Like most mythological heroes, Achilles had a complicated family tree. His father was Peleus, the mortal king of the Myrmidons, a people who, according to legend, were extraordinarily fearless and skilled soldiers. His mother was Thetis, a Nereid.
According to myths and stories composed long after the Iliad, Thetis was extraordinarily concerned about her baby son’s mortality. She did everything she could to make him immortal. She burned him over a fire every night, and then dressed his wounds with ambrosial ointment; and she dunked him into the River Styx, whose waters were said to confirm the invulnerability of the gods. However, she gripped him tightly by the foot as she dipped him into the river, so tightly that the water never touched his heel. As a result, Achilles was invulnerable everywhere but there.
When he was 9 years old, a seer predicted that Achilles would die heroically in battle against the Trojans. When she heard about this, Thetis disguised him as a girl and sent him to live on the Aegean island of Skyros. To be a great warrior was Achilles’ fate, however, and he soon left Skyros and joined the Greek army. In a last-ditch effort to save her son’s life, Thetis asked the divine blacksmith Hephaestus to make a sword and shield that would keep him safe. The armor that Hephaestus produced for Achilles did not make him immortal, but it was distinctive enough to be recognized by friend and foe alike.
When the Iliad begins, the Trojan War has been going on for nine years. Achilles, the poem’s protagonist, has led one battle after another. He has met with great success, in fact, he is undefeated in battle, but the war itself has reached a standstill. In his Iliad, Homer does not explain what happened to Achilles. According to later legends (and bits and pieces of Homer’s own Odyssey), the warrior returned to Troy after Hector’s funeral to further explicit revenge for Patroclus’ death. However, the still vengeful Apollo told Hector’s brother Paris that Achilles was coming. Paris, who was not a brave warrior, ambushed Achilles as he entered Troy. He shot his unsuspecting enemy with an arrow, which Apollo guided to the one place he knew Achilles was vulnerable, his heel, where his mother’s hand had kept the waters of the Styx from touching his skin. Achilles died on the spot, still undefeated in battle.
In Greek mythology, the Titanomachy or War of the Titans, was the ten-year series of battles which were fought in Thessaly between the two camps of deities long before the existence of mankind: the Titans, based on Mount Othrys, and the Olympians, who would come to reign on Mount Olympus. This Titanomachia is also known as the Battle of the Titans, Battle of Gods, or just The Titan War.
The stage for this important battle was set after the youngest
Titan, Cronus (Kronos), overthrew his own father, Uranus (the Heaven itself and ruler of the cosmos), with the help of his mother, Gaia, (the earth). Uranus drew the dislike of Gaia when he imprisoned her children the Hecatonchires and Cyclopes in Tartarus. Gaia created a great sickle and gathered together Cronus and his brothers to convince them to desexualize Uranus. Only Cronus was willing to do the deed, so Gaia gave him the sickle and placed him in a bush of nothing. When Uranus met with Gaia, Cronus attacked Uranus, and, with the sickle, cut off his genitals, casting them into the sea. In doing so, he became the King of the Titans. As Uranus lay dying, he made a prophecy that Cronus's own children would rebel against his rule, just as Cronus had rebelled against his own father. Uranus' blood that had spilled upon the earth, gave rise to the Gigantes, Erinyes, and Meliae. From his semen or blood of his cut genitalia, Aphrodite arose from the sea. Cronus took his father's throne after dispatching Uranus. He then secured his power by re-imprisoning his siblings the Hecatonchires and Cyclopes, and his (newly