Achilles

Achillean /ak'euh lee"euhn, euh kil"ee-/, adj.
/euh kil"eez/, n. Class. Myth.
the greatest Greek warrior in the Trojan War and hero of Homer's Iliad. He killed Hector and was killed when Paris wounded him in the heel, his one vulnerable spot, with an arrow.

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In Greek mythology, the bravest and strongest of the Greek warriors in the Trojan War.

Because his mother dipped him into the River Styx, he was invulnerable except at the heel by which she held him. During the war against Troy Achilles took 12 nearby cities, but after a quarrel with Agamemnon he refused further service. He allowed his beloved cousin Patroclus to fight in his armor, and when Hector slew Patroclus, Achilles returned to battle, killed Hector, and dragged his body around the walls of Troy. Homer mentions Achilles' funeral but not the circumstances of his death; the later poet Arctinus relates that Paris killed Achilles with an arrow guided by Apollo.

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 in Greek mythology, son of the mortal Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, and the Nereid, or sea nymph, Thetis. He was the bravest, handsomest, and greatest warrior of the army of Agamemnon in the Trojan War. According to Homer, Achilles was brought up by his mother at Phthia with his cousin and inseparable companion Patroclus. One of the non-Homeric tales of his childhood relates that Thetis dipped Achilles in the waters of the River Styx, by which he became invulnerable, except for the part of his heel by which she held him—the proverbial “Achilles' heel.”

      The later mythographers related that Peleus, having received an oracle that his son would die fighting at Troy, sent Achilles to the court of Lycomedes on Scyros, where he was dressed as a girl and kept among the king's daughters (one of whom, Deïdamia, bore him Neoptolemus). Hearing from the soothsayer Calchas that Troy could not be taken without Achilles, the Greeks searched for and found him.

      During the first nine years of the war, Achilles ravaged the country around Troy and took 12 cities. In the 10th year a quarrel with Agamemnon occurred when Achilles insisted that Agamemnon restore Chryseis, his prize of war, to her father, a priest of Apollo, so as to appease the wrath of Apollo, who had decimated the camp with a pestilence. An irate Agamemnon recouped his loss by depriving Achilles of his favourite slave, Briseis.

      Achilles refused further service, and consequently the Greeks floundered so badly that at last Achilles allowed Patroclus to impersonate him, lending him his chariot and armour. Hector (the eldest son of King Priam of Troy) slew Patroclus, and Achilles, having finally reconciled with Agamemnon, obtained new armour from the god Hephaestus and slew Hector. After dragging Hector's body behind his chariot, Achilles gave it to Priam at his earnest entreaty. The Iliad concludes with the funeral rites of Hector. It makes no mention of the death of Achilles, though the Odyssey mentions his funeral. The poet Arctinus in his Aethiopis took up the story of the Iliad and related that Achilles, having slain the Ethiopian king Memnon and the Amazon Penthesilea, was himself slain in battle by Priam's son Paris, whose arrow was guided by Apollo.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Achilles [1] — ACHILLES, is, Gr. Ἀχιλλεὺς, έως, (⇒ Tab. X. et ⇒ XXIIII.) 1 §. Namen Er hieß anfangs Ligyron, Apollodor. lib. III. c. 12. §. 6 Conf. Tzetz. ad Lycophr. 177. bekam aber hernach von dem Chiron den. Namen Achilles, entweder von dem α pri. vativo und …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • achilles — Achilles, m. acut. (Car le François le corrompt ainsi) Est le nom de ce valeureux Chevalier Grec fils de Peleus et de Thetis, disciple d armes de Chiron le Thessalien, non blessable horsmis au seul endroit du pied par où sa mere l avoit retenu de …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • Achilles — Achilles. Den berühmten Namen Achilles führen in vorzeitlichen Heroensagen vier und funfzig Männer. Der berühmteste aber ist jener Held der unsterblichen Gesänge Homer s, den dieser in der Ilias feiert. Thetis, die zauberschöne, silberfüßige… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Achilles — n. 1. a mythical Greek hero of the Iliad; a foremost Greek warrior at the seige of Troy. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Achilles [1] — Achilles (Achilleus), 1) A., früher Lygyron, Sohn des Peleus (dah. der Pelide) u. der Meergöttin Thetis. Thetis wollte den A. unsterblich machen u. tauchte ihn deshalb in den Styx; allein die Ferse, an der sie ihn hielt, blieb verwundbar; nach… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Achilles — Achilles, Achilleus, nach der Mythe Sohn der Meergöttin Thetys und des Thessaliers Peleus, der Held der Iliade, der schönste, schnellste und stärkste der Heerkönige vor Troja, treu in der Freundschaft, unversöhnlich, stolz, durch die Kunde von… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Achilles — m From Greek mythology. Achilles, son of the sea nymph Thetis and the mortal Peleus, was the leading warrior of the Greek army attacking Troy. In the Iliad, Homer relates how he withdrew from the siege as a result of a slight to his honour, until …   First names dictionary

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  • Achilles [2] — Achilles (Log.), Trugschluß, von Zeno od. Parmenides erfunden, als Argument gegen die Realität der Bewegung. Er lautet: Wenn A. mit einer Schildkröte einen Wettlauf hält, so wird jener, wenn diese einen Vorsprung hat, trotz seiner Schnelligkeit… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Achilles [3] — Achilles, Schmetterling, s. u. Nymphenfalter …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Achilles [1] — Achilles, s. Achilleus …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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