Were Achilles and Zeus Black in Greek Mythology? - Tales of Times Forgotten (2022)

The miniseries Troy: Fall of a City, which originally aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom in spring 2018 and was thereafter distributed internationally on Netflix, created quite a stir of controversy due to the fact that, in the series, the characters Zeus and Achilles are portrayed by black actors. Many people attacked the series, accusing it of “blackwashing.”

It is true that, in ancient Greece, Achilles and Zeus were both consistently portrayed as what most people today would generally consider “white.” That being said, I think that most of the outrage over the fact that Troy: Fall of a City portrays Achilles and Zeus as black is motivated more by racial prejudice than by actual concern for faithfulness to traditional portrayals.

A little clarification

Just to be clear, before I say anything more about how the show portrayed Zeus and Achilles, I would like to note that, overall, I actually enjoyed the show Troy: Fall of a City. I know it got horrible ratings; I know most of the critics hated it; and I am sure everyone is probably going to lambast me in the comments for saying this, but I am still going to say it right away to make it clear. Honestly, apart from the obvious changes to characters’ appearances, Troy: Fall of a City was actually in many ways more faithful to the original myths than most other modern adaptations of the story of the Trojan War.

For one thing, the show portrayed most of the major events leading up to the Trojan War, including the Judgement of Paris, Paris’s return to Troy and Priam’s recognition of him as his son, Paris’s visit to Sparta and his seduction of Helen, the recruitment of Odysseus for the Greek army, the sacrifice of Iphigenia, and other mythical events from the early years of the war, which is something very few modern adaptations have done.

Troy: Fall of a City even included the Greek gods, which is something almost no adaptations of the story of the Trojan War have dared to do for the past half century, since it seems to be generally accepted among modern writers that having real, supernatural deities actively participating in your story is considered “campy” and “un-serious” and something that modern audiences just do not want. Granted, the show did severely minimize the gods’ involvement in the story and they barely appeared at all in the second half of the series, but they were at least there to start out with.

I do have a few serious complaints about the show. For instance, the dialogue could have been much better and the pacing was rather uneven. Also, there was a point towards the end where the writers seemed like they were desperately trying to convince everyone that Troy wasn’t going to fall. That bit really confused me—not only because Troy falls in literally every other adaptation of the story, but also because the series itself is called Troy: Fall of a City. You can’t give your series a title like that and then try to make the ending in which Troy falls seem like a surprise.

Overall, though, I actually liked it. I suppose it is possible that my enjoyment of it may have had more to do with seeing my favorite stories acted out on screen than with the show itself. Anyways, now that I have that confession off my chest, let us move on to discuss how the show portrayed Zeus and Achilles and how the show’s portrayal does not line with how the ancient Greeks imagined these characters.

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ABOVE: Promotional image for the BBC miniseries Troy: Fall of a City

Achilles

In the Iliad, Achilles’s hair is described as ξανθός (xanthós). This is a Greek word that is often translated as “blond,” but, as I discuss in this article from May 2020, it actually refers to more of a reddish-brownish-blond color. It is related to the verb ξανθίζω (xanthízō), which literally means “to make golden brown” and generally refers to the process of cooking something. Thus, the word ξανθός is perhaps better translated as “tawny.”

Further evidence that the ancient Greeks imagined Achilles as fair-haired comes from the fact that, when he was living as a woman on the island of Skyros, he is said to have taken the name Πύρρα (Pýrrha), which is derived from the Greek word πῦρ (pŷr), meaning “fire.” Achilles is supposed to have taken this name because he had fiery red hair. Similarly, Achilles’s son Neoptolemos was also known as Πύρρος (Pýrrhos), which is the masculine form of Πύρρα.

In ancient Greek artistic depictions that attempt to show skin color in an at least vaguely realistic manner, Achilles is not evidently portrayed as having dark skin, nor is he shown with any stereotypically African characteristics. (For instance, see the depiction of Achilles in the polychromatic vase painting shown below, which is dated to c. 300 BC.)

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ABOVE: Ancient Greek polychromatic vase painting dating to c. 300 BC depicting Achilles dressed in armor and a plumed helmet slaying Memnon, the king of the Aithiopians

As far as anyone can tell, in ancient Greece, Achilles was never envisioned as what we today would call “black.” Nonetheless, in Troy: Fall of a City, he is portrayed by David Gyasi, a British actor of Ghanaian ancestry. This portrayal has triggered a lot of people, who are angry that Achilles is not portrayed as a white man with blond hair.

