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Natalia Kapatsoulia , Filippos Mandilaras

Achilles and Hector [Αχιλλέας και Έκτορας]

YEAR:

COUNTRY: Greece

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Title of the work

Achilles and Hector [Αχιλλέας και Έκτορας]

Country of the First Edition

Original Language

Greek

First Edition Details

Filippos Mandilaras, Achilles and Hector [Αχιλλέας και Έκτορας], Athens: Papadopoulos Publishing, 2012. 

From the series Ελληνική Μυθολογία [Greek Mythology].


ISBN

978-960-484-310-7

Genre

Illustrated works

Target Audience

Children (Children aged 4+)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Katerina Volioti, University of Roehampton, Katerina.Volioti@roehampton.ac.uk

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk 

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il 

Female portrait

Natalia Kapatsoulia (Illustrator)

Natalia Kapatsoulia studied French Literature in Athens, and she worked as a language tutor before embarking on a career as a full-time illustrator of children’s books. Kapatsoulia has authored one picture book Η Μαμά πετάει [Mom Wants to Fly], which has been translated into Spanish Mamá quiere volar. Kapatsoulia, who now lives on the island of Kefalonia, Greece, has collaborated with Filippos Mandilaras on multiple book projects.


Official website (accessed: July 2, 2018).

Profile at the epbooks.gr (accessed: July 2, 2018).


Bio prepared by Katerina Volioti, University of Roehampton, Katerina.Volioti@roehampton.ac.uk


Male portrait

Filippos Mandilaras , b. 1965
(Author)

Filippos Mandilaras is a prolific and well-known writer of children’s illustrated books and of young adults’ novels. Mandilaras studied French Literature in Sorbonne, Paris. His latest novel, which was published in May 2016, is entitled Υπέροχος Κόσμος [Wonderful World], and it recounts the story of teenage life in a deprived Athenian district. With his illustrated books, Mandilaras aims to encourage parents and teachers to improvise by adding words when reading stories to children. Mandilaras is interested in the anthropology of extraordinary creatures and his forthcoming work is about Modern Greek Mythologies.


More information:

In Greek:

Profile on EP Books' website (accessed: June 27, 2018).

i-read.i-teen.gr (accessed: June 27, 2018).

Public Blog, published 15 September 2015 (accessed: June 27, 2018).

Press Publica, published 28 January 2017 (accessed: June 27, 2018).

Linkedin.com, published published 6 May 2016 (accessed: February 6, 2019).

In English:

Amazon.com (accessed: June 27, 2018).

On Mandoulides' website, published 7 March 2017 (accessed: June 27, 2018).


In German:

literaturfestival.com (accessed: June 27, 2018). 


Bio prepared by Katerina Volioti, University of Roehampton, Katerina.Volioti@roehampton.ac.uk


Summary

The Achaeans have been fighting at Troy for nine years. Hector is the first among the Trojans. Agamemnon is the Achaeans’ general. On the tenth year, Achilles and Agamemnon argue for two women. Chryseis is Agamemnon’s slave girl. Her father, Chryses, a priest of Apollo, begs Agamemnon to give her back. Agamemnon refuses. When Apollo punishes the Achaeans, Agamemnon has to fulfil Chryses’ wish. Having returned Chryseis to her father, Agamemnon orders Briseis, Achilles’ slave girl, to come to his tent. Achilles gets angry and swears not to fight again. With Achilles absent, the Trojans, not afraid of Ajax and Odysseus, win in battle. Patroclus, Achilles’ best friend, puts on Achilles’ armour and enters the battlefield. Hector, however, is not deceived by the disguise and kills Patroclus. Achilles becomes revengeful and fights the Trojans. Hector says goodbye to his wife and son, and goes to fight Achilles. Having killed Hector, Achilles drags the dead body behind his chariot. Priam, Hector’s father, visits Achilles and asks for his son’s body. The war resumes after Hector’s burial. Paris, in an act of cowardice, kills Achilles by directing an arrow at Achilles’ heel, his only weak point. The sky darkens. Thetis, Achilles’ mother, and the Nereids, grieve. The end of Troy is approaching.

