, in Greek mythology, foremost Greek hero of the Trojan War, son of Peleus and Thetis. He was a formidable warrior, possessing fierce and uncontrollable anger. Thetis, knowing that Achilles was fated to die at Troy, disguised him as a girl and hid him among the women at the court of King Lycomedes of Skyros. He was discovered there by Odysseus, who persuaded him to go to Troy. One of Lycomedes' daughters, Deidamia, bore Achilles a son, Neoptolemus. According to Homer, Achilles came to Troy leading the 50 ships of the Myrmidons. In the last year of the siege, when Agamemnon stole the captive princess Briseis from him, Achilles angrily withdrew and took his troops from the war. Later he allowed his friend and lover Patroclus to borrow his armor and lead the Myrmidons to aid the retreating Greeks. When Hector killed Patroclus, Achilles was filled with grief and rage and returned to the battle, routed the Trojans, and killed Hector, viciously dragging his body back to the Greek camp. Achilles died of a wound inflicted by Paris. According to one legend, Thetis attempted to make Achilles immortal by bathing him in the river Styx, but the heel by which she held him remained vulnerable, and Paris inflicted a fatal wound in that heel. Other legends state that Achilles was struck from behind and killed by Paris when he went to visit Priam's daughter Polyxena, with whom he had fallen in love. Achilles, the object of widespread hero worship, is the main character of Homer
's epic The Iliad.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
Achilles ((588) Achilles) The first member of the Trojan group of asteroids to be discovered, by Maximilian Wolf, in 1906. It lies east of Jupiter and precedes the latter in its orbit of the Sun by 60°. See Table 3, backmatter.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
Achilles (religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Achilles, asteroid 588 (the 588th asteroid to be discovered, on February 22, 1906), is approximately 116 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 11.8 years. It was named after the famous Greek hero of the Trojan War and was the first of the so-called Trojan asteroids (asteroids that travel along the same orbital path as Jupiter) to be discovered. Achilles’ location by sign and house in a natal chart shows an area of exceptional strength, but at the same time the site of an Achilles’ heel.
Kowal, Charles T. Asteroids: Their Nature and Utilization. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Ellis Horwood Limited, 1988.
Room, Adrian. Dictionary of Astronomical Names. London: Routledge, 1988.
Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.
The Astrology Book, Second Edition © 2003 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
An asteroid; member of the group known as the Trojan planets.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
foremost Greek hero of Trojan War; brave and formidable warrior. [Gk. Hist.: NCE, 12]
disguised as a woman to avoid conscription. [Gk. Legend: Brewer Handbook, 642 (Lycomedes)]
Greek hero without whom Troy could not have been taken. [Gk. Lit.: Iliad]
avenges Patroclus’s death by brutally killing Hector. [Gk. Lit.: Iliad]
warrior vulnerable only in his heel. [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 4]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.