Phoenix (Iliad)

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In Homer's Iliad, Phoenix (Φοῖνιξ, gen.: Φοίνικος Phoinix), son of Amyntor, is one of the Myrmidons led by Achilles who along with Odysseus and Ajax urges Achilles to re-enter battle. Phoenix's warfaring identity is a charioteer. He gives the most passionate speech of the three. Phoenix's speech to Achilles is very human and from the heart as evidenced by his crying. Despite the brutality of the ongoing Trojan War, Phoenix shows very human emotions. Phoenix deeply cares about Achilles and help raised him as a child: ("So you, Achilles- great godlike Achilles I made you my son, I tried, so someday you might fight disaster off my back. But now, Achilles, beat down your mounting fury! It's wrong to have such an iron, ruthless heart.") 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.

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