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Achilles et Briseis
Achilles: Parvus puer
• Achilles was the son of Peleus, king of the
Myridimons, and Thetis, a sea nymph.
Thetis dipped Achilles in the river Styx so
that he would become immortal, but no
water touched his heel.
• [There are, however, other theories of his
nearly complete immortality.]
The Fate of Achilles
• When Achilles was only nine years old,
Calchas, an oracle, foresaw that Troy could
not be conquered without the help of
Worries of Thetis
• Thetis knew that if her son went to war he
would be killed. She tried to disguise him,
and dressed him as a girl and sent him to
Lycomedes. Achilles only went along with
this because he wanted to get closer to
Deidamia, Lycomedes’ daughter.
Achilles and the Trojan War
• Odysseus revealed Achilles’ true identity,
and Achilles was sent to war despite his
mother’s efforts. He left his new, pregnant,
wife, Deidamia,
at home.
Briseis: Parva Puella
• Briseis was the daughter of Briseus. She
grew up in Lyrnessus, which is in Asia
Minor. Eventually she
married Mynes.
Achilles Meets Briseis
• Achilles killed Mynes and Briseis’ brothers,
and won Briseis for a war prize. In spite of
killing her kin, Achilles and Briseis fell in
Agamemnon vs. Achilles
• Agamemnon and Achilles harbored
animosity for each other after Achilles
commented on a threat Agamemnon gave.
(for more information see
• At this Agamemnon
told Achilles that he
would take Briseis.
Achilles and Athena
• Furious, Achilles contemplated killing
Agamemnon, but Athena arrived and
interrupted his thoughts. She grabbed his
hair and assuaged his anger.
Agamemnon takes Briseis
• Agamemnon sent servants to bring Briseis
back to him, just as he said. Achilles could
not help but be enraged.
Thetis Prays to Zeus
• Thetis, knowing her son’s torture, prayed to
Zeus asking for compensation.
• "Avenge my son, Olympian Zeus, lord of counsel; and give
might to the Trojans, until the Achaeans
pay him due respect, and magnify him
with recompense."
(Thetis to Zeus. Homer, Iliad 1.507).
Agamemnon “Apologizing”
• Agamemnon, due to the increasingly
threatening Trojans, decided to try to pacify
Achilles by offering various things,
including Briseis, whom he said he had not
Achilles Refuses
• Achilles didn’t accept anything Agamemnon
offered, including Briseis, because he
decided nothing he could offer would be
Achilles and Patroclus
• Achilles agreed to send his good friend,
Patroclus, to defend in the battle, during
which, Patroclus was killed by Hector.
Achilles decided that his friends death must
be avenged.
Achilles in Preparation
• Achilles informs his mother of his plan and she
decides to get him armour from Hephaestus,
aware of his upcoming demise.
• While his mother is getting
his armour, Achilles
reconciles with
Agamemnon, but again
accepts no gifts, including
Achilles vs. Hector
• Achilles receives the armour his mother got
him and immediately found and killed
Achilles’ Death
• Shortly after Hector’s death came that of
Achilles. Some people say both Paris and
Apollo killed Achilles, and others say it was
only Apollo. Cause of death: an arrow to his
• &c.