Phoenix (Iliad)


Phoenix (Iliad)

In Homer's "Iliad", Phoenix, son of Amyntor, is one of the Myrmidons led by Achilles who along with Odysseus and Ajax urges Achilles to re-enter battle. He gives the most passionate speech of the three. It is likely that this was a later addition to the epic, as Achilles continually uses a special dual verb form in speaking with his guests, rather than a more appropriate plural form. However, it has been suggested that Achilles speaks only to Phoenix and Ajax, ignoring Odysseus, to whose guile he bears a considerable dislike. ("I hate like the gates of Hades the man who says one thing and holds another in his heart.") He participated in the hunt for the Calydonian Boar.

Phoenix also makes a cameo in Virgil's "Aeneid". As Aeneas is searching his fallen Troy for his wife Creusa, he glimpses Phoenix and Odysseus guarding their loot in Priam's palace.

In the film and novel "2010", Dr. Chandra asks the SAL-9000 to create the file "Phoenix". The computer first thinks that he is referring to the tutor of Achilles, but then realizes he means the mythical bird.


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