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Achilles enters the battle with the Trojans

The Greeks armed themselves. One by one, the Greek detachments from the camp came out. As the flakes of snow, driven by the wind, are rushing, so they went into battle. There were a lot of them. Helmets, spears and shields glittered in the sun. The seashore shuddered under the feet of the warriors. The son also armed himself Pelea. He put on the armor forged by Hephaestus, he hung a sword over his shoulder, took a shield shining like a moon and took out of the casket his huge spear, with which only he could fight. He also put on his helmet, which shone like a star, and left the tent. His eyes flashed with anger, but his heart was still tormented by unbearable sadness. They harnessed the horses to the chariot Achilles. His charioteer Automedont mounted the chariot and took the whip and reins in his hands. Achilles also mounted the chariot. Going into battle, he called to the horses:

- Oh, Xanthus and Balius, children of the divine Podarge! Will you take me out of the battle alive, not like Patroclus, don't leave me dead on the battlefield!

Suddenly, Xanthus, created by The hero is prophetic, and said in a human voice:

- Today, great Achilles, we will carry you out alive from the battle, but your last day is near. It's not our fault that Patroclus died. He was defeated by the archer Apollo, he granted victory to Hector. Even if we flew like Marshmallow, you are still destined to die by the hand of the god Apollo and a mortal husband.

Achilles cried angrily:

- That you prophesy death to me, Xanthus! I know myself that I am destined to die here, far from my father and mother. But I will not leave the battle until I have watered the earth with the blood of the Trojans, avenging Patroclus!

So Achilles exclaimed and drove his horses into battle. And the Greeks had already lined up in the field and were advancing on the Trojans, who occupied the hill before Troy.

At this time, the thunderer Zeus commanded the goddess Themis to call the gods to a council. All the gods gathered in the halls of Zeus, even the gods of rivers and streams gathered, nymphs and goddesses of springs gathered. The thunder god told the assembled gods that he himself would not interfere in the battle, but would watch the battle from the top of Olympus. Still, the gods can take part in the battle, on which side each of them wants. Zeus was afraid that the Trojans would not withstand the stormy onslaught of Achilles and he might, contrary to fate, seize Troy. Immediately the gods descended to earth. Goddess Hera and Athena-Pallas, gods Poseidon, Hermes and Hephaestus sided with the Greeks, and the goddess Aphrodite, Artemis and Latona, gods Ares, Apollo and the river god Xanthus sided with the Trojans.

As soon as the Olympian gods approached the troops, the goddess immediately Erida started swearing. Pallas Athena screamed menacingly as she swept through the Greek troops. In response, she heard the cry of the god of war Ares, like a terrible storm. The troops collided. The thunder of Zeus rumbled and rolled across the sky. The god Poseidon shook the whole earth. The mountains shook from the sole to the top, the great Troy and the ships of the Greeks shuddered. The ruler of the realm of the souls of the dead was horrified Hades. He jumped up from his throne, fearing that the earth would open up and reveal his kingdom of horrors that even the immortal gods tremble. A terrible battle began. Achilles only wanted to meet in battle with Hector.

The archer Apollo under the guise of Lycaon, the son of Priam appeared to Aeneas and told him that he, the son of Aphrodite, had nothing to fear from entering into battle with the son of the lower goddess Thetis, Achilles. With this, he inspired Aeneas to fight, and his son bravely performed Anchisa go ahead. The goddess Hera saw this and was afraid that Apollo would help Aeneas in battle. Poseidon advised the gods not to interfere in the battle now, but to sit on the rampart that was once filled Hercules on the seashore, and only then take part in the battle when the god Ares and the god Apollo intervene in it. The gods who helped the Greeks heeded Poseidon's advice and sat down far from the battle. The gods who helped the Trojans sat down on the stones of the Kallikolon hills.

Converged Aeneas with Achilles. Achilles met his son with mockery Anchiza: he reminded him how he had already run away from him once, and advised him to take refuge in the ranks of the soldiers as soon as possible. But Aeneas replied to Achilles that it was in vain that he frightened him, like a baby. Aeneas reminded the son of Thetis of what kind of famous heroes he comes from. Aeneas wanted to start the fight as soon as possible. With a mighty hand he hurled a spear at Achilles' shield, but it did not penetrate the shield. Achilles rejected the shield in vain, he did not think that a man's hand could not pierce the shield made by God. Achilles struck Aeneas' shield with his spear. The spear pierced the shield, but Aeneas bent down and the spear flew over him. Aeneas's eyes darkened with horror, he was so close to death. Achilles drew his sword, and Aeneas grabbed a huge stone. Aeneas would have died, but the god Poseidon did not want him to die. He quickly came to his aid. He picked up Achilles' spear and laid it at his feet. Before the eyes of Achilles, the earth-shaker poured thick darkness, and Aeneas was thrown with a mighty hand far beyond the boiling battle. There Poseidon appeared to Aeneas and forbade him to enter the front ranks of the warriors as long as Achilles was alive. Poseidon dispelled the darkness in the eyes of Achilles. The son of Thetis was amazed when he saw the spear lying at his feet, but Aeneas was no longer before him. Achilles realized that the gods were protecting Aeneas; now he was sure that Aeneas would not dare to fight with him anymore.

