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In Greek mythology, as recorded in Homer's Iliad, Patroclus (/pəˈtroʊkləs, pəˈtrɒkləs/; Greek: Πάτροκλος; "glory of the father") was the son of Menoetius, grandson of Actor, King of Opus.

Contents

1 Life and death 2 Relationship with Achilles 3 References 4 Further reading 5 External links

Life and death[edit] According to Hyginus, Patroclus
Patroclus
is the child of Menoetius and Philomela.[1] Homer
Homer
also references Menoetius as the individual who gave Patroclus
Patroclus
to Peleus.[2] Menoetius is the son of Actor, King of Opus in Locris by Aegina.[3] Aegina was a daughter of Asopus and mother of Aeacus by Zeus. Aeacus was father of Peleus, Telamon and Phocus. Actor was a son of Deioneus, King of Phocis and Diomede. His paternal grandparents were Aeolus of Thessaly and Enarete. His maternal grandparents were Xuthus and Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus and Praxithea. During his childhood, Patroclus
Patroclus
had killed another child in anger over a game. Menoetius gave Patroclus
Patroclus
to Peleus, Achilles' father, who named Patroclus
Patroclus
one of Achilles' "henchmen" as Patroclus
Patroclus
and Achilles grew up together.[2] Patroclus
Patroclus
acted as a male role model for Achilles, as he was both older than Achilles
Achilles
and wise regarding counsel.[4] According to the Iliad, when the tide of war had turned against the Greeks and the Trojans were threatening their ships, Patroclus convinced Achilles
Achilles
to let him lead the Myrmidons into combat. Achilles consented, giving Patroclus
Patroclus
the armor Achilles
Achilles
had received from his father, in order for Patroclus
Patroclus
to impersonate Achilles. Achilles
Achilles
then told Patroclus
Patroclus
to return after beating the Trojans back from their ships.[5] Patroclus
Patroclus
defied Achilles' order and pursued the Trojans back to the gates of Troy.[6] Patroclus
Patroclus
killed many Trojans, including a son of Zeus, Sarpedon.[7] While fighting, Patroclus' wits were removed by Apollo, after which Patroclus
Patroclus
was hit with the spear of Euphorbos. Hector
Hector
then killed Patroclus
Patroclus
by stabbing him in the stomach with a spear.[8]

The body of Patroclus
Patroclus
is lifted by Menelaus
Menelaus
and Meriones while Odysseus
Odysseus
and others look on (Etruscan relief, 2nd century BC)

Achilles
Achilles
retrieved his body, which had been stripped of armor by Hector
Hector
and protected on the battlefield by Menelaus
Menelaus
and Ajax.[9] Achilles
Achilles
did not allow the burial of Patroclus' body until the ghost of Patroclus
Patroclus
appeared and demanded his burial in order to pass into Hades.[10] Patroclus
Patroclus
was then cremated on a funeral pyre, which was covered in the hair of his sorrowful companions. As the cutting of hair was a sign of grief while also acting as a sign of the separation of the living and the dead, this points to how well-liked Patroclus had been.[11] The ashes of Achilles
Achilles
were said to have been buried in a golden urn along with those of Patroclus
Patroclus
by the Hellespont.[12]

A cup depicting Achilles
Achilles
bandaging Patroclus' arm, by the Sosias Painter.

Relationship with Achilles[edit] Main article: Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus Although Homer
Homer
does not mention it, there is debate whether or not Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus
Patroclus
had a homosexual relationship. Morales and Mariscal point out that there are several other authors who do draw a romantic connection between the two characters, such as Aeschylus
Aeschylus
and Phaedrus, who even refers to Achilles
Achilles
as the eromenos. Morales and Mariscal continue stating, "there is a polemical tradition concerning the nature of the relationship between the two heroes".[13] According to Grace Ledbetter, there is a train of thought that Patroclus
Patroclus
could have been a representation of the compassionate side of Achilles, who was known for his rage, mentioned in the first line of Homer's Iliad. In contradiction to Morales and Mariscal putting Achilles
Achilles
in the role of the younger male, Ledbetter connects the way that Achilles
Achilles
and his mother Thetis
Thetis
communicate to the communication between Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus. Ledbetter does so by comparing how Thetis
Thetis
comforts the weeping Achilles
Achilles
in Book 1 of the Iliad
Iliad
to how Achilles
Achilles
comforts Patroclus
Patroclus
as he weeps in Book 16. Achilles
Achilles
uses a simile containing a young girl tearfully looking at her mother to complete the comparison. Ledbetter believes this puts Patroclus
Patroclus
into a subordinate role to that of Achilles.[14] James Hooker describes the literary reasons for Patroclus' character within the Iliad. He states that another character could have filled the role of confidant for Achilles, and that it was only through Patroclus
Patroclus
that we have a worthy reason for Achilles' wrath. Hooker claims that without the death of Patroclus, an event that weighed heavily upon him, Achilles' following act of compliance to fight would have disrupted the balance of the Iliad.[15] Hooker describes the necessity of Patroclus
Patroclus
sharing a deep affection with Achilles
Achilles
within the Iliad. According to his theory, this affection allows for the even deeper tragedy that occurs. Hooker argues that the greater the love, the greater the loss. Hooker continues to negate Ledbetter's theory that Patroclus
Patroclus
is in some way a surrogate for Achilles; rather, Hooker views Patroclus' character as a counterpart to that of Achilles. Hooker reminds us that it is Patroclus
Patroclus
who pushes the Trojans back, which Hooker claims makes Patroclus
Patroclus
a hero, as well as foreshadowing what Achilles
Achilles
is to do.[15] Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus
Patroclus
grew up together after Menoitios gave Patroclus to Achilles' father, Peleus. During this time, Peleus
Peleus
named Patroclus one of Achilles' "henchmen".[16] While Homer's Iliad
Iliad
never once explicitly stated that Achilles
Achilles
and his close friend Patroclus
Patroclus
were lovers, this concept was asserted by some later authors.[17][18][19] Aeschines
Aeschines
asserts that there was no need to explicitly state the relationship as a romantic one,[19] for such "is manifest to such of his hearers as are educated men."[20] Later Greek writings such as Plato's Symposium, the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles
Achilles
is discussed as a model of romantic love.[21] However, Xenophon, in his Symposium, had Socrates argue that it was inaccurate to label their relationship as romantic. Nevertheless, their relationship is said to have inspired Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
in his close relationship with his companion Hephaestion.[17][22] After Patroclus killed Clysonymus, Patroclus
Patroclus
and his father fled to Peleus
Peleus
palace. Patroclus
Patroclus
then grew up with Achilles. Their relationship was so strong that it was as if they were more than brothers. However, Achilles
Achilles
was much younger than Patroclus.[21] This reinforces Dowden's explanation of the relationship between an eromenos, a youth in transition, and an erastes, an older male although having recently made the same transition.[23] Dowden also notes the common occurrence of such relationships as a form of initiation.[24]

