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Achilles



A legendary Greek hero, son of Peleus and Thetis, who dipped him in the river Styx so that he was invulnerable, except for his heel where she had held him. When the Trojan War began, his mother hid him among girls on Scyros, but he was detected by Ulysses and so went to Troy. The whole story of the Iliad turns on his excessive pride: in his anger he sulks in his tent. When his friend Patroclus is killed, he rejoins the battle, kills Hector, brutally mistreats his body, but finally allows Priam to recover it. He was killed by Paris, who shot him in the heel with a poisoned arrow.


Related entries

   • Achilles, the asteroid (Encyclopedia of Science)
   • Achilles tendon (Encyclopedia of Science)