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[希腊神话57]阿基里斯

2006-02-28 00:00

  Achilles

  Achilles felt proud of his parentage.His grandfather was noted for his justice and uprightness and became a judge in Hades after death. His father Peleus was a brave warrior and later married the beautiful sea goddess,Thetis. At the wedding of Peleus and the sea goddess,to which most of the gods were invited, the goddess of discord,Eris,feeling angry at not being invited, threw among the guests a golden apple bearing the words“For the fairest” and stirred up a bitter quarrel which led in the end to the Trojan war.

  Thetis loved her son very much. When Achilles was still a baby, Thetis was shocked by a prophecy that her son would die in war. To save her son,the sea goddess dipped her baby in the waters of Styx  which could protect the human body from the fire and sword. But as the heel by which she held him was dry it became the one mortal spot  in the whole body of Achilles. Thus the expression“the heel of Achilles” has come to mean“a weak spot”. Achilles spent a great part of his boyhood in the woods with the wise old centaur, Chiron, who taught him the gentle arts as well as war affairs,and prepared him well for a short but brilliant career.

  When fighters all over Greece flew to arms against Troy, a prophet foretold that Achilles was sure not to return from the war. Determined to keep her son from the disaster, Thetis sent young Achilles to the court of the king of Scyros, where he worked in disguise as one of the handmaids waiting on the princess of Scyros . For a time trick worked. Messenger after messenger came,but all left without him. One day,a peddlar appeared in the palace,bringing with him a wide variety of womanish small things. There was,however,also a sword among such goods. Whereas most of the ladies stared at the silks and veils,one of them eagerly grabbed the sword and joyfully played with it. At this the peddlar threw off his disguise and came out with his true identity. The artful Odysseus had come to fetch the hero to Aulis,where Greek ships had been waiting for both a fair wind and Achilles. Odysseus had not laboured in vain . During an attack on the walls of Troy, Achilles caught the sight of the beauty of Polyxena,daughter of Priam. He was so attracted by the grace of the princess that he asked Priam to give him the hand of Polyxena in marriage . He worked hard for the peace between the two sides. When his efforts proved useless, he obtained a promise from Priam that the marriage would be held after the war. Just as Achilles turned to leave,the faithless Paris took out a poisoned arrow and shot at his heel from behind. Before Achilles breathed his last, he left his armour in his will  to the bravest of the Greek heroes. This gave rise to such a fierce contest between Ajax and Odysseus. As a result the armour was adjudged to Odysseus . So sad and desperate was Polyxena at Achilles'  death she committed suicide  in front of his magnificent tomb.

  阿基里斯为自己的出身门弟感到自豪。他的祖父以正直,擅主持正义而闻名,所以祖父死后在阴间做了一名法官。他的父亲珀琉斯是位勇敢的武士,后来与女海神忒提斯结婚。大多数神祗应邀参加了婚礼,只有不和女神厄里斯未在邀请之列。厄里斯颇感愤怒。她将一只刻有“献给最美的人”的金苹果掷向来宾,由此引起了激烈的争吵,最终引发了特洛伊战争。

  忒提斯非常喜爱儿子。当阿基里斯还是个婴儿的时候,忒提斯听到一种预言:儿子会在战争中死去,她大为震惊。为拯救儿子女海神在冥河中为她的孩子施浸礼。河水可使人体免遭苦难和屠杀。但因阿基里斯被抓的脚后跟是干的,因此脚后跟就成了阿基里斯整个身体中最致命的一点。这样,表达法——“阿基里斯的脚后跟”——逐渐用来指“弱点”。阿基里斯在树林中渡过少年时期。他与聪慧的半人半马怪物契诺呆在一起。这个怪物给他教授文雅的艺术和战事,为他短暂辉煌的一生做好充分的准备。

  当希腊的全体战士拿起武器进攻特洛伊城时,一位先知说:阿基里斯肯定不会从战争中生还。忒提斯决心使儿子免于遭难。她就派儿子去斯库诺斯国王的宫中。在那儿,阿基里斯装扮成一位女仆,伺候斯库诺斯的公主,在一段时间内,诡计并未被识破,前方的传令兵一个接一个地来到宫殿,但走时并未带上阿基里斯。有一天,一位小贩来到宫中,出售各种妇人用的小玩意儿。然而在所卖的东西中有一把利剑,大多数人的双眼都盯着丝绸和面纱,而其中一人却热切地抓起利剑,然后兴高采烈地摆弄起来。这时,小贩揭掉伪装,表明了自己的真实身份。狡猾的奥德修斯带走了阿基里斯。在奥里斯,希腊的战舰正在等待顺风和阿基里斯。奥德修斯的努力并未白费。

  当攻占特洛伊城墙时,阿基里斯看到了皮安姆之女波利希娜的美貌。他深为公主的魅力所吸引,因而请求皮安姆将波利希娜许配给他。他致力于双方的和解。当他的努力被证明为毫无用处时,他得到皮安姆在战后举行婚礼的许诺。阿基里斯刚转身要走,不守信用的帕利斯拿出毒箭从后面射中了他的脚后跟。阿基里斯咽气之前,留下遗嘱:将他的铠甲留给希腊最勇敢的英雄,这在埃杰克斯和奥德修斯之间引发了一场激烈的争斗。最终铠甲被判给奥德修斯。波利希娜为阿基里斯之死而悲伤绝望。她自尽于他壮丽的墓碑前。

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