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ABOVE: David Gyasi as Achilles in the 2018 BBC One miniseries Troy: Fall of a City

In all honesty, if I had been in charge of the show, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to portray Achilles as black, but I am not at all angry that the people who did the casting for Troy: Fall of a City chose to make him black. In fact, I actually thought David Gyasi’s performance was quite good.

It is important to remember that Achilles’s appearance has always been open to a certain degree of interpretation. Even ancient Greek depictions of Achilles have a fair bit of variation. Pretty much the only things that are agreed upon across portrayals are that he is young, clean-shaven, handsome, and muscular. David Gyasi is arguably all of those things.

Furthermore, we must also remember that, because films and television shows offer very few lead roles for black actors, it is extremely difficult for talented black actors to make names for themselves in the industry. In giving the role of Achilles to David Gyasi, the casting executives gave a talented black actor the opportunity to get ahead.

Zeus

I am actually more disappointed in the show’s portrayal of Zeus than its portrayal of Achilles because, unlike Achilles, Zeus’s iconography is pretty much universally agreed upon. Everyone knows what Zeus is “supposed to look like.” The god’s image is instantly iconic. Even if you know nothing about Greek mythology, you probably know that Zeus looks like this:

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ABOVE: Photograph from Wikimedia Commons of an ancient Greek marble statue of Zeus wielding his thunderbolt from the city of Smyrna in Asia Minor, dating to roughly the third century AD

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ABOVE: Photograph from Wikimedia Commons of the Otricoli Zeus, a Roman marble head of Zeus on display in the Pio-Clementine Vatican Museum

Were Achilles and Zeus Black in Greek Mythology? - Tales of Times Forgotten (6)

ABOVE: Photograph from Wikimedia Commons of an ancient Roman marble colossal head of Zeus from the British Museum

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ABOVE: Photograph from Wikimedia Commons of a gold slater of Zeus from Lampsakos dating to c. 360 – c. 340 BC

Were Achilles and Zeus Black in Greek Mythology? - Tales of Times Forgotten (8)

ABOVE: Photograph from Wikimedia Commons of a Roman bronze and marble sculpture of Zeus enthroned with an eagle by his side, probably based on the earlier Greek Statue of Zeus at Olympia by Pheidias

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ABOVE: Minerva and the Triumph of Jupiter, painted in 1706 by the French Neoclassical painter René-Antoine Houasse

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ABOVE: Modern portrayal of Zeus I found on Google Images

Pretty much every depiction of Zeus you can find agrees on the basic details of his appearance:

  • He has long, flowy hair and a long, flowy beard.
  • He is usually seen holding either a scepter or a thunderbolt.
  • He wears a himation draped over his right shoulder and wrapped around his waist.
  • He is often accompanied by an eagle.

This, on the other hand, is how they chose to portray Zeus in Troy: Fall of a City:

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ABOVE: Hakeem Kae-Kazim as Zeus in the BBC miniseries Troy: Fall of a City

No hair. No beard. No scepter. No thunderbolt. No himation. No eagle. Other than the name, what is there to tell me this guy is supposed to be Zeus?

To be very clear here, I am not mad over this; I was just confused and a little disappointed. I did not even realize this guy was supposed to be Zeus until the second episode. I kept wondering all through the first episode, “Who is the black guy in the cloak with the deep voice?”

I can totally understand them making Zeus black, but, come on guys, you’ve got to keep at least some part of the traditional iconography to make him recognizable as Zeus. Give him long, curly hair and a beard, a himation, a thunderbolt, and maybe an eagle. When he doesn’t even have the hair or the beard, no one can tell he’s supposed to be Zeus!

A bit of hypocrisy

All this being said, I think that there is quite a bit of hypocrisy here when it comes to the people complaining about how the producers of Troy: Fall of City chose to portray mythical figures. Everyone is all upset about Zeus and Achilles being black, but no one is upset about any of the show’s other deviations from traditional iconography. For instance, just to give one example, no one is mad about the fact that this is how they chose to portray Aphrodite:

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ABOVE: Lex King as Aphrodite in Troy: Fall of a City

I am not aware of a single ancient Greek or Roman depiction of Aphrodite that portrays her with red hair. All the ancient depictions I am aware of show her with either blond hair or black hair. Sure, there are modern portrayals of Aphrodite with red hair (William-Adolphe Bouguereau’s Birth of Venus comes to mind), but I am not aware of any ancient ones.

