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In the Aeneid, Achates ("good, faithful Achates", fidus Achates as he was called) was a close friend of Aeneas; his name became a by-word for an intimate companion. He accompanied Aeneas throughout his adventures, reaching Carthage with him in disguise when the pair were scouting the area, and leading him to the Sibyl of Cumae. Virgil represents him as remarkable for his fidelity, and a perennial type of that virtue. However, despite being Aeneas's most important Trojan, he is notable for his lack of character development. In fact, he has only one spoken line in the entire epic. Aeneas, surrounded by only a shadowy cast of allies, is thus emphasised as the lone protagonist and at the same time cut off from help on his quest.
Besides the Virgil, Edith Hamilton's Mythology is a good resource.
Achates was an English galleon (one of a squadron of six ships) that took part in William Winter's campaign of 1580, against the Spanish who had occupied the fort at Smerwick, Ireland. Five ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Achates.
Achates was the name of the flagship in the novel Success to the Brave, which is the 15th novel in the series written by Douglas Reeman (writing as Alexander Kent). In the novel, the Achates is a British ship of the line two-decker of 64 guns. It is sent as the flagship of Vice Admiral Richard Bolitho to oversee transfer of control over the island of San Felipe to the French, as part of the Treaty of Amiens.
- R. Deryck Williams, Aeneas and the Roman Hero
- Virgil, The Aeneid
- National Archives MPF1/75
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