Orchard, Annabel: "Achilleus: Man of Bronze." In: Refractory 10 (2006/2007)<http://refractory.unime ... bronze-annabel-orchard/>.
Added by: joachim (2014-11-14 11:33)
|Resource type: Web Article
BibTeX citation key: Orchard2006/2007
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Keywords: "Iliad", Classical antiquity, Cyborg, Homer, Literature, Myth, Superhero
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In the Iliad, the Trojan hero Aeneas says of his Greek enemy Achilleus: “he claims to be made all of bronze (panchalkeos)” Iliad 20.102 The poet has apparently reserved a special term for this reference to Achilleus. The word panchalkeos or “all bronze” occurs in the Iliad only in this passage. Achilleus’ physical identity is so closely associated with his armour that he might well be described by the Trojans as a man made of bronze. Whenever he appears on the battlefield, he is encased in armour made for him by the lame smith god Hephaistos. The bronze armour that he wears represents Achilleus’ identity as a warrior and hero. This paper examines the perceptions of the armoured body of Achilleus. It considers the effect of the armour on the person inside it and on those who view the armed figure on the battlefield. Drawing on ideas about the cyborg, it examines the enhanced power of the hero due to the technological and supernatural properties of the armour. It also considers the concept of imperfect invulnerability in this myth, and considers the significance of a physically imperfect god creating armour for a physically vulnerable hero.
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