Single Combat...

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
I have been watching videos on the Arab conquest of the Sassanids empire and several time the Generals from each army would duel before the battle. In other battles their Champions would go out and duel before the battle in the no man zone. I have seen this in movies but now I have read and seen it in history.

The Arabs had a special unit pof Champions... called Mubarizun

Snip... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mubarizun

The Mubarizun were a recognized part of the Muslim army with the purpose of engaging enemy champions in single combat.[1] In pre-Islamic Arab, Byzantine, and Sassanian warfare, battles usually began with duels between the champion warriors of the opposing armies.[2]

Snip... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_combat

Single combat was also a prelude to battles in pre-Islamic Arabia and early Islamic battles. For example, the Battle of Badr, one of the most important in the early history of Islam, was opened by three champions of the Islamic side (Ali, Ubaydah, and Hamzah) stepping forward, engaging and defeating three of the then-Pagan Meccans, although Ubaydah was mortally wounded.[1] This result of the three single combats was considered to have substantially contributed to the Muslim victory in the overall battle which followed. Duels were also part of other battles at the time of Muhammad, such as the battle of Uhud, battle of the Trench and the battle of Khaybar.

Here is a video where the Arab General Khalid ibn al-Walid fought duels with the Sassanids generals and won and went on to win the battle... note Khalid ibn al-Walid is considered one of the top ten Great General in history... never lost a battle usually had the smaller army...

 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
Doing this I learned John Smith of New World Fame was a soldier for hire...

LINK:http://www.historynaked.com/loves-john-smith/

Snip... he won three single combat duels...

To top this, he defeated three Turkish champions in single combat and won the right to put “three Turkish heads” on his shield.

Snips... he was a pirate...

En route to Hungary to join the Austrian army against Turks, his ship sank. John made it to an island off Cannes, and was eventually picked up by a Captain La Roche, who made his living plundering ships in the Mediterranean. This adventure in piracy made John Smith a wealthy man and allowed him to finally make it to Graz and join the Austrian campaign against the Turks.

Snip... a soldier

With the Austrians, John made a name for himself as a creative and resourceful soldier. At the battle of Limbach, he was able to use an innovative system of signals to communicate with the besieged garrison in the town. Then fooled the Turks into thinking the Austrians were attacking to the west by using string, cloth and powder to create the illusion of an army of flintlock muskets. Then the real army attacked from the east after the Turks repositioned their troops. At the siege of Alba Regals, he created “fiery dragons”, which were pots filled with gunpowder, covered with pitch, brimstone and turpentine. Then these were coated with musket bullets. These were then set on fire and flung into the Turkish lines.

Snip... slave...

After the siege of Alba Regals, he was wounded in a minor skirmish with the Tartars and left for dead. From there, he was captured and taken to the slave market and in John’s words, “we all sold for slaves, like beasts in a market-place; where every merchant, viewing their limbs and wounds, caused other slaves to struggle with them to try their strength.” He was bought by a Turkish nobleman, who gifted him to his Greek mistress in Constantinople, one Princess Charatza Tragabigzanda.

Well his days as slave and his escape are it own tale...
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
Here some more details... single duels... but the link goes more in detail of John Smith life...

LINK: https://brewminate.com/captain-john-smith-from-turkish-slavery-to-jamestown/

Snip...

Smith fought against the Turks in battles waged in Slovenia, Hungary and Transylvania [Romania] earning several awards for his bravery in battle. One award was his promotion to captain, a title Smith remained proud of the rest of his life. The Prince of Transylvania gave Smith the title of “English gentleman”, and with it a coat of arms that consisted of three Turks’ heads representing the three Turks killed and beheaded by Smith in individual jousting duels. Smith had become a very accomplished soldier and leader. But his good fortune ended in 1602 when he was wounded and captured in battle and sold into Turkish slavery. Smith was forced to march 600 miles to Constantinople where a new adventure awaited the captain.
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
Medieval ages Russian single combat... With a Bear and wood fork!...

