In Greek mythology,
Achilles or Achilleus (/əˈkɪliːz/ ə-KIL-eez;
Greek: Ἀχιλλεύς, Akhilleus [a.kʰil.le͜ús]) was a Greek
hero of the
Trojan War and the central character and greatest warrior
of Homer's Iliad. His mother was the immortal
Nereid Thetis, and his
father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons.
Achilles' most notable feat during the
Trojan War was the slaying of
the Trojan hero
Hector outside the gates of Troy. Although the death
Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that
he was killed near the end of the
Trojan War by Paris, who shot him in
the heel with an arrow. Later legends (beginning with a poem by
Statius in the 1st century AD) state that
Achilles was invulnerable in
all of his body except for his heel because, when his mother Thetis
dipped him in the river
Styx as an infant, she held him by one of his
heels. Alluding to these legends, the term "
Achilles heel" has come to
mean a point of weakness, especially in someone or something with an
otherwise strong constitution.
2 Birth and early years
2.1 Hidden on Skyros
Achilles in the Trojan War
Achilles in the Iliad
3.4 Later epic accounts: fighting
Penthesilea and Memnon
3.5 Achilles' death
Achilles and Patroclus
3.7 The fate of Achilles' armour
3.8 Achilles, Ajax and a game of petteia
4 Worship and heroic cult
5 Reception during antiquity
Achilles in Greek tragedy
Achilles in Greek philosophy
Achilles in Roman and medieval literature
Achilles in modern literature and arts
6.2 Visual arts
11 External links
Linear B tablets attest to the personal name Achilleus in the forms
a-ki-re-u and a-ki-re-we, the latter being the dative of the
former. The name grew more popular, even becoming common soon after
the seventh century BC and was also turned into the female form
Ἀχιλλεία (Achilleía), attested in
Attica in the fourth
century BC (IG II² 1617) and, in the form Achillia, on a stele in
Halicarnassus as the name of a female gladiator fighting an "Amazon".
Achilles' name can be analyzed as a combination of ἄχος (ákhos)
"distress, pain, sorrow, grief" and λαός (laós) "people,
soldiers, nation", resulting in a proto-form *Akhí-lāu̯os "he who
has the people distressed" or "he whose people have distress".
The grief or distress of the people is a theme raised numerous times
Iliad (and frequently by
Achilles himself). Achilles' role as
the hero of grief or distress forms an ironic juxtaposition with the
conventional view of him as the hero of κλέος kléos ("glory",
usually in war). Furthermore, laós has been construed by Gregory
Nagy, following Leonard Palmer, to mean "a corps of soldiers", a
muster. With this derivation, the name obtains a double meaning in
the poem: when the hero is functioning rightly, his men bring distress
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.
Another etymology relates the name to a
*h₂eḱ-pṓds "sharp foot" which first gave an Illyrian
*āk̂pediós, evolving through time into *ākhpdeós and then
*akhiddeús. The shift from -dd- to -ll- is then ascribed to the
passing of the name into Greek via a
Pre-Greek source. The first root
part *h₂eḱ- "sharp, pointed" also gave Greek ἀκή (akḗ
"point, silence, healing"), ἀκμή (akmḗ "point, edge, zenith")
and ὀξύς (oxús "sharp, pointed, keen, quick, clever"), whereas
ἄχος stems from the root *h₂egʰ- "to be upset, afraid". The
whole expression would be comparable to the
Latin acupedius "swift of
foot". Compare also the
Latin word family of aciēs "sharp edge or
point, battle line, battle, engagement", acus "needle, pin, bodkin",
and acuō "to make pointed, sharpen, whet; to exercise; to arouse"
(whence acute). Some topical epitheta of
Achilles in the Iliad
point to this "swift-footedness", namely ποδάρκης δῖος
Ἀχιλλεὺς (podárkēs dĩos Achilleús "swift-footed divine
Achilles") or, even more frequently, πόδας ὠκὺς
Ἀχιλλεύς (pódas ōkús Achilleús "quick-footed
Some researchers deem the name a loan word, possibly from a Pre-Greek
language. Achilles' descent from the
Thetis and a similarity
of his name with those of river deities such as
Acheron and Achelous
have led to speculations about him being an old water divinity (see
Robert S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek
origin of the name, based among other things on the coexistence of
-λλ- and -λ- in epic language, which may account for a palatalized
phoneme /ly/ in the original language.
Birth and early years
Achilles how to play the lyre, Roman fresco from
Herculaneum, 1st century AD
Achilles was the son of the
Thetis and of Peleus, the king of
Poseidon had been rivals for the hand of
Thetis until Prometheus, the fore-thinker, warned
Zeus of a prophecy
(originally uttered by Themis, goddess of divine law) that Thetis
would bear a son greater than his father. For this reason, the two
gods withdrew their pursuit, and had her wed Peleus.
Peter Paul Rubens:
Thetis Dipping the Infant
Achilles into the River
Styx (c. 1625; Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam)
There is a tale which offers an alternative version of these events:
Argonautica (4.760) Zeus' sister and wife
Hera alludes to
Thetis' chaste resistance to the advances of Zeus, pointing out that
Thetis was so loyal to Hera's marriage bond that she coolly rejected
the father of gods. Thetis, although a daughter of the sea-god Nereus,
was also brought up by Hera, further explaining her resistance to the
advances of Zeus.
Zeus was furious and decreed that she would never
marry an immortal.
