Ajax the Lesser

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Ajax defied the gods, just before Poseidon accepted the dare.

“Catch me if you can!”

~ Ajax the Lesser

Ajax the Lesser was the worst Greek hero. He was one of the Greek leaders involved in the siege of Troy. Since there was another Ajax who had rallied to the cause, this Ajax was called 'the lesser' or 'skinny'. Ajax disliked this nickname, but he was built like a whippet and famous as a runner.

Horseplay in Troy[edit]

Ajax's career before he turned up at Troy was undistinguished. Joining with other Greeks in a war against Troy changed everything. He would dart around the battlefield, throwing a spear or running through an enemy with a sword. Ajax proudly disparaged the Greek gods. They never helped him in the past and he wouldn't need them for the future. However, the gods would get their comeuppance.

The confusion with his broader namesake ended when the bigger Ajax went mad with jealousy for failing to win Achilles's armour when the latter died. Ajax the Lesser supported Odysseus, who had dibs on the trophies. The avid reader will recall that Odysseus fooled the Trojans into rolling the Trojan Horse within their walls. His payback for Ajax's help was to let him be one of the first to hide up the horse's arse.

Rape under Athena's nose[edit]

Ajax the Lesser and Cassandra

Cassandra, the daughter of King Priam of Troy, had tried to persuade her compatriots to burn the Greek gift, but they ignored her, and once the gates were opened from inside, the Greek army flooded into the doomed city. Cassandra's pleas may have gotten Ajax's own fires burning. Ajax ran through the palaces and temples to find easy (female) victims to rob or defile. He found Cassandra in the temple of Athena, where she had retreated to await her certain fate of being some Greek warrior's sex slave. Ajax pulled Cassandra away from a statue of Athena she had been hugging, half-naked. Then jumped her bones.

A voting quorum of nemeses[edit]

Amongst the other horrors of the sack of Troy, historians downplayed Ajax's crime. However, Agamemnon wanted Cassandra as well, and was none too pleased to discover that Ajax had gotten to her first. In addition, Ajax had offended the goddess Athena by violating Cassandra in her temple, though Athena despised Trojans in general. Odysseus recommended Ajax be stoned to death for what he had done, but Ajax scampered off and found refuge in another temple, possibly that belonging to Ares, who was no friend of Athena. That temple's sanctity remained intact.

Ajax headed for home. His fleet got a thorough battering and his flagship sank. Ajax, who was also a good swimmer, managed to reach a rock and hoisted himself on top. He yelled that no god could kill him. This unwise boast was cut short when the sea god Poseidon smashed the rock with his trident and Ajax drowned. He became Ajax the Damned.

Naming rights[edit]

As there were two Ajaxes, Ajax the Lesser hasn't got any household chemical named after him. Just as well.