Sunday, October 15, 2017

Learning From The Greek Heroes: Achilles

Mirroring my late series Learning From The Greek Gods, I decided to begin another centered around the Heroes and Heroines, as I think they can and do present wonderful guidelines for human life.

There are times when you come across something you just have to have, and this was the case with me a couple of weeks ago when I purchased my first ever statue of the Hero Achilles from Crete, Greece. As you can see in the picture on the left, it's a very beautiful and detailed piece.

Being the Homeric Hero of The Iliad, Achilles holds a special significance for me because Homer was the first to introduce me to ancient Greek myth and religion. So someone like Achilles resonates with me. But there's something more to consider for the Hellenist when it comes to this Hero, and that's His role and relevance to the modern Greek worshiper.

Achilles is a Hero who can be prayed to for strength, courage, and victory in battle. As the greatest mortal warrior of His Age, one can find all the values of said person in Him. But what else does Achilles represent besides the obvious? What can we learn from Him?

Achilles represents the utmost of human strength, bravery and strategy. If there ever existed a man who knew how good he was and didn't give up, it's Achilles. He knows His strengths, and He knows what can and cannot be accomplished. He also knew His value to others around Him. When He withdrew from battle amid His quarrel with Agamemnon, Achilles knew the Greeks would notably hurt in His absence. Achilles teaches us to know our strengths, our worth, and to win when possible; even to use leverage when necessary. Being an advocate of truth when He protected the soothsayer from Agamemnon, Achilles also expresses the greatest of virtue and lives it by example, as we all should. It did not do Him any profit to stand against the richest and most powerful king of the ancient Greek world at the time, but knowing the right thing to do was far more important. It's like one of the Tenets of Solon, which says to do what's right instead of what's popular.

In our own lives, we may never be a great warrior on the battlefield like Achilles was, but His core values and ethics can shape even the most mundane of lives into Heroic ones.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris.

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