Achilles on Skyros, where – according to the Achilleid –
Odysseus discovers him dressed as a woman and hiding among the
princesses of the royal court, late Roman mosaic from La Olmeda,
Spain, 4th-5th centuries AD
Detail of Achilles
According to the Achilleid, written by
Statius in the 1st century AD,
and to non-surviving previous 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 by which she
held him, his left 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
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
Achilles being wounded: in Book 21 the
Asteropaeus, 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 Cycle in which we can find
description of the hero's death (i.e. the Cypria, the Little
Lesches of Pyrrha, the
Iliou persis by Arctinus of
Miletus), there is no trace of any reference to his general
invulnerability or his famous weakness at the heel; in the later vase
paintings presenting Achilles' death, the arrow (or in many cases,
arrows) hit his body.
Chiron the Centaur,
on Mount Pelion, to be reared.
Thetis foretold that her son's fate
was either to gain glory and die young, or to live a long but
uneventful life in obscurity.
Achilles chose the former, and decided
to take part in the Trojan war. According to Homer,
Phthia together with his companion Patroclus.
According to Photius, the sixth book of the New History by Ptolemy
Hephaestion reported that
Thetis burned in a secret place the children
she had by Peleus; but when she had Achilles,
Peleus noticed, tore him
from the flames with only a burnt foot, and confided him to the
centaur Chiron. Later
Chiron exhumed the body of the Damysus, who was
the fastest of all the giants, removed the ankle, and incorporated it
into Achilles' burnt foot.
Hidden on Skyros
Achilles on Skyros
Some post-Homeric sources claim that in order to keep Achilles
safe from the war,
Thetis (or, in some versions, Peleus) hid the young
man at the court of Lycomedes, king of Skyros. There,
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
Statius he rapes, Achilles
there fathers a son,
Neoptolemus (also called Pyrrhus, after his
father's possible alias). According to this story,
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.
Achilles in the Trojan War
According to the Iliad,
Achilles arrived at
Troy with 50 ships, each
carrying 50 Myrmidons. He appointed five leaders (each leader
commanding 500 Myrmidons): Menesthius, Eudorus, Peisander, Phoenix and
Agamemnon by Gottlieb Schick (1801)
Greeks left for the Trojan War, they accidentally stopped in
Mysia, ruled by King Telephus. In the resulting battle,
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 healed him in order that he might
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
Achilles refused, claiming to have no medical knowledge.
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
Achilles slaying Troilus, red-figure kylix signed by Euphronios
According to the
Cypria (the part of the
Epic Cycle 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 neighbouring cities
Pedasus and Lyrnessus, where the
Greeks capture the queen
Briseis) and killed Tenes, a son of Apollo, as well as Priam's son
Troilus in the sanctuary of
Apollo Thymbraios. However, the
Chryseis described in Geoffrey Chaucer's
Troilus and Criseyde and in William Shakespeare's
Troilus and Cressida
is a medieval invention.
In Dares Phrygius' Account of the Destruction of Troy, the Latin
summary through which the story of
Achilles was transmitted to
medieval Europe, as well as in older accounts,
Troilus was a young
Trojan prince, the youngest of King Priam's and Hecuba's five
legitimate sons (or according other sources, another son of
Apollo). Despite his youth, he was one of the main Trojan war
leaders, a "horse fighter" or "chariot fighter" according to
Homer. 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, instead found himself decapitated upon an
Apollo Thymbraios. Later versions of the story
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 First Vatican
Troy would have been invincible.
Achilles in the Iliad
Main article: Iliad
Briseis to Agamemnon, from the House of the Tragic Poet
in Pompeii, fresco, 1st century AD (Naples National Archaeological
Iliad is the most famous narrative of Achilles' deeds in the
Trojan War. Achilles' wrath (μῆνις Ἀχιλλέως, mênis
Achilléōs) is the central theme of the poem. The first two lines of
Μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
:οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί' Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε'
Sing, Goddess, of the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
the accursed rage that brought great suffering to the Achaeans.
The Homeric epic only covers a few weeks of the decade-long war, and
does not narrate Achilles' death. It begins with Achilles' withdrawal
from battle after being dishonoured by Agamemnon, the commander of the
Agamemnon has taken a woman named
Chryseis as his
slave. Her father Chryses, a priest of Apollo, begs
return her to him.
Agamemnon refuses, and
Apollo sends a plague
amongst the Greeks. The prophet
Calchas correctly determines the
source of the troubles but will not speak unless
Achilles vows to
Achilles does so, and
Calchas declares that
be returned to her father.
Agamemnon consents, but then commands that
Achilles' battle prize Briseis, the daughter of Briseus, be brought to
him to replace Chryseis. Angry at the dishonour of having his plunder
and glory taken away (and, as he says later, because he loves
Briseis), with the urging of his mother Thetis,
to fight or lead his troops alongside the other Greek forces. At the
same time, burning with rage over Agamemnon's theft,
Achilles prays to
Thetis to convince
Zeus to help the Trojans gain ground in the war, so
that he may regain his honour.
The embassy to Achilles, Attic red-figure hydria, c. 480 BC
(Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Berlin)
Achilles and Agamemnon, from a fresco of Pompeii, 1st century AD
As the battle turns against the Greeks, thanks to the influence of
Zeus, Nestor declares that the Trojans are winning because Agamemnon
has angered Achilles, and urges the king to appease the warrior.
Agamemnon agrees and sends
Odysseus and two other chieftains, Ajax and
Achilles with the offer of the return of
Briseis and other
Achilles rejects all
Agamemnon offers him and simply urges the
Greeks to sail home as he was planning to do.