Link:https://russian-crafts.com/russiantraditions/bear-fight-en.html

Custom to arrange fighting of a man with a bear was known in medieval Russia as a "bear fun". Such funs were represented on frescos of the Kiev-Sofia cathedral (1037). In old manuscript by Daniil Zatochnik the author, listing different sorts of funs wrote about fighting with wild animals. The plot of a fighting of person and bear is met on medieval Russian coins and seals.

Two variants of duels of an armed man with a bear practiced. In first of them a single combat was absolute, in other - a fighter if he was threatened with obvious danger, was insured by other hunters with pitchforks. In single combat of the unarmed man with a bear used with specially trained animals.

In Middle Ages in Russia bear fights was rather popular and became a steady tradition. Fights with bears were arranged in villages and towns, in small and big cities on market squares, at fairs and national holidays.

Bear fights when a man armed with a cold steel struggled with a wild bear were held as a show and fun down to the first decades of XIX century. Single combat of an armed person with a wild animal as a kind of mass show was stopped in Õ1Õ century.

Alongside with bear fight down to the end of 1920-s there was in many places a hunt for bear with very primitive weapon that was called rogatina - a wood pitchfork. Being business rather dangerous, such bear hunt was accompanied various superstitions, legends and histories. That is why there were so many volunteers who wanted to fight with bear for fun or for a certain compensation. It is necessary to take into account that for east Slavs a bear was one of the main characters in a number of tales about animals.
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
Here is some more...

LINK: https://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/mwblog/single-combat-the-duel-between-heraclius-and-razhadh-at-the-battle-of-nineveh/

Snip...

The idea of single combat - a duel between two single warriors that would decide a battle - was popular in the ancient and medieval periods, at least in literature. From David versus Goliath to Achilles against Hector, one can read many literary or legendary examples of duels being fought between champions. However, it is more difficult to find an episode that has a stronger historical-footing. Some accounts exist of single combats taking place in battles fought medieval Russia, in early Islamic warfare, and among the Samurai in Japan.

Snip... account... 200 years after it happened...

Another ninth-century Byzantine writer, Theophanes the Confessor, offers a more lengthy account of the battle, and begins with Emperor Heraclius taking on three opponents:
Battle was give on Saturday, the 12th of December. The emperor sprang forward in front of everyone and met a commander of the Persians in battle, and, by God’s might and the help of the mother of God, threw him down; and those who had sprung forward with him were routed. Then the emperor met another Persian in combat and cast him down also. Yet a third assailed him and struck him on the lip with a spear, wounding him; but the emperor slew him too.
Snip... followup...

The sources only agree that Emperor Heraclius took part in the battle, had some kind of wound on his lips, and killed someone of high rank among the Sassanid forces. Was there a single combat against the enemy commander, as one chronicler stated? That story seems doubtful, especially considering the emperor would have been around fifty-years old at time. But we can be somewhat more sure that Heraclius fought on that day, side-by-side with his Byzantine soldiers, and helped them to gain an important victory.
 

diane

that gal
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,044
That's a remarkable amount of interesting items about John Smith! Check out the conquistadors. Let's face it - the people who came here were the adventurers of Europe. The young guys without jobs they couldn't send off to the Crusades any more!
 

diane

that gal
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,044
Separate post! Where do more modern single combatants like Forrest and Hampton fit in? Forrest holds the CW record of 31 personal combat kills. (He was never proud of that, by the way, and it wasn't his count - it was what was recorded in the reports.) Hampton is in second place with 18 personal combat kills.
 

Jim Klag

Ike the moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
1,272
Reaction score
866
That's a remarkable amount of interesting items about John Smith! Check out the conquistadors. Let's face it - the people who came here were the adventurers of Europe. The young guys without jobs they couldn't send off to the Crusades any more!
I guess counting coup was the Indian equivalent of single combat. Y'all were way less messy, @diane.
 

diane

that gal
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,044
:D I don't know about that, Jim! One of my two centuries ago ancestors left us a finger necklace - the bow fingers of the enemies he'd killed in combat. I'm not exactly sure what you do with a family heirloom like that....!
 

