This article may contain affiliate links. For details, visit our Affiliate Disclosure page.
Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Trojan War, is a legendary figure whose name is synonymous with bravery and strength. But despite his immense power, Achilles was ultimately killed. The question that has puzzled scholars and historians for centuries is who killed Achilles? There are various theories and legends surrounding his death, but the truth remains elusive. In this blog post, we will explore some of the most popular theories and try to unravel the mystery of who killed Achilles.
The Trojan War
To understand who killed Achilles, we must first understand the Trojan War. The Trojan War was a 10-year-long conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans. It began when Paris, a prince of Troy, abducted Helen, the wife of the Greek king Menelaus. The Greeks, led by Agamemnon, then set sail for Troy to reclaim Helen and avenge their honor. The Trojan War was a brutal and bloody affair, with both sides suffering heavy losses. The Greeks were ultimately victorious, thanks in large part to the efforts of their greatest warrior, Achilles.
The Death of Achilles
According to Greek mythology, Achilles was invulnerable, except for his heel. His mother had dipped him in the River Styx, holding him by his heel, making him impervious to harm. However, during the Trojan War, Achilles was hit by an arrow in his heel, and he died. There are several theories about who fired the fatal arrow.
One of the most popular theories is that Paris fired the arrow that killed Achilles. Paris was the Trojan prince who had abducted Helen, which was the cause of the Trojan War. In some versions of the story, Paris was seeking revenge against Achilles because Achilles had killed his brother, Hector. In others, Paris was simply trying to win glory by killing the greatest warrior of the Greeks. Either way, it is said that Paris shot an arrow that struck Achilles in the heel, which led to his death.
Another theory is that Apollo, the god of archery, fired the arrow that killed Achilles. In Greek mythology, Apollo was a powerful deity who was known for his archery skills. According to legend, Apollo was angry with Achilles for desecrating the temple of Apollo’s son, and so he fired an arrow that hit Achilles in the heel. Some versions of the story say that Apollo used Paris as a tool to exact his revenge.
Some theories suggest that the Trojans, as a whole, were responsible for Achilles’ death. According to this version of events, the Trojans were tired of the war and wanted to bring it to a swift end. They believed that if they killed Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Greeks, the rest of the Greek army would be demoralized and would retreat. So, they conspired to kill Achilles, and one of their soldiers fired the fatal arrow that hit Achilles in the heel.
The Curse of Achilles
Achilles was not only known for his incredible strength and fighting abilities, but also for his vulnerable heel. However, according to Greek mythology, his vulnerability was not limited to his heel. Achilles was also cursed by his mother, Thetis, who was a sea nymph. She had dipped him in the River Styx to make him invincible, but in doing so, she held him by his heel, which left that part of his body vulnerable. In addition to this, Thetis had also cursed Achilles, prophesying that he would die young in battle. These curses proved to be true, as Achilles died young, and it was his heel that was ultimately his downfall.
The Legend of the Trojan Horse
The Trojan War was full of legends and myths, and one of the most well-known is the story of the Trojan Horse. According to the legend, the Greeks built a giant wooden horse and left it outside the gates of Troy as a gift. The Trojans, believing it to be a peace offering, brought the horse inside the city walls. However, the horse was filled with Greek soldiers, who emerged and attacked the unsuspecting Trojans, ultimately leading to the fall of Troy.
Some versions of the story suggest that it was Achilles who came up with the idea of the Trojan Horse. He is said to have devised the plan as a way to end the war quickly and decisively. However, there is no concrete evidence to support this theory, and it remains a legend to this day.
The Legacy of Achilles
Achilles may have died young, but his legacy lives on. He is still revered as one of the greatest warriors in history, and his story has inspired countless works of art, literature, and film. His character has been explored in various ways, including as a tragic hero, a symbol of masculinity and strength, and even as a representation of toxic masculinity.
In addition to inspiring works of art, Achilles has also had a lasting impact on our language. The term “Achilles’ heel” is now used to refer to a person’s vulnerability, while the phrase “Achilles tendon” refers to the tendon that runs down the back of the leg, connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone.
In conclusion, the question of who killed Achilles remains a mystery. While there are various theories and legends, we may never know the truth for sure. However, what we do know is that Achilles was an extraordinary figure who left a lasting impact on the world. From his incredible strength and fighting abilities to his vulnerable heel and tragic fate, Achilles has captured our imaginations for centuries. His story reminds us of the power of myth and legend and the enduring legacy of ancient Greece.