Hector is the eldest son of Priam and Hecuba.  His wife's name is Andromache.  At the time of the war, she has just given birth to his son, Astyanax.  He is the principal leader of the Trojans during the Trojan War, with Sarpedon and Aeneas his principal captains.  In the Iliad, he is portrayed as compassionate and honorable, although perhaps a bit overly-bold.  From the very beginning of the war, when he kills Protesilaus, until his death he valiantly leads the Trojans.  Early in the war, it was Hector who proposed that Menelaus duel his brother Paris to prevent more bloodshed.

During the absence of Achilles, Hector leads the Trojans to the Greek ships themselves.  When Patroclus dons the armor of his friend Achilles, the Trojans flee, thinking the man to be Achilles.  Three times, Patroclus storms the walls of Troy itself, only to be repulsed by Apollo.  Hector, however, became enraged at the death of Sarpedon by the hand of Patroclus.  Ignoring the other Greeks, Hector steered his chariot straight towards PatroclusPatroclus hurled a rock, killing Hector's driver.  During the fight for the corpse, Patroclus was wounded by a Greek soldier.  Hector, seeing Patroclus was wounded, finished him off.  Hector stripped the body of Achilles' armor and wore it as his own.

Filled with rage, Achilles returned to the fight.  As the other Trojans fled into Troy, Hector alone remained outside the walls to fight.  As Achilles approached, Hector  panicked and fled.  The swift Achilles pursued him from behind.  They ran three times around the walls of Troy.  Watching from above, Zeus wanted to save Hector, but Athena convinced him otherwise.  She flew down to the earth, and tricked Hector into stopping, making him think that she was Deiphobus coming to his aid.

In their duel, Achilles speared Hector in the neck.  He then taunted the dying man, saying that he would not be buried.  Struggling for breath, Hector foretold Achilles' death at the hands of Paris and Apollo, and then died.  Achilles then stripped the body and tied it to his chariot.  Day after day, he dragged the body around the walls of Troy as revenge for the death of Patroclus.

After twelve days, the gods could take no more.  Thetis was ordered to convince Achilles to return the body.  Hermes went to Troy, and accompanied Priam to Achilles's tent.  The old man arrived, crying and begging for his son's body.  Achilles relented from his rage and agreed to return the body.  He even agrees to keep the Greeks from fighting for ten days, so that Hector may be buried properly.


  1. HomerIliad.