Achilles (in ancient Greek Ἀχιλλεύς / Akhilleús) is a legendary hero of the Trojan War, son of Peleus, King of Phthia in Thessaly, and Thetis, a Nereids (sea nymph). It is often called "peleides" or "EACID," epithets that recall its descent.
Her mother dove into the Styx, one of the rivers of Hades, to become invulnerable; his heel, which holds the Thetis, is not soaked in the river and thus remain vulnerable. It is educated by the centaur Chiron it learns the arts of war, music and medicine. While it is a teenager, he chose a life short but glorious life rather than a long but faded. Hidden by her mother, who wants to prevent him from participating in the Trojan War, the court of King Lycomède, the young man was discovered by Ulysses and joined with his friend and lover Patroclus, the Greek shipping. During the tenth year of conflict, a quarrel with Agamemnon moves him to leave the battle: the "anger of Achilles" sung by The Iliad. The death of Patroclus prompts him to take up arms to confront Hector, the best of Trojans. Achille died shortly after the killing, met at the ankle by an arrow of Paris guided by the god Apollo.
Achilles is honored as a hero, even as a god by the Greek world. Beau, valiant champion of a moral proud of the honor, he embodies "the moral ideal of perfect gentleman Homeric."
One of the highlights of his legend comes from the desire of his mother to make it invulnerable. Then the stories diverge. According to ancient tradition, Thetis place all children in a cauldron of boiling water or fire, to ensure they are not immortal; Peleus stops before it could suffer the same fate Achilles. According to others, she rubbed the ambrosia and place them in the heat for it to consume the mortal children - a similar legend is attached to Demophon of Eleusis or in the Egyptian mythology, Isis.
Finally, the most popular variant watch his son soaking in the waters of the Styx, the river of Hell, by holding the heel. It thus becomes invulnerable, except the heel by which his mother had held, which gave rise to the expression "Achilles heel" which means "place vulnerable, sensitive." However, the Iliad does not mention any of these traditions related to the birth of Achilles, and nothing in the epic is no indication that he is insensitive to blows. In Homer suite of Quintus of Smyrna, he was wounded by Prince Ethiopian Memnon. Moreover, Achilles is not the only famous Greek hero (almost) invulnerable: late traditions also grant the privilege to Ajax the Great.
The tradition is that, like other heroes like Jason and Actaeon, Achille has been entrusted by his father centaur Chiron, a resident Mount Pelion in Thessaly. There he learns medicine weapons handling, the art of riding and hunting, and the music. The literature does not exploit particularly from the young boy, if not his prowess in hunting.
The Iliad is little Diserta on Chiron, and instead puts forward the character of Phoenix that the young boy learns the art of eloquence and handling of weapons. In a touching scene singing IX, the old man remembers having the hero on his knees, cutting meat and helping to drink his wine. Finally, elsewhere in the poem, Thetis also claims to have raised his son itself.
The first mobilization at Aulis
The events of the Trojan war above those of The Iliad are particularly confusing. In The Iliad, Achilles is sent directly by Peleus, with Patroclus and Myrmidons, when the Greek leaders gather at Aulis. Songs Cyprien, an epic of the Trojan Cycle, then tell how, driven by winds, the Greek fleet landed by mistake in Mysie. Troy believed he had achieved, the Achéens pass to the attack and face the local king, Phone, son of Hercules. Achille confrontation and hurt. The Greek shipping again, but a storm prevailed to the island of Skyros, where Achille Déidamie wife, daughter of King Lycomède. The songs tell then how cyprien Phone wounded, went to Argos to be treated by Achilles in exchange for information on the way to Troy.
The Iliad does not mention these events, but does not run either. In the fifth century, the gesture Achilles and Phone is known to Pindar, who alluded in one of its Isthmiques, as well as Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. The first devote each a tragic cycle (now lost) probably covering the whole story, the arrival in Mysie to healing in Argos. The Phone Euripides, also lost, is known by the many allusions made what Aristophanes: it focuses on the arrival of Phone and its healing Achilles. Sources later Phone specify that, after killing many Greeks, fled when he met Achilles. Caught in vines deployed by Dionysos, he was wounded by the spear of Achilles. Following a pattern common magic, only that the launch could then treat.
How Achille joined the Greek expedition is the subject of a later variant that is as dominant then. An oracle to Achéens learned that the young man is essential to take Troy. Thetis and Peleus, fearing for his life, disguised as women and girls among the cache of Lycomède to evade the pressure of war.
At Lycomede, which according to the versions is aware or not trickery, Achille bears the name of Pyrrha, "the redhead". Under his disguise, he seduced or violates Déidamie, which will Néoptolème, also called pyrrhic which will prove essential in making Troy.
Having got wind of the ruse, Diomedes and Odysseus then arrive at Skyros and identify Achilles, who then joined the Greek army. The episode is the subject of a tragedy by Euripides, the Skyriens. Ovid specifies how to take the two heroes: disguised as a merchant, King of Ithaca offers girls Lycomède fabrics and weapons; Achilles reveals itself in being the only one to grab a sword and a shield. At Apollodorus is a trumpet tone that awakens the heroism of the young man, who is revealed as well. Stace combines these two alternatives. In Hyginus, the hero is a little less naive: heard trumpets, Achille believes the city attacked, and takes up arms to defend it.
The second trip to Troy
While the Greek army is the anger of Artemis blocks against Agamemnon fleet Aulis. An oracle reveals the need to sacrifice Iphigenia, daughter of the latter, but by the promise of a marriage with Achilles that heads acheans attract the girl to Aulis.
The fleet share shortly after and stops en route on the island of Tenedos, where a feast is held. Achille called late, then gets angry. We know another occasion during which Achilles gets angry during a dinner in the Odyssey, the bard Demodocos suggested that the court of Alcinous to sing the dispute between Achilles and Odysseus, including a dispute oracle Apollo Delphien would have predicted it would be the precursor to the fall of Troy. Plutarch an allusion to a lost piece of Sophocles relates well qu'Ulysse laughs during a banquet, the anger of Achilles: he accuses the latter of having fear seeing Troy and Hector, and seek an excuse to escape. It is not easy to determine whether a single episode or two separate anger.
A second incident took place at Tenedos: the island is governed by Tenes, son of Apollo, which pushes the Acheans. Achilles kills, despite the recommendation of his mother not to kill perish under penalty itself hands of Apollo. Plutarch tells his side that sends Thetis Achilles alongside a servant to remind him a warning; Achilles obeyed until it meets the de Tenesa sister, who struck by its beauty. Tenes comes to protect his sister and Achille, forgetting the warning, kills him.
Read also Hercules