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ABOVE: Photograph from Wikimedia Commons of an early fourth-century BC Attic polychromatic terra-cotta vessel depicting the birth of Aphrodite, showing her with blond hair

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ABOVE: Mural depicting the birth of Aphrodite from the Case di Venus in the Roman city of Pompeii, dating to the first century AD, showing her with black hair

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To be clear, I am not saying that I have a problem with Aphrodite being a redhead in the show; I don’t really have a problem with it—just like I don’t really have a problem with Achilles being portrayed as black. I am merely pointing out the hypocrisy of the fact that people are getting all upset that Achilles and Zeus are portrayed as black and there are tons of people throwing winy temper tantrums about “black Achilles,” but not a single person that I am aware of has thrown even the slightest temper tantrum over “redhead Aphrodite.”

Granted, Aphrodite was a somewhat less visible character in the show than Zeus and Achilles were, but you have to consider the fact that people only threw huge temper tantrums over changes to the characters’ appearances in cases of traditionally white characters being portrayed as non-white.

This strongly signals to me that all the outrage online over Zeus and Achilles being portrayed as black is not really outrage over the fact that the characters look different from how they are traditionally portrayed, but rather outrage over the fact that traditionally white characters are being portrayed specifically as black.

If the producers of Troy: Fall of a City had portrayed Achilles as a white man with a huge green afro wig, a handlebar mustache, a two-foot-long, bright blue beard, a modern Kevlar vest instead of armor, and an AK-47 instead of a spear, I bet most people would have just shrugged it off and said “You know what, it’s creative license.”

Portraying Achilles as black, though—that sends a message to the closet racists out there that western culture does not just belong to white people. It sends the message that black people are part of the western story. Not only that, but it sends the message that black people have always been part of the western story, even since the very beginning.

And that idea really makes a lot of people angry because there are, unfortunately, lots of people who do not think black people should be part of the western story.

The black characters Troy: Fall of a City left out

The irony here is that black people actually do feature prominently in Greek mythology. In fact, they even feature prominently in the story of the Trojan War itself; there are several highly significant, canonically black characters in the story of the Trojan War that Troy: Fall of a City completely omitted.

The ancient Greeks told plenty of stories about the Aithiopians, or “burnt-faced people,” who lived on the far edge of the world, close to where the sun rises and sets. Because of this, the ancient Greeks said their skin was burnt black by the heat of the sun. The Aithiopians were supposedly beloved by the gods and they were among the few peoples among whom the gods could walk openly.

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ABOVE: Map from Wikimedia Commons showing the world as it is described by the fifth-century BC Greek historian Herodotos of Halikarnassos in his Histories. Notice the “Ethiopians” living in the far south of Africa.

The most famous Aithiopian in Greek mythology is Memnon, the king of Aithiopia, who was an ally of the Trojans during the Trojan War and led a massive army of Aithiopians against the Achaians. He was the son of the Trojan prince Tithonos and the goddess Eos and he wore armor that had been forged by the god Hephaistos himself. He was renowned as one of the greatest warriors who ever fought and was on par with Achilles.

Memnon was such an epic warrior that the ancient Greeks actually had an epic poem about him (well, partly about him at least) called the Aithiopis, which was five books in length and part of the so-called “Epic Cycle.” Unfortunately, the poem itself has now been lost, but several summaries of its contents have survived. According to the Aithiopis, the Achaian hero Antilochos, the son of Nestor, killed Memnon’s dear comrade Aisopos on the field of battle, so Memnon killed Antilochos. Nestor, Antilochos’s father, begged Achilles to kill Memnon and avenge Antilochos’s death.

Achilles confronted Memnon of the field of battle. The heroes were evenly matched and they fought for a long time before Achilles finally stabbed Memnon through the heart with his spear, killing him. Memnon’s mother Eos, however, loved Memnon so much that she begged Zeus to bring him back to life and make him an immortal god. Zeus obliged.

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ABOVE: A wider view of the polychromatic vase painting I showed earlier of Achilles killing Memnon

Ancient Greek depictions of Memnon as African

Much like other Aithiopians from Greek mythology, such as Kassiopeia, Kepheus, and Andromeda, in many ancient Greek depictions of him, Memnon actually looks like what we would normally call “white,” even though he is supposed to be an Aithiopian. (I suppose this only proves that whitewashing happened even as far back as ancient Greece.)

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Nonetheless, some ancient Greek and Roman depictions of Memnon do clearly show him with African features. Unfortunately, in many cases, these features are exaggerated in what we would consider a racist manner. For instance, an ancient Greek black-figure vase painting dated to between c. 550 and c. 525 BC that is currently on display in the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels portrays an Athiopian warrior (probably Memnon) with thick red lips, a short, broad nose, and a projecting lower face—features that have been stereotypically associated with Africans throughout history.