Analysis

As indicated by the title, the narrative is about two heroes, Achilles and Hector. Achilles’ wrath, the main theme of the Iliad, is covered. Yet, the book ends with Achilles’ death, and not with Hector’s funeral as in the Homeric account. Readers will learn about a plethora of figures, including those of Chryseis and Briseis who are described as slaves rather than concubines. All these characters seem to be necessary in order to appreciate Achilles’ and Hector’s personalities. 

Agamemnon is profiled as an unpleasant man. He is unreasonably rude to Chryses: “Go away, old man! Get out of my sight!” (my translation, «Φύγε, γέρο! Χάσου από μπροστά μου!» in Greek). Divine intervention is needed for Agamemnon to change his mind and return Chryseis to her father. Even an army general is terrified of a gods’ punishment. The gods are just, as well as powerful. Achilles, by contrast, is touched by Priam’s pain when Priam comes to beg for his son’s body. We read that Achilles “lets his anger subside straight away” (my translation, «το θυμό μεμιάς έκανε πέρα» in Greek). The soft side of Achilles comes to the fore here. We can hardly believe that this is the same individual who ruthlessly killed Hector and dragged Hector’s body. The book offers no explanation for the two sides of Achilles’ character. 

Patroclus emerges as a little naïve and perhaps even childish. Kapatsoulia shows him without a beard. He smiles happily at his mirror image as he tries on Achilles’ armour, unaware that he is heading to his death. Hector kills Patroclus, but does nor remove Patroclus’ arms as related in the Iliad (Hom. Il. 16.818 ff). The contrast with Achilles could not be greater. Having killed Hector, Achilles still desires revenge and treats a dead body disrespectfully. Readers may think that Patroclus is too weak to be Achilles’ best friend. To make the relationship between the two men more credible the author might have presented them as relatives. Achilles and Patroclus are cousins in Wonlfgang Petersen’s Troy, a 2004 film that is remotely inspired by the Iliad.

Achilles’ anger drives him to extremes. Following Agamemnon’s insult, Achilles first thinks about killing Agamemnon. Then, we are told, he swears to bury his shield and sword. The illustration shows a shield and a sword that carry writing in capital letters. ‘Strike’ (my translation, “ΑΠΕΡΓΙΑ” in Greek) runs vertically down the sword’s blade. ‘Hands off of Briseis’ (my translation, ΚΑΤΩ ΤΑ ΧΕΡΙΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΗ ΒΡΙΣΗΙΔΑ in Greek) runs inside the shield. Clearly, these messages, funny as they are, resonate with modern activism, and also with acts of defiance by people, such as hunger strikers, who go against the norm. There might be a political connotation here, namely, that the best are not always part of society and that others fail to understand them. 

Achilles’ aristeia (excellence in battle) is of paramount importance for winning the war, as also emphasised in the Iliad. Success in the battlefield appears to be far from a team effort, and this is reinforced also by the multiple one-to-one fights in the narrative here (Hector vs. Patroclus, Achilles vs. Hector, and Paris vs. Achilles). With Achilles ‘on strike’, the Achaeans are losing ground. When Achilles re-enters the war, the Trojans run away. Individuals, rather than armies, drive the action, as well as the reversals of fortune. 

Hector is far more humane than Achilles. We read about his wife and son, who are not named here. Family life inside the city walls contrasts profoundly with fierce fighting and imminent death in the plain. In Kapatsoulia’s illustration, the body-to-body combat between Hector and Achilles is obscured by a cloud of dust. The image here takes cues from comics, even though the encounter is far from comical.  

A negative sentiment pervades the entire book. On the first page, we read that Hector contemplates his city’s bad luck. The illustration on the final page shows a tomb stone featuring the inscription ‘Troy’ (‘ΤΡΟΙΑ’ in Greek) and a red line across it, as if it were a traffic sign for a dead end. Readers may deduce that Troy is doomed and will be annihilated soon, especially now that the two main heroes are gone. The last line in the text reads “Odysseus is preparing something…” (my translation, «ο Οδυσσέας φαίνεται πως κάτι ετοιμάζει...» in Greek). This could be a reference to the Trojan Horse that was conceived by Odysseus, and to the book about the Horse in the same series, ‘Ο Δούρειος Ίππος’.*




*accessed: March 1, 2019.


Addenda

Information about the book. Soft bound. 

