Interesting Facts About Achilles: Greek Hero of the Trojan War

Achilles was a hero in Greek mythology and one of the main characters that participated in the Trojan War. He was also the protagonist of Homer’s epic, the Iliad. He was the son of Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, and Thetis, a nymph.
Both Zeus and Poseidon were in love with Thetis, however Prometheus warned them of a prophecy that said the son of Thetis would be greater than his father; so, the two gods decided to withdraw, and Peleus ended up marrying her.
When Achilles was born, his mother wanted to make him immortal and thus, dipped him in the river Styx. However, she did not realize that his heel, by which she held him, was not touched by the waters, and so that was the only part of his body that remained mortal.
According to another version, Thetis covered Achilles’ body in ambrosia and put him on top of a fire to burn away his mortality; however, she was enraged because she was interrupted by Peleus and abandoned them.
Let us now look at EIGHT interesting and surprising facts about Achilles – Greek Hero of the Trojan War:
1. He killed Hector and dragged him in the chariot despite the latter’s plea to be buried in their land, he was ignored by Achilles and threw him in the heaps of garbage. In some sources Hector returned him to his land.
2. Because Achilles was a half-god, he was very strong and soon became a great warrior. However, he was also half human and wasn’t immortal like his mother. He would get old and die someday and he could also be killed.
3. With Achilles not fighting, the Greeks began to lose the battle. The greatest warrior of Troy was Hector and no one could stop him. Achilles’ best friend was a soldier named Patroclus. Patroclus convinced Achilles to lend him his armor.
Patroclus entered the battle dressed as Achilles. Thinking that Achilles was back, the Greek army was inspired and began to fight harder.
Just when things were improving for the Greeks, Patroclus met up with Hector. The two warriors engaged in battle. With the help of the god Apollo, Hector killed Patroclus and took Achilles’ armor.
Achilles then rejoined the battle in order to avenge his friend’s death. He met Hector on the battlefield and, after a long fight, defeated him.
4. After Achilles’ death, the heroes Odysseus and Ajax competed for Achilles’ armor. Odysseus won and gave the armor to Achilles’ son.
5. Achilles was incredibly handsome. He was known to be brave, loyal and intelligent but a bit self-centered at the same time. He knew how strong and powerful he was. In artistic representations of Achilles, he is often shown as a warrior, with a bodysuit and helmet. He is often shown in battle. For this reason, many representations of him also show him with a spear and shield.
6. His mother was pursued by Zeus and Poseidon but they were warned by Prometheus that Thetis would bore a son that will be greater than his father.
7. Achilles commanded fifty ships which contained fifty Myrmidons each during the start of the Trojan war. However, at first because of a mistake they landed in Mysia which was then ruled by Telephus who was wounded by Achilles. He was told that only Achilles could heal him, and in return, Telephus guided them to Troy.
8. When Achilles was 9 years old, it was predicted by a seer that he would die in a battle with the Trojans. When Thetis heard this, she disguised her son as a girl and sent him to live on the Aegean Island to protect him from battle.
However, Achilles was destined to be a warrior and eventually left on his own to join the Greek army. Thetis still wanted to protect her son and asked Hephaestus, a blacksmith, to make her son a shield and sword that would keep him safe during battle. The armor protected his torso but couldn’t protect the one part of his body that wasn’t immortal.

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