In the Greek Mythology, Patrocle (in Greek old Πάτροκλος / Pátroklos or Πατροκλῆς / Patroklễs , literally “glory ( κλέος / kléos ) of the father ( πατήρ / patếr )”) one of the Greek warriors of the Trojan War, is mainly described in Iliade .
Before the war
Wire of Ménœtios, it is sent by his father in Phthie, where he becomes the companion of Achille, more young person that him of a few years. It is present, at the same time as his father and Achille, at the moment when Nestor comes to recruit at the court of Pélée warriors for forwarding against Troy. Guest at the same time as Péléide, Achilles, to leave, Patrocle accepts. His/her father addresses the following councils then to him ( It. , XI, 786-789):
“Achilles, by the race, is above you, my son;
But it is your junior, even if it is higher to you,
With you to speak to him with wisdom, of the instruire
And to direct it: he will see well what he gains there. ”
Patrocle is the rider of Achilles ( θεράπων / therápôn ). Iliade hesitates as for its exact role: song XVII shows the horses of Péléide crying the death of their “honest driver” (v. 426-428), then Automédon (v. 476) describes it like most gifted handling these horses. However, Ulysses in the Odyssey (XXIV, 39-40) and Achilles himself with song XIX declare that Péléide has as a practice to lead itself its tank. Other indices let suppose that Patrocle goes to the combat in a separated tank, and fights then at the sides of Achilles. He is also used as messenger with this last: it is him whom Péléide sends, with song XI, to enquérir itself at Nestor of the identity of the casualty brought back in the Achaean camp. In the same way, with song II, it is Patrocle which, on the request of Achilles, will seek Briséis to give it to Ulysses. When Nestor comes, accompanied by Phœnix, to beseech Achille to turn over to the combat, it prepares the wine and food for the guests.
When Achille in anger contains itself in his tent after his disagreement with Agamemnon, Patrocle also ceases the combat. With song XVI of Iliade (called Πατρόκλεια / Patrókleia , “Patroclée”), whereas the Troyens supplant the Greeks and threaten to put fire at the naves, Achille authorizes Patrocle to borrow its weapons and from going to fight with the head of its Myrmidons. During its Aristie, Patrocle kills several warriors, of which Sarpédon, wire of Zeus, before meeting Hector, guided by Apollon. The god, wrapped in a cloud, strikes Patrocle in the back. Patrocle is then wounded, always in the back, by Euphorbe, wire of Panthoos, which flees at once while running. Lastly, Patrocle is completed by Hector, which removes its weapons to him. Ménélas and Ajax large the protects the body and return it to Achille, who then decides to take again the weapons to avenge Patrocle.
Thétis, mother of Achilles, fact drinking in Patrocle of the Nectar and the ambrosia to prevent that its corpse is not corrupted. During this time, Achille meets Hector and overcomes it. It offers to the Greeks then, in the honor of Patrocle, a feast at the conclusion which death appears to him and begs it to burn its corpse as soon as possible. The next morning, Achille makes build a Bûcher for Patrocle, cut his hair, sacrifices oxen and sheep, dogs and horses, like twelve noble young people Troyens.
After the incineration of Patrocle, Achille organizes plays in his honor, including:
- a race of tank: it is gained by Diomède, which carries the first price of a slave and a tripod, Antiloque arrives second (while cheating), Ménélas is third, Mérion fourth and last Eumélos. Achilles allocates the second price to this one.
- a test of Pugilism, gained by Épéios which gains a mule.
- a test of Fight, disputed by Ajax the large one and Ulysses. Achilles the judge with equality.
- a race on foot, gained by Ulysses, who gains a silver crater. Ajax arrives second and receives an ox, Antiloque third, and receives a gold half-talent, price envisaged initially, and a second gold talent skilfully to have flattered the race of Achille to the untiring feet.
- a hoplomachie (combat out of weapons), disputed by Diomède and Ajax. Achilles the judge with equality: they divide the dagger, the sleeve and the cross-belt of Sarpédon, and Diomède receives in addition a dagger of Thrace.
- a test of Throwing the discus, gained by Polpœtès, which gains the disc itself, out of rough iron.
- One of Shooting to the arc, gained by Mérion, which gains ten double iron axes. Teucros, loser, receives ten simple axes.
- One of Throwing the javelin, which in fact is not disputed. Achilles stops the two candidates, Agamemnon and Mérion, by saying that all know that Atride is strongest. This one gains a vase, and Mérion a bronze javelin.
The mythographes as the Pseudo-Apollodore give another version of last of Patrocle. Wire of the king of Locride, it killed by accident one of his friends, Clysonyme, wire of Amphidamas, during an argument in connection with ossicles, whereas it was very young. It must exile court. It is collected by Pélée, king of Phthie, which gives it like companion to Achille. Apollodore does of it then one of the applicants of Helene, made not very probable insofar as much of sighing is of much better row than him.
the Songs cypriens , an epopee of the Trojan Cycle, mention it as one of those which sell Lycaon, one of wire of Priam, when this one is taken by the Achaens. Iliade confirms it with song XXIII (v. 746), whereas Patrocle is not mentioned with song XXI (v. 34 sqq.). Pindare in its Olympiques (IX, 70-79) shows it accompanying Achille when this last devastation the town of Teuthrania, in Mysie. A famous vase showing Achille bandaging the wound of Patrocle (cf below) perhaps illustrates this precise point.