Jim Klag

Ike the moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
May 12, 2019
Messages
1,272
Reaction score
866
:D I don't know about that, Jim! One of my two centuries ago ancestors left us a finger necklace - the bow fingers of the enemies he'd killed in combat. I'm not exactly sure what you do with a family heirloom like that....!
Reminds me of the scene in Little Big Man. After Dustin Hoffman pumps five arrows into his enemy he swears, "I never meant to kill him. Just distract him."
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
Forrest and Hampton fit in?
his enemy he swears
Here an account of Civil War one on one... https://irma.nps.gov/DataStore/DownloadFile/453448

The Confederate scout, Lieutenant Clay Reynolds, who had been forced to walk behind the two womens' carriage, was now also free, and lost no time joining the fray. He grabbed a Union carbine and horse and galloped toward a Union officer. The officer, taking up the challenge, rode at Reynolds, both men firing pistols. After several rounds, one of Reynolds' shots knocked the Union officer out of the saddle and he fell, wounded.
 

diane

that gal
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,044
Jeb Stuart, before he became legendary, was a lieutenant out on the plains of Kansas mixing it up with a band of Pawnee. His buddy went down and he saw an Indian about to shoot him, so he rode up and gave a slash with his sabre. He sliced the Indian's thigh open and the Indian shot him point blank in the chest. As it happened, the gunpowder was not good quality and the ball hit the sternum with no further penetration. However, Jeb spent the next three weeks wondering why he wasn't dead. This ball remained with him for the rest of his life and sometimes moved around - enough a surgeon once offered to remove it. Jeb didn't think so! He did manage to keep out of the kind of combat that required him to kill somebody up close and personal. However, this one event - the only time Stuart was ever wounded except for the last time - was a major psychological change. Stuart was never quite as happy-go-lucky as he had been before and was a hard, formidable opponent - it made a real soldier of him.
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
Here is a Roman stories of single combat... there are more single combat stories at the link...

LINK:https://www.warhistoryonline.com/ancient-history/single-combat-ancient-rome.html

The best example of this morale bosting pre-battle combat comes from the Roman conquest of Spain. A young Scipio Aemilianus, grandson of the famous Scipio Africanus, was a junior officer rising up the ranks in Spain. During a siege one of the Iberian warriors kept parading around the no man’s land and challenging the Romans to a fight. The morale of the Romans dropped when no one rose to the challenge until Scipio was able to get permission from his commander to take the challenger. The sources say the Iberian was a giant while Scipio was a much smaller man, but Scipio was able to prevail and dampen the spirit of the rest of the Iberians.

Snip... held the bridge...

Though not technically “single combat” the stand of Horatius Cocles of Rome was a great example of individual combat. As the Romans were fighting a field battle against the Etruscans on the opposite side of the Tiber from the city they suffered a setback and were forced to retreat over a single, narrow bridge. To protect the routing army and Rome itself Cocles held the bridge while his fellow soldiers tore up the bridge to make in impossible to cross. Cocles suffered multiple injuries but was able to hide behind corpses and throw back the various missiles thrown at him. Once the Roman side of the bridge was destroyed Cocles dove in the river and swam to the Roman banks. His delaying action meant that the Etruscans had to settle for what would eventually be a failed siege as they were unable to storm the city after their initial victory. Cocles would struggle with his injuries the rest of his life but was respected as a hero of the city.

Snip...

Another early republic example comes from wars against northern Italian Gauls. Marcus Valerius was a patrician in his twenties who accepted a pre-battle challenge from a “gigantic” Gaul. In this instance a crow was said to have landed on Valerius’ helmet during the battle and periodically attack the face of the Gaul during the duel and so Valerius was given “divine aide” and killed the Gaul. Contrary to many other single combats, both armies charged and a struggle for the body, as Livy summarizes the effects of single combat

Snip...

Contrary to several other figures mentioned, Marcellus was a high ranking officer, a Consul actually, when he targeted Gallic king Viridomarus for single combat. The two apparently spotted each other by recognizing their ornate armor and decided to charge. With both being on horseback the encounter was swift, with Marcellus knocking Viridomarus off of his horse before dismounting and dealing some finishing blows. Marcellus claimed the king’s armor and won the highest honor a military man could achieve, the spolia opima.
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
These were under duels but many were either in battle or before the battle...

