For the Sicilian river known in antiquity as the Achates, see Dirillo. For the gemstone called achates by Theophrastus and Pliny the Elder, see Agate. For the fifteenth century composer from Basel, see Leonardus Achates. For the series of British Royal Navy ships named for after this character, see HMS Achates.
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.
Appears in Aeneid, Book I, line(s) 188, 312, and 459, Book III, line 523, Book VI, lines 34 and 158 and Book VIII, 610.
Achates was the name of the flagship in the novel Success to the Brave, which is the 15th novel in the Richard Bolitho 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 AdmiralRichard Bolitho to oversee transfer of control over the island of San Felipe to the French, as part of the Treaty of Amiens.