The Greek myths of the Trojan War tell of a special armor made by Hephaestus, god of blacksmiths. It was wrought as a gift for Peleus given on the day he wed the sea nymph Thetis. The enchanted armor was invincible to all attacks and rendered its bearer braver and more powerful in battle.
Achilles and Peleus's Armor
In Homer's epic the Illiad, Peleus's son Achilles has grown to be the greatest warrior among the Greeks. When Achilles leads a Greek coalition in war against Troy, he dons his father's magic armor. Achilles fights many battles in the armor, but he is not the only one to wear it. After the gods take away his beloved Briseis, Achilles refuses to continue fighting. He lends the armor to his best friend Patroclus.
Hector Steals the Armor
While Patroclus wears the armor, he fights almost as well as Achilles, further proving the armor's powers. Though he fights bravely, Hector, the hero of the Trojan army, manages to strip Patroclus of the armor and slay him. Hector claims the armor for himself, and parades it before his army in celebration of their triumph.
A Second Suit of Magic Armor for Achilles
After hearing of Patroclus' death, Achilles vows revenge. Thetis convinces Hephaestus to make another suit of armor for Achilles, including a spectacular shield. When Achilles finally meets Hector for their epic showdown, both are wearing magic armor. Achilles manages to kill Hector by spearing him in the throat through a small gap in his armor.
- The Iliad by Homer
- "The Armour of Achilles" by W. R. Paton
- Dave Etheridge-Barnes/Getty Images News/Getty Images