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The Greek Hero Ajax

The Telamonian Ajax of the Trojan War


Telamonian Ajax or Ajax the Greater was one of the leading warriors on the Greek side in the Trojan War. He competed with Odysseus for the armor of Achilles.
Nekuia with Ajax Persephone and Sisyphus, by the Swing Painter.

Nekuia with Ajax, Persephone, and Sisyphus, by the Swing Painter. Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich, Germany. Side A of an Attic black-figure amphora, ca. 530 BC. From Vulci.

Public Domain. Courtesy of Bibi Saint-Pol, Wikipedia.
Ajax was humiliated when he lost out to Odysseus in the bid for the dead Achilles' armor. He went mad and tried to kill his fellow Greeks. Athena deluded him into thinking a herd of animals were his fellow warriors. When Ajax came to his senses, he was even more humiliated and killed himself. He was still indignant after death. The helmeted Ajax is pouting in this picture of an Underworld scene. Persephone is watching Sisyphus (endlessly) pushing the rock.

Ajax is sometimes called Ajax the greater or the Telamonian Ajax to distinguish him from the Lesser Ajax (Locrian Ajax) who was almost as useful a Greek warrior as the Greater Ajax, but sullied his reputation when he raped Cassandra in the temple of Athena at the end of the Trojan War.

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