220px-Ajax suicide BM F480

Ajax the Greater commits suicide

220px-Achilles Ajax dice Louvre MNB911 n2

Ajax the Greater and Achilles play dice

200px-Aias Kassandra Louvre G458

Ajax the Lesser attempts to violate Cassandra in a sanctuary of Athena

200px-Poseidon and Ajax

Poseidon kills Ajax the Lesser

Ajax, also spelt Aias, can refer to two Greek mythological characters, both leading contingents from their homelands to Troy.

Ajax the Greater

Ajax the Greater, also called the Telamonian Ajax and the Greater Ajax, is the son of King Telamon of Salamis. He is the half-brother of Teucer and cousin of Achilles, as they share a grandfather.

He is known as the strongest of the Greeks during the Trojan War and fought Hector to a stalemate for an entire day. They later parted ways after exchanging gifts, showing their great respect for each other.

After Achilles is killed by Apollo and Paris, Ajax helps recover the body and is one of the two who claim the dead man's armour, the other being Odysseus. Odysseus wins the armour and, in his despair, Ajax falls upon his own sword;

"Unconquered, conