1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email

Achilles' Genealogy

Tables showing the family of Achilles to its very beginnings


Achilles Drags Hector

Achilles Drags the Corpse of Hector to Dishonor the Trojan Hero


The Family of Achilles from Peleus and Thetis to Chaos

Achilles is the son of the nymph Thetis and the mortal king Peleus.

Achilles' ancestors are confusing:

  • Part of this has to do with the fact that only one of his parents was a mortal. The immortals aren't many generations from the first generation ever in Greek genealogy. This makes Achilles' mother's side of the family tree lop-sided.
  • Another factor is the recurrence of the same mythological figure repeatedly in the family tree. Zeus is one such repeat performer. He gets connected biologically with many of the major heroes. It would be hard to figure out what the best specific blood relationship Zeus bears to our hero Achilles because he is related in too many different ways.

Tables 1 and 2 proceed in the normal way -- from ancestor to descendant, from Zeus etc. to Achilles on his father Peleus' side [Table 1], and from Chaos to Achilles' mother Thetis [Table 2].

The other tables (3-6) show the ancestry of other figures in Achilles' family tree, but in the reverse direction.

  • Table 3 shows the ancestry of Grandma Chariclo (Achilles' father's mother) down to Oceanus et al.
  • Table 4 shows the ancestry of Grandpa Sciron (Achilles' father's father) down to Zeus et al.
  • Tables 5 (& 6) show the ancestry of Hippodamia (Achilles' great-great-grandmother) & Aegina down to Oceanus et al.
  • The final table shows the ancestry of Zeus. Some ancestors are not restricted to a single generation.

The 6 tables together cover just about everyone in the family from the beginning of the cosmos down to the time of Achilles.

Mother of Peleus and paternal grandmother of Achilles
Father of Peleus and paternal grandfather of Achilles
Mother of Achilles
Father of Achilles

As you can see from TABLE 1, which shows the great Greek hero Achilles, his parents, two of grandparents, and four of his great-grandparents, the parents of Achilles were Thetis and Peleus. Thetis was a nymph and an immortal, but Peleus was human. Earlier, both the gods Poseidon and Zeus had been interested in marrying or at least mating with Thetis, but they had given up because of a prophecy that the son of Thetis would eclipse his father in fame. So, instead, the mortal Peleus married Thetis.

The parents of Peleus were Aiacos (making him grandfather of Achilles) and Endeis (making her a grandmother of Achilles). The parents of Aiacos (or the great-grandparents of Achilles) were Zeus and Aegina.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Gaia Uranos Gaia Uranos _ Chaos _ Chaos
Tethys Oceanos Gaia Pontos
Doris Nereus
THETIS - The Mother of Achilles

In the family tree of Achilles, Zeus comes up several times. One of the more famous mortal sons of Zeus was Tantalus -- the one who served up his own son Pelops at a feast for the gods. The goddess Demeter, who was mourning the loss of her daughter Persephone, was too distracted to notice the feast meal consisted of human flesh, so she ate the shoulder of Pelops before the gods could restore Pelops to life. After they did revivify Pelops, Demeter replaced the missing part with an ivory shoulder. For his crime, Tantalus was sentenced to eternal suffering in the Underworld.

In the family tree of Achilles, Pelops appears as the parent of a son named Sciron [see TABLE 4]. This would make Sciron a brother of Atreus (as in the cursed House of Atreus) and Thyestes. The Athenian hero Theseus later killed Sciron.

CHARICLO - Mother of Endeis (Mother of Peleus [Peleus is the father of Achilles])
Chariclo is a great-grandmother of Achilles. Aegina is the other great-grandmother of Achilles on his father's side.
_ Cychreos
_ _ Salamis Poseidon
_ _ _ _ Metope Asopos Rhea Cronos
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Stymphalis Ladon Tethys Oceanos _ _ _ _

SCIRON - Father of Endeis (Mother of Peleus [Peleus is the father of Achilles])
Sciron is a great-grandfather of Achilles. Zeus is the other great-grandfather of Achilles on his father's side.
Hippodamia (A's gg paternal gm) Pelops (A's gg pat. gf)
Eurianase Tantalos
ZEUS Pactolus Pluto [daughter of Himas] ZEUS
Leucothea ZEUS

The gods made Pelops more beautiful than ever when they resurrected him. His beauty was so great the god Poseidon fell in love him. Poseidon remained so enamored he helped Pelops in his quest for a mate, by enabling Pelops to defeat the more than overbearing father of Hippodamia, Oenomaus. Pelops then commemorated his victory over Oenomaus with the first Olympic Games.

Sterope Oenomaus
Pleione Atlas Harpinna Ares
Tethys Oceanos Clymene Iapetos Metope Asopos Hera ZEUS

AEGINA - Mother of Aiacos (Father of Peleus [Peleus is the father of Achilles])
METOPE (gg paternal gm ASOPOS (gg pat. gf)
Stymphalis Ladon Tethys Oceanos (ggg pat gf)
_ _ Tethys Oceanos (gggg pat gf)

ZEUS - Father of Aiacos (Father of Peleus [Peleus is the father of Achilles])
Uranos Gaia Uranos Gaia
_ Gaia Chaos _ _ Gaia Chaos _
_ _ Chaos _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Chaos _ _ _ _ _

Achilles Genealogy Reference:

• [genealogy.ijp.si/gedcom/antika/d0000/g0000004.html#I209] Genealogy of Achilles]

Achilles Resources

Events in the Trojan War
Who's Who in Greek Legend - Achilles and other heroes
Genealogy of the Titans and First Gods
Genealogy of Hermes - Another son of Zeus
Achilles - Short entry on Achilles, with small picture of Achilles

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.