Yellow cloud
Leaf pattern
Leaf pattern

Title of the work

Achilles and Hector [Αχιλλέας και Έκτορας]

Country of the First Edition

Original Language

Greek

First Edition Details

Filippos Mandilaras, Achilles and Hector [Αχιλλέας και Έκτορας], Athens: Papadopoulos Publishing, 2012. 

From the series Ελληνική Μυθολογία [Greek Mythology].


ISBN

978-960-484-310-7

Genre

Illustrated works

Target Audience

Children (Children aged 4+)

Cover

Missing cover

We are still trying to obtain permission for posting the original cover.


Author of the Entry:

Katerina Volioti, University of Roehampton, Katerina.Volioti@roehampton.ac.uk

Peer-reviewer of the Entry:

Susan Deacy, University of Roehampton s.deacy@roehampton.ac.uk 

Lisa Maurice, Bar-Ilan University, lisa.maurice@biu.ac.il 

Female portrait

Natalia Kapatsoulia (Illustrator)

Natalia Kapatsoulia studied French Literature in Athens, and she worked as a language tutor before embarking on a career as a full-time illustrator of children’s books. Kapatsoulia has authored one picture book Η Μαμά πετάει [Mom Wants to Fly], which has been translated into Spanish Mamá quiere volar. Kapatsoulia, who now lives on the island of Kefalonia, Greece, has collaborated with Filippos Mandilaras on multiple book projects.


Official website (accessed: July 2, 2018).

Profile at the epbooks.gr (accessed: July 2, 2018).


Bio prepared by Katerina Volioti, University of Roehampton, Katerina.Volioti@roehampton.ac.uk


Male portrait

Filippos Mandilaras (Author)

Filippos Mandilaras is a prolific and well-known writer of children’s illustrated books and of young adults’ novels. Mandilaras studied French Literature in Sorbonne, Paris. His latest novel, which was published in May 2016, is entitled Υπέροχος Κόσμος [Wonderful World], and it recounts the story of teenage life in a deprived Athenian district. With his illustrated books, Mandilaras aims to encourage parents and teachers to improvise by adding words when reading stories to children. Mandilaras is interested in the anthropology of extraordinary creatures and his forthcoming work is about Modern Greek Mythologies.


More information:

In Greek:

Profile on EP Books' website (accessed: June 27, 2018).

i-read.i-teen.gr (accessed: June 27, 2018).

Public Blog, published 15 September 2015 (accessed: June 27, 2018).

Press Publica, published 28 January 2017 (accessed: June 27, 2018).

Linkedin.com, published published 6 May 2016 (accessed: February 6, 2019).

In English:

Amazon.com (accessed: June 27, 2018).

On Mandoulides' website, published 7 March 2017 (accessed: June 27, 2018).


In German:

literaturfestival.com (accessed: June 27, 2018). 


Bio prepared by Katerina Volioti, University of Roehampton, Katerina.Volioti@roehampton.ac.uk


Summary

The Achaeans have been fighting at Troy for nine years. Hector is the first among the Trojans. Agamemnon is the Achaeans’ general. On the tenth year, Achilles and Agamemnon argue for two women. Chryseis is Agamemnon’s slave girl. Her father, Chryses, a priest of Apollo, begs Agamemnon to give her back. Agamemnon refuses. When Apollo punishes the Achaeans, Agamemnon has to fulfil Chryses’ wish. Having returned Chryseis to her father, Agamemnon orders Briseis, Achilles’ slave girl, to come to his tent. Achilles gets angry and swears not to fight again. With Achilles absent, the Trojans, not afraid of Ajax and Odysseus, win in battle. Patroclus, Achilles’ best friend, puts on Achilles’ armour and enters the battlefield. Hector, however, is not deceived by the disguise and kills Patroclus. Achilles becomes revengeful and fights the Trojans. Hector says goodbye to his wife and son, and goes to fight Achilles. Having killed Hector, Achilles drags the dead body behind his chariot. Priam, Hector’s father, visits Achilles and asks for his son’s body. The war resumes after Hector’s burial. Paris, in an act of cowardice, kills Achilles by directing an arrow at Achilles’ heel, his only weak point. The sky darkens. Thetis, Achilles’ mother, and the Nereids, grieve. The end of Troy is approaching.

