Achilles’ heel and Achilles tendon from Wikipedia

Statue of Achilles thniskon (dying) at the

Corfu Achilleion.

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. 

The strongest and largest tendon, the Achilles tendon connects muscles in the lower leg with the heel bone. Sports that tighten the calf muscles, such as basketball, running and high-jumping, or a direct blow to the foot, ankle, or calf can overstress this tendon and cause a strain (Achilles tendinitis) or a rupture.

The use of “Achilles’ heel” as an expression used for “area of weakness, vulnerable spot” dates only to 1855 (Merriam-Webster).[5]

In Greek mythology, when Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die in battle from an arrow in the foot. Naturally, his mother Thetis did not want Achilles to die. So she 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, an arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing him instantly. Yet 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 arising later, his mother had dipped the infant Achilles in the river Styx[4], holding onto him by his heel, and he became invulnerable where the waters touched him—that is, everywhere except the areas of his heel that were covered by her thumb and forefinger. It is not clear how the waters of the Styx, which silenced the gods for nine years, could confer immortality; or how Thetis could gain access to them; or how Peleus would accidentally discover the project.

Read all here_ Achilles’ heel and Achilles tendon from Wikipedia

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One Response to “Achilles’ heel and Achilles tendon from Wikipedia”

  1. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s weak point or Achilles’ heel is ironically Achilles tendinitis ! « Dr Ko Ko Gyi’s Blog Says:

    […] Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin‘s weak point or Achilles’ heel is ironically Achilles tendinitis ! Please read my earlier posting for the difference between, “Achilles’ heel and Achilles tendon” […]

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