Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well-armed lamb. — Benjamin Franklin

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Death of Hector and Achilles

The next day, having secured his armor and weapons, Achilles again went out to fight. His purpose was to meet Hector, and, by killing him, to avenge his dead friend, Patroclus. He therefore rushed up and down the battlefield; and when at last he came face to face with his foe, they closed in deadly fight. The two young men, each the champion warrior of his army, were now fighting with the courage of despair; for, while Achilles was thirsting to avenge his friend, Hector knew that the fate of Troy depended mostly upon his arm. The struggle was terrible. It was watched with breathless interest by the armies on both sides, and by aged Priam and the Trojan women from the walls of Troy. In spite of Hector's courage, in spite of all his skill, he was doomed to die, and soon he fell under the blows of Achilles.

Then, in sight of both armies and of Hector's weeping family, Achilles took off his enemy's armor, bound the dead body by his feet to his chariot, and dragged it three times around the city walls before he went back to camp to mourn over the remains of Patroclus.

That night, guided by one of the gods, old King Priam came secretly into the Greek camp, and, stealing into Achilles' tent, fell at his feet. He had come to beg Achilles to give back the body of Hector, that he might weep over it, and bury it with all the usual ceremonies and honors.

Touched by the old man's tears, and ready now to listen to his better feelings, Achilles kindly raised the old king, comforted him with gentle words, and not only gave back the body, but also promised that there should be a truce of a few days, so that both armies could bury their dead in peace.

The funerals were held, the bodies burned, the usual games celebrated; and when the truce was over, the long war was begun again. After several other great fights, Achilles died from a wound in his heel caused by a poisoned arrow that was treacherously shot by Paris.

The sorrowing Greeks then buried the young hero on the wide plain between Troy and the sea. This spot has been visited by many people who admired the brave young hero of the Iliad.

[Illustration] from The Story of the Greeks by Helene Guerber

Contents

Front Matter
Review

Early Inhabitants of Greece
The Deluge of Ogyges
Founding of Important Cities
Story of Deucalion
Daedalus and Icarus
The Adventures of Jason
Theseus Visits the Labyrinth
The Terrible Prophecy
The Sphinx's Riddle
Death of Oedipus
The Brothers' Quarrel
The Taking of Thebes
The Childhood of Paris
Muster of the Troops
Sacrifice of Iphigenia
The Wrath of Achilles
Death of Hector and Achilles
The Burning of Troy
Heroic Death of Codrus
The Blind Poet
The Rise of Sparta
The Spartan Training
The Brave Spartan Boy
Public Tables in Sparta
Laws of Lycurgus
The Messenian War
The Music of Tyrtaeus
Aristomenes' Escape
The Olympic Games
Milo of Croton
The Jealous Athlete
The Girls' Games
The Bloody Laws of Draco
The Laws of Solon
The First Plays
The Tyrant Pisistratus
The Tyrant's Insult
Death of the Conspirators
Hippias Driven out of Athens
The Great King
Hippias Visits Darius
Destruction of the Persian Host
Advance of the Second Host
The Battle of Marathon
Miltiades' Disgrace
Aristides the Just
Two Noble Spartan Youths
The Great Army
Preparations for Defense
Leonidas at Thermopylae
Death of Leonidas
The Burning of Athens
Battles of Salamis and Plataea
The Rebuilding of Athens
Death of Pausanias
Cimon Improves Athens
The Earthquake
The Age of Pericles
Teachings of Anaxagoras
Peloponnesian War Begins
Death of Pericles
The Philosopher Socrates
Socrates' Favorite Pupil
Youth of Alcibiades
Greek Colonies in Italy
Alcibiades in Disgrace
Death of Alcibiades
Overthrow of Thirty Tyrants
Accusation of Socrates
Death of Socrates
The Defeat of Cyrus
Retreat of the Ten Thousand
Agesilaus in Asia
A Strange Interview
The Peace of Antalcidas
The Theban Friends
Thebes Free Once More
The Battle of Leuctra
Death of Pelopidas
The Battle of Mantinea
The Tyrant of Syracuse
Damon and Pythias
The Sword of Damocles
Dion and Dionysius
Civil War in Syracuse
Death of Dion
Philip of Macedon
Philip Begins His Conquests
The Orator Demosthenes
Philip Masters Greece
Birth of Alexander
The Steed Bucephalus
Alexander as King
Alexander and Diogenes
Alexander's Beginning
The Gordian Knot
Alexander's Royal Captives
Alexander at Jerusalem
The African Desert
Death of Darius
Defeat of Porus
Return to Babylon
Death of Alexander
Division of the Realm
Death of Demosthenes
Last of the Athenians
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Battle of Ipsus
Demetrius and the Athenians
The Achaean League
Division in Sparta
Death of Agis
War of the Two Leagues
The Last of the Greeks
Greece a Roman Province