Achilles in Skyros

I read in ‘The Song of Achilles‘ the passage where he is discovered hiding as a woman in Skyros to avoid joining the Trojan war. I was searching online about this passage, to see how close it was to the original myth, when an image of a mosaic from my home region popped up.

This is one of the main mosaics of Villa Romana de La Olmeda in Palencia.

Achilles is dressed as a woman, wearing jewels and a woman’s hairstyle. He has been tricked by Odysseus who came pretending to be a merchant. Within the trinkets he brought for the women there were some arms. The horns sounded announcing danger and Achilles, by instinct, took a spear and a shield to protect the women and revealed himself.

What was surprising to me is that I have been several times to La Villa, even last summer, and I didn’t make the connection.

How often we overlook the things that are closed to us!


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