Middle Ages[edit]
Further information: Medieval tournament, Pas d'armes, Trial by combat, and Holmgang

Robert the Bruce killing Henry de Bohun in single combat during a battle

 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
We all know the Achilles vs Hector in combat but Hector fought Ajax first and lost too... more to the story at the link:

link:http://sabidius.com/2020/03/17/homer-iliad-book-vii-ajax-duels-with-hector/

Ll. 233-312. Ajax and Hector fight.
Then, mighty Hector of the shining helmet said to him: “Zeus-born Ajax, son of Telamon, commander of the host, do not try to test me in battle like some feeble child or a woman who knows nothing of the deeds of war. But I know well about fighting and the slaughter of men; I know (how) to direct the tanned ox-hide (of my shield) to the right, and to the left, (and) that (is what) true fighting means to me; and I know (how) to charge into the battle-fury of swift chariots; and I know (how) to dance to the measure of deadly Ares. But, (be on your guard), for I do not wish to hit you, great (man) that you are, by stealth as I look around (at you), but openly, if (only) I can strike you.”
So he spoke, and (then) he poised his spear that cast a long shadow and hurled (it), and he struck Ajax’s fearsome shield with its seven layers of ox-hide on the very edge of the bronze that was on it (as) an eighth layer. The stubborn bronze(-head) went cleaving (its way) through six layers, but it was checked by the seventh ox-hide. Then, in turn, Zeus-born Ajax hurled his spear that cast a long shadow, and it landed on the son of Priam’s completely round shield. The mighty spear went through the bright shield, and forced its way through the richly ornamented corselet; and the spear cut straight through his tunic beside his flank; but he swerved aside and avoided back death. Then, the two of them pulled out the long spears with both hands, and fell on one another like carnivorous lions, or wild boars, whose strength is not easily exhausted. Then the son of Priam thrust his spear into the middle of the shield, but its bronze(-head) did not break through, and its point was turned. Then, Ajax leapt upon (him) and stabbed at his shield; and the spear went right through, and pushed (him) back as he pressed forward, and reached his neck as it cut, and the dark blood gushed forth. Yet even so, Hector of the shining helmet would not stop fighting, but, as he gave ground, he seized in his stout hand a stone that was lying on the plain, black, and jagged, and huge; with this, he struck Ajax’s fearsome shield of seven ox-hides on the boss in its centre, and its bronze (sound) rang out all around. Then, in turn, Ajax took up a much bigger stone, (and) swung (it) around and hurled (it), and, (in doing so,) he brought his immense strength to bear. And, striking (him) with a rock like a mill-stone, he smashed his shield in (on him), and brought him to his knees; he was stretched out on his back with his shield rammed down on to (him); but Apollo swiftly raised him up. And now they would have fought hand to hand with swords, if heralds, the messengers of both Zeus and of men, had not come, one from the Trojans, and one from the bronze-clad Achaeans, Idaeus (i.e. the herald of Priam) and Talthybius (i.e. the herald of Agamemnon), wise (men) both. They held their staves between the two of them, and the herald Idaeus, skilled in wise counsel, spoke these words (to them): “Wage war no longer, dear children, and do not fight any more; for cloud-gathering Zeus loves both of you, and (you are) both brave (warriors): this we all know. Night is coming on already; and (it is) good to give way to night.”
Then, Telamonian Ajax addressed him in reply: “Idaeus, you must tell Hector to say these (words); for (it was) he (who,) in his eagerness (for battle), challenged all our leading (men). Let him (speak) first; should he speak out, I shall readily comply.
Then, mighty Hector of the shining helmet said to him: “Ajax, since a god granted you great size and strength, and wisdom (too), and you are the most powerful of the Achaeans with regard to spears, now let us cease our fighting and our combat for today; but afterwards we shall fight on, until a god shall judge between us, and grant victory to one or the other of us. But night is already coming on; and it is good to give way to night, as you can bring gladness to all the Achaeans beside their ships, and especially your clansmen and the companions that you have. And I shall bring gladness throughout the great city of King Priam to the (men) of Troy and the long-robed Trojan (women), who will gather in sacred procession to offer prayers on my behalf. But come, let us give each other glorious gifts, so that people, both Achaeans and Trojans, will say this: ‘These two fought in heart-eating strife, and then they separated and were joined in friendship’.”
So saying, he fetched and gave (him) his silver-studded sword, together with its scabbard and well-cut baldric; and Ajax gave (him) his radiant purple belt. Then, they parted: one went back among the host of the Achaeans; the other went (back) to the Trojan throng; and they were overjoyed when they saw (him) coming towards (them) alive and unharmed, having escaped from the strength of Ajax and his invincible hands; and they escorted (him) to the city, scarcely believing he was safe. On the other side, the well-greaved Achaeans escorted Ajax to godlike Agamemnon, rejoicing in his victory.



