The Myth of Achilles and his Heel

Legend has it that in ancient Greece there was a great warrior whom all his companions admired for being brave and strong, and whom his enemies feared for his skill in the correct combat techniques learned from their gods. It was called Achilles and represents one of the best known characters on Mount Olympus. Do you want to know its myth?

Achilles heel myth

I want to tell you the famous life of this feared fighter so that you know the most important moments of his life. You will see from his birth to his death. The why was he a demigod and how he was immortal from his head to his ankles, but mortal on his feet. For this reason an arrow in his heel caused his death.

Who were the parents of Achilles?

Achilles came from a very strange union, in him two natures were combined: human and that of the gods. His father was I fight, a deadly hero who had the honor of marrying Thetis, immortal goddess of Olympus.

She was a woman of incomparable beauty, so beautiful that Zeus and Poseidon wanted her love for a long time, but they learned of something fearsome, which would put their powers on Olympus at risk, for this reason they gave up their love for Thetis.

What was this terrible news that scared you too much? One day, the titan Prometheus gave an oracle to the god Zeus, this object threw an unexpected prophecy. There they saw that Thetis would give birth to a very powerful son, capable of dominating his father to the point of taking his reign.

Zeus and Poseidon they were very afraid when they heard of such disastrous news, therefore, none of them wanted to be the father of this evil creature, so they allowed the beautiful goddess to marry a simple mortal.

The day of the great wedding of Thetis and Peleus arrived. During the banquet, Eris, goddess of discord, provoked a dispute between the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite; being the beginning of what would later be the end of Achilles.

All the guests wished the newlyweds a lot of happiness so that they would live happily ever after, however, this did not happen like that. Shortly after his mother Achilles was born, the goddess of the waters, he returned to the ocean thus abandoning his son and father. This caused great pain to these two beings who loved her madly and missed her for the rest of their lives.

How was the childhood of Achilles?

Achilles, from his birth, was a big boy, with great strength. Also, it was very fast so it was known as "light-footed”. He had a strong character, manifested an inordinate craving for fame and a thirst for violence towards his fellow men. The stories tell that this behavior was caused by the abandonment of his mother, a fact that caused him a lot of sadness in his heart.

He lived his first years of life in Phtia together with his father Peleo. His great teacher was Phoenix who taught him the most important things for a child of his age. Ties of love and friendship were formed between them. Fénix loved him as if he were his son, he always cared for him and was with him until his adolescence.

During his childhood he also met Patroclus, a young man who shared all his adventures with him. Together they learned the art of combat and other disciplines that would make them army leaders later on. The two became very good friends, staying together for the rest of their lives.

Achilles when entering adolescence his father sends him Chiron, his new instructor. Chiron was a fabulous centaur, distinguished from others by being civilized and highly knowledgeable in the area of ​​combat. He was the one who taught the young prince the techniques of defense and attacks during wars, medicine and all kinds of survival in battles.

This great warrior, son of a goddess mother and mortal father, was born with a characteristic that distinguished him from other gods and from other humans, he was a demigod. I mean, he was not totally immortal, how could a man as extraordinary as Achilles have a weak side?

The story tells that his mother before leaving, dipped him in the waters of the Styx lagoon to give him immortality. As she held him by his feet to prevent him from sinking or being carried away by the currents, they did not get wet, nor did they receive the powerful effects of the magical waters. Therefore, Achilles could survive any injury but would die through his feet, hence the famous phrase: "The Achilles heel”, As a synonym for weakness.

battles of achilles

The Trojan War

A series of events triggered a great fight between the Greeks and the Trojans known as the Trojan War. This battle has been predicted for many years and it was already known that Achilles would die in it. Thetis, his beloved mother, aware of such a terrible announcement, bathed him with magical waters to give him immortality.

Then he tried to hide it from the war troops among the daughters of King Lycomedes, but his attempts were in vain, because Achilles was discovered by himself under the temptation of the music of a bugle, a shield and a spear. So he set out with Odysseus to fight on the side of the Greek army.

During the fight he was noted for his cruelty, he destroyed cities, looted what he found in his way. He sowed fear among the Trojans as they knew they would not survive before him. In these fields of war lost his great friend, Patroclus, which led him to kill Hector and fight with greater rage and thirst for revenge.

The horses offered to the Trojans served as a trap to enter the city of Troy. Achilles when crossing the great walls continued destroying everything in his path, although he also got death. Paris, son of King Priam and brother of Hector, protected by the goddess Aphrodite, knew how to launch a successful date on the heel of Achilles, causing death very quickly.

There is no doubt that Achilles He was one of the most famous heroes of Greek mythology. His participation in the Troop War allowed the Greeks to win the fight but this cost him his life. It is a clear example of how the wishes of revenge, anger and bad wishes lead to a tragic death beyond heroism.

This has been it, we hope you enjoyed reading the Achilles myth as much as we liked telling you about it. If you have any questions about the hero Achilles, you can leave a comment below.

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