(The Aithiopian warrior in the vase painting is also portrayed with black skin, while the Amazons on either side of him are portrayed with white skin. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything, however, since, in Greek black-figure vase paintings, all men are portrayed with black skin and all women are portrayed with white skin. That’s just part of the artistic style and it has nothing to do with race.)

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ABOVE: Photograph from Wikimedia Commons of an ancient Greek black-figure vase painting dating to c. 550 – c. 525 BC, showing the Aithiopian warrior Memnon with stereotypically African features

A more realistic Roman marble portrait head of a young man with African features dated to around 170 AD was discovered in the ruined villa of the wealthy Athenian philosopher Herodes Atticus, which is located in the region of Arkadia in the central Peloponnesos. The bust is currently on display in the Antikensammlung Berlin.

The portrait head in the Berlin Antikensammlung does not depict the mythical Aithiopian king Memnon, but it does depict Herodes Atticus’s adoptive son and protégé, who was named “Memnon” after the mythical Aithiopian king. The fact that an actual black man was named after Memnon strongly suggests that at least whoever named him thought of Memnon as what we would consider black.

The Memnon shown in the portrait head from the Berlin Antikensammlung is reported to have been an extraordinarily talented student and orator, whom Herodes Atticus loved greatly. Unfortunately, he died at a relatively young age, which left Herodes Atticus devastated.

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ABOVE: Photograph from Wikimedia Commons of a Roman marble portrait head of Memnon, the black adoptive son of the Athenian philosopher Herodes Atticus, who was named after the famous Aithiopian king Memnon

Modern representations of Memnon more consistently show him as a black African. An engraving by the French engraver Bernard Picart (lived 1673 – 1733), for instance, clearly depicts him as such.

Disappointingly, Memnon is totally absent from nearly all modern adaptations of the story of the Trojan War, perhaps because his story is so similar to Hektor’s. I, however, think that Troy: Fall of a City could have perhaps benefited from inclusion of Memnon and his army of Aithiopians.

Were Achilles and Zeus Black in Greek Mythology? - Tales of Times Forgotten (19)

ABOVE: Engraving of a nude Memnon by the French engraver Bernard Picard (lived 1673 – 1733) depicting him as a black man

Were Achilles and Zeus Black in Greek Mythology? - Tales of Times Forgotten (20)

Author: Spencer McDaniel

Hello! I am an aspiring historian mainly interested in ancient Greek cultural and social history. Some of my main historical interests include ancient religion, mythology, and folklore; gender and sexuality; ethnicity; and interactions between Greek cultures and cultures they viewed as foreign. I graduated with high distinction from Indiana University Bloomington in May 2022 with a BA in history and classical studies (Ancient Greek and Latin languages), with departmental honors in history. I am currently a student in the MA program in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies at Brandeis University.View all posts by Spencer McDaniel

FAQs

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Erebus
Personification of Darkness
AbodeUnderworld
Personal information
ParentsChaos
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Hair ColorAny color but originaly blonde
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Zeus
Title
FamilyKronos (father) Rhea (mother) Hera (wife) Poseidon and Hades (brothers) Demeter and Hestia (sisters) Jessica Angela (daughters)
StatusImmortal
Eye ColorGrey
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One of the most popular suggestions for the origins of the term 'Africa' is that it is derived from the Roman name for a tribe living in the northern reaches of Tunisia, believed to possibly be the Berber people. The Romans variously named these people 'Afri', 'Afer' and 'Ifir'.

What is the first religion in Africa? ›

The Story of Africa| BBC World Service. Christianity came first to the continent of Africa in the 1st or early 2nd century AD. Oral tradition says the first Muslims appeared while the prophet Mohammed was still alive (he died in 632). Thus both religions have been on the continent of Africa for over 1,300 years.

Is Aphrodite a black goddess? ›

Venus – or Aphrodite as she was originally called by the Greeks – was a primordial creature, said to have been born out of an endless black night before the beginning of the world.

Were there Africans in Greece? ›

A number of African immigrants arrived in Greece in 1997. However, most came during the 2000s. The majority of the immigrants migrated from Nigeria and Senegal. Some of them also come from Congo, Ghana, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius and Angola.

Who is the African goddess? ›

Oshun is commonly called the river orisha, or goddess, in the Yoruba religion and is typically associated with water, purity, fertility, love, and sensuality. She is considered one of the most powerful of all orishas, and, like other gods, she possesses human attributes such as vanity, jealousy, and spite.