Analysis

As indicated by the title, the narrative is about two heroes, Achilles and Hector. Achilles’ wrath, the main theme of the Iliad, is covered. Yet, the book ends with Achilles’ death, and not with Hector’s funeral as in the Homeric account. Readers will learn about a plethora of figures, including those of Chryseis and Briseis who are described as slaves rather than concubines. All these characters seem to be necessary in order to appreciate Achilles’ and Hector’s personalities. 

Agamemnon is profiled as an unpleasant man. He is unreasonably rude to Chryses: “Go away, old man! Get out of my sight!” (my translation, «Φύγε, γέρο! Χάσου από μπροστά μου!» in Greek). Divine intervention is needed for Agamemnon to change his mind and return Chryseis to her father. Even an army general is terrified of a gods’ punishment. The gods are just, as well as powerful. Achilles, by contrast, is touched by Priam’s pain when Priam comes to beg for his son’s body. We read that Achilles “lets his anger subside straight away” (my translation, «το θυμό μεμιάς έκανε πέρα» in Greek). The soft side of Achilles comes to the fore here. We can hardly believe that this is the same individual who ruthlessly killed Hector and dragged Hector’s body. The book offers no explanation for the two sides of Achilles’ character. 

Patroclus emerges as a little naïve and perhaps even childish. Kapatsoulia shows him without a beard. He smiles happily at his mirror image as he tries on Achilles’ armour, unaware that he is heading to his death. Hector kills Patroclus, but does nor remove Patroclus’ arms as related in the Iliad (Hom. Il. 16.818 ff). The contrast with Achilles could not be greater. Having killed Hector, Achilles still desires revenge and treats a dead body disrespectfully. Readers may think that Patroclus is too weak to be Achilles’ best friend. To make the relationship between the two men more credible the author might have presented them as relatives. Achilles and Patroclus are cousins in Wonlfgang Petersen’s Troy, a 2004 film that is remotely inspired by the Iliad.

Achilles’ anger drives him to extremes. Following Agamemnon’s insult, Achilles first thinks about killing Agamemnon. Then, we are told, he swears to bury his shield and sword. The illustration shows a shield and a sword that carry writing in capital letters. ‘Strike’ (my translation, “ΑΠΕΡΓΙΑ” in Greek) runs vertically down the sword’s blade. ‘Hands off of Briseis’ (my translation, ΚΑΤΩ ΤΑ ΧΕΡΙΑ ΑΠΟ ΤΗ ΒΡΙΣΗΙΔΑ in Greek) runs inside the shield. Clearly, these messages, funny as they are, resonate with modern activism, and also with acts of defiance by people, such as hunger strikers, who go against the norm. There might be a political connotation here, namely, that the best are not always part of society and that others fail to understand them. 

Achilles’ aristeia (excellence in battle) is of paramount importance for winning the war, as also emphasised in the Iliad. Success in the battlefield appears to be far from a team effort, and this is reinforced also by the multiple one-to-one fights in the narrative here (Hector vs. Patroclus, Achilles vs. Hector, and Paris vs. Achilles). With Achilles ‘on strike’, the Achaeans are losing ground. When Achilles re-enters the war, the Trojans run away. Individuals, rather than armies, drive the action, as well as the reversals of fortune. 

Hector is far more humane than Achilles. We read about his wife and son, who are not named here. Family life inside the city walls contrasts profoundly with fierce fighting and imminent death in the plain. In Kapatsoulia’s illustration, the body-to-body combat between Hector and Achilles is obscured by a cloud of dust. The image here takes cues from comics, even though the encounter is far from comical.  

A negative sentiment pervades the entire book. On the first page, we read that Hector contemplates his city’s bad luck. The illustration on the final page shows a tomb stone featuring the inscription ‘Troy’ (‘ΤΡΟΙΑ’ in Greek) and a red line across it, as if it were a traffic sign for a dead end. Readers may deduce that Troy is doomed and will be annihilated soon, especially now that the two main heroes are gone. The last line in the text reads “Odysseus is preparing something…” (my translation, «ο Οδυσσέας φαίνεται πως κάτι ετοιμάζει...» in Greek). This could be a reference to the Trojan Horse that was conceived by Odysseus, and to the book about the Horse in the same series, ‘Ο Δούρειος Ίππος’.*




*accessed: March 1, 2019.


Addenda

Information about the book. Soft bound. 

Yellow cloud