Snip.. wiki summary... of the duel..

Duel with Ajax[edit]
As described by Homer in the Iliad[6] at the advice of Hector’s brother Helenus (who also was divinely inspired) and being told by him that he was not destined to die yet, Hector managed to get both armies seated and challenged any one of the Greek warriors to single combat. The Argives were initially reluctant to accept the challenge. However, after Nestor's chiding, nine Greek heroes stepped up to the challenge and drew by lot to see who was to face Hector. Ajax won and fought Hector. Hector was unable to pierce Ajax's famous shield, but Ajax crushed Hector's shield with a rock and stabbed through his armor with a spear, drawing blood, upon which the god Apollo intervened and the duel was ended as the sun was setting. Hector gave Ajax his sword, which Ajax later used to kill himself. Ajax gave Hector his girdle that Achilles later attached to his chariot to drag Hector's corpse around the walls of Troy. The Greeks and the Trojans made a truce to bury the dead. In the early dawn the next day, the Greeks took advantage of the truce to build a wall and ditch around the ships while Zeus watched in the distance.[7]
 

diane

that gal
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
1,041
Reaction score
1,044
Battle of Stamford Bridge - Hardrada had an unnamed berserker axman who picked a very strategic position and proceeded to hold off the entire English army with a Danish axe - took down 46 of them before they finally laid him out!

Richard the Lionheart - loved to fight! Being medieval times, they didn't keep track of how many, but he once did what Forrest did - charged into a huge crowd of soldiers all alone. In his case, he knew he was alone and he got even lonelier as he left a thick circle of dead guys all around him. His horse went down and Saladin, who had been watching and was no slouch at fighting himself, sent over a pair of very fine warhorses. (A lot in common, Saladin and Richard...)
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
I like to point out Hector had another duel before his duels with Ajax and Achilles. It was with Protesilaus the first ashore and the first to fall...

Snip... from wiki...

Duel with Protesilaus[edit]
In the Iliad, Hector's exploits in the war prior to the events of the book are recapitulated. He had fought the Greek champion Protesilaus in single combat at the start of the war and killed him. A prophecy had stated that the first Greek to land on Trojan soil would die. Thus, Protesilaus, Ajax, and Odysseus would not land. Finally, Odysseus threw his shield out and landed on that, and Protesilaus jumped next from his own ship. In the ensuing fight, Hector killed him, fulfilling the prophecy.

Snip... Britannia ...

Protesilaus, Greek mythological hero in the Trojan War, leader of the force from Phylace and other Thessalian cities west of the Pegasaean Gulf. Though aware that an oracle had foretold death for the first of the invading Greeks to land at Troy, he was the first ashore and the first to fall. His bride, Laodameia, was so grief stricken that the gods granted her request that Protesilaus be allowed to return from the dead for three hours. At the expiration of the time she accompanied him to the underworld, either by taking her own life or by immolating herself in the flames in which her father burned the waxen image of Protesilaus that she had been cherishing.

Snip... summary of Hector's first two duels...

Hector was a prince of Troy in Greek mythology, son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba. His wife was Andromache and they had a son, Scamandrius or Astyanax.
Hector was considered the greatest warrior of Troy, but he did not approve of the war that had started between the Greeks and the Trojans. During the Trojan War, he was the leader of the Trojan army. It was prophesied that the first Greek who would land on Trojan soil would die. Odysseus, cunning as he was, threw his shield on the soil and landed on it. Therefore, the next person who stepped off the ship was Protesilaus and was killed in a duel with Hector, fulfilling the prophecy.
Hector
later proposed that a truce be called between the two sides, and a duel should decide the result of the war. Ajax was the Greek hero who stepped forward and duelled Hector. However, the duel ended in a stalemate after a whole day of fighting, and the two heroes exchanged gifts, admiring each other's strength and skills.

