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Игра Ахилла и Аякса в кости. Проблема определения сильнейшего героя


Achilles and Ajax playing dice is a subject known only through a vase-painting, thus some scholars speculate that this story did not originate through epic tradition, but, rather, was created by visual artists. This interpretation, however, is unlikely for the following reason. In the earlier myths, it was Ajax who killed Hector, but later the epic was changed to have Achilles being the hero to bring Hector’s downfall. Thus comes about the problem of identifying Achilles as the «first/foremost» hero in epics relating to Hector’s death and explaining why Ajax could no longer be the hero to kill Hector. In order to explain that, it had to be shown that the stronger of the two heroes was Achilles and not Ajax. Thus, it is likely that the story about the game (which Achilles won) of two heroes in a Greek epic contained the above mentioned competition between Ajax and Achilles. Hence, the result of the game gave the answer to the question as to who is the best: because Ajax didn’t become the «first» hero, he couldn’t be the one to kill Hector.

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