Achilles was the greatest and the central character of Homer's Iliad. He was the son of Peleus, king of the Myrmidons in Phthia (southeast Thessaly), and the sea nymph Thetis. Zeus and Poseidon had forced her for her hand until Prometheus the fire bringer revealed she would bear a son greater than his father, whence they wisely chose to give her to someone else. According to legend, Thetis had tried to make Achilles invincible by dipping him in the river Styx, but forgot to wet the heel she held him by, leaving him vulnerable so he could be killed by a blow to that heel.
Achilles is one of the only two people described as "god-like" in the Iliad. In the Trojan War Achilles has killed many of the Trojans. He also defeated Memnon of Ethiopia, Cycnus of Colonae and the Amazonian warrior Penthesilia (with whom Achilles also had an affair in some versions). But as predicted by Hector with his dying breath, Achilles was thereafter killed by Paris — either by an arrow to the heel, or in an older version by a knife to the back while visiting Polyxena, a Trojan princess.
Alexander the Great claimed descent from Achilles and so did other royal houses in antiquity. He is the ultimate immortal warrior. More then 3,000 years since the Trojan War - the name Achilles is still very much alive - as this hand-sculptored and cast stoned with antique finish large plague of him shows.
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