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The surviving ancient and medieval sources, whether literary or scholarly, contradict each other, and many do not tally with the form of the myth that scholars now believe to have existed in the archaic and classical periods.Partially compensating for the missing texts are the physical artifacts that remain from the archaic and classical periods.Sophocles was one of the writers to tell this tale.It was also a popular theme among artists of the time.In Greek mythology, Troilus is a young Trojan prince, one of the sons of King Priam (or Apollo) and Hecuba.Prophecies link Troilus' fate to that of Troy and so he is ambushed and murdered by Achilles.Within the medieval tradition, Troilus was regarded as a paragon of the faithful courtly lover and also of the virtuous pagan knight.Once the custom of courtly love had faded, his fate was regarded less sympathetically. That there are two horses shown side by side can most clearly be seen by looking at their legs and tails.

This sacrilege leads to Achilles’ own death, when Apollo avenges himself by helping Paris strike Achilles with the arrow that pierces his heel.Ancient writers treated Troilus as the epitome of a dead child mourned by his parents.He was also regarded as a paragon of youthful male beauty.It is the fleeing Troilus whom swift-footed Achilles catches, dragging him by the hair from his horse.The young prince takes refuge in the nearby temple.

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