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">ACHILLES Vs. HECTOR (Lion versus Man) Achilles slays Hector outside the walls of Troy, c. 1200 B.C. Achilles, son of Peleus, King of the Myrmidions, is the greatest warrior of the Greeks and central figure in the epic poem The Iliad ('of Ilium' or Troy) attributed to Homer. Hector, eldest son of Priam King of Troy, brother to Paris, commander of the army and noblest, most magnanimous of the Trojan chiefs is also central in the epic. The twenty-four books of the poem cover just a few weeks of the ancient battle in the final and tenth year of the siege of this fortified city in Ilium (the northwest tip of modern day Turkey). They end with the fatal and heroic duel between these two warriors. The Iliad begins with an angry quarrel between the commander of the Greek allies, Agamemnon King of Mycenae, and Achilles. The King had seized the opportunity to gather an army to expand his territory when his brother Menelaus appealed for help to recover his wife Helen who has run away with their Trojan guest, Paris, also son of Priam.Achilles and his Myrmidons are crucial in the campaign but Agamemnon arrogantly orders him to surrender his beautiful captive Briseis to him. Enraged, dishonored but restrained from retaliation, Achilles withdraws from the battle to his ships with his fighting men, the Myrmidons. Weakened by this the Greek invaders are slowly driven back by the Trojans led by Hector. Agamemnon appeals in vain with Achilles to return to the fight. With the ships in danger, Achilles' beloved friend Patroclus also begs for him to return. Achilles refuses to fight but instead gives Patroclus his special armor, command of the Myrmidions and clear instructions for battle. Patroclus' impact is immediate as the Myrmidions repel the Trojan advance. But despite his success and valor he is cut down by Hector after being dazed in a struggle with Euphorbus. Hector strips the vanquished warrior of Achilles' armor and a fierce struggle for the body ensues.Overwhelmed by grief and anger at the news,Achilles returns to the battleground to avengehis friend and seek out Hector. Clad in gloriousnew armor swiftly and skillfully forged by Hephaestus, the god of blacksmiths and bearing his splendid new shield, Achilles sweeps into the conflict. Killing to left and right mercilessly he drives all before him in bloody slaughter. The Trojans retreat behind the walls of Troy but Hector despite his father's pleading from the ramparts leaves their protection to meet Achilles determined to win glory in death or victory. As they meet, Hector runs from the huge Achilles ('bursting with rage, barbaric, tossing his gleaming helmet ') but finally stands: ' It is time to end this chase. He asks that whoever wins will respect and return the other's body. Achilles is scornful -' there are no binding oaths between lions and men '- hurls his spear and misses. Hector spear glances off Achilles' mighty shield. Recovering his 'terrible spear' of Pelian ash Achilles charges as Hector 'with whetted sword tempered and massive' 'swoops like an eagle' to meet him. Achilles knowing well the armor Hector wears is 'scanning the splendid body where to pierce it - one spot lay exposed where the collar bones lift the neck of the shoulders, the open throat, and there as Hector charged in fury brilliant, Achilles drives his spear'. Hector dies asking Achilles to honor his body then curses him with death at the and of Paris as Achilles taunts him...'dogs and birds will feed on you'. Determined to deny beloved Patroclus' slayer any dignity in death Achilles pierces the lifeless Hectors' ankles and lashes them to his chariot. In dismay King Priam watches from the ramparts as his son's corpse is dragged through the dust to Achilles' tent and thence three times daily around Patroclus' tomb. The Iliad ends as Priam comes to beg for his son's body; the Trojans mourn and Hector's funeral is vividly described. Achilles remains undefeated on the battlefield and the fate of Troy is just a matter of time. Historical footnote: In this scene armor is based on the style of the Dendra Bronze Age armor of southern Greece. Text by: The Reverend Laurence Churms M. A., posters prints artwork paintings mark churms, timothy mark churms, ACHILLES VERSUS HECTOR.Ancient History Masterpiece Giclee Canvas Reproductions and Fine Art Prints (on quality paper stock) by artist Mark Churms are available for purchase from this website at MarkChurms.com.