Hundreds of additional titles available for
online reading when you join Gateway to the Classics
DEATH OF HECTOR AND ACHILLES
THE next day, having secured his armor and weapons,
Achilles again went out to fight. His purpose was to
meet Hector, and, by killing him, to avenge his dead
friend, Patroclus. He therefore rushed up and down the
battlefield; and when at last he came face to face with
his foe, they closed in deadly fight. The two young
men, each the champion warrior of his army, were now
fighting with the courage of despair; for, while
Achilles was thirsting to avenge his friend, Hector
knew that the fate of Troy depended mostly upon his
arm. The struggle was terrible. It was watched with
breathless interest by the armies on both sides, and by
aged Priam and the Trojan women from the walls of Troy.
In spite of Hector's courage, in spite of all his
skill, he was doomed to die, and soon he fell under the
blows of Achilles.
 Then, in sight of both armies and of Hector's weeping
family, Achilles took off his enemy's armor, bound the
dead body by his feet to his chariot, and dragged it
three times around the city walls before he went back
to camp to mourn over the remains of Patroclus.
That night, guided by one of the gods, old King Priam
came secretly into the Greek camp, and, stealing into
Achilles' tent, fell at his feet. He had come to beg
Achilles to give back the body of Hector, that he might
weep over it, and bury it with all the usual ceremonies
Touched by the old man's tears, and ready now to listen
to his better feelings, Achilles kindly raised the old
king, comforted him with gentle words, and not only
gave back the body, but also promised that there should
be a truce of a few days, so that both armies could
bury their dead in peace.
The funerals were held, the bodies burned, the usual
games celebrated; and when the truce was over, the long
war was begun again. After several other great fights,
Achilles died from a wound in his heel caused by a
poisoned arrow that was treacherously shot by Paris.
The sorrowing Greeks then buried the young hero on the
wide plain between Troy and the sea. This spot has been
visited by many people who admired the brave young hero
of the Iliad.