Achilles sacrificing to
Zeus for Patroclus' safe return, from the
Ambrosian Iliad, a 5th-century illuminated manuscript
The Rage of Achilles, fresco by
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1757, Villa
Valmarana ai Nani, Vicenza)
Achilles dragging Hector's lifeless body in front of the
Gates of Troy, from a panoramic fresco on the upper level of the main
hall of the Achilleion
The Trojans, led by Hector, subsequently push the Greek army back
toward the beaches and assault the Greek ships. With the Greek forces
on the verge of absolute destruction,
Patroclus leads the Myrmidons
into battle, wearing Achilles' armour, though
Achilles remains at his
Patroclus succeeds in pushing the Trojans back from the beaches,
but is killed by
Hector before he can 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 grieves over his beloved companion's
death. His mother
Thetis comes to comfort the distraught Achilles. She
Hephaestus to make new armour for him, in place of the
Patroclus had been wearing, which was taken by Hector. The
new armour includes the Shield of Achilles, described in great detail
in the poem.
Enraged over the death of Patroclus,
Achilles ends his refusal to
fight and takes the field, killing many men in his rage but always
seeking out Hector.
Achilles even engages in battle with the river god
Scamander, who has become angry that
Achilles is choking his waters
with all the men he has killed. The god tries to drown
Achilles but is
Hera and Hephaestus.
Zeus himself takes note of Achilles'
rage and sends the gods to restrain him so that he will not go on to
Troy itself before the time allotted for its destruction, seeming
to show that the unhindered rage of
Achilles can defy fate itself.
Achilles finds his prey.
Hector around the
Troy three times before Athena, in the form of Hector's
favorite and dearest brother, Deiphobus, persuades
Hector to stop
running and fight
Achilles face to face. After
Hector realizes the
trick, he knows the battle is inevitable. Wanting to go down fighting,
he charges at
Achilles with his only weapon, his sword, but misses.
Accepting his fate,
Hector begs Achilles, not to spare his life, but
to treat his body with respect after killing him.
Hector it is 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 kills
drags his corpse by its heels behind his chariot. After having a dream
Achilles to hold his funeral,
Achilles hosts a
series of funeral games in his honour.
Achilles killing Penthesilea, tondo of an Attic red-figure kylix, c.
465 BC, from Vulci.
With the assistance of the god Hermes, Hector's father, Priam, goes to
Achilles' tent to plead with
Achilles for the return of Hector's body
so that he can be buried.
Achilles relents and promises a truce for
the duration of the funeral. The poem ends with a description of
Hector's funeral, with the doom of
Achilles himself still to
Later epic accounts: fighting
Penthesilea and Memnon
Penthesilea fighting, Lucanian red-figure bell-krater,
late 5th century BC
Achilles and Memnon fighting, between
Thetis and Eos, Attic
black-figure amphora, c. 510 BC, from Vulci.
Aethiopis (7th century BC) and a work named Posthomerica, composed
Quintus of Smyrna
Quintus of Smyrna in the fourth century AD, relate further events
from the Trojan War. When Penthesilea, queen of the
daughter of Ares, arrives in Troy,
Priam hopes that she will defeat
Achilles. After his temporary truce with Priam,
Achilles fights and
kills the warrior queen, only to grieve over her death later. 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.
Following the death of Patroclus, Nestor's son
Achilles' closest companion. When Memnon, son of the Dawn Goddess Eos
and king of Ethiopia, slays Antilochus,
Achilles once more obtains
revenge on the battlefield, killing Memnon. Consequently,
Eos will not
let the sun rise, until
Zeus persuades her. The fight between Achilles
and Memnon over
Antilochus echoes that of
Patroclus, except that Memnon (unlike Hector) was also the son of a
Many Homeric scholars argued that episode inspired many details in the
Iliad'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 Iliad, possibly in the 7th century BC.
Aethiopis is now lost, except for scattered fragments quoted by
Ajax carries off the body of Achilles, Attic black-figure lekythos, c.
510 BC, from Sicily (Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich).
The death of Achilles, as predicted by
Hector with his dying breath,
was brought about by Paris with an arrow (to the heel according to
Statius). In some versions, the god
Apollo guided Paris' arrow. Some
retellings also state that
Achilles was scaling the gates of
was hit with a poisoned arrow. All of these versions deny Paris any
sort of valour, owing to the common conception that Paris was a coward
and not the man his brother
Hector was, and
undefeated on the battlefield. His bones were mingled with those of
Patroclus, and funeral games were held. He was represented in the
Aethiopis as living after his death in the island of
Leuke at the
mouth of the river Danube.
Another version of Achilles' death is that he fell deeply in love with
one of the Trojan princesses, Polyxena.
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.
Priam is overseeing the private marriage of
Achilles, Paris, who would have to give up Helen if
his sister, hides in the bushes and shoots
Achilles with a divine
arrow, killing him.
In the Odyssey,
Achilles of his pompous burial and
the erection of his mound at the
Hellespont while they are receiving
the dead suitors in Hades. He claims they built a massive burial
mound on the beach of Ilion that could be seen by anyone approaching
from the Ocean.
Achilles was cremated and his ashes buried in the
same urn as those of Patroclus. Paris was later killed by
Philoctetes using the enormous bow of Heracles.
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,
Odysseus tells of Neoptolemus' heroic actions,
filled with satisfaction. This leaves the reader with an ambiguous
understanding of how
Achilles felt about the heroic life.
According to some accounts, he had married
Medea in life, so that
after both their deaths they were united in the Elysian Fields of
Hades – as
Thetis in Apollonius'
Patroclus wounded by an arrow, Attic red-figure
kylix, c. 500 BC (Altes Museum, Berlin)
Achilles and Patroclus
Achilles and Patroclus
The exact nature of Achilles' relationship with
Patroclus has been a
subject of dispute in both the classical period and modern times. In
the Iliad, it appears to be the model of a deep and loyal friendship.
