Tag: Greek Legend

Achilles Heel, Greek Legend

Nymph Thetis holding Achilles by the heel , Walker Art Gallery – Liverpool, photo by JMorton


Achilles Heel, Greek Legend

I love the look of this statue.  It was one of many beautiful statues on display at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.

The statue gives credence to the legend why the Greek hero, Achilles, has a vulnerability, although becoming the greatest warrior of Homer’s Illiad.

Achilles was the son of an immortal nymph, Thetis and a mortal (person) Peleus, the King of Myrmidons.

Apparently, it was foretold by the oracle that their son will die very young.

Thetis and Peleus went to great lengths to protect Achilles.

Thetis took the baby Achilles and completely submerged him to the river Styx except for his heel, which he was being held.  Apparently, this ritual would make him invulnerable.

Achilles was valiant as a warrior until he was shot on his heel by Paris during the bloody Trojan War.

Achilles heel had come to mean ‘Point of vulnerability“.




The Origin of the Milky Way ~ Greek Legend ~

Amongst the so many masterpieces which surrounded us at the National Gallery last Saturday was this painting by Tintoretto about the origin of the Milky Way.

This painting was certainly beautiful, eye-catching and dramatic.

The little blurb that went with the painting says that it was based on a Greek legend for the Milky Way.

Apparently Zeus had a child from one of his many affairs with humans.  The child  was Hercules, Zeus’ son from a liaison with a mortal woman called Alcmene.

Anyway Zeus grew very fond of Herucles, so much so that he decided to give the child godlike power and qualities.  But giving power to a mortal was not straightforward with just a wave of a magic wand or incantation of magic words.  It was rather tricky, the child needs milk from a divine being.

Obviously Zeus, being a male god and the supreme deity to boot  made up his mind and to hell with consequences.  Zeus does not do NOs!!!!

To cut the long story short, he sneaked in to his divine wife with the infant, who he let suckle to the  sleeping Hera. Obviously Hera woke up from her deep sleep upon realising that she was breastfeeding an unknown infant.  She was so surprised and then furious that she pushed the baby Hercules away, thus her breast milk spurted into space creating  a rather milky environment which became the Milky Way!

That is the legend of the origin of the Milky Way, our galaxy!