Achilles - Wikipedia
For Alexander, Achilles was andreia incarnate, and so the young king up a contrast between Hector and his instinctively fierce rival, Achilles. Like all ancient kings, Alexander claimed that the gods were his ancestors. Alexander could -according to the legends: rightfully- claim Achilles as his ancestor. In Greek mythology, Achilles or Achilleus was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central .. Alexander the Great, son of the Epirote princess Olympias, could therefore also claim this descent, and in many . The novel explores the relationship between Patroclus and Achilles from boyhood to the fateful events of the Iliad.
He always looked for opportunities to emulate Achilles — in war, in love, in the call of duty, in everything. In war, Alexander was death incarnate. Like Achilles, Alexander was fearless and went into any challenge with the belief that he could win. He suffered many near-fatal wounds in his 11 year-long military campaign.
Like Achilles, Alexander had a quick and wild temper. He set fire to the town of Thebes, as a punishment for their revolt, much like Achilles and his army did to the Asian city of Troy. Alexander, in a fit of rage, once tied the body of an African who was fighting for the Persians, to his chariot and drove it around the castle that the African was protecting.
In large-heartedness, Alexander always looked to set an example to others. Like Achilles, who, protected Briseis during the battle of Troy. Alexander knew of the deep bond between Achilles and Patroclus, and wanted to have a Patroclus of his own. Here are a couple of their arguments: By wearing Oriental dress, Alexander had unintentionally assumed certain features of Dionysus' appearance, but the connection was incidental, and though Alexander might rival Dionysus, particularly in India, he never tried to represent the god directly" In his article "The Royal Costume and Insignia of Alexander the Great" historian AW Collins writes that we cannot assume Alexander knew of a connection between the diadem and Dionysus Alexander blamed the wrath of Dionysus for the madness that came over him when he killed his friend and commander Cleitus the Black.
In India, Alexander and his army came to a town called Nysa or something similarwhich they associated with the Nysa found in the myth of Dionysus. There, Alexander held a celebratory festival honoring the god in which many of his commanders drank themselves into a "Bacchic frenzy". Alexander was reportedly pleased to have travelled so far and to have the chance to go farther than the god.
Arrian questions the connection they made between this Indian town and Dionysus 5. As far as anyone can tell, Dionysus was never believed to have visited India before this encounter by Alexander's army.
Alexander referenced Dionysus' achievements in his speeches to his army see Heracles list above. Arrian mentions a story, which he himself admits is probably false, of Alexander imitating the indulgent behavior of Dionysus while crossing through Asia Curtius also mentions this 9.Glory, Vengeance, and Valor (Troy, Gladiator, Alexander Mashup)
According to Robin Lane Fox, "Alexander's rivalry with Dionysus was no idle legend, but a fact which the customs of Hindu India had helped to confirm. His was the only Greek precedent for an Indian triumph and as ancestor of the Macedonian kings and god of the victory which Alexander stressed throughout his career, it was natural to turn to his example for this extraordinary procession" Curtius, while remarking about Alexander's lack of moderation, also mentions Alexander's emulation of Dionysus, writing: Some of Alexander's flatterers held him in higher esteem than Heracles, Dionysus, and other heroes.
This was a cause of conflict among Alexander's court 8. When Alexander's troops showed resistance to his ambitious plans, he chastised them for getting in his way of achieving "undying fame" by surpassing even Heracles and Dionysus 9. Alexander's desire to conquer Arabia may have been informed by their people's alleged worship of Zeus and Dionysus: After his death, Alexander was featured on coins with certain features associated with Dionysus see below. A coin minted after BCE which appears to show Alexander with features associated with Dionysussuch as a panther-skin helmet and the horns and ears of a bull.
What do these connections mean? Did Alexander see himself as a successor to the great Dionysus, who had also wandered through Asia and conquered eastern peoples? In some ways, maybe. But, according to French historian Claude Mosse, Alexander's primary feelings for Dionysus were motivated by fear: Alexander's blaming of his murder on Cleitus on a Dionysian curse is evidence to support Mosse' view.