Homer does not suggest that
Achilles and his close friend Patroclus
were lovers. Despite there being no direct evidence in the
text of the
Patroclus were lovers, this theory
was expressed by some later authors. Commentators from classical
antiquity to the present have often interpreted the relationship
through the lens of their own cultures. In 5th-century BC Athens, the
intense bond was often viewed in light of the Greek custom of
paiderasteia. In Plato's Symposium, the participants in a dialogue
about love assume that
Patroclus were a couple; Phaedrus
Achilles was the younger and more beautiful one so he was
the beloved and
Patroclus was the lover. But ancient Greek had no
words to distinguish heterosexual and homosexual, and it was
assumed that a man could both desire handsome young men and have sex
The fate of Achilles' armour
Achilles and Ajax playing the board game petteia, black-figure
oinochoe, c. 530 BC (Capitoline Museums, Rome)
Achilles' armour was the object of a feud between
Telamonian Ajax (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, decided
Odysseus was more
deserving of the armour. Furious, Ajax cursed Odysseus, which earned
the ire of Athena.
Athena temporarily made Ajax so mad with grief and
anguish that he began killing sheep, thinking them his comrades. After
a while, when
Athena lifted his madness and Ajax realized that he had
actually been killing sheep, Ajax was left so ashamed that he
Odysseus eventually gave the armour to Neoptolemus,
the son of Achilles.
A relic 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 BC by
Alexander the Great, who envisioned himself as the new
Iliad with him, but his court biographers do not mention
the spear. However, it was shown in the time of Pausanias in the
2nd century AD.
Achilles, Ajax and a game of petteia
Numerous paintings on pottery have suggested a tale not mentioned in
the literary traditions. At some point in the war,
Achilles and Ajax
were playing a board game (petteia). They were absorbed in the
game and oblivious to the surrounding battle. The Trojans attacked
and reached the heroes, who were saved only by an intervention of
Worship and heroic cult
The tomb of Achilles, extant throughout antiquity in Troad,
was venerated by Thessalians, but also by Persian expeditionary
forces, as well as by
Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great and the Roman emperor
Caracalla. Achilles' cult was also to be found at other places, e.
g. on the island of
Astypalaea in the Sporades, in
had a sanctuary, in
Elis and in Achilles' homeland Thessaly, as
well as in the
Magna Graecia cities of Tarentum,
Locri and Croton,
accounting for an almost Panhellenic cult to the hero.
The spread and intensity of the hero's veneration among the Greeks
that had settled on the northern coast of the Pontus Euxinus, today's
Black Sea, appears to have been remarkable. An archaic cult is
attested for the Milesian colony of Olbia as well as for an island in
the middle of the Black Sea, today identified with Snake Island
(Ukrainian Зміїний, Zmiinyi, near Kiliya, Ukraine). Early
dedicatory inscriptions from the
Greek colonies on the Black Sea
(graffiti and inscribed clay disks, these possibly being votive
offerings, from Olbia, the area of
Berezan Island and the Tauric
Chersonese) attest the existence of a heroic cult of Achilles
from the sixth century BC onwards. The cult was still thriving in the
third century AD, when dedicatory stelae from Olbia refer to an
Achilles Pontárchēs (Ποντάρχης, roughly "lord of the Sea,"
or "of the Pontus Euxinus"), who was invoked as a protector of the
city of Olbia, venerated on par with
Olympian gods such as the local
Hermes Agoraeus, or Poseidon.
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder (23–79 AD) in his Natural History mentions a "port
of the Achæi" and an "island of Achilles", famous for the tomb of
that "man" (portus Achaeorum, insula Achillis, tumulo eius viri
clara), situated somewhat nearby Olbia and the Dnieper-Bug Estuary;
furthermore, at 125 Roman miles from this island, he places a
peninsula "which stretches forth in the shape of a sword" obliquely,
called Dromos Achilleos (Ἀχιλλέως δρόμος, Achilléōs
drómos "the Race-course of Achilles") and considered the place of
the hero's exercise or of games instituted by him. This last
feature of Pliny's account is considered to be the iconic spit, called
today Tendra (or Kosa Tendra and Kosa Djarilgatch), situated between
the mouth of the
Dnieper and Karkinit Bay, but which is hardly
125 Roman miles (c. 185 km) away from the Dnieper-Bug
estuary, as Pliny states. (To the "Race-course" he gives a length of
80 miles, c. 120 km, whereas the spit measures
c. 70 km today.)
Thetis and the Nereids mourning Achilles, Corinthian black-figure
hydria, c. 555 BC (Louvre, Paris)
Roman statue of a man with the dead body of a boy, identified as
Achilles and Troilus, 2nd century AD (Naples National Archaeological
In the following chapter of his book, Pliny refers to the same island
as Achillea and introduces two further names for it: Leuce or Macaron
(from Greek [νῆσος] μακαρῶν "island of the blest"). The
"present day" measures, he gives at this point, seem to account for an
identification of Achillea or Leuce with today's Snake Island.
Pomponius Mela (c. 43 AD) tells that
buried on an island named Achillea, situated between the Borysthenes
and the Ister, adding to the geographical confusion. Ruins of a
square temple, measuring 30 meters to a side, possibly that dedicated
to Achilles, were discovered by Captain Kritzikly in 1823 on Snake
Island. A second exploration in 1840 showed that the construction of a
lighthouse had destroyed all traces of this temple. A fifth century BC
black-glazed lekythos inscription, found on the island in 1840, reads:
"Glaukos, son of Poseidon, dedicated me to Achilles, lord of Leuke."
In another inscription from the fifth or fourth century BC, a statue
is dedicated to Achilles, lord of Leuke, by a citizen of Olbia, while
in a further dedication, the city of Olbia confirms its continuous
maintenance of the island's cult, again suggesting its quality as a
place of a supra-regional hero veneration.