Snip... Hector last a fatal duel...

The last fight that Hector gave was against Achilles. However, when he saw Achilles and while he was ready to fight him, he suddenly was overcome with fear and started running. Achilles chased him, and Hector finally decided to battle his fear and stopped running, after seeing the goddess Athena in the form of his brother Deiphobus. Achilled threw a spear against Hector, who managed to evade it. However, when he turned to get a spear from his brother, he saw no one there, and realised that he was about to die. With the last amount of courage he had, he drew his sword; after a fierce duel between the two heroes, Hector died. Achilles, enraged that Hector had killed his friend Patroclus, then dragged Hector's body with his chariot, outside the Trojan gates for twelve days, before he finally accepted to give it to the Trojans, so they could bury him properly.
 

5fish

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2019
Messages
2,372
Reaction score
1,756
Homer again but not Hector but of Paris his brother the that got this whole war going...

The two armies met and Paris challenged any of the Achaean heroes, who would want to duel with him. Menelaus immediately stepped forward. Paris, who did not expect this, tried to flee. However Hector stopped him, and accused him of cowardice, while his fellow citizens were decimated. So, Paris agreed to duel. He even proposed to end the war and the outcome of the duel should determine which one would keep Helen and the stolen treasures. Everyone agreed and was happy that the war would finally end. The two leaders, Agamemnon and Priam even decided to give official vows. Meanwhile Helen went to the wall to see the two men that fought for her, even from afar. There gathered all the elders of Troy, who admired her unique beauty. Priam asked for information on the various Achaeans that were present and then Helen showed Agamemnon, Odysseus, Ajax the son of Telamon and Idomeneas, son of Deucalion and the grandson of King Minos of Crete. The duel began and soon it seemed that Menelaus would win. At some point Menelaus was choking Paris with the strap of his helmet, so Aphrodite pulled the prince from the battlefield, and took him to the palace. After a brief truce the battle started again, as the gods decided for the Trojans to break their vows and not surrender Helen.

SNIP... more detail...

The Trojan army marches from the city gates and advances to meet the Achaeans. Paris, the Trojan prince who precipitated the war by stealing the beautiful Helen from her husband, Menelaus, challenges the Achaeans to single combat with any of their warriors. When Menelaus steps forward, however, Paris loses heart and shrinks back into the Trojan ranks. Hector, Paris’s brother and the leader of the Trojan forces, chastises Paris for his cowardice. Stung by Hector’s insult, Paris finally agrees to a duel with Menelaus, declaring that the contest will establish peace between Trojans and Achaeans by deciding once and for all which man shall have Helen as his wife. Hector presents the terms to Menelaus, who accepts. Both armies look forward to ending the war at last.

As Paris and Menelaus prepare for combat, the goddess Iris, disguised as Hector’s sister Laodice, visits Helen in Priam’s palace. Iris urges Helen to go to the city gates and witness the battle about to be fought over her. Helen finds the city’s elders, including Priam, gathered there. Priam asks Helen about the strapping young Achaeans he sees, and she identifies Agamemnon, Ajax, and Odysseus. Priam marvels at their strength and splendor but eventually leaves the scene, unable to bear watching Paris fight to the death.


Paris and Menelaus arm themselves and begin their duel. Neither is able to fell the other with his spear. Menelaus breaks his sword over Paris’s helmet. He then grabs Paris by the helmet and begins dragging him through the dirt, but Aphrodite, an ally of the Trojans, snaps the strap of the helmet so that it breaks off in Menelaus’s hands. Frustrated, Menelaus retrieves his spear and is about to drive it home into Paris when Aphrodite whisks Paris away to his room in Priam’s palace. She summons Helen there too. Helen, after upbraiding Paris for his cowardice, lies down in bed with him. Back on the battlefield, both the Trojans and the Greeks search for Paris, who seems to have magically disappeared. Agamemnon insists that Menelaus has won the duel, and he demands Helen back.
 
Top