The Info List - Calchas

In Greek mythology, Calchas
(/ˈkælkəs/; Ancient Greek: Κάλχας Kalkhas, possibly meaning "bronze-man"), son of Thestor, was an Argive seer, with a gift for interpreting the flight of birds that he received of Apollo: "as an augur, Calchas
had no rival in the camp".[1] He also interpreted the entrails of the enemy during the tide of battle.[2] Career[edit] It was Calchas
who prophesied that in order to gain a favourable wind to deploy the Greek ships mustered in Aulis on their way to Troy, Agamemnon
would need to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigeneia, to appease Artemis, whom Agamemnon
had offended. The episode was related at length in the lost Cypria, of the Epic Cycle. He also states that Troy will be sacked on the tenth year of the war.[3] In the Iliad, Calchas
tells the Greeks that the captive Chryseis
must be returned to her father Chryses
in order to get Apollo
to stop the plague he has sent as a punishment: this triggered the quarrel of Achilles
and Agamemnon, the main theme of the Iliad. Later in the story, Poseidon
assumes the form of Calchas
in order to rouse and empower the Greek forces while Zeus
is not observing the battle. In Sophocles' Ajax, Calchas
delivers a prophecy to Teucer
suggesting that the protagonist will die if he leaves his tent before the day is out. Calchas
also plays a role in Quintus of Smyrna's Posthomerica. Calchas said that if they were brief, they could convince Achilles
to fight. It is he rather than Helenus (as suggested in Sophocles' Philoctetes) that predicts that Troy
will only fall once the Argives are able to recruit Philoctetes.[4] It is by his advice that they halt the battle, even though Neoptolemus
is slaughtering the Trojans. He also tells the Argives that the city is more easily taken by strategy than by force. He endorses Odysseus' suggestion that the Trojan Horse
Trojan Horse
will effectively infiltrate the Trojans. He also foresees that Aeneas
will survive the battle and found the city, and tells the Argives that they will not kill him. He did not join the Argives when they boarded the ships, as he foresaw the impending doom of the Kapherean Rocks.[5] Death[edit] Calchas
died of shame at Colophon in Asia Minor shortly after the Trojan War
Trojan War
(as told in the Cyclic Nostoi and Melampodia): the prophet Mopsus beat him in a contest of soothsaying, although Strabo[6] placed an oracle of Calchas
on Monte Gargano
Monte Gargano
in Magna Graecia. It is also said that Calchas
died of laughter when he thought another seer had incorrectly predicted his death. This seer had foretold Calchas
would never drink from the wine produced from vines he had planted himself; Calchas
made the wine, but holding the cup he died of laughter, before he could inform them they had drunk it the previous night.[7] In medieval and later versions of the myth, Calchas
is portrayed as a Trojan defector and the father of Chryseis, now called Cressida. References[edit]

has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Calchas.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Calchas.

^ Homer. Iliad, Book I ( E.V. Rieu translation). ^ Quintus of Smyrna. Posthomerica, Book IX (Alan James translation). ^ Quintus of Smyrna. Posthomerica, Book VIII (Alan James translation). ^ Quintus of Smyrna. Posthomerica, Book IX (Alan James translation). ^ Quintus of Smyrna. Posthomerica, Book XIV (Alan James translation). ^ Strabo. Geography, 6.3.9. ^ Maurus Servius Honoratus, Commentary on the Eclogues of Vergil 6.72

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Characters in the Iliad


Acamas Achilles Agamemnon Agapenor Ajax the Greater Ajax the Lesser Alcimus Anticlus Antilochus Arcesilaus Ascalaphus Automedon Balius and Xanthus Bias Calchas Diomedes Elephenor Epeius Eudoros Euryalus Eurybates Eurydamas Eurypylus Guneus Helen Ialmenus Idomeneus Leitus Leonteus Lycomedes Machaon Medon Meges Menelaus Menestheus Meriones Neoptolemus Nestor Nireus Odysseus Palamedes Patroclus Peneleos Philoctetes Phoenix Podalirius Podarces Polites Polypoetes Promachus Protesilaus Prothoenor Schedius Stentor Sthenelus Talthybius Teucer Thersites Thoas Thrasymedes Tlepolemus


Aeneas Aesepus Agenor Alcathous Amphimachus Anchises Andromache Antenor Antiphates Antiphus Archelochus Asius Asteropaios Astyanax Atymnius Axylus Briseis Calesius Caletor Cassandra Chryseis Chryses Clytius Coön Dares Phrygius Deiphobus Dolon Epistrophus Euphemus Euphorbus Glaucus Gorgythion Hector Hecuba Helenus Hyperenor Hypsenor Ilioneus Imbrius Iphidamas Kebriones Laocoön Lycaon Melanippus Mentes Mydon Mygdon of Phrygia Othryoneus Pandarus Panthous Paris Pedasus Peirous Phorcys Polites Polydamas Polybus Polydorus Priam Pylaemenes Pylaeus Pyraechmes Rhesus of Thrace Sarpedon The