Funeral of Patroclus

The Greeks returned to their ships. Achilles did not order his Myrmidonians to disperse to their tents. He ordered them to circle around the body three times Patroclus on a chariot. The brave Myrmidonians rode with loud crying. Achilles also cried loudly. He put his hands on the chest of the murdered friend, exclaiming:

- Rejoice, brave Patroclus! I did what I promised you! I have brought here to your deathbed the corpse of Hector and will give him to the dogs to be torn to pieces. I will kill twelve Trojan youths at the funeral pyre, avenging your death.

Achilles threw the corpse of Hector at the bed on which the murdered Patroclus lay, without covering it with anything. A rich feast was arranged by the son of Peleus for his Myrmidonians. He himself was persuaded by the leaders of the Greeks to go to Agamemnon. There they asked him for a long time, having washed, to take part in the feast. Achilles refused. He only asked Agamemnon to order the Greeks to erect a funeral pyre.

Funeral of Patroclus
The funeral of Patroclus. In the middle - to the left of the funeral pyre, Achilles kills Trojan prisoners, to the right - Agamemnon makes a libation in honor of the deceased. Below to the right is Achilles on the chariot to which Hector's body is tied. (Drawing on a vase.)

The Greek heroes made a feast, and after the feast everyone went to their tents and went to bed; only Achilles remained awake. Groaning heavily, he lay on the shore of the ever-noisy sea. Finally, he fell into a deep sleep. In a dream, the shadow of Patroclus appeared to him and begged him to perform funeral rites over the body as soon as possible, so that his soul could calm down in the kingdom of Hades. Patroclus commanded to bury his bones in the grave in which Achilles would be buried. In one urn, given by the goddess Thetis, the ashes of Achilles and Patroclus were to be laid. In a dream Achilles stretched out his hands to the shadow of Patroclus, but with a sad groan the shadow disappeared. Achilles woke up and again loudly began to mourn his friend. All the Myrmidonians wept with him. They were found crying by the goddess Eos-the dawn, the harbinger of the sunrise of the god Helios-the Sun.

Early in the morning Agamemnon sent the Greeks to the slope of the high Ida to get wood for the funeral pyre. The Greeks fulfilled the order of the king and erected a high bonfire on the seashore. In a solemn procession, the Myrmidonians carried out the corpse of Patroclus, covering it with their cut-off hair, and laid it on the bonfire. Achilles also cut off his hair, which was dedicated to the river god Sperhei , if the hero were destined to return to his homeland; now he put them in the hands of Patroclus. Then, at the request of Achilles, Agamemnon released all the soldiers to the ships, while only the leaders of the Greeks remained at the campfire. Many sheep and oxen were slaughtered in honor of Patroclus, and their fat was covered all over his body; vessels with honey and oil were also placed around the bed with the body. They killed four horses and two dogs. The corpses of twelve Trojan youths, whom Achilles killed with his own hands, were also put on the bonfire. Hector's corpse was lying by the fire. He was guarded by the goddess Aphrodite anointed him with fragrant oil, and god Apollo spread a cloud over him so that the scorching rays of the sun would not dry up Hector's corpse.

When everything was ready for the funeral, Achilles lit a bonfire, but it did not light up. Achilles prayed to the wind gods Boreas and Zephyr: he begged them to fan the flame. The messenger of the gods rushed quickly Iris went to the halls of Zephyr, where all the wind gods were feasting, and called them to help her son Pelea. With a terrible noise, Boreas and Zephyr rushed over the sea, swirling clouds. High waves came under their breath on the sea. They quickly flew to Troy and fanned the fire. The flames on the bonfire rose high all night. Achilles, scooping wine with a two-bottomed goblet, made a libation, invoking the soul of Patroclus.

By morning, the huge bonfire burned down and began to go out. Exhausted, Achilles lay down on the ground by the dying fire and fell into an irresistible sleep. He was awakened by the voices of the Greek leaders. At the request of Achilles, the leaders extinguished the embers of the fire with wine, collected the bones of Patroclus and put them in a golden urn. Then a log house was built, an urn was placed in it, and a high burial mound was poured over the log house.

After the funeral, Achilles arranged magnificent funeral games in honor of the deceased. They started with a chariot race, in which the hero participated Eumel, son of Admeta, hero Diomed, king Menelaus, son of Nestor Antilochus and hero Merion. Diomed was the first to drive his horses to the goal; the goddess Athena helped him. Nestor's son Antilochus was a little behind him. Behind him was Menelaus, the son of Nestor snatched the second award from him by cunning. The last one was Merion. The hero Eumel, the most famous charioteer, suffered a misfortune. The goddess Athena, not wanting his victory, broke the drawbar of his chariot. Eumel fell to the ground and crashed heavily. Achilles distributed rich gifts to all participants of the chariot race. He also gave a gift to the elder Nestor: he could no longer take part in the competitions of heroes: old age made his members weak, and once he won victories over mighty heroes in games. Then the mighty hero competed in a fist fight Epei and hero Euryale. Epeus won by knocking Euryalus to the ground with a blow of his fist. Ajax Telamonides and the king Odysseus competed in wrestling. They fought for a long time. Neither of them could overcome. They got an equivalent reward. In the fast running, Ajax, the son of Oileus, Odysseus and the son of Nestor Antilochus competed. Ajax ran ahead like a light wind, followed by Odysseus. Odysseus prayed to Athena and asked her to give him victory. Athena heard the hero. Ajax slipped and fell. Odysseus was the first to reach the goal and received the first award. In the battle, Diomedes and Ajax Telamonides competed in arms. The heroes collided, but the Greeks were afraid that they would not kill each other to death. The heroes stopped fighting, and both received an equal reward. The hero won in the heavy discus throw Polypet. To compete in archery, a dove was tied to a high pole; the shooter had to pierce it with an arrow. The hero came out tevkr. Having strained the bow, Teucer shot an arrow, but it cut only the thin string with which the dove was tied. A dove soared to the sky, but the hero Merion pierced her with his arrow. He got an award for archery. The reward for throwing a spear was given to King Agamemnon; no one could surpass his ability to throw a spear.

The games are over. The heroes dispersed, and soon the whole camp fell into a deep sleep. Only Achilles was awake. He, inconsolable, mourned his friend. Getting up from his bed, he wandered along the seashore for a long time. Finally, when the dawn broke in the sky, he harnessed the horses to a chariot and, tying Hector's corpse to it, drove around the burial mound three times, dragging the corpse of the unfortunate son of Priam on the ground. Then he threw the corpse again, and he went into the tent.