Hector of Troy was a son of Priam, King of Troy and his wife Hecabe. His paternal grandfather was Laomedon, King of Troy. His maternal grandfather was Sangarius the River God. Sangarius was a son of Oceanus and Tethys the Titans. Hector, of the flashing helm, was the eldest among the children of his parents. He was expected to become king of Troy after his father. But as the city was attacked by the Achaean invaders, he became the leader of the alliance defending Troy . In the tenth year of the war Hector was killed, and the kingdom that was his inheritance was destroyed.
Nothing is told about the childhood of Hectornor on his life before the Trojan War . This man came to be known for his courageous interventions during the War and for being the very fundament of the defence of the city. And yet some have said that before the War , Hector came to Hellas, and having taken the city of Troezen , carried away Aethra mother of Theseus and took her to Troy. Anyhow Hector became the pillar of the city. And when the Achaeans talked, planned or dreamt about the destruction of Troy, they seldom failed to mention the need of killing its mighty defender, if that aim was to be achieved.
Hector fulfilled his duty as defender and commander of the troops without hesitation. However, he was visibly annoyed with his brother Paris , who, through the abduction of Helen , had caused the conflict that threatened the existence of Troy . He reproached Paris for his reluctance to face Menelaus in combat. The Trojans were fated, by the will of Zeus , to win several victories during the last year of the war. And that was so, because the god, having heard the prayers of Thetis, had decided to punish Agamemnon 's pride and the Achaeans for the outrage Achilles had suffered when his sweetheart Briseis was taken away from him. And so, while Achilles nursed his bitter wrath and refused to fight, Zeus gave victory and glory to Hector who killed many warriors, and finally threatened the Achaean fleet.
A pious man was Hector, for he would not offer a libation to the gods with unwashed hands, or pray while being bespattered with blood and filth. He was also a temperate man, for he would abstain, during a break in the battle, to drink wine , feeling it would cripple him, and make him forgetful of his courage. And yet it was his own mother who offered it. Hector never hesitated and was always dutiful. He never rested when he had tasks in front of him. Also Helen invited him to a short pause, but he refused. And this devotion towards his duty, which he recognizes as defence of country and family, does not fade in front of the inevitable disaster, for Hector himself acknowledges that his efforts will be fruitless. And, as if a prophetic vision had seized him, he laments what in fact will take place: the death of his father and brothers, and Andromache 's lost freedom. Thus, seeing the future as if it were displayed in front of his eyes, he cannot see the point in trying to spare his own life, and so suffer hearing the screams of his own wife as the enemy drags her off.
In one occasion, Hectorand the Achaean champion Ajax fought in single combat that was without issue because the heralds parted them as the night was coming. In recognition of their courage the contenders exchanged gifts. But, as it is said, the gifts of enemies bring no good, for Ajax gave Hectorthe belt by which he was later dragged by Achilles , and Hector gave Ajax the sword with which he killed himself. Zeus had promised Thetis to honour her son Achilles , and so the god showed the Achaeans, through defeat's bitter lesson, the value of the man they had offended, letting the Trojans win. Zeus even sent Iris with a message to Hector letting him learn that when Agamemnon would be wounded, that was the signal for him to attack and slay warriors until he reached the Achaean ships.
However, when this was about to happen and the Trojans were preparing to break the Achaean defence and were standing at the trench ready to cross, a portent appeared to them. They saw an eagle holding a blood-red snake in his talons. The snake was alive, and suddenly it bit the eagle on the breast, and the bird had to drop it before he reached his nest. Some Trojans understood this omen thus: that even if they succeeded in breaking the Achaean wall, they would not be able to set the ships afire, that many warrior would die, and that finally they would have to return to the city without having achieved complete victory. But Hector, who felt he had been promised glory by Zeus , said that he was not to base his actions on the flight of birds, and so he gave the signal to advance. And in fact that was Hector's day of glory and victory, for the defences were broken and the Achaeans were driven in rout among the ships. Having achieved this, Zeus turned his eyes elsewhere, deeming that no other god would ever dare to intervene, as he had strictly forbidden them to help anybody in battle. But Poseidon , seeing that Zeus ' attention was not in the battlefield, came to where the fight was, and assuming the seer Calchas ' shape, gave the Achaeans renewed courage.
When Zeus discovered what had happened, and that even the life of Hectorhad been in danger, he soon reestablished the line of action he had decided, letting the Trojans reach the Achaean ships and Hectorwin a victory, in order to fulfill the prayer of Thetis. But Zeus was only waiting for the glare of a burning ship; for from that time forth, he would grant glory to the Achaeans, and let the Trojans be defeated. W hen one of the ships caught fire, Achilles perceived the gravity of the situation, and letting go a part of his wrath, he let his friend Patroclus go into battle with a force of Myrmidons. But as it had been predicted, Hectorkilled Patroclus. When Hectorhad killed Patrocusl , he intended to behead the corpse, drag it off, and give it to the dogs of Troy , but the body was finally retrieved by the Achaeans. Yet he kept Achilles ' armour, which Patroclus had worn.
After having received a new armour from Hephaestus and having put and end to his feud with Agamemnon , Achilles went in search of Hector and death. Hecto rwas not less decided to meet his own fate. Kin Priam tried to dissuade his son from fighting a man, son of a goddess, far stronger than himself. And the same did his mother Hecabe , who exhorted him to fight within the walls of the city, instead of meeting the savage Achilles in single combat. They resorted both to reason and tears, but all their entreaties were wasted on this son, and they failed to shake Hector's resolution. And yet when the crucial moment approached and Hector was waiting for Achilles , many doubts appeared in his thoughts: Should he had withdrawn the army when Achilles came to life again? Would not the Trojans say that he trusted his own arm and lost his army? Could he not make overtures to Achilles , and for example, deliver Helen and the property Paris stole from Sparta ? Could he not propose to share all the rest of the Trojan possessions with the Achaeans?
Many things may be thought by a man in danger, trying to figure up how the present nightmare might be averted. So there was almost no thought or possible solution that Hector did not consider at that moment. And he even thought of inducing his countrymen to swear in council that they would hide nothing, but divide all the Trojan property in two equal parts, to be shared with the enemy. For peace, agreement, and sharing, which seldom awake enthusiasm when they in daily life are taken for granted, become the object of profound longing when they are lost. Hector's inward debate was followed by the kind of prophetic inspiration he had in his dialogue with his wife Andromache. When he caught sight of Achilles , feeling that something terrible was about to happen, he began to tremble, and losing heart he ran away in terror. So the combat started like a race with Hectorin front and Achilles behind, pursuing him round the city of Troy . So they went on until Zeus , lifting his golden scales and weighing their sentences of death, saw the side of Hectorcome down, spelling his doom. Then Apollo , who up to that point had protected Hector deserted him, and Athena , who wished to help Achilles assuming the shape of Deiphobus brother of Hector, came to him and convinced him of making a stand and face Achilles , both together, she said.
Thus Hector decided to stop running and stand to fight. But very soon, having discovered that there was no Deiphobus by his side, Hector realized that the gods had fooled him, that death was not far away, and that he was about to face his doom. This came quickly, for Achilles ' lance wounded him mortally in the neck. In vain Hector begged Achilles not to give his body to the dogs. Achilles would continue desecrating the corpse for days after Hector's death.