Achilles furiously rushed into battle, he killed many heroes, looking for Hector. The god Apollo did not allow Hector to attack Achilles and told him to stay in the back ranks of the soldiers. But Achilles struck down Priam's son Polydoros with his spear. He was the youngest of the remaining sons of the king of Troy, dearly loved by his father. When Hector saw his brother's death, he forgot the instructions of Apollo and rushed to where Achilles was fighting. Achilles saw Hector, his terrible eyes lit up with joy.

- Here is the one who struck my heart with deep sadness! Achilles exclaimed. Let's no longer run from each other on the battlefield. Come closer so that I can send you to the kingdom of Hades as soon as possible.

But Hector answered Achilles:

- It is still unknown which of us will be killed. Although I am not as powerful as you, Achilles, but the gods alone know which of us is destined to fall. Know, and my spear is sharp.

Hector threw the spear. But Pallas Athena deflected the spear with her breath, and it fell at Achilles' feet. Achilles rushed at Hector, but the god Apollo came to the rescue and enveloped Hector in darkness. Three times Achilles rushed at Hector, but each time he struck only darkness with his spear. Having flown the fourth time, he shouted menacingly:

- You have escaped death again, dog! Apollo saved you from dreams! But soon I will overtake you, if only I have a patron among the gods.

In anger, Achilles rushed at the other Trojan heroes, and many of them fell from his destructive spear. Like a raging fire, he raged in the ranks of the Trojans. As the ears of corn are ground under the feet of oxen when the farmer threshes barley on the threshing floor, so bodies, shields and helmets were crushed under the feet of Achilles' horses. The frenzied Achilles was all aflame with thirst for military glory; he poured blood on his hands. The Trojans fled. But on the banks of the Scamander, Achilles overtook them. Crashing into their ranks, he divided the fleeing. Some of them rushed to Troy, but Hera blocked their way with thick darkness. The other part rushed to the river. Many Trojans sought salvation in Scamander. Waves came down the river from warriors rushing into it. Some wanted to escape by swimming, others tried to hide under the steep banks. Achilles, sword in hand, rushed into the waters of Scamander and began to chop down the fleeing Trojans. He captured twelve Trojan youths, tied their hands with belts and ordered his Myrmidonians to take them to the camp, and he again rushed to beat the Trojans.

On the shore of Scamander, he also overtook Priam's young son Lycaon, the same one whom he had once captured in the vineyards and sold into slavery on Lemnos. The unfortunate Lycaon embraced Achilles' legs and begged for mercy, promising a huge ransom. But Achilles, burning with revenge for his friend Patroclus, did not spare Lycaon. After all, the more famous warrior Patroclus died, Achilles himself will die, slain by the enemy, why should Achilles spare Lycaon? The son of Peleus pierced Lycaon's neck with a sharp sword, and he fell dead. Thetis' son grabbed his corpse by the leg and threw it into the Scamander so that the fish would get enough of it.

Achilles became even more furious. He threatened the Trojans that Scamander would not save them from his wrath, no matter what sacrifices they made to him; he would kill them all, avenging Patroclus and the fallen Greeks. The god of the Scamander River, Xanthus, was angry at the proud speeches of Achilles. Meanwhile, Asteropaeus, the son of the river god Axius, decided to act against Achilles. Asteropei threw two spears at Achilles at once. With one of the spears, he easily wounded the hero in the right arm at the elbow. Achilles also threw his huge spear at Asteropei. A spear flashed past and plunged deep into the shore. Asteropeus tried to pull out Achilles' spear, but he couldn't, he wouldn't even have the strength to lift Achilles' spear. The mighty son of Peleus flew at him with a drawn sword and struck him to death. Achilles also threw the corpse of Asteropeus into the waters of Scamander. Many heroes were also struck down by Achilles. The god of the Scamander River, Xanthus, exclaimed loudly from the depths:

- Achilles! Drive the Trojans out of my waters, kill them in the field, not in my waters! The corpses of the Trojans blocked my way to the sea. Refrain from killing Trojans in my channel!

- Xanthus! Not before I stop killing Trojans," Achilles replied to God, "before I drive them into Troy and fight Hector!

Xanthus then called loudly to the god Apollo:

- Oh, far-seeing god! You are not doing what Zeus the Thunderer commanded you! Did he not command you to protect the Trojans until the night covers the hills and fields with darkness?

