Philoctète (in Greek old Φιλοκτήτης / Philoktếtês ) was wire of Péan and the faithful companion of Héraclès, which, while dying, left him its frightening arrows. It had engaged, by oath, never not to discover the place where it would have deposited ashes of this hero. But the Greeks, about to leave for the seat Troy, having learned from the oracle of Delphes that, to make itself main from this city, it was necessary that they were in possession arrows of Héraclès, sent deputies to Philoctète, to learn in which place they were hidden.
Philoctète, which wanted neither to violate its oath nor to deprive the Greeks of the advantage that these arrows could get to them, after some resistance, showed with the foot the place where it had buried Héraclès, and acknowledged that it had its weapons in its capacity.
This indiscretion was expensive to him in the continuation; because, in time that it went to Troy, one of these arrows having fallen on the same foot with which it had shown the place of the burial of Héraclès, it was formed there an ulcer which spread an odor so repugnant that, with the request of Ulysses, one left it in the island of Lemnos, where it suffered during ten years all the evils and all the pains from insulation.
However, after the death of Achilles, Greeks, indicator who it was impossible to take the city without the arrows that Philoctète had carried with him with Lemnos, Ulysses, though mortal enemy of this hero, undertook to go to seek it and to bring back it; what it carried out indeed, with the assistance of Diomède and Néoptolème, wire of Achilles.
Philoctète had not rather arrived in the camp of the Greeks, that Pâris made him require a singular combat; the hero agreed to it and, with one of its arrows, wounded it mortally.
As its ulcer was not cured yet, Philoctète, after the catch of Troy, did not dare to turn over in its country; it went in the Calabria, where it builds the town of Pétilie, and was finally cured by the care of Machaon, wire of Asclépios and brother of Podalire. One allots also the foundation to him of Thurium. Philoctète had been one of the most famous Argonautes, it had thus attended two more famous forwardings of heroic times. Its misfortunes inspired with Sophocle one more beautiful tragedies of antiquity.
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