Was Andromeda black in Greek mythology? ›

In Greek mythology, Andromeda was originally depicted as a black princess from Ethiopia, but Renaissance art repeatedly depicts her as white.

Did Zeus and Aphrodite sleep together? ›

Aphrodite later and of her own volition had an affair with Zeus, but his jealous wife Hera laid her hands upon the belly of the goddess and cursed their offspring with malformity.

What color are Aphrodite's eyes? ›

Aphrodite (Αφροδίτη in Ancient Greek) is the goddess of beauty, love, desire, sexuality, and pleasure. Her Roman counterpart is Venus. She is the eldest of the Olympians, being the daughter of Ouranos.
...
Aphrodite
Title
StatusImmortal
Eye ColorAny color but originaly OCEAN BLUE
Hair ColorAny color but originaly blonde
18 more rows

What is an Aphrodite gender? ›

5 While that approach has certainly yielded important information on gender dynamics in late-Classical Greece, it tends to overlook the fact that though this Aphrodite is female, she is also divine.

Was the ancient Egyptian black? ›

Mainstream scholars reject the notion that Egypt was a white or black civilization; they maintain that, despite the phenotypic diversity of Ancient and present-day Egyptians, applying modern notions of black or white races to ancient Egypt is anachronistic.

What race were the ancient Greeks? ›

Early anthropologists commonly believed that the Hellenes belonged principally to the Mediterranean(a)race. This was the view shared by Sergi [1] and Ripley [2]. In a more recent study of the problem of Race, John R. Baker in [5] says that later studies “do not appear to have disproved” these views.

What did the Greeks call Africa? ›

Originally, the Romans supposedly called the continent Afri-terra, which was later transformed into Africa.

Who is the strongest African god? ›

Sango is regarded as the most powerful god in Africa and one of the most popular gods around the world. He is the god of vengeance, protection, social order and more. His symbol is a double headed-axe.

Who is the African god of love? ›

Oshun is a goddess of love and beauty. Beyoncé's been identifying with her for years. In the Yoruba cosmology of southwestern Nigeria and Benin, Oshun is the goddess, or orisha, of love, sensuality, and femininity. She is a river goddess, and one of her attributes is to bring forth sweet and fertile waters.

Who is the African god of death? ›

Owuo is the god of Death in the Asante and Akan mythology of West Ghana and the Krachi peoples of East Ghana and Togo. He is represented with the Adinkra symbol of a ladder.

Was Andromeda Black or white? ›

Elizabeth McGrath, in her article The Black Andromeda, discusses the tradition, as promoted by the influential Roman poet Ovid, of Andromeda being a dark-skinned woman of either Ethiopian or Indian origin.

When was Andromeda Black born? ›

Andromeda Tonks (née Black) (b. between 1951 and 1955), also known as Dromeda, was a pure-blood witch, born into the Black family. She was the middle daughter of Cygnus and Druella Black, as well as the sister of Bellatrix and Narcissa.

Who killed Medusa? ›

Perseus set out with the aid of the gods, who provided him with divine tools. While the Gorgons slept, the hero attacked, using Athena's polished shield to view the reflection of Medusa's awful face and avoid her petrifying gaze while he beheaded her with a harpe, an adamantine sword.

The Phoenicians were an ancient Levantine people. Their original homeland was mostly located in what is now Lebanon and they spoke a Canaanite language closely related to Hebrew. They were known in antiquity for their expert sailors, who conducted extensive maritime trade with many different cultures throughout the Mediterranean world. From the ninth century BCE onwards, Phoenician settlers founded many colonies in the western Mediterranean. The most famous Phoenician colony was the city of Carthage in what is now Tunisia, which later grew into an empire that rivalled the fledgling Roman Republic. The Phoenicians also invented the very first abjad, which is the direct ancestor to both the Greek alphabet and the Latin alphabet that we still use to write the English language today.