The waters of the Scamander raged and with a menacing roar began to bring the corpses of the dead to the shore, while the living were sheltered by the god of the river in a cave. The waves began to roar around Achilles, who had thrown himself into the river. He could no longer stand on his feet. Achilles grabbed a tall sycamore tree with his hand, which stood on the river bank, but the sycamore fell, washed away by Scamander, and lay across the river, like a bridge. Achilles jumped out of the waves of the river and ran across the field. Behind him rolled the formidable rampart of the Scamander River, threatening to sink him. Achilles tried several times to fight with this rampart, but how could he, a mortal, fight with the immortal god of the river! The waves flooded him, they violently lashed around his shoulders, tearing the ground from under his feet. Finally, Achilles exclaimed, turning his gaze to the sky:

- Zeus the Thunderer! Am I, who was destined to die by fate at Troy only from the arrows of Apollo, going to die an inglorious death, like a young swineherd drowned in a stormy mountain stream, trying to ford it? Oh, it would have been better if Hector, the most glorious of the sons of the great Troy, had killed me!

As soon as the son of Peleus uttered this, Poseidon and Pallas Athena appeared before him. The gods encouraged Achilles and commanded him to fight bravely until he drove the Trojans into the city and defeated Hector. He will return to the camp with glory after the victory. Pallas Athena breathed an irresistible force into Achilles' chest. Scamander could not fight him and called upon the god of the stream, Simois, his brother, to help him. Even higher rose the mud-covered water shaft, erected against Achilles by Scamander. Like a wall, he began to surround Achilles. The goddess Hera was afraid that Peleus' son would die. To help Achilles in the battle against Simois, she sent her son, the god Hephaestus. The stormy flame of the god Hephaestus broke out on the field. The corpses of the Trojans killed by Achilles caught fire. The field quickly dried up, flooded with waves of Simois. He also lit the Hephaestus River. Sycamores, beeches and willows blazed along the banks, wet green reeds and lotuses caught fire. Fish in the water rushed in all directions and tried to hide in the depths of the river from the devouring flames. Simois flared up, he loudly called out to the god Hephaestus:

- Oh, Hephaestus! None of the gods can fight you! I will never dare to fight with you! Put out the fire, I will never help the Trojans again! Let their son Peleus ruin them!

The water was getting hotter from the fire, it was bubbling from the terrible heat. The current of the river stopped, the heat exhausted Scamander. The god Xanthus began to pray to the goddess Hera to tame her son. By the great oath of the gods, Xanthos swore never to help the Trojans again, even when Troy, set on fire by the Greeks, broke out. Hera stopped the god Hephaestus, and he extinguished the fire.

Goddess Athena enters the battle
Goddess Athena enters the battle.
(A copy made in the II century BC in Rome from a Greek statue of the V century BC)

A strong feud also broke out between the gods. They rushed into battle. The earth groaned under their feet. Zeus laughed when he saw how the gods began to fight with each other. The god of war Ares attacked the goddess Pallas Athena, wanting to take revenge on her for having recently helped the hero Diomedes to injure him. With his spear, Ares struck the goddess in the aegis, but could not penetrate her. Athena grabbed a huge stone and hit Ares in the neck with it and threw him to the ground. Armor rattled on Ares, and dust covered his hair. The goddess of love Aphrodite came to the aid of Ares and tried to take him away from the battlefield. But Athena struck her in the chest with her spear, and Aphrodite fell to the ground. The god of the sea Poseidon challenged Apollo to battle. But the far-seeing god did not fight with him. Apollo was afraid to raise his hand against the mighty brother of Zeus, the earth-shaker Poseidon. The goddess Artemis reproached her brother Apollo for avoiding a fight with Poseidon. The goddess Hera heard this and became angry. She grabbed Artemis by the hands, snatched the bow from her and hit the young goddess with it. Artemis's arrows scattered, and she ran away all in tears, like a dove fleeing from a hawk. The goddess Latona collected arrows, picked up her daughter's bow and followed her. Artemis ascended to Olympus and complained bitterly to Zeus about how Hera had insulted her. Other gods also returned to Olympus, some proud of their victory, others filled with anger. Apollo quickly rushed to Troy: he was afraid that, contrary to fate, the Greeks would not destroy the walls of Troy.

The elder Priam saw from a high tower how Achilles was driving Trojans across the field. He ordered the city gates to be opened so that the Trojans could hide in them. Apollo, having inspired great courage to the hero Agenor, prompted him to speak out against Achilles, and himself, covered with a thick cloud, stood beside him to save him from Achilles' spear. Agenor, shaking his spear, was waiting for the approaching Achilles. With a strong hand, he threw a spear at him. The spear hit the greaves, but bounced off. Achilles rushed at Agenor. The god Apollo surrounded Agenor with darkness and helped him avoid imminent death. Apollo took the form of Agenor and started running across the field. Achilles began to pursue him, not knowing that he was pursuing God. This saved the Trojans Apollo and gave them time to take refuge in the sacred Troy.

The Trojans took refuge in the city. Tired of fighting and running, they quenched their thirst and wiped their sweat standing on the walls. There was only one Hector left in the field. As if bound by an inevitable fate, he stood at the Skeisk Gate.