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[8]

When Achilles was nine years old, Calchas declared that Troy could not be taken without him; so Thetis, foreseeing that it was fated he should perish if he went to the war, disguised him in female garb and entrusted him as a maiden to Lycomedes.1 Bred at his court, Achilles had an intrigue with Deidamia, daughter of Lycomedes, and a son Pyrrhus was born to him, who was afterwards called Neoptolemus. But the secret of Achilles was betrayed, and Ulysses, seeking him at the court of Lycomedes, discovered him by the blast of a trumpet.2 And in that way Achilles went to Troy.

He was accompanied by Phoenix, son of Amyntor. This Phoenix had been blinded by his father on the strength of a false accusation of seduction preferred against him by his father's concubine Phthia. But Peleus brought him to Chiron, who restored his sight, and thereupon Peleus made him king of the Dolopians.3

Achilles was also accompanied by Patroclus, son of Menoetius4 and Sthenele, daughter of Acastus; or the mother of Patroclus was Periopis, daughter of Pheres, or, as Philocrates says, she was Polymele, daughter of Peleus. At Opus, in a quarrel over a game of dice, Patroclus killed the boy Clitonymus, son of Amphidamas, and flying with his father he dwelt at the house of Peleus5 and became a minion of Achilles. ...


1 As to Achilles disguised as a girl at the court of Lycomedes in Scyros, see Bion ii.5ff.; Philostratus Junior, Im. 1; Scholiast on Hom. Il. ix.668; Hyginus, Fab. 96; Statius, Achill. i.207ff. The subject was painted by Polygnotus in a chamber at the entrance to the acropolis of AthensPaus. 1.22.6). Euripides wrote a play called The Scyrians on the same theme. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 574ff. Sophocles composed a tragedy under the same title, which has sometimes been thought to have dealt with the same subject, but more probably it was concerned with Neoptolemus in Scyros and the mission of Ulysses and Phoenix to carry him off to Troy. See The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii. pp. 191ff. The youthful Dionysus, like the youthful Achilles, is said to have been brought up as a maiden. See above, Apollod. 3.4.3, with the note. One of the questions which the emperor Tiberius used solemnly to propound to the antiquaries of his court was: What was the name of Achilles when he lived as a girl among girls? See Suetonius Tiberius, 70. The question was solemnly answered by learned men in various ways: some said that the stripling's female name was Cercysera, others that it was Issa, and others that it was Pyrrha. See Ptolemy Hephaest., Nov. Hist. i. in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, p. 183.

2 The usual story was that the crafty Ulysses spread out baskets and women's gear, mingled with arms, before the disguised Achilles and his girlish companions in Scyros; and that while the real girls pounced eagerly on the feminine gauds, Achilles betrayed his sex by snatching at the arms. See Philostratus Junior, Im. i; Scholiast on Hom. Il. xix.326; Ov. Met. 13.162ff. Apollodorus tells us that Achilles was detected by the sound of a trumpet. This is explained by Hyginus, Fab. 96, who says that while Achilles was surveying the mingled trumpery and weapons, Ulysses caused a bugle to sound and a clash of arms to be heard, whereupon Achilles, imagining that an enemy was at hand, tore off his maidenly attire and seized spear and shield. Statius gives a similar account of the detection (Statius, Achill. ii.167ff.).

3 See Hom. Il. 9.437-484, with the Scholiast on Hom. Il. 9.448. But Homer says nothing about the blinding of Phoenix by his angry father or his cure by Chiron; and according to Homer the accusation of having debauched his father's concubine was not false but true, Phoenix having been instigated to the deed by his mother, who was jealous of the concubine. But variations from the Homeric narrative were introduced into the story by the tragedians who handled the theme (Scholiast on Hom. Il. 9.437-484). Sophocles and Euripides both wrote tragedies on the subject under the same title of Phoenix; the tragedy of Euripides seems to have been famous. See TGF (Nauck 2nd ed.), pp. 286, 621ff.; The Fragments of Sophocles, ed. A. C. Pearson, vol. ii.320ff. The blinding of Phoenix by his father Amyntor is alluded to by a poet of the Greek anthology (Anth. Pal. iii.3). Both the poet and Apollodorus probably drew on Euripides, who from an allusion in Aristoph. Acharn. 421 is known to have represented Phoenix as blind. Both the blinding and the healing of Phoenix are related by Tzetzes (Scholiast on Lycophron 421), who may have followed Apollodorus. According to the Scholiast on Hom. Il. 9.437-484, the name of the concubine was Clytia; according to Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 421, it was Clytia or Phthia. Apollodorus calls her Phthia. The Scholiast on Plato (Laws, xi. p. 931 B), gives a version of the story which agrees entirely with that of Apollodorus, and may have been copied from it. The healing of Phoenix's eyes by Chiron is mentioned by Prop. ii.1.60.

4 Compare Hom. Il. 11.785ff. Homer does not mention the name of Patroclus's mother.

5 See Hom. Il. 23.84-90; compare Scholiast on Hom. Il. xii.1; Strab. 9.4.2; Ovid, Ex Ponto i.3.73ff. The name of the slain lad was variously given as Clisonymus (Scholiast, l.c.) or Aeanes (Strabo and Scholiast, ll.cc.)

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