"There warlike Ajax lies. There lies Achilles, there Patroclus, wise in council as the gods."

The suicide of Ajax the Great. Red-figure calyx-krater, ca.400–350 BC
Public DomainThe suicide of Ajax the Great. Red-figure calyx-krater, ca.400–350 BC - Credit: Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons
 Ajax, Achilles and Patroclus are all Greek heroes who died at Troy. Patroclus was killed by the Trojan prince Hector, who mistook him for Achilles. Patroclus had donned the armour of the mighty Achilles in order to raise the morale of the Greek troops and rally Achilles’ men. Achilles had refused to fight due to an argument with Agamemnon. The Iliad tells of the anger of Achilles upon hearing of the death of Patroclus. Achilles himself died when Paris’ arrow (guided by Apollo) pierced his heel. Ajax committed suicide after losing the armour of Achilles to Odysseus, or according to other accounts, out of shame when a god-influenced madness compelled him to slaughter all the army’s animals, believing them to be the Greek leaders.