achilles heel story

A more likely anatomical basis for Achilles' death, assuming an unpoisoned dart, would have been an injury to his posterior tibial artery behind the medial malleolus, in between the tendons of the flexor digitorum longus and the posterior tibial vein.

The Bibliotheke makes no mention of Paris shooting Achilles anywhere other than the ankle, so it can be presumed that, in the Bibliotheke‘s version, the shot to the ankle is what kills him. She wanted to find out if her son was mortal.

Thus, Statius’s version eventually became the best-known version in western Europe. Later non-Homeric tales suggest that Patroclus was Achilles’ kinsman or lover. In the 10th year a quarrel with Agamemnon occurred when Achilles insisted that Agamemnon restore Chryseis, his prize of war, to her father, a priest of Apollo, so as to appease the wrath of Apollo, who had decimated the camp with a pestilence. One element with lots of variety is what Thetis had in mind when she dipped her son in whatever she dipped him in.

An Attic red-figure vase painting from the fifth century BC shows an archer on the left shooting an arrow, which is guided by Apollon, at the lower leg of a warrior standing on right. from 1810 (Oxford English Dictionary).[12]. For the anatomical part, see, Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Achilles heel | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary", "Achilles heel | Definition of Achilles heel by Lexico",,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles that may contain original research from June 2019, All articles that may contain original research, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 16 September 2020, at 11:05. Corrections? When she tried to dunk Achilles into the cauldron of boiling water, though, her husband Peleus, Achilles’s father, heroically intervened to stop her, thereby saving Achilles’s life.

And that after many had perished Peleus was annoyed, and prevented her from throwing Akhilleus into the cauldron.”.

We can imagine, based on the Chalkidian amphora, that, in earlier versions of the story, Achilles is first shot in the ankle and then in the flank.

She wanted to make her son immortal.

In his widely used text Corporis Humani Anatomia he described the tendon's location and said that it was commonly called "the cord of Achilles. If we look at other ancient sources written after the Iliad, we can actually trace the development of the story about Thetis dipping Achilles in the river Styx.

Why Is Hollywood So Fixated on Cleopatra Anyway? There are a handful of early Greek artworks that some scholars have interpreted as evidence that the story of Paris shooting Achilles in the heel may have existed as early as the sixth century BC, but these are highly ambiguous. There is no mention anywhere in the Iliad of Achilles being invulnerable everywhere except for his heel. There’s nothing here that even remotely suggests Paris is going to kill Achilles by shooting him specifically in the heel, though. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. An Achilles' heel or Achilles heel[1][2] is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can lead to downfall. The story about Thetis dipping the infant Achilles in the river Styx to make him immortal is first attested in the Achilleid, an incomplete epic poem about Achilles written in Latin by the Roman poet Publius Papinius Statius (lived c. 45 – c. 96 AD). Did Cleopatra Really Dissolve a Pearl in Vinegar? I am Spencer Alexander McDaniel. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Achilles refused further service, and consequently the Greeks floundered so badly that at last Achilles allowed Patroclus to impersonate him, lending him his chariot and armour.

An Etruscan black-figure amphora dated to the late sixth century BC shows Paris about to shoot a warrior, who is thought to be Achilles, from behind, while he is fighting with another warrior. The description of Achilles’s death in Book Three of the Posthomerika reads as follows, as translated by Arthur S. Way: “From mortal sight he vanished into a cloud,and cloaked with mist a baleful shaft he shotwhich leapt to Achilles’s ankle: sudden pangswith mortal sickness made his whole heart faint.He reeled, and like a tower he fell, that fallssmit by a whirlwind when an earthquake cleavesa chasm for rushing blasts from underground;so fell the goodly form of Aeacus’s son.”. This article was most recently revised and updated by,, Achilles - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up).

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