Why the tale of Achilles and his lover still has the power to move us | Books | The Guardian
The relationship between Achilles and Patroclus is one of consistent debate. Were these two warriors friends or lovers? Brothers from other mothers or. The issue for Phaedrus was not whether Achilles and Patroclus were Miller describes with some delicacy the development of their relationship, the brush which deals with the confrontation between Achilles and Priam over Hector's corpse. There has been a lot of debate concerning the kind of relationship between both. Even in Antiquity, they tried to reach for an understanding whether they were.
Patroclus succeeds in beating back the Trojan forces, but is killed in battle by Hector. After defeating Hector, Achilles drags his corpse by the heels behind his chariot.
Achilles and Patroclus - Wikipedia
Achilles' strongest interpersonal bond is with Patroclus, whom he loves dearly. As Gregory Nagy points out, For Achilles In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers. Achilles is the most dominant, and among the warriors in the Trojan War he has the most fame. Patroclus performs duties such as cooking, feeding and grooming the horses, yet is older than Achilles.
Both characters also sleep with women; see Iliad, IX. Achilles' attachment to Patroclus is an archetypal male bond that occurs elsewhere in Greek culture: Alexander the Great and Hephaestion who made symbolic public references to Achilles and Patroclus, Damon and PythiasOrestes and PyladesHarmodius and Aristogeiton are pairs of comrades who gladly face danger and death for and beside each other.
Halperin writes, Homer, to be sure, does not portray Achilles and Patroclus as lovers although some Classical Athenians thought he implied as much Aeschylus fragmentsRadt; Plato Symposium e—b; Aeschines Against Timarchus—50but he also did little to rule out such an interpretation.
In Athens, the relationship was often viewed as being loving and pederastic,  although these roles were anachronistic for the Iliad.Achilles/Patroclus & Alexander/Hephaestion - You're Still With Me •
The Greek custom of paiderasteia between members of the same-sex, typically men, was a political, intellectual, and sometimes sexual relationship. The age difference between partners and their respective roles either active or passive was considered to be a key feature.
Phaedrus argues that Aeschylus erred in claiming Achilles was the erastes because Achilles was more beautiful and youthful than Patroclus characteristics of the eromenos as well as more noble and skilled in battle characteristics of the erastes.
Achilles and Patroclus
Further evidence of this debate is found in a speech by an Athenian politician, Aeschines, at his trial in BC. Aeschines, in placing an emphasis on the importance of paiderasteia to the Greeks, argues that though Homer does not state it explicitly, educated people should be able to read between the lines: According to William A.
- Why the tale of Achilles and his lover still has the power to move us
- Achilles and Patroclus: Brothers from Other Mothers or Passionate Paramours?
Percy IIIthere are some scholars, such as Bernard Sergentwho believe that in Homer's Ionian culture there existed a homosexuality that had not taken on the form it later would in pederasty.
Sergent asserts that ritualized man-boy relations were widely diffused through Europe from prehistoric times.
Aristarchus believed that Homer did not intend the two to be lovers. However, he did agree that the "we-two alone" passage did imply a love relation and argued it was a later interpolation. The joint tomb and Alexander's action demonstrates the perceived significance of the Achilles-Patroclus relationship at that time around BC. As a rule, the post- classical tradition shows Achilles as heterosexual and having an exemplary asexual friendship with Patroclus. Early archaeology took place in an era when homosexuality was frowned upon as sin, and the men following this lifestyle were insulted as women as this was also an age when women were still considered "weak".
It also took many long years of intensive study into ancient Greek culture, religion, literature, language, and art for scholars to understand that the ancient Greek mindset worked differently from our own and thus could not be fathomed or imagined as an accurate interpretation of these materials.
In this case, the long-misunderstood practice was pederasty, in which two men are, in fact, lovers. Pederasty is a relationship between an older man and a younger man or teen. This relationship usually lasts a good many years, but it is not necessarily considered a relationship in the modern sense of the word. Pederasty was common in Ancient Greece, and most widely recorded by Athenian writers and playwrights. This is likely because the Athenians were the first Ancient Greek city state to incorporate the practice into society in a structural fashion.
Side A of an Attic black-figure neck-amphora, ca. While these men had intercourse with one another, it was more of an educational relationship. Just as they would practice swordplay or discuss the political agenda of the current day, so would they practice and discuss the ways of sexual pleasure.