- The inner world of Thoughts, Feelings, and Reflections
- Achilles: Early Life
- "Everything is possible to him who will try"
How did they fit together in his worldview? I go into more detail on Alexander's connection to Achilles in this previous blog post. The opposite is true of Achilles" Stewart, The problem for supporters of this Achilles-centric view of Alexander's persona is quite simply the evidence, or lack thereof.
Just as much contemporary evidence exists if not more styling Alexander as the next Heracles or Dionysus as it does the next Achilles. Although a case can be made that Alexander modeled himself off the myth of Achilles from his beloved Iliad, it hinged on a good deal of speculative and circumstantial evidence. For instance, Stewart writes that Alexander's motivation bore a striking resemblance to that of Achilles: It even drove him to surpass the gods themselves: Yet this resemblance, if true, is hardly reason to suggest that Alexander elevated Achilles above the other chief heroes and gods in his life.
These values of excellence were displayed by many other figures of mythology, even if Achilles was in many ways their prototype. I believe the most that can be said of Alexander's connection to Achilles is that he was part of the elite group of mythical men whom Alexander compared himself to. And even though his admiration for these figures was authentic, he publicly expressed it in a way that benefited him as a king and leader.
For this reason, the myth of Achilles was most useful to Alexander in the early stages of his campaign, when he visited Troy and began his own version of the Trojan War - Greece vs. Since Achilles never made it past Troy, Achilles became a less useful symbol as his campaign took his army farther from Greece. In Africa and the East, the myths of the far-ranging Heracles and Dionysus became more relevant, both in the minds of Alexander and his soldiers.
It is no surprise, then, that he invoked their stories more often. However, it can also be said that Achilles may have represented something unique to Alexander. For one, he seemed to be a staple character of his childhood. Achilles also had a close relationship with a male peer, Patroclus, which Alexander may have compared to his relationship with Hephaestion.
Hephaestion was the most important person in Alexander's life, so this connection can't be ignored. Even when Achilles had long been overshadowed by Heracles, Dionysus, and Zeus-Ammon in Alexander's campaign, the king still returned to the example of Achilles after Patroclus' death.
Another way in which Achilles stands out from Heracles and Dionysus is through his humanity. Achilles was half-god - his mother, Thetis, was a sea goddess. Even Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Trojan War, was killed and sent to wander in the underworld.
But there were a couple of exceptions to this "rule" of mortality - Heracles and Dionysus. Both received the extremely rare honor of being deified after their deaths, which allowed them to join the ranks of the gods.
Achilles - HISTORY
Of the four most prominent figures of Alexander's worldview the 3 heroes and Zeus-Ammononly one - Achilles - suffered a wholly human fate. Achilles' humanity made him an easier figure for a young Alexander to relate to, especially if he could not yet imagine equaling the feats of Heracles and Dionysus.
But after visiting the Oracle of Ammon and defeating the Great King Darius, Alexander grew far more comfortable comparing himself to the gods. The more he accomplished, and the bigger his ego grew, the more he was drawn to the immortal Heracles and Dionysus. Achilles also had a weaker connection to Zeus than the other two, who were both sons of the king of the gods. Although Achilles was believed to be descended from Zeus, he was removed by at least one generation.
The whole expression would be comparable to the Latin acupedius "swift of foot". Zeus and Poseidon had been rivals for the hand of Thetis until Prometheusthe fore-thinker, warned Zeus of a prophecy originally uttered by Themisgoddess of divine law that Thetis would bear a son greater than his father.
For this reason, the two gods withdrew their pursuit, and had her wed Peleus. In the Argonautica 4. Thetis, although a daughter of the sea-god Nereuswas also brought up by Hera, further explaining her resistance to the advances of Zeus. Zeus was furious and decreed that she would never marry an immortal. It is not clear if this version of events was known earlier. In another version of this story, Thetis anointed the boy in ambrosia and put him on top of a fire in order to burn away the mortal parts of his body.
She was interrupted by Peleus and abandoned both father and son in a rage. To the contrary, in the Iliad Homer mentions Achilles being wounded: He cast two spears at once, one grazed Achilles' elbow, "drawing a spurt of blood".
