Triumph Of Achilles
Triumph Of Achilles

Achilles – Greek Hero, Trojan War & Facts

A warrior of extraordinary strength and skill said to have been invincible in battle. He was also known for his pride and temper, which would prove to be both his strength and his downfall.


Achilles is one of the most famous heroes of the Trojan War, a legendary conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans that lasted for ten years. He was a warrior of extraordinary strength and skill, said to have been invincible in battle. Achilles was a legendary hero whose story has been told and retold through various myths, epics, and legends over the centuries. In this article, we will explore the life of Achilles, his achievements, his love interests, and his tragic fate.

Achilles: Early Life

Achilles was born to the king of the Myrmidons, Peleus, and the sea goddess Thetis. He was known for his exceptional physical strength and courage from a young age. Knowing that her son was destined to be a great warrior, his mother, Thetis, made him invulnerable by dipping him in the River Styx while he was still an infant. The problem was that she held him by the heels, which were not wetted; this remained a vulnerable part of his anatomy. 

Did you know? Today, we use the phrase “Achilles heel” to describe a powerful person’s fatal weakness.

As a child, Achilles was tutored by the centaur Chiron and developed a reputation as a skilled fighter. He was also known for his pride and temper, which would prove to be both his strength and his downfall.

Achilles: Patroclus’s Death

Achilles was deeply saddened by the death of Patroclus. According to Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad, Achilles and Patroclus were close companions and friends, and when Patroclus was killed by Hector, Achilles was consumed with grief and rage.

In Book 18 of the Iliad, after learning of Patroclus’ death, Achilles weeps uncontrollably and laments the loss of his dear friend. He also vows to avenge Patroclus’ death by killing Hector. Achilles’ grief is a central theme in the Iliad, and his emotional response to the loss of Patroclus is a testament to the depth of their friendship.

Achilles: The Trojan War

The Trojan War was fought between the Greeks and the Trojans, sparked by the abduction of Helen, the wife of the Greek king Menelaus, by the Trojan prince Paris. Achilles was a key figure on the Greek side, leading his army of Myrmidons into battle and earning a reputation as the greatest warrior of his time.

Achilles’s most famous and enduring stories of ancient Greek mythology. He was known for his unmatched fighting prowess, his courage in battle, and his strong personality.

Achilles was famously involved in the fight over the body of Patroclus, his close friend and possibly his lover. After Patroclus was killed by Hector, the Trojan prince, Achilles was consumed with grief and rage. He returned to the battlefield, vowing to avenge Patroclus and kill Hector. In the ensuing battle, Achilles defeated Hector and dragged his body behind his chariot, a brutal act that would further cement his reputation as a fierce warrior.

Achilles: The Illiad

Achilles is a central character in Homer’s epic poem, the Iliad. The story of the Iliad is set during the Trojan War, a ten-year conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans. Achilles is portrayed as the greatest warrior of the Greeks and a crucial figure in the war.

At the beginning of the story, Achilles withdraws from the fighting after a dispute with the Greek king Agamemnon over a woman named Briseis. Without Achilles, the Greeks struggle in battle, and the Trojans gain the upper hand.

However, after his best friend and companion Patroclus is killed by the Trojan prince Hector, Achilles is consumed by grief and rage and decides to rejoin the fighting. He is determined to avenge Patroclus’ death by killing Hector, and he does so in a one-on-one duel. Achilles then drags Hector’s body behind his chariot in triumph, angering the gods.

The Iliad ends with Hector’s funeral, where Achilles allows Hector’s father Priam to come and retrieve his son’s body. This act of compassion shows a different side to Achilles’ character and highlights his complex personality.

The story of Achilles in the Iliad has inspired countless works of literature and art throughout history and has cemented Achilles as one of the greatest heroes in Greek mythology.

Who did Achilles love?

In Greek mythology, Achilles is described as having several romantic relationships, but his most notable love interest was Briseis, a woman who was taken as a war prize by Achilles during the Trojan War.

Briseis was originally the wife of a Trojan prince named Mynes, who was killed by Achilles. After Mynes’ death, Briseis became a captive of the Greeks and was given to Achilles as a prize. Achilles and Briseis fell in love, and their relationship was a significant plot point in the Iliad.

However, their relationship was complicated by the fact that Agamemnon, the Greek king, took Briseis from Achilles as his own prize, leading to the conflict between Achilles and Agamemnon that drives the plot of the Iliad.

In some versions of the story, Achilles also had a relationship with Penthesilea, a queen and Amazon warrior who fought against the Greeks during the Trojan War. However, their relationship was short-lived, as Achilles killed Penthesilea in battle.

In the Iliad, it is hinted that Achilles also had romantic feelings for Patroclus, his best friend. Some scholars interpret their relationship as a romantic one, while others see it as a close, platonic friendship. Regardless of the nature of their relationship, Patroclus’ death was a turning point in Achilles’ life and in the Trojan War.

How was Achilles killed?

According to Greek mythology, Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Greeks during the Trojan War, was killed by Paris, a Trojan prince.

Achilles was invulnerable except for his heel, which was his only weak spot. Paris, knowing this, shot an arrow at Achilles’ heel during the Trojan War, while Achilles was engaged in battle. The arrow hit Achilles’ heel, piercing it and causing him to fall to the ground. The wound was fatal, and Achilles died shortly after being struck.

In some versions of the story, it is said that Paris was aided by the god Apollo, who guided the arrow to Achilles’ heel. In other versions, it is said that Achilles’ death was foretold by prophecy and that he knew he would die in battle.

After his death, Achilles’ body was retrieved by his comrades and given a proper burial. His story and legend have lived on for centuries and have been retold in countless works of literature and art.

What happened to Achilles after he died?

In Greek mythology, after Achilles died, his body was recovered by his comrades and brought back to their camp. According to some versions of the story, his body was guarded by his mother Thetis, and his lover Briseis, who prevented any harm from coming to his corpse.

There are different versions of what happened to Achilles’ body after it was recovered. According to one version, his body was cremated on a funeral pyre, and his ashes were placed in a golden urn. In another version, his body was buried in a tomb along with his armor and weapons.

After his death, Achilles was believed to have been taken to the Elysian Fields, which in Greek mythology was the paradise where heroes and virtuous souls went after death. It was said to be a place of eternal happiness and peace.

Achilles’ story has been retold in countless works of literature and art over the centuries, and he remains one of the most famous and revered heroes in Greek mythology.

Who was Achilles’ son?

In Greek mythology, Achilles had one son named Neoptolemus, also known as Pyrrhus. Neoptolemus was born after Achilles’ death and was raised by his grandfather Peleus.

Neoptolemus also participated in the Trojan War and was known for his bravery and skill in battle, much like his father. According to some versions of the story, he even killed Priam, the king of Troy, after the city fell.

After the war, Neoptolemus inherited his father’s armor and became a prominent figure in Greek mythology, participating in many adventures and battles.

Achilles is one of the most celebrated heroes of Greek mythology, known for his bravery, strength, and skill in battle. His story has inspired countless works of literature, art, and entertainment throughout history, and he remains a symbol of heroism and warrior culture. Despite his flaws and complexities as a character, Achilles is remembered for his courage and dedication to his comrades, as well as his quest for personal glory and honor. His legend has endured for thousands of years, and his legacy continues to fascinate and inspire people around the world today.

About the Author

Gurminder is a political scientist and critical thinker based in Australia. He regularly blogs on constructive criticism.