Patroclus and Achilles: A legendary friendship in the Trojan War

Patroclus, the mythical character of the Trojan War, left his mark on the history of ancient Greece. His bond with Achilles, his dearest friend, is one of the most touching and legendary stories of the time. In this article, we delve into this singular friendship and its impact on the war between the Greeks and the Trojans. But first, let's look back at the historical context of the time.

Historical background: The Trojan War

The legend of the Trojan War has inspired many artists and authors over the centuries . The war pitted the Greek city of Mycenae against Troy, located in present-day Turkey. The battle was initiated by the kidnapping of the beautiful Helen, wife of Menelaus, who was coveted by the Trojan prince Paris.

It is against this backdrop of war that the story of Patroclus and Achilles unfolds.

I. The bond of friendship between Patroclus and Achilles

Patroclus and Achilles met in Phthia, a small village in Thessaly, where Patroclus was taken in by Achilles' family when he was a child. They grew up together in a spirit of brotherhood and camaraderie. Their relationship was so close that they were considered brothers on the same level as blood ties.

When they became adults, Achilles joined the Greek army that was fighting in the Trojan War. Patroclus, in search of adventure, followed him to the battlefield and enlisted as an ordinary soldier among the Greek troops .

Beyond their friendship, it was their relationship on the battlefield that left its mark. On several occasions, Patroclus was Achilles' confidant , the shoulder on which Achilles could cry and express his fears. Patroclus was also Achilles' preventer against himself, reminding him of his place in the conflict by avoiding any dangerous situations.

II. Patroclus' tragic death

Unfortunately, the Trojan War proved fatal for Patroclus. In battle , he was killed by Hector, brother of Paris and a Trojan hero. Achilles, devastated by the news, vows to avenge his friend's death.

Following Patroclus' death, Achilles changes completely. His sadness turns to rage and he throws himself into battle, determined to take his revenge on the enemy. Nevertheless, Achilles was unable to defeat Hector immediately, leading to a great hunt to excavate his beloved armor.

The next day, Achilles relentlessly attacks the Trojan camp and manages to kill Hector. He thus deprived Troy of one of its greatest heroes, but he also avenged Patroclus' death. Achilles' vengeful impulse has made him both stronger and more vulnerable.

III. Patroclus' legacy

Patroclus is considered a hero in his own cause, but he has become legendary in Achilles' legacy. His tragic death and sacrifice had a great influence on Achilles, but also inspired many stories, songs and poems. Portraits of his unfailing friendship with Achilles have been painted and engraved in the collective memory.

The friendship between Patroclus and Achilles is an example of loyalty and camaraderie. Their fraternity allowed Achilles to express his vulnerability and not only to be oppressed by the darkness of his mission. It is this example of self-denial and sacrifice that the legend of Patroclus has passed on to posterity.


In short, Patroclus is an emblematic historical figure because of his friendship with Achilles. Their relationship has remained a symbol of the importance of friendship and has inspired many artists.

Although this story is set against a backdrop of war and violence, it delivers a universal and timeless message. It reminds us that friendship is an essential pillar of our lives, and that the sacrifices it may require make it all the more precious and wonderful.