Continue reading “Did the Phoenicians Circumnavigate Africa?” Author Spencer McDaniel Posted on November 18, 2021November 18, 2021 Categories ancient Africa , Ancient Egypt , ancient Egyptian technology , ancient exploration , Ancient Greece , ancient Phoenicians , classical reception , Classics , Debunking , Herodotos of Halikarnassos , history of science Tags ancient Africa , ancient African civilizations , Ancient Egypt , ancient Egyptian technology , ancient exploration , Ancient Greece , ancient Phoenicians , circumnavigation , classical reception , classics , Herodotos of Halikarnassos , history of science , land of Punt Greek mythology is famous for its bizarre and fascinating creatures.. Many classicists, myself included, feel that Antigone should not have published Singer’s article about Apuleius because, even though the article itself did not discuss infanticide, he is not the sort of person that they should be platforming.. The story that most people have been told is that Edward Jenner, a white English man, single-handedly invented the very first vaccine—a vaccine for smallpox—in 1796.. Continue reading “How Vaccines Were Really Invented” Author Spencer McDaniel Posted on April 20, 2021April 20, 2021 Categories ancient Africa , ancient China , Current events , Early Modern Period , history of science , modern history , Origins , Ottoman Empire Tags Africa , China , Current events , Early Modern Period , Edward Jenner , history of medicine , history of science , inoculation , origins , Ottoman Empire , smallpox , vaccination , vaccines On 11 October 2020, it was officially announced that Gal Gadot, a white Israeli actress, had been cast to play the Hellenistic Egyptian queen Cleopatra VII Philopator in an upcoming epic period drama titled Cleopatra , which will be directed by Patty Jenkins and scripted by Laeta Kalogridis.. Why is it that, out of three thousand some years of ancient Egyptian history, the only Egyptian queen that Hollywood is interested in making movies about is the one who was definitely of European ancestry?. Continue reading “Why Is Hollywood So Fixated on Cleopatra Anyway?” Author Spencer McDaniel Posted on October 11, 2020October 14, 2020 Categories ancient Africa , Ancient Egypt , Ancient Greece , Ancient Rome , ancient sculptures , classical reception , Classics , Cleopatra VII Philopator , Current events , race in the ancient world Tags ancient Africa , Ancient Egypt , Ancient Greece , Ancient Rome , ancient sculptures , classical reception , classics , Cleopatra , Cleopatra movie , Cleopatra VII Philopator , Current events , Movies , race in the ancient world Most people assume that everyone who lived in ancient Greece and Rome was white.. This is especially obvious in the egregiously historically inaccurate film 300 , which portrays all the Greek characters as white and all the Persian characters as people of color.. Were the Greeks and Romans really white?. Nonetheless, the ancient Greeks and Romans certainly did not think of themselves as white and modern Greeks and Italians haven’t always been considered white either.. Continue reading “Were the Ancient Greeks and Romans White?” Author Spencer McDaniel Posted on September 30, 2020February 22, 2021 Categories ancient Africa , Ancient Athens , Ancient Egypt , Ancient Greece , ancient Greek history , ancient Phoenicians , ancient Roman literature , Ancient Rome , classical reception , Classics , Debunking , Greek mythology , Kushite Empire , Misconceptions , misconceptions popularized by Hollywood , race in the ancient world , Roman emperors , Roman Empire Tags ancient Africa , ancient Athens , Ancient Egypt , Ancient Greece , ancient Phoenicians , Ancient Rome , Black people in the ancient world , Debunking , Greek mythology , Greek philosophy , Misconceptions , misconceptions popularized by Hollywood , race , race in the ancient world , race of the ancient Greeks and Romans , racism , Roman emperors , Roman Empire , whiteness The ankh is a hieroglyphic symbol composed of a T-shape with a loop on top that was used in ancient Egypt to represent the consonant sequence Ꜥ-n-ḫ .. Continue reading “No, the Christian Cross Is Not Based on the Egyptian Ankh” Author Spencer McDaniel Posted on July 19, 2020July 19, 2020 Categories ancient Africa , Ancient Egypt , ancient Egyptian culture , ancient religions , ancient Roman religion , Ancient Rome , art history , Bible , Classics , Debunking , Early Christianity , Historicity of Jesus , Jesus , Misconceptions , New Testament , Origins , pagan survivals , Roman Empire Tags Ancient Egypt , ancient Egyptian culture , ancient Egyptian religion , ancient religions , ancient symbols , ankh , cross , Debunking , Early Christianity , Historicity of Jesus , Jesus , Misconceptions The miniseries Troy: Fall of a City , which originally aired on BBC One in the United Kingdom in spring 2018 and was thereafter distributed internationally on Netflix, created quite a stir of controversy due to the fact that, in the series, the characters Zeus and Achilles are portrayed by black actors.. Continue reading “Were Achilles and Zeus Black in Greek Mythology?” Author Spencer McDaniel Posted on June 22, 2020June 22, 2020 Categories ancient Africa , Ancient art , Ancient artifacts , Ancient Athens , Ancient Greece , ancient Greek culture , ancient Greek deities , ancient Greek literature , ancient sculptures , classical reception , Classics , Debunking , Greek mythology , Homeric epics , race in the ancient world Tags Achilles , ancient Greek culture , ancient Greek deities , black people in Greek mythology , Debunking , Greek mythology , Homeric epics , Iliad , Memnon , race in the ancient world , racism , Trojan War , Troy: Fall of a City , Zeus Most people in the United States and Europe imagine that, prior to European colonialism, all of Africa south of the Sahara was nothing but a jungle full of simple, illiterate savages living in straw huts with only Stone Age technology.. Today, I want to talk about some of the civilizations that we know existed in Africa in ancient times.. Continue reading “Yes, There Were Ancient African Civilizations!” Author Spencer McDaniel Posted on June 16, 2020December 12, 2020 Categories Aksumite Empire , ancient Africa , Ancient art , Ancient artifacts , Ancient Egypt , ancient Egyptian culture , ancient sculptures , archaeology , architecture , art history , Debunking , Kushite Empire , Misconceptions , Nok culture , race in the ancient world , Roman emperors , Roman Empire Tags Aksumite Empire , ancient Africa , ancient African architecture , ancient African art , ancient African civilizations , ancient African empires , ancient Carthage , Ancient Egypt , Kushite Empire , Nok culture , Roman Empire