The body of Patroclus
Patroclus
borne by Menelaus, Roman sculpture, Florence

References[edit]

^ Hyginus. Fabulae.  ^ a b Lattimore, Richmond (2011). The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 474 b.23 l.85.  ^ Lattimore, Richmond (2011). The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 274 b. 11 l. 384.  ^ Finlay, Robert (1980). Patroklos, Achilleus, and Peleus: Fathers and Sons in the Iliad. The Classical World. pp. 267–273.  ^ Lattimore, Richmond (2011). The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 353 b. 16 l. 64–87.  ^ Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. Boston: Little. p. 140.  ^ Lattimore, Richmond (2011). The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 363 b. 16 l. 460.  ^ Lattimore, Richmond (2011). The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 373 b. 16 l. 804–822.  ^ Bulfinch, Thomas (1985). The Golden Age. London: Bracken Books. p. 272.  ^ Lattimore, Richmond (2011). The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 474 b.23 l. 69–71.  ^ Martin, Richard (2011). The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 561.  ^ Chisholm, Hugh (1911). "Achilles". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.).  ^ Sanz Morales, Manuel; Mariscal, Gabriel Laguna (May 2003). "The Relationship Between Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus
Patroclus
According to Chariton of Aphrodisias". Cambridge University Press.  ^ Ledbetter, Grace (December 1, 1993). "Achilles' Self-Address". American Journal of Philology.  ^ a b Hooker, James (January 1, 1989). "Homer, Patroclus, Achilles". Symbolae Osloenses.  ^ Homer. The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. p. 474.  ^ a b Martin, Thomas R. (2012). Alexander the Great: The Story of an Ancient Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 99–100. ISBN 0521148448. [See next reference for a relevant quotation.]  ^ As Martin (2012), op. cit., argues (see preceding footnote), "The ancient sources do not report, however, what modern scholars have asserted: that Alexander and his very close friend Hephaestion
Hephaestion
were lovers. Achilles
Achilles
and his equally close friend Patroclus
Patroclus
provided the legendary model for this friendship, but Homer
Homer
in the Iliad
Iliad
never suggested that they had sex with each other. (That came from later authors.) If Alexander and Hephaestion
Hephaestion
did have a sexual relationship, it would have been transgressive by majority Greek standards…" (p. 99f). ^ a b Boswell, John (1980). Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 47.  ^ Aeschines
Aeschines
(1958). The Speeches: Against Telemarchus, On the Embassy, Against Ctesiphon. Translated by Charles Darwin Adams. London: Harvard University Press. p. 115.  ^ a b Plato
Plato
(1987). The Symposium. Translated by Walter Hamilton. Penguin Books. pp. 44–45.  ^ Fox, Robin Lane (2005). The Classical World. Penguin Books. p. 235.  ^ Dowden, Ken (1992). The Uses of Greek Mythology. London: Routledge. p. 112.  ^ Dowden, Ken (1992). The Uses of Greek Mythology. London: Routledge. p. 114. 

Further reading[edit]

Evslin, Bernard (2006). Gods, Demigods and Demons. London, ENG: I. Tauris.  Michelakis, Pantelis (2007). Achilles
Achilles
in Greek Tragedy. Cambridge, ENG: Cambridge University Press.  Kerenyi, Karl (1959). The Heroes of the Greeks. London, ENG: Thames and Hudson. pp. 57–61, et passim.  Sergent, Bernard (1986). Homosexuality in Greek Myth. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.  Miller, Madeline (2011). The Song of Achilles. London, ENG: Bloomsbury. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Patroclus
Patroclus
at Wikimedia Commons

Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus
Patroclus
myths as told by story tellers

Bibliography of reconstruction: Homer
Homer
Iliad, 9.308, 16.2, 11.780, 23.54 (700 BC); Pindar
Pindar
Olympian Odes, IX (476 BC); Aeschylus Myrmidons, F135-36 (495 BC); Euripides
Euripides
Iphigenia in Aulis, (405 BC); Plato
Plato
Symposium, 179e (388-367 BC); Statius
Statius
Achilleid, 161, 174, 182 (96 AD)

v t e

Characters in the Iliad

Achaeans

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

Trojans

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 Theano Ucalegon

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