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Hector

In Greek mythology, a Trojan prince and the second greatest fighter in the Trojan War after Achilles. Eldest son of Priam and Hecuba, called "breaker of horses" though he never seems to do so. With his wife, Andromache, he fathered Astyanax. He had a horse named Lampos and friends named Misenus and Poludamas. His charioteer was Cebriones, his half-brother.

Hector provides a stark contrast for Achilles, who was from first to last a man of war. Hector was fighting, not for personal glory, but in defense of his homeland. His words, "Fight for your country - that is the first and only omen" became a proverb to patriotic Greeks. Through him we can see glimpses of what life might have been like in more peaceful times. The scene where he bid a final fairwell to his wife Andromache and his infant son is one of the more moving scenes in the Iliad.

During the Trojan War, Hector killed Protesilaus and was wounded by Ajax.

Nonetheless, Hector's fate is never in doubt. Achilles, raging over the death of Patroclus, kills him and drags his body thrice round the city of Troy in spite of Priam's pleas to allow him to be buried. The final passage in the Iliad is his funeral, after which the doom of Troy is just a matter of time. In the final sacking, his father and brothers are killed, his son is hurled from the walls in fear that he would avenge Hector, and his wife carried off by Neoptolemus.

Homer. Iliad; Apollodorus. Bibliotheke III, xii, 5-6; Apollodorus. Epitome IV, 2.



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