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An Achilles' heel is a deadly weakness in spite of overall strength, that can actually or potentially lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, metaphorical references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.

Contents [hide]

1 Origin

2 Anatomy

3 See also

4 References

[edit] Origin

This is an oil painting of the Goddess Thetis dipping her son Achilles into the River Styx, which runs through Hades. In the background, the ferryman Charon can be seen taking the dead across the river in his boat. The scene was painted by Peter Paul Reubens around 1625.In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die in battle . To prevent his death, his mother Thetis took Achilles to the River Styx which was supposed to offer powers of invincibility and dipped his body into the water. But as Thetis held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed over by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be a man of war who survived many great battles. But one day, a poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him shortly after. Still, Achilles is remembered as one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.

The death of Achilles was not mentioned in Homer's Iliad, but appeared in later Greek and Roman poetry and drama[1] concerning events after the Iliad, later in the Trojan War. In the myths surrounding the war, Achilles was said to have died from a heel wound which was the result of an arrow — possibly poisoned — shot by Paris.[2]

Classical myths attribute Achilles' invulnerability to a treatment of Ambrosia and burning away of his mortality in the house fire[3] except on the heel, with which he was held by his mother Thetis. Peleus, his father, discovered the treatment and angered Thetis, who fled into the sea. Achilles was placed in the care of Chiron. (Demeter attempted a similar treatment on Demophon, or possibly Triptolemus.)

According to a myth

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