Achilles in Greek mythology was the son of Peleus and the immortal sea nymph, Thetis. He was renowned for his exploits in the Trojan War.

Achilles in Greek Mythology. Achilles was a hero of Greek mythology depicted in an Iliad by Homer.. Largely considered a demigod, Achilles was the son of Peleus, a mortal man, and Thetis a Nereid (sea nymph).. Greek god Zeus , the highest of the gods, and Poseidon (the god of the sea) had both been vying for the hand of Thetis in marriage.. As legend has it, King Peleus handed the little boy, Achilles over to Chiron who was half man, half beast (i.e a Centaur) on Mountain Pelion to bring up.. Chiron was charged with keeping Achilles away away from Thetis.. Achilles’ future was foretold by Thetis when she prophesied concerning two paths that had been chartered for his life.. According to several post-Homeric sources, in a desperate bid to prevent Achilles from fighting in the war, his mother or as some conflicting versions assert, Peleus took him to King Lycomedes of Skyros for safety.. This came to the fore when on meeting Prince Troilus, a brave Trojan prince, Achilles was reportedly sexually attracted to both brother and sister but decided on expressing his desire for the young man.. Achilles was broken hearted and inconsolable when Patroclus lost his life to Hector who killed him thinking he was Achilles because he wore Achilles’ armor.. So how did Achilles actually die?. A deadly shot from Paris’ arrow struck Achilles in the heel, which was the only part of his body left vulnerable when his mother burned the mortality out from his body as a child.. Achilles was thus made immortal but for that little part of his body.. That part of our bodies became known as the Achilles Tendon and/or Achilles Heel.

Achilles has an enormous reputation in Greek mythology because of his near-immortality. No harm came to him no matter where on his body he...

Achilles’ stories in Greek mythology are the prime reason why today we call the back part of someone’s heel, their Achilles.. The Styx is a nymph that became the main river in the Underworld that serves as a passageway for souls of the dead.Usually, the water in the river Styx is poisonous to anyone who touches it, but that was not the case for Achilles; perhaps due to Achilles being born a demigod and the descendant of both Zeus and Gaia.. However, this battle wasn’t between Paris and Achilles; it was between Achilles and Hector, Paris’s brother.. The story of Achilles and the Trojan War is in both the Iliad and the Odyssey, by Homer; but each tells a slightly different version of the course of events Achilles went through and when exactly he died.. When Achilles was in Troy fighting the Trojan War, and when he faced Hector, the Myrmidons were by his side; although, Achilles metwith Hector alone to fight.. Achilles was struck through the back of his heel, the weakest point on his body, and became the reason for why we today call the back of a heel, an Achilles Tendon.. Achilles was a demigod, so most other warriors did not succeed at beating him, but even Achilles had a weakness.

