In the Iliad, book 6, Hector reaches to hold his infant son and offers a prayer to Zeus that one day people will say what of him?

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Book 6 of Homer's Iliad contains some of the most tender moments in this epic poem. In the last third of the book, Hector meets with his wife Andromache, who pleads with Hector not to go out into battle against the Greeks. She notes that Achilles had already killed her father and seven brothers.

Hector, however, cannot do this because he would experience shame "before all the Trojans and their wives." Hector realizes that if he dies and Troy falls, Andromache will probably be taken captive and become a slave in Greece. Nevertheless, Hector feels like he must fulfill his obligations to Troy and the Trojans.

Before Hector leaves his wife, he takes his young child, Astyanax (or Scamandrius), in his arms and makes a prayer to Zeus that

this boy like me may be foremost among the Trojans, as mighty in strength, and a powerful leader of Ilium. And some day may they say of him, as he returns from war, “He’s a better man than his father”, and may he bear home the blood-stained armour of those he has slain, so his mother’s heart may rejoice.’

Unfortunately, we know from sources outside of Homer (e.g., Euripides' Trojan Women) that Astyanax would not live long enough to fulfill his father's desires. During the fall of Troy, the young child was thrown down from the Trojan walls. Some say Achilles' son Neoptolemus did the deed; others hold Odysseus responsible for the young lad's death; some sources say that Astyanax cast himself down from Troy's walls.

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