Ajax the Greater

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Ajax waiting for the rest of his clothes to be washed

“I'm going to wipe the floor with you, Ajax!”

~ Hector!

“I'm going to wipe the floor, scrub the sink and bleach the toilet with you, Hector!!”

~ Ajax

“Get a room, boys!”

~ Achilles

Ajax the Greater was a Greek fool hero who followed the gang in the war against the Trojans and died there. His name is synonymous with doltish bravery, strength, and a brand of bleach. Ajax was banjaxed in a dispute over the belongings of the late Achilles. Feeling he had been cheated, Ajax went on a bovine killing spree before falling on his sword and dying.

The son of King Clorox and Queen Pine-Sol of Salamis, Ajax had a half-brother called Teucer Gel, a hand cleanser who was good with the bow. They formed something of a double act. Teucer was half-Trojan, as his mother was a sister of King Priam and had been taken from the city as booty by Heracles.

Ajax is called 'the Greater', as there was another Ajax in the Greek army. The latter is called Ajax the Lesser, as he was small, compact and ran like the wind but was also a rapey brute. Big boy Ajax was the best Greek warrior, going by body count. Brainy Achilles was a better fighter, invincible on the battlefield unless you went for his heels. Ajax had no such divine support but was built like a Greek Shithouse and struck fear amongst the Trojans. The other Greek leaders praised Ajax's fighting strength but, behind his back, called the warrior 'as dumb as an ox'.

At Troy[edit]

Meet the family.

Ajax apparently had an eagle as a pet, a sign of divine favour from Zeus and a pair of furry booties from Heracles. Besides that, Ajax did before Troy wasn't of any interest to the Greek writers of time. So it seems his legendary reputation was forged when at Troy for 10 years. If he had a role model it would have been the Greek god of war Ares though not so pretty. He was obliged to play the subordinate to the Greek overall commander king Agamemnon and his brother Menelaus, being largely pointed like a dog to where the Trojans were spilling out of their city to look for a fight. Ajax was ready for that. He was adept at challenging Trojans to single combat. The rules of the game was that a victor would be able to claim his victim's body and anything they were wearing at the time of the fight. This had often seen battlefields strewn with naked corpses. Ajax was able to pick up quite a collection.

When Achilles went on effective strike with his army in an argument with Agamemnon over the ownership of certain enslaved bed companions, Ajax took his place. This lead to two one-to-one fights with the Trojan prince Hector. The two men tried to kill each other but eventually called it a draw. Hector gave Ajax one of sharpest swords whilst Ajax presented his purple sash in exchange. The Greek liked Trojan knitwear. In their second encounter Ajax loses to Hector and retreats, explaining to the Greek leaders that Hector is on a 'winning streak'.

Argument over armour[edit]

Strong on disinfectant. Weak on common sense.

Achilles eventually ends his strike when his best pal is killed by Hector. He in return then kills the Trojan hero. The war carries on beyond Homer's Iliad. When Achilles dies from an arrow wound delivered by Paris of Troy, Ajax fights like hard to recover it. This is when the trouble starts with Odysseus. Both men had been strong allies but there is a suit of armour to fight over. Achilles's bespoke kit was forged by the god Hephaestus and comes with the label Made in Olympus. Odysseus had taken part in the struggle over Achilles's corpse and makes his claim to the trophies. Both appeal to Agamemnon and the other Greek leaders for their decision. Only his half brother Teucer supported him but Odysseus won out. The armour was his. Ajax claimed it was 'a fix, a hoax, a steal' and stormed off. Back in his tent he unsheathed the sword given to him by Hector and swore revenge on the other Greeks.

Ajax charged out with his sword in hand and took on Agamemnon, Menelaus and Odysseus. It was a bloody fight, though Ajax wondered why his foes were on their hands and knees and not resisting his blows. Then his mind cleared and he saw the people he had just slain were oxen and sheep. The goddess Athena had played with Ajax's head to protect the Greeks. Ajax killed himself with Hector's sword. The hero carried on his grudge against the other Greeks especially Odysseus. When the later visted Hades for some advice about to get home, Ajax blanked Odysseus and turned his back on him.

Ajax as a brand name[edit]

Having a brand of bleach named after you shows that someone with at Colgate-Palmolive had a classical education. Ajax - strong if ugly. And don't drink the contents unless you have Covid. Or hate sheep.