A list of the 30 most famous and beloved stories from Greek mythology

Each god gave the woman a gift: Athena gave her wisdom, Aphrodite beauty, Hermes cunning and so on.. Next, it was the turn of goddess Athena.. The years went by and, despite her beauty, Psyche could not marry.. According to Greek Mythology, Apollo had been mocking the God of Love, Eros.. Oh, and what beautiful music he made!. Bellerophon was a great hero of Greek Mythology.. So, the king of the gods sent Death to take Sisyphus' life.. While she was pregnant with Zeus’ children, Zeus married goddess Hera.

image via: pixabay.com

Not only are there many myths and stories, there are many versions of these stories.. One of the most iconic figures in all of Greek mythology is, of course, Achilles—they fierce warrior whose body was completely invulnerable except for his heel.. Nothing ever good comes of killing a god’s child.. It is none other than Paris, the brother of Hector and lover of Helen who caused the whole war in the first place, who eventually kills Achilles.. It is only after Patroclus’ death that Achilles returns to battle.

The most amazing stories from Greek Mythology that kids (and adults alike) will love! Learn more about some of the greatest Greek Myths for Kids!

If you want to find out which great tales of Greek mythology your kids will love to read, have a look at these 10 stories from Greek Mythology that kids (and their parents) will love!. Greek mythology consists of all the stories and tales about the Greek gods, goddesses, and heroes.. They were the Greek gods that ruled the world before the Olympians (also called the first gods or elder gods).. Some of the children of the Titans are also famous gods in Greek mythology.. Most stories from Greek Mythology are about the Olympian Gods.. Poseidon, the god of the sea My kid’s favorite Olympian is the goddess Athena.

Achilles was a warrior and quite possibly the most popular of all the Greek heroes. He was incredibly strong, remarkably brave and remained loyal to those closest to him. But he did have a vulnerability deemed the “Achilles heel”. The Iliad by Homer tells us the tales of his famous Trojan War adventures and misfortunes.

Achilles’ mother wanted to keep her son safe from harm and worked every day to make him immortal.. Thetis did everything in her power to make sure that Achilles would be immortal.. The water never came into contact with this part of his body and therefore left him vulnerable, giving us the well-known term “Achilles heel”.. When Achilles was 9 years old, it was predicted by a seer that he would die in a battle with the Trojans.. Achilles entered the Trojan War and became quickly known as a powerful warrior.. Without Achilles leading battles, the Trojans began to make headway in the war.. The Greeks lost many battles until Achilles’ childhood friend, Patroclus, approached him with a compromise.. Achilles vowed revenge and followed Hector.. Achilles stabbed Hector in the throat as revenge for killing his best friend.. He told Achilles he would allow him to marry his daughter if he would end the war.. Achilles had one son, named Neoptolemus.. He was conceived while Achilles was disguised as a girl in an effort to spare him from the Trojan War.. The shield was described as incredibly intricate and many artists have done their best to interpret the exact design that went to battle with Achilles.

Discover 10 of the greatest heroes of Greek legend and mythology from Odysseus to Achilles and Perseus to Hercules.

KenWiedemann / Getty Images. Son of Zeus and nemesis of the goddess Hera , Hercules was always too powerful for his foes.. Hercules died after his wife, jealous that he might have another lover, smeared a tunic with deadly centaur's blood, the pain of which drive Hercules to kill himself.. Ken Scicluna / Getty Images. Achilles was the Greeks' finest warrior during the Trojan War .. During that time, Odysseus and his men faced numerous challenges, including being kidnapped by a cyclops , menaced by sirens, and finally shipwrecked.. Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Perseus was the son of Zeus, who disguised himself as a shower of gold in order to impregnate Perseus' mother Danae.. As a young man, the gods helped Perseus to slay the snaky-tressed gorgon Medusa , who was so ugly that she could turn to stone anyone who looked directly at her.. As a young man, he set out on a quest to find the Golden Fleece and thus restore his place on the throne.. He was an Argonaut in Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece, and he survived a quest that even Theseus failed.. Cadmus married Harmonia, daughter of Ares, but suffered from guilt for having slain the war god's dragon.. Bibi Saint-Pol / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain. Although Greek heroes were overwhelmingly men, there's one woman that deserves a place in this list: Atalanta.

Videos

1. The Marriage of Zeus and Hera: The Punishment of the Lazy Nymph - Greek Mythology - See U in History
(See U in History / Mythology)
2. Zeus and the Conquest of Power | The Great Greek Myths, Episode 01
(Fadi Akil)
3. King Midas And The Golden Touch (The Curse of Greed) - Greek Mythology in Comics - See U in History
(See U in History / Mythology)
4. The myth of Prometheus - Iseult Gillespie
(TED-Ed)
5. techonoblade talking about greek mythology, but its calming {with rain}
(LofiCow)
6. The Black Achilles Controversy - EXPLAINED
(Study of Antiquity and the Middle Ages)

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