Another hero had to be attracted by the heroes to participate in the campaign. It was the young Achilles, the son of the king Peleus and the goddesses Thetis. The soothsayer Kalkhas predicted to the Atreides that they would take great Troy only if Achilles would participate in the campaign. The rock promised immortal glory to Achilles. He was supposed to be the greatest of the heroes who would fight at Troy. Great will be the exploits of Achilles, but he will not return alive from under the wall of Troy, he will die in the prime of life, struck by an arrow.

Centaur Chiron teaches Achilles to play the lyre
Chiron the centaur teaches Achilles to play the lyre.
(Wall painting from Pompeii.)

The goddess Thetis knew what fate promised her son. She tried with all her might to prevent a terrible fate. When Achilles was still an infant, she rubbed his body with ambrosia and kept him on fire to make his son invulnerable and thus give him immortality. But one night, when Thetis put baby Achilles in the fire, Peleus woke up. He was horrified to see his son on fire. Drawing his sword, he rushed to Thetis. The goddess was frightened, ran away in fear from the palace of Peleus and disappeared into the depths of the sea in the halls of her father Nerea. Achilles was given by Peleus to be raised by his friend, the centaur Chiron. Chiron fed Achilles with the brains of bears and the liver of lions. Achilles grew up a mighty hero. Being only six years old, he killed ferocious lions and wild boars and overtook deer without dogs, so fast and easy was the run of Achilles. There was no equal to Achilles in the ability to wield weapons. Chiron also taught him to play the mellifluous kithara and sing. Thetis did not forget her son either, she often surfaced from the depths of the sea to see her son. Thetis always took care of her son everywhere.

Odysseus learns Achilles
Odysseus recognizes Achilles.
(Wall painting from Pompeii.)

When Achilles grew up and became a wonderful young man, the news spread throughout Greece that he was gathering heroes Menelaus on a campaign against Troy. Thetis, knowing what fate threatens Achilles, hid him on the island Skyros, in the palace of the king Likomed. Achilles lived there among the royal daughters, dressed in women's clothes. No one knew where Achilles was hidden. But the soothsayer Calchas revealed to Menelaus his hiding place. We immediately set off Odysseus with Diomed. Odysseus came up with the following trick. Under the guise of merchants, Diomedes and Odysseus arrived on Skyros and went to the palace of Lycomedes. They laid out their wares in front of the princesses: luxurious fabrics, gold necklaces, wrists, earrings, veils woven with gold, and between them they put a sword, helmet, shield, greaves and armor. The princesses looked with delight at the gold jewelry and rich fabrics, and Achilles, standing among them, looked only at the weapons. Suddenly, military shouts rang out at the palace, trumpets sounded and shouting thundered. It was the companions of Diomedes and Odysseus who struck their shields with their swords and issued a war cry. The princesses fled in fear, and Achilles, grabbing a sword and shield, rushed to meet the enemies. He thought that an attack had been made on the palace of Lycomedes. This is how Odysseus and Diomedes learned Achilles. With great joy Achilles agreed to participate in the campaign against Troy. His faithful friend went with him Patroclus and the wise old man Phoenix. Peleus also gave his son the armor that he once received as a gift from the gods at his wedding with the goddess Thetis, gave him a spear given to him by Chiron, and horses received from Poseidon.