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[4] A fight taking place for the corpse, Ajax killed Glaucus, and gave the arms to be conveyed to the ships, but the body he carried, in a shower of darts, through the midst of the enemy, while Ulysses fought his assailants.1


1 The death of Achilles was similarly related in the Aethiopis of Arctinus. See Proclus in Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, pp. 33ff. Compare Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica iii.26-387; Hyginus, Fab. 107. All these writers agree with Apollodorus in saying that the fatal wound was inflicted on the heel of Achilles. The story ran that at his birth his mother Thetis made Achilles invulnerable by dipping him in the water of Styx; but his heel, by which she held him, was not wetted by the water and so remained vulnerable. See Serv. Verg. A. 6.57; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. i.134; Lactantius Placidus, Narrat. Fabul. xii.6; Fulgentius, Mytholog. iii.7. Tradition varied as to the agent of Achilles's death. Some writers, like Arctinus and Apollodorus, say that the hero was killed by Apollo and Paris jointly. Thus in Hom. Il. 22.359ff.) the dying Hector prophesies that Achilles will be slain by Paris and Apollo at the Scaean gate; and the same prophecy is put by Homer more darkly into the mouth of the talking horse Xanthus, who, like Balaam's ass, warns his master of the danger that besets his path (Hom. Il. 19.404ff.). According to Virgil and Ovid, it was the hand of Paris that discharged the fatal arrow, but the hand of Apollo that directed it to the mark. See Verg. A. 6.56-58; Ov. Met. 12.597-609. According to Hyginus, it was Apollo in the guise of Paris who transfixed the mortal heel of Achilles with an arrow (Hyginus, Fab. 107). But in one passage (Hom. Il. 21.277ff.) homer speaks of the death of Achilles as wrought by the shafts of Apollo alone; and this version was followed by Quintus Smyrnaeus, Posthomerica iii.60ff. and apparently by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Horace. See Plat. Rep. 2.383a-b; Soph. Phil. 334ff.; Hor. Carm. 4.6.1ff. Other writers, on the contrary, speak of Paris alone as the slayer of Achilles. See Eur. And. 655; Eur. Hec. 387ff.; Plut. Quaest. Conviv. ix.13.2; Plut. Lys. 4. A very different version of the story connected the death of Achilles with a romantic passion he had conceived for Polyxena, daughter of Priam. It is said that Priam offered her hand in marriage to Achilles on condition that the siege of Troy was raised. In the negotiations which were carried on for this purpose Achilles went alone and unarmed to the temple of Thymbraean Apollo and was there treacherously assassinated, Deiphobus clasping him to his breast in a pretended embrace of friendship while Paris stabbed him with a sword. See Tzetzes, Posthomerica 385-423; Philostratus, Her. xx.16ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 110; Dictys Cretensis iv.10ff.; Serv. Verg. A. 6.57; Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. i.134; Dares Phrygius, De excidio Trojae 34; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 13, 143 (First Vatican Mythographer 36; Second Vatican Mythographer 205). Of these writers, the Second Vatican Mythographer tells us that Achilles first saw Polyxena, Hector's sister, when she stood on a tower in the act of throwing down bracelets and earrings with which to ransom Hector's body, and that when Achilles came to the temple of the Thymbraean Apollo to ratify the treaty of marriage and peace, Paris lurked behind the image of the god and shot the confiding hero with an arrow. This seems to be the account of the death which Serv. Verg. A. 6.57 and Lactantius Placidus on Statius, Achill. i.134 followed in their briefer narrative. Compare Nonnus, in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, Appendix Narrationum 62, p. 382.

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