
final storming of the city. Gordon is accompanied by a woman from
his own century and she becomes Achilles' lover.
- Achilles has a supporting role in the Marvel Comics miniseries Ares as the Greek God Ares' favorite
warrior and battlefield commander of Greek soldiers on Mount
- The name Achilles is used for the fictional antagonist in the
popular sci-fi novel Ender's
Shadow written by Orson Scott Card.
- Achilles is a central character in David Malouf's novel
The role of Achilles has been played by:
- In the animated television series Class of the Titans, the character
Archie is descended from Achilles and has inherited both his
vulnerable heel and part of his invincibility.
Achilles has frequently been mentioned in music.
- "Achilles Last Stand", by
Led Zeppelin; from the album
Presence, 1976, Atlantic
- Achilles is referred to in Bob Dylan's
song, "Temporary Like Achilles".
- "Achilles' Revenge" is a song by Warlord.
- Achilles Heel is
an album by the indie rock band Pedro the
- Achilles is an upstate New York based hardcore band.
- Achilles and his heel are referenced in the song "Special K" by
the rock band Placebo.
- "Achilles' Heel" is a song by the UK band Toploader.
- "Achilles" is a song by the Colorado-based power metal band
Jag Panzer, from the album Casting
- Achilles is referenced in the Indigo
Girls song "Ghost".
- Song by Melbourne band Love Outside Andromeda called "Achilles
- "Achilles, Agony & Ecstasy In Eight Parts", by Manowar; from the album The Triumph of Steel, 1992,
- Although not mentioned by name, "Citadel" (about the Siege of
Troy) by The Crüxshadows
mentions Paris' arrow 'landing true'.
- "Achilles' Wrath", a concert piece by Sean O'Loughlin.
- Achilles is mentioned in "Little Joanna" by McFly: "Achilles
wears a necklace".
- Achilles is mentioned in the song "Third Temptation Of Paris"
- "Achilles: The Back Breaker" is a song by the band The Showdown
- Achilles is an Oratorio by German
Composer Max Bruch (1885)
- Achilles is also mentioned in the song "Breath Easy" "Y'all
ain't real That's y'all Achilles Heel, same routine when you see me
you know the drill" by Jay Z
- RZA, in his song "You'll Never Know", says
"Firin lightnin, Northern Lights, duck tight and chocolate Philly/
Lyrics pierce through the ear like the spear of Achilles"
- The name of Achilles has been used for at least nine Royal Navy
warships since 1744. A 60 gun ship of that name served at the
Battle of Belleisle in 1761 while a 74-gun ship served at the
Battle of Trafalgar. Other battle honours include Walcheren 1809.
An armoured cruiser of that name served in the Royal Navy during
the First World War and was scrapped in 1921.
- HMNZS Achilles was a Leander class cruiser
which served with the Royal New
Zealand Navy in World War
II. She became famous
for her part in the Battle of the River Plate, alongside HMS Ajax
In addition to earning the battle honour
'River Plate', HMNZS Achilles also served at Guadalcanal 1942-43
and Okinawa in 1945.
The ship was sold to the Indian Navy in
1948 but when she was scrapped parts of the ship were saved and
preserved in New Zealand.
Achileas-Andreas of Greece and Denmark, the grandson of the
deposed Greek king, Constantine II
If Achilles was anything, he was a man who believed his own
, commenting on the
classical depiction of Achilles' character and personality.
- Plato, Symposium,
Prometheus Bound 755-768; Pindar, Nemean 5.34-37, Isthmian
8.26-47; Poeticon astronomicon
- Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica
- Hesiod, Catalogue
of Women, fr. 204.87-89 MW; Iliad 11.830-32
- Proclus' Summary of the Cypria
- Dares' account of the destruction of Troy, Greek
- James Davidson, "Zeus Be Nice Now" in London Review of
Books; 19 July 2007
accessed October 23rd, 2007
- Iliad 9.334-343.
- "The Iliad", Fagles translation. Penguin Books, 1991, p.
- Hamilton E. Mythology, New York: Penguin Books; 1969
- "Alexander came to rest at Phaselis, a coastal city which was
later renowned for the possession of Achilles' original spear."
(Robin Lane Fox, Alexander the Great1973.144.
- Pausanias, iii.3.6; see Christian Jacob and Anne Mullen-Hohl,
"The Greek Traveler's Areas of Knowledge: Myths and Other
Discourses in Pausanias' Description of Greece", Yale French
Studies 59: Rethinking History: Time, Myth,
and Writing (1980:65-85) esp. p. 81.
- Guy Hedreen, "The Cult of Achilles in the Euxine"
Hesperia 60.3 (July 1991), pp.
- Epigraphical database gives 476 matches for
Ἀχιλ-.The earliest ones: Corinth 7th c. BC, Delphi 530 BC,Attica and Elis 5th c. BC.
- Philostratus Junior,
Imagines i; Scholiast on Homer's Iliad, xix. 326;
13.162ff., Apollodorus iii. 13. 8, Statius, Achilleid, ii. 167ff.
- Pantelis Michelakis, Achilles in Greek Tragedy,
- Roger Ebert, Review of Troy
- Homer, Iliad
- Homer, Odyssey
- Apollodorus, Bibliotheca III, xiii,
- Apollodorus, Epitome III,
- Ovid, Metamorphoses XI, 217-265; XII,
- Ovid, Heroides
- Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica IV, 783-879
- Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, V.
- Ileana Chirassi Colombo, “Heroes Achilleus— Theos Apollon.” In
Il Mito Greco, ed. Bruno Gentili & Giuseppe Paione,
- Anthony Edwards:
- “Achilles in the Underworld: Iliad, Odyssey, and Æthiopis”,
Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies, 26 (1985):
pp. 215–227 ;
- “Achilles in the Odyssey: Ideologies of Heroism in the Homeric
Epic”, Beitrage zur klassischen Philologie, 171,
Meisenheim, 1985 ;
- “Kleos Aphthiton and Oral Theory,” Classical
Quarterly, 38 (1988): pp. 25–30 ;
- Hélène Monsacré, Les larmes d'Achille. Le héros,
la femme et la souffrance dans la poésie d'Homère, Paris,
Albin Michel, 1984;
- Gregory Nagy:
- The Best of The Acheans: Concepts of the Hero in Archaic
Greek Poetry, Johns Hopkins University, 1999 (rev.
- The Name of Achilles: Questions of Etymology and 'Folk
Etymology', Illinois Classical Studies, 19,
- Dale S. Sinos, The Entry of Achilles into Greek Epic,
Ph.D. thesis, Johns Hopkins University;
- Hamilton, Edith, Mythology, New York: Mentor, 1942
Thomas Bullfinch, Myths of Greek and Rome