These elements make it possible to suppose that the character of Patrocle is not a Homeric invention. Moreover, to song I, it is presented for the first time simply like “the son of Ménœtios”, accompanying Achille and his companions (not named) when the hero leaves, furious, the council of the kings. This lets think that it is about an already well-known character of the public, that it is not even need to name personally or to present. It is on the other hand probable that Patrocle was only one supporting character, with which Homère gives a new broadth.
Patrocle and Achille
Friend or lover
The friendship of Achilles and Patrocle is proverbial. As of fifth century BC however, the Greeks see there more: in a general way, it is at that time that the Greek authors add to friendships famous (Oreste and Pylade, Thésée and Pirithoos, Héraclès and Iolaos, etc) a pederastic component . In the species, the debate for the Greeks does not aim at knowing if Patrocle and Achille were friendly or lovers, but why Homère remains if held on their relation, or if Patrocle is the eromene (beloved) of Achilles or the reverse. The Athenian speaker Eschine, in his Against Timarque (142-143), declares as follows:
“Although Homère evokes with many recoveries Patrocle and Achille, it overlooks their desire ( ἔρως / Eros ) and avoids naming their love ( φιλία / philía ), estimating that extraordinary intensity of their affection ( εὔνοια / eúnoia ) was transparent for the cultivated readers. Achilles declares some share (...) that involuntarily, it has enfreint the made promise with Ménœtios, the father of Patrocle; Achilles had indeed ensured that it would bring back healthy Patrocle and except to Opous if Ménœtios sent it to Troy with him and if it entrusted it to him. This passage shows obviously that it is by desire in love ( Eros ) that it took care of Patrocle. ”
Indeed, for much of the Greeks, the disproportionate emotion of which made proof Achilles with died of Patrocle and its heat to avenge it do not leave any doubt about the nature of their relations: the reserve of Homère is perceived like a sign of discretion. The tragic Eschyle develops this reason in its tragedy lost Myrmidons . It represents without turnings (fr. 228b Puts) Achilles crying over the body of his/her friend, celebrating the beauty of its hips and regretting the kisses which they exchanged. At Eschyle as at Eschine, Achille is the éraste and Patrocle the eromene.
However, Plato is not of this opinion: in its Banquet (180a), it makes say to Phèdre that “they are balivernes, which says Eschyle when it makes of Achilles the lover of Patrocle. Achilles was more beautiful than Patrocle, and even more beautiful than all the heroes, it is thus much younger, as Homère indicates it besides. ” In spite of this dissension, Phèdre either does not have any doubt about the relations of Patrocle and Achille.
Nevertheless, thereafter, the tradition is stabilized on the version of Eschyle, in conformity with the social status of the two men. Thus, Élien declares in its varied Histoire (XII, 7): “while Alexandre Grand crowned fall it from Achilles, Héphaestion crowned that of Patrocle, thus letting hear that it was the nice one of Alexandre, as Patrocle had been that of Achilles. ” The polemic of Old on the role of each one shows, for Bernard Sergent, that the relation Achilles-Patrocle is not attached to the model pederastic: it is about a relation between young of the same people generation.
Patrocle, doubles of Achilles
In its death, Patrocle has the appearance of a double of Achilles. Whereas during the preceding songs of Iliade , Patrocle is characterized only by its friendship and its devotion to Achille, song XVI, Patroclée , suddenly sees it metamorphosed as hero sweeping all on his passage during a aristie. It kills initially Pyræchmès, chief of Péoniens, Aréilycos, Pronoos, Thestor and Éryalos. It wounds (or kills) Érymas, Amphotère, Épaltès, Échios, Pyris, Tlépolème, Iphée, Évippe and Polymèle. Then it meets a combatant of scale, Sarpédon, chief of the combatants Lycie NS and wire of Zeus. It kills it in a duel which points out that opposing Achille to Memnon, chief of the Ethiopia NS - combat told in Éthiopide , one of the epopees of the Trojan Cycle, and taken again then in particular by Quintus of Smyrna.
After having killed Sarpédon, Patrocle continues on its impetus, and decides to attack Troy itself. It is about the only occurrence, before that of Achilles, of a hero deciding only to launch the attack against the walls of the city. The episode is typical of Achilles, and lets suggest a carryforward of the topics of Péléide towards Patrocle. This one continues its perforated fatal, killing Échéclos, Adraste, Autonoos, Périmos, Épistor, Mélanippe, Élasos, Moulios and Pylartès. Homère declares whereas “the Achaens would have taken Troy with the high doors thanks to Patrocle” (v. 698-699) if it were not stopped by Apollon. The god declares him, establishing it parallel, that:
“(...) The destiny does not want pas
That the city of proud Troyens is taken by your lance,
Nor by that of Achilles, a hero much more extremely than you
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