Leslie Robinson

It's All Greek to Me

Filed By Leslie Robinson | August 23, 2012 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Gay Icons and History
Tags: Greek mythology, Patroclus, Thetis

Last night I picked up Arthur Cotterell's The Encyclopedia of Mythology. Now there's a bigstock-Achilles-Profile-3262345.jpgguarantee you won't read any further.

On the chance you're still with me, the very first entry in the book proved that what I learned about Greek mythology in school was not the whole story.

Achilles, considered the greatest Greek warrior, was also a moody fellow. Rather than join the other Greeks fighting the Trojans, he hung out in his tent. "But Achilles was roused to action," writes Cotterell, "by the death of Patroclus, his squire and lover."

News to me, by Zeus!

Hector, the Trojan who killed Achilles' boyfriend, knew he was in trouble. He asked Achilles to treat his body with respect should he be killed. Achilles uttered the Greek equivalent of "No way, Jose," slew Hector with a spear, and dragged his body around the tomb of Patroclus for twelve days.

Only Achilles' mother, Thetis the sea nymph, could persuade him to stop mutilating the corpse. Heeding a sea nymph seems like a wise policy to me.

(Achilles bust via Bigstock)

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