Achilles' duel with Hector

Long pursued Achilles god Apollo. Finally, the god of arrows stopped and revealed to Achilles who he was chasing. Anger seized Achilles. With what joy he would have taken revenge on Apollo, if he could! Son abandoned the pursuit Peleus and again rushed to the walls of Troy. Achilles was rushing across the field to the walls of Troy, like a sparkling star, the star that burns brightly in the autumn sky. People call her Sirius, she promises misfortunes to mortals. The elder saw Priam Achilles approaching the walls of Troy and in fear began to beg Hector:

- Oh, my beloved son! Enter the city soon! Do not fight with the son of Peleus, he is more powerful than you! Enter Troy! After all, you have all the hope for the salvation of all Trojans and Trojans. Think of how many sons Achilles has killed for me. At least have pity on me, an unhappy old man. Zeus sent me terrible troubles at the end of my life. I must see the death of my sons, see how my daughters will be taken into captivity, how innocent babies will be killed. I myself will be killed on the threshold of my house, and those dogs that I have nursed myself will lick my blood. Have pity on me, Hector!

Achilles' duel with Hector
The duel of Achilles with Hector.
(Drawing on a vase.)

Begged Hector to take refuge in Troy and his mother, the elderly Hecaba. She reminded her son how she fed him as a child, how she caressed him. Will Hector be killed in front of her eyes and neither she nor will mourn himAndromache, and his corpse will be torn apart by dogs at the ships of the Myrmidonians?

But Hector was determined to wait for Achilles; leaning his shield on the ledge of the tower, he waited for his doctor. Hector couldn't avoid a fight with Achilles. Priam's son was afraid that the Trojans would accuse him of having destroyed Troy, relying on his strength. After all, I advised him Polydamante to take refuge with the army in Troy, before Achilles enters the battle. Now one thing remains for Hector - to engage in battle with Achilles and either win or die. Hector also had such an idea: to go to meet Achilles without a weapon and promise him to return the beautiful Elena and all the treasures stolen from Menelaus , and with them to give half of all the riches of the great Troy. Hector immediately rejected this idea. He knew that Achilles would not enter into an agreement with him, that he would kill him unarmed, like a powerless woman.

Achilles was getting closer and closer. Fear seized Hector, and he set off to run from the formidable son Pelea around Troy. Behind him, like a hawk chasing a weak dove, stormy Achilles was rushing. The heroes ran around Troy three times.

The heroes were rushing in a stormy run. Several times Hector wanted to hide against the wall to give the Trojans the opportunity to repel the son of Peleus with arrows, but Achilles would not let him near the wall. The great Achilles would have overtaken Priam's son long ago if the god Apollo had not breathed strength into Hector. When the heroes ran past the keys of Scamander for the fourth time, the god-thunderer threw two lots of death on the golden scales, one for Achilles, the other for Hector. Hector's lot has fallen to the kingdom of the gloomy Hades. The god Apollo left Hector, and the goddess Athena-Pallas approached Achilles. She ordered the hero to stop and promised him victory over Hector. The goddess herself, taking the form of Hector's brother, Deiphobus, appeared to Hector. She persuaded him to fight Peleus' son, promising to help. Hector stopped. The heroes came together. Hector was the first to exclaim:

- I will no longer, son of Peleus, seek salvation in flight! Let's fight and see if you kill me or if I win. But let's call the gods to witness before the battle! I promise not to dishonor your body if the thunderer gives me victory. Fulfill this contract, too.

But Achilles answered him menacingly:

- No! Don't offer me contracts, hateful enemy! Just as a contract between a lion and people or between wolves and sheep is impossible, so it is impossible between us. No! Pull yourself together with all your strength, remember all your art in the military business. There is no salvation for you! You will pay me for the blood you shed of my friend Patroclus and my other friends who were killed by you.

With a mighty hand, Achilles threw his spear at Hector. Hector crouched to the ground and thus avoided a deadly blow. Pallas Athena quickly grabbed Achilles' spear and handed it to the hero again. Hector struck the middle of Achilles' shield with his spear. But, like a light cane, the spear bounced off the shield forged by the god Hephaestus. Hector didn't have another spear. He lowered his eyes and loudly began to call for help Deifob. But he was no longer there. Hector realized that Pallas Athena had deceived him, realized that he was destined to die. Drawing his sword, Hector rushed at Achilles. He rushed at Hector and Achilles; with a mighty hand he struck him with a spear in the neck. Hector fell to the ground mortally wounded. He could only say a few more words to the triumphant Achilles:

- I conjure you, Achilles, with your life and your relatives, do not give my body to the Myrmidon dogs, return my body to my father and mother, they will give an uncountable ransom for it.

- No! In vain, you despicable dog, you beg me! "I would tear your body apart myself if I submitted to the anger burning in me." No one will drive the dogs away from your body, even if they offered me the most magnificent, rich gifts for it, even if they gave me as much gold as you weigh yourself. Priam and Hecaba will never pay for your corpse!

- Oh, I knew you wouldn't be moved by my plea. There is an iron heart in your chest. But fear the wrath of the gods! It will befall you too! Paris will strike you with an arrow with the help of the god Apollo at the Scaean Gate.

Hector died with these words. His soul flew away, complaining about the bitter fate, to the realm of the gloomy Hades.

Achilles, triumphant, called all the Greeks together. They marveled at the mighty height and beauty of Hector sprawled on the ground. Each of those approaching pierced Hector's corpse with a spear. It was easy to hit him now; it was not so at the time when Hector set fire to the ships of the Greeks.

A terrible thing was planned by the triumphant Achilles. Having punctured the tendons on Hector's legs, he made a strong belt through the tendons and tied the corpse by the legs to the chariot. He jumped on it, holding high the armor taken from Hector, and drove the horses across the field. Hector's body dragged along the ground behind the chariot. Dust rose on the field. Hector's beautiful head has turned black from dust, it is beating on the ground.

Hecaba saw from the walls of Troy how Achilles disgraces the corpse of her son. She tears her gray hair in grief and beats her chest, tearing off the veil. Priam sobs bitterly. He asks to be let into the field, he wants to beg the victor Achilles to take pity on him, an old man, to remember Father Peleus, an old man like him. I heard the sorrowful cries of the Trojans and Andromache. In fear, she dropped the shuttle from her hands. Andromache ran to the walls and from them saw her husband's body dragging in the dust behind Achilles' chariot. The unfortunate wife of Hector fell senseless into the hands of the Trojans. The precious veil fell from her, a gift Aphrodite, her hair fell apart. When she came to herself, she sobbed loudly. Now she has no one left in the world. Orphaned and her beautiful son Astyanax. He will grow up an unhappy orphan, no one will protect him from resentment. Unspeakable grief tore the heart of Andromache. All the Trojans sobbed loudly around her. The great defender of Troy was killed.