Also, in the fragmentary poems of the Epic Cycle in which one can find description of the hero's death i. Achilles chose the former, and decided to take part in the Trojan war.
Alexander the Great's 3 Heroes — Ancient Heroes
Later Chiron exhumed the body of the Damysuswho was the fastest of all the giants, removed the ankle, and incorporated it into Achilles' burnt foot. Achilles on Skyros Some post-Homeric sources  claim that in order to keep Achilles safe from the war, Thetis or, in some versions, Peleus hid the young man at the court of Lycomedesking of Skyros.
There, Achilles is disguised as a girl and lives among Lycomedes' daughters, perhaps under the name "Pyrrha" the red-haired girl. With Lycomedes' daughter Deidamiawhom in the account of Statius he rapes, Achilles there fathers a son, Neoptolemus also called Pyrrhus, after his father's possible alias.
According to this story, Odysseus learns from the prophet Calchas that the Achaeans would be unable to capture Troy without Achilles' aid. Odysseus goes to Skyros in the guise of a peddler selling women's clothes and jewelry and places a shield and spear among his goods.
When Achilles instantly takes up the spear, Odysseus sees through his disguise and convinces him to join the Greek campaign. In another version of the story, Odysseus arranges for a trumpet alarm to be sounded while he was with Lycomedes' women; while the women flee in panic, Achilles prepares to defend the court, thus giving his identity away.
He appointed five leaders each leader commanding Myrmidons: Menesthius, EudorusPeisander, Phoenix and Alcimedon. In the resulting battle, Achilles gave Telephus a wound that would not heal; Telephus consulted an oracle, who stated that "he that wounded shall heal". Guided by the oracle, he arrived at Argoswhere Achilles healed him in order that he might become their guide for the voyage to Troy. Achilles refused, claiming to have no medical knowledge.
Alternatively, Telephus held Orestes for ransom, the ransom being Achilles' aid in healing the wound. Odysseus reasoned that the spear had inflicted the wound; therefore, the spear must be able to heal it.
Pieces of the spear were scraped off onto the wound and Telephus was healed. Had Troilus lived to adulthood, the First Vatican Mythographer claimed, Troy would have been invincible. The first two lines of the Iliad read: The Homeric epic only covers a few weeks of the decade-long war, and does not narrate Achilles' death.
It begins with Achilles' withdrawal from battle after being dishonoured by Agamemnonthe commander of the Achaean forces. Agamemnon has taken a woman named Chryseis as his slave.
Her father Chrysesa priest of Apollobegs Agamemnon to return her to him. Agamemnon refuses, and Apollo sends a plague amongst the Greeks.
The prophet Calchas correctly determines the source of the troubles but will not speak unless Achilles vows to protect him. Achilles does so, and Calchas declares that Chryseis must be returned to her father. Agamemnon consents, but then commands that Achilles' battle prize Briseisthe daughter of Briseusbe brought to him to replace Chryseis.
Angry at the dishonour of having his plunder and glory taken away and, as he says later, because he loves Briseis with the urging of his mother Thetis, Achilles refuses to fight or lead his troops alongside the other Greek forces. At the same time, burning with rage over Agamemnon's theft, Achilles prays to Thetis to convince Zeus to help the Trojans gain ground in the war, so that he may regain his honour.
As the battle turns against the Greeks, thanks to the influence of Zeus, Nestor declares that the Trojans are winning because Agamemnon has angered Achilles, and urges the king to appease the warrior. Agamemnon agrees and sends Odysseus and two other chieftains, Ajax and Phoenixto Achilles with the offer of the return of Briseis and other gifts. Achilles rejects all Agamemnon offers him and simply urges the Greeks to sail home as he was planning to do.
With the Greek forces on the verge of absolute destruction, Patroclus leads the Myrmidons into battle, wearing Achilles' armour, though Achilles remains at his camp. Patroclus succeeds in pushing the Trojans back from the beaches, but is killed by Hector before he can lead a proper assault on the city of Troy.
After receiving the news of the death of Patroclus from Antilochusthe son of Nestor, Achilles grieves over his beloved companion's death. His mother Thetis comes to comfort the distraught Achilles.