The heroic cult dedicated to
Achilles on Leuce seems to go back to an
account from the lost epic
Aethiopis according to which, after his
Thetis had snatched her son from the funeral pyre and
removed him to a mythical Λεύκη Νῆσος (Leúkē Nêsos
"White Island"). Already in the fifth century BC,
mentioned a cult of
Achilles on a "bright island" (φαεννά
νᾶσος, phaenná nâsos) of the Black Sea, while in another
of his works,
Pindar would retell the story of the immortalized
Achilles living on a geographically indefinite Island of the Blest
together with other heroes such as his father
Peleus and Cadmus.
Well known is the connection of these mythological Fortunate Isles
(μακαρῶν νῆσοι, makárôn nêsoi) or the Homeric Elysium
with the stream
Oceanus which according to
Greek mythology surrounds
the inhabited world, which should have accounted for the
identification of the northern strands of the Euxine with it. Guy
Hedreen has found further evidence for this connection of Achilles
with the northern margin of the inhabited world in a poem by Alcaeus,
speaking of "
Achilles lord of Scythia" and the opposition of North
and South, as evoked by Achilles' fight against the Aethiopian prince
Memnon, who in his turn would be removed to his homeland by his mother
Eos after his death.
Periplus of the Euxine Sea
Periplus of the Euxine Sea (c. 130 AD) gives the following
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’ honour, because those who wish to be favored by
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’ honour.
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.
The Greek geographer Dionysius Periegetes, who lived probably during
the first century AD, wrote 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
honour". Similarly, others relate the island's name to its white
cliffs, snakes or birds dwelling 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". Leuce had also a reputation as a place of
healing. Pausanias reports that the Delphic
Pythia sent a lord of
Croton to be cured of a chest wound. Ammianus Marcellinus
attributes the healing to waters (aquae) on the island.
A number of important commercial port cities of the Greek waters were
dedicated to Achilles. Herodotus,
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder and
on the existence of a town Achílleion (Ἀχίλλειον), built by
Mytilene in the sixth century BC, close to the hero's
presumed burial mound in the Troad. Later attestations point to an
Messenia (according to Stephanus Byzantinus) and an
Achílleios (Ἀχίλλειος) in Laconia. Nicolae Densuşianu
recognized a connection to
Achilles in the names of
Aquileia and of
the northern arm of the
Danube delta, called Chilia (presumably from
an older Achileii), though his conclusion, that Leuce had sovereign
rights over the Black Sea, evokes modern rather than archaic
The kings of Epirus claimed to be descended from
Achilles through his
son, Neoptolemus. Alexander the Great, son of the Epirote 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 the
Achilles at Achilleion while passing Troy. In AD 216 the
Roman Emperor Caracalla, while on his way to war against Parthia,
emulated Alexander by holding games around Achilles' tumulus.
Reception during antiquity
Achilles in Greek tragedy
Main article: Achilleis (trilogy)
The Greek tragedian
Aeschylus wrote a trilogy of plays about Achilles,
given the title Achilleis by modern scholars. The tragedies relate the
Achilles during the Trojan War, including his defeat of
Hector and eventual death when an arrow shot by Paris and guided by
Apollo punctures his heel. Extant fragments of the Achilleis and other
Aeschylean fragments have been assembled to produce a workable modern
play. The first part of the Achilleis 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. In Plato's Symposium,
Phaedrus points out that
Achilles as the lover and
Patroclus as the beloved; Phaedrus argues that this is incorrect
because Achilles, being the younger and more beautiful of the two, was
the beloved, who loved his lover so much that he chose to die to
Sophocles also wrote The Lovers of Achilles, a play with
Achilles as the main character. Only a few fragments survive.
Towards the end of the 5th century BC, a more negative view of
Achilles emerges in Greek drama;
Euripides refers to
Achilles in a
bitter or ironic tone in Hecuba, Electra, and Iphigenia in Aulis.
Achilles in Greek philosophy
Zeno of Elea
Zeno of Elea centered one of his paradoxes on an
imaginary footrace between "swift-footed"
Achilles and a tortoise, 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.
Achilles in Roman and medieval literature
The Romans, who traditionally traced their lineage to Troy, took a
highly negative view of Achilles.
Virgil refers to
Achilles as a
savage and a merciless butcher of men, while
Achilles ruthlessly slaying women and children. Other writers,
such as Catullus, Propertius, and Ovid, represent a second strand of
disparagement, with an emphasis on Achilles' erotic career. This
strand continues in
Latin accounts of the
Trojan War by writers such
Dictys Cretensis and
Dares Phrygius and in Benoît de
Roman de Troie
Roman de Troie and Guido delle Colonne's Historia
destructionis Troiae, which remained the most widely read and retold
versions of the Matter of
Troy until the 17th century.
Achilles was described by the Byzantine chronicler Leo the Deacon, not
as Hellene, but as Scythian, while according to the Byzantine author
John Malalas, his army was made up of a tribe previously known as
Myrmidons and later as Bulgars.
Achilles in modern literature and arts
Briseis and Achilles, engraving by
Wenceslaus Hollar (1607–1677)
The Wrath of
Achilles (c. 1630–1635), painting by Peter Paul Rubens
The death of Hector, unfinished oil painting by Peter Paul Rubens
The Education of
Achilles (c. 1772), by James Barry (Yale Center for
The Wrath of Achilles, by
François-Léon Benouville (1847; Musée
The Education of Achilles, by Eugène Delacroix, pastel on paper,
c. 1862 (Getty Center, Los Angeles)
Achilles appears in Dante's Inferno (composed 1308–1320). He is seen
in Hell's second Circle of Lust.
Achilles is portrayed as a former hero who has become lazy and devoted
to the love of Patroclus, in William Shakespeare's
The French dramatist
Thomas Corneille wrote a tragedy La Mort
Achilles is the subject of the poem Achilleis (1799), a fragment by
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.
Achilles is mentioned in Tennyson's poem "Ulysses" (published in
1842): "[…] we shall touch the happy isles and meet there the great
Achilles whom we knew."
In 1899, the Polish playwright, painter and poet Stanisław
Wyspiański published a national drama, based on Polish history, named
Edward Shanks published The Island of Youth and Other Poems,
concerned among others with Achilles.
The 1983 novel Kassandra by
Christa Wolf also treats the death of
Achilles (Akhilles) is killed by a poisoned Kentaur arrow shot by
Kassandra in Marion Zimmer Bradley's novel
The Firebrand (1987).
Achilles is one of various 'narrators' in Colleen McCullough's novel
The Song of
The Death of Achilles
The Death of Achilles (Смерть Ахиллеса, 1998) is an
historical detective novel by Russian writer
Boris Akunin that alludes
to various figures and motifs from the Iliad.
Ender's Shadow (1999), by Orson Scott Card,
shares his namesake's cunning mind and ruthless attitude.
Achilles is one of the main characters in Dan Simmons's novels Ilium
(2003) and Olympos (2005).
Achilles is a major supporting character in David Gemmell's Troy
series of books (2005-2007).
Achilles is the main character in David Malouf's novel Ransom (2009).
The ghost of
Achilles appears in Rick Riordan's The Last Olympian
(2009). He warns Percy Jackson about the Curse of
Achilles and its
Achilles is a main character in Terence Hawkins' 2009 novel The Rage
Achilles is a major character in Madeline Miller's debut novel, The
Achilles (2011), which won the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction.
The novel explores the relationship between
Patroclus and Achilles
from boyhood to the fateful events of the Iliad.
Achilles appears in the light novel series Fate/Apocrypha
(2012–2014) as the Rider of Red.
Achilles with the Daughters of
Lycomedes is a subject treated in
Anthony van Dyck
Anthony van Dyck (before 1618; Museo del Prado, Madrid)
Nicolas Poussin (c. 1652; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) among
Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens has authored a series of works on the life of
Achilles, comprising the titles:
Thetis dipping the infant Achilles
into the river Styx,
Achilles educated by the centaur Chiron, Achilles
recognized among the daughters of Lycomedes, The wrath of Achilles,
The death of Hector,
Thetis receiving the arms of
Vulcanus, The death of
Achilles (Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen,
Briseis restored to
Achilles (Detroit Institute of
Arts; all c. 1630–1635)
Pieter van Lint, "
Achilles Discovered among the Daughters of
Lycomedes", 1645, at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Achilles is a sculpture created by
Christophe Veyrier (c. 1683;
Victoria and Albert Museum, London).
The Rage of Achilles is a fresco by
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1757,
Villa Valmarana ai Nani, Vicenza).
Eugène Delacroix painted a version of The Education of
the ceiling of the Paris
Palais Bourbon (1833–1847), one of the
seats of the French Parliament.
Arthur Kaan created a statue group
Achilleus (1908) is a lithography by Max Slevogt.
Achilles has been frequently the subject of operas, ballets and
Operas titled Deidamia were composed by
Francesco Cavalli (1644) and
George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel (1739).
Achille et Polyxène (Paris 1687) is an opera begun by Jean-Baptiste
Lully and finished by Pascal Collasse.
Achille e Deidamia (Naples 1698) is an opera, composed by Alessandro
Achilles (London 1733) is a ballad opera, written by John Gay,
Thomas Arne as
Achilles in petticoats in 1773.
Achille in Sciro is a libretto by Metastasio, composed by Domenico
Sarro for the inauguration of the
Teatro di San Carlo
Teatro di San Carlo (Naples, 4
November 1737). An even earlier composition is from Antonio Caldara
(Vienna 1736). Later operas on the same libretto were composed by
Leonardo Leo (Turin 1739),
Niccolò Jommelli (Vienna 1749 and Rome
Giuseppe Sarti (Copenhagen 1759 and Florence 1779), Johann
Adolph Hasse (Naples 1759),
Giovanni Paisiello (St. Petersburg 1772),
Giuseppe Gazzaniga (Palermo 1781) and many others. It has also been
set to music as Il Trionfo della gloria.
Achille (Vienna 1801) is an opera by
Ferdinando Paër on a libretto by
Giovanni de Gamerra.
Achille à Scyros (Paris 1804) is a ballet by Pierre Gardel, composed
by Luigi Cherubini.
Achilles, oder Das zerstörte Troja ("Achilles, or
Bonn 1885) is an oratorio by the German composer Max Bruch.
Skyros (Stuttgart 1926) is a ballet by the
Austrian-British composer and musicologist Egon Wellesz.
Achilles' Wrath is a concert piece by Sean O'Loughlin.
Achilles (Achilleas thniskon) in the gardens of the Achilleion
In 1890, Elisabeth of Bavaria, Empress of Austria, had a summer palace
built in Corfu. The building is named the Achilleion, after Achilles.
Its paintings and statuary depict scenes from the Trojan war, with
particular focus on Achilles.
The name of
Achilles has been used for at least nine Royal Navy
warships since 1744 - both as
HMS Achilles and with the French
spelling HMS Achille. 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 armored
cruiser of that name served in the
Royal Navy during the First World
Achilles was a Leander-class cruiser which served with the Royal
New Zealand Navy in World War II. It became famous for its part in the
Battle of the River Plate, alongside HMS Ajax and
HMS Exeter. In addition to earning the battle honour 'River
Achilles also served at Guadalcanal 1942–43 and
Okinawa in 1945. After returning to the Royal Navy, the ship was sold
Indian Navy in 1948 but when she was scrapped parts of the ship
were saved and preserved in New Zealand.
A species of lizard, Anolis achilles, which has widened heel plates,
is named for Achilles.
^ a b c d Dorothea Sigel; Anne Ley; Bruno Bleckmann. "Achilles". In
Hubert Cancik; et al. Brill’s New Pauly. Brill Reference Online.
doi:10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e102220. CS1 maint: Explicit use of et
al. (link) Accessed 5 May 2017.
^ a b Robert S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill,
2009, pp. 183ff.
^ Epigraphical database[permanent dead link] gives 476 matches for
Ἀχιλ-.The earliest ones: Corinth 7th c. BC,
Delphi 530 BC, Attica
Elis 5th c. BC.
^ Scholia to the Iliad, 1.1.
Leonard Palmer (1963). The Interpretation of Mycenaean Greek Texts.
Oxford: Clarendon Press. p. 79.
^ a b Gregory Nagy. "The best of the Achaeans". CHS. The Center for
Hellenic Studies, Harvard University. Retrieved 19 March 2015.
^ Cf. the Wiktionary entries "Ἀχιλλεύς" and *h₂eḱ-.
Iliad 1.121, 2.688.
^ E. g.
Iliad 1.58, 1.84, 1.148, 1.215, 1.364, 1.489.
^ Cf. the supportive position of Hildebrecht Hommel (1980). "Der Gott
Achilleus". Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der
Wissenschaften (1): 38–44. – A critical point of view
is taken by J. T. Hooker (1988). "The cults of Achilleus". Rheinisches
Museum für Philologie. 131 (3): 1–7.
Prometheus Bound 755–768; Pindar, Nemean 5.34–37,
Isthmian 8.26–47; Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.13.5; Poeticon
^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.13.5.
Achilleid 1.269; Hyginus, Fabulae 107.
^ Jonathan S. Burgess (2009). The Death and Afterlife of Achilles.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 9.
ISBN 0-8018-9029-2. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
^ Apollonius of Rhodes,
^ Hesiod, Catalogue of Women, fr. 204.87–89 MW;
^ Photius, Bibliotheca, cod. 190: "
Thetis burned in a secret place the
children she had by Peleus; six were born; when she had Achilles,
Peleus noticed and tore him from the flames with only a burnt foot and
confided him to Chiron. The latter exhumed the body of the giant
Damysos who was buried at Pallene—Damysos was the fastest of all the
giants—removed the 'astragale' and incorporated it into Achilles'
foot using 'ingredients'. This 'astragale' fell when
Apollo and it was thus that Achilles, fallen, was killed.
It is said, on the other hand, that he was called Podarkes by the
Poet, because, it is said,
Thetis gave the newborn child the wings of
Arce and Podarkes means that his feet had the wings of Arce."
^ Euripides, Skyrioi, surviving only in fragmentary form; Philostratus
Junior, Imagines i; Scholiast on Homer's Iliad, 9.326; Ovid,
Metamorphoses 13.162–180; Ovid,
Tristia 2.409–412 (mentioning a
Roman tragedy on this subject); Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca
Achilleid 1.689–880, 2.167ff.
^ a b Pseudo-Apollodorus. "Bibliotheca, Epitome 3.20".
^ "Proclus' Summary of the Cypria". Stoa.org. Retrieved 9 March
^ "Dares' account of the destruction of Troy, Greek Mythology Link".
Homepage.mac.com. Archived from the original on 30 November 2001.
Retrieved 9 March 2010.
^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3.151.
Iliad 24.257. Cf. Vergil,
^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca Epitome 3.32.
^ Scholia to
Lycophron 307; Servius, Scholia to the
^ James Davidson, "
Zeus Be Nice Now" in London Review of Books, 19
July 2007. Accessed 23 October 2007.
^ The motif, however, is older and found already in Plautus, Bacchides
^ "The Iliad", Fagles translation. Penguin Books, 1991: 22.346.
^ Lattimore, Richmond (2011). The Illiad of Homer. Chicago: The
University of Chicago. ISBN 978-0-226-46937-9.
^ Propertius, 3.11.15;
Quintus Smyrnaeus 1.
^ Richmond Lattimore (2007). The
Odyssey of Homer. New York: Harper
Perennial. p. 347. ISBN 978-0-06-124418-6.
^ E. Hamilton (1969), Mythology. New York: Penguin Books.
^ Robin Fox (2011). The Tribal Imagination: Civilization and the
Savage Mind. Harvard University Press. p. 223.
ISBN 9780674060944. There is certainly no evidence in the text of
Patroclus were lovers.
^ a b Martin, Thomas R (2012). Alexander the Great : the story of
an ancient life. Cambridge University Press. pp. 99–100.
ISBN 0521148448. The ancient sources do not report, however, what
modern scholars have asserted: that Alexander and his very close
friend Hephaestion were lovers.
Achilles and his equally close friend
Patroclus provided the legendary model for this friendship, but Homer
Iliad never suggested that they had sex with each other. (That
came from later authors.) If Alexander and Hephaestion did have a
sexual relationship, it would have been transgressive by majority
^ Plato, Symposium, 180a; the beauty of
Achilles was a topic already
^ Kenneth Dover, Greek Homosexuality (Harvard University Press, 1978,
1989), p. 1 et passim.
^ "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 Great, 1973, p. 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, especially 81).
^ "Petteia". Archived 9 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Greek Board Games". Archived 8 April 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "Latrunculi". Archived 15 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
Ioannis Kakridis (1988). Ελληνική Μυθολογία [Greek
mythology]. Athens: Ekdotiki Athinon. Vol. 5, p. 92.
^ Cf. Homer,
^ a b Herodotus, Histories 5.94; Pliny,
Naturalis Historia 5.125;
Geographica 13.1.32 (C596);
Diogenes Laertius 1.74.
^ a b c d e f Guy Hedreen (July 1991). "The Cult of
Achilles in the
Euxine". Hesperia. 60 (3): 313–330.
^ Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3.45.
^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 3.20.8.
^ Hildebrecht Hommel (1980). "Der Gott Achilleus". Sitzungsberichte
der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften (1): 38–44.
^ J. T. Hooker (1988). "The cults of Achilleus". Rheinisches Museum
für Philologie. 131 (3): 1–7.
^ Quintus Smyrnaeus, 3.770–779.
Naturalis Historia 4.12.83 (chapter 4.26).
Naturalis Historia 4.13.93 (chapter 4.27): "Researches which
have been made at the present day place this island at a distance of
140 miles from the Borysthenes, of 120 from Tyras, and of fifty from
the island of Peuce. It is about ten miles in circumference." Though
afterwards he speaks again of "the remaining islands in the Gulf of
Carcinites" which are "Cephalonesos, Rhosphodusa [or Spodusa], and
^ Pomponius Mela, De situ orbis 2.7.
^ Proclus, Chrestomathia 2.
^ Pindar, Nemea 4.49ff.; Arrian,
Periplus of the Euxine Sea
Periplus of the Euxine Sea 21.
^ Pindar, Olympia 2.78ff.
^ D. Page, Lyrica Graeca Selecta, Oxford 1968, p. 89, no. 166.
^ a b Nicolae Densuşianu: Dacia preistorică. Bucharest: Carol Göbl,
^ Dionysius Periegetes, Orbis descriptio 5.541, quoted in Densuşianu
Periplus of the Euxine Sea
Periplus of the Euxine Sea 21; Scholion to Pindar, Nemea
^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 3.19.11.
^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 3.19.13.
^ Ammianus Marcellinus, Res Gestae 22.8.
^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 3.25.4.
Anabasis Alexandri 1.12.1, Cicero, Pro Archia Poeta 24.
Dio Cassius 78.16.7.
^ Pantelis Michelakis,
Achilles in Greek Tragedy, 2002, p. 22
^ Plato, Symposium, translated Benjamin Jowett, Dover Thrift Editions,
^ S. Radt. Tragicorum Graecorum fragmenta, vol. 4, (Göttingen:
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1977) frr. 149–157a.
^ a b Latacz 2010
Aeneid 2.29, 1.30, 3.87.
^ Odes 4.6.17–20.
^ Ekonomou, Andrew (2007). Byzantine Rome and the Greek Popes. UK:
Lexington Books. p. 123. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
^ Jeffreys, Elizabeth; Croke, Brian. Studies in John Malalas.
Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, Department of Modern
Greek, University of Sydney,. p. 206. Retrieved 14 September
^ Entry at Musical World.
^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym
Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Achilles", p. 1).
Odyssey XI, 467–540
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca III, xiii, 5–8
Apollodorus, Epitome III, 14-V, 7
Metamorphoses XI, 217–265; XII, 580-XIII, 398
Argonautica IV, 783–879
Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, V.
Ileana Chirassi Colombo (1977), "Heroes Achilleus – Theos
Apollon." In Il Mito Greco, edd. Bruno Gentili and Giuseppe Paione.
Rome: Edizione dell'Ateneo e Bizzarri.
Anthony Edwards (1985a), "
Achilles in the Underworld: Iliad, Odyssey,
and Æthiopis". Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies. 26:
Anthony Edwards (1985b), "
Achilles in the Odyssey: Ideologies of
Heroism in the Homeric Epic". Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie.
Anthony Edwards (1988), "Kleos Aphthiton and Oral Theory," Classical
Quarterly. 38: pp. 25–30.
Jakob Escher-Bürkli: Achilleus 1. In: Realencyclopädie der
classischen Altertumswissenschaft (RE). Vol. I,1, Stuttgart 1893,
Guy Hedreen (1991). "The Cult of
Achilles in the Euxine". Hesperia.
American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 60 (3): 313–330.
doi:10.2307/148068. JSTOR 148068.
Karl Kerényi (1959). The Heroes of the Greeks. New York/London:
Thames and Hudson.
Joachim Latacz (2010). "Achilles". In Anthony Grafton; Glenn Most;
Salvatore Settis. The Classical Tradition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard
University Press. pp. 3–5. ISBN 978-0-674-03572-0.
Hélène Monsacré (1984), Les larmes d'Achille. Le héros, la femme
et la souffrance dans la poésie d'Homère, Paris: Albin Michel.
Gregory Nagy (1984), The Name of Achilles: Questions of Etymology and
'Folk Etymology', Illinois Classical Studies. 19.
Gregory Nagy (1999), The Best of The Acheans: Concepts of the Hero in
Archaic Greek Poetry. Johns Hopkins University Press (revised edition,
Dorothea Sigel; Anne Ley; Bruno Bleckmann. "Achilles". In Hubert
Cancik; et al. Brill’s New Pauly. Brill Reference Online.
doi:10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e102220. CS1 maint: Explicit use of et
Dale S. Sinos (1991), The Entry of
Achilles into Greek Epic, Ph. D.
thesis, Johns Hopkins University. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University
Jonathan S. Burgess (2009), The Death and Afterlife of Achilles.
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Achilles.
Trojan War Resources
Gallery of the Ancient Art: Achilles
Achilles. Wikisource. Poem by Florence Earle Coates
Characters in the Iliad
Ajax the Greater
Ajax the Lesser
Balius and Xanthus
Mygdon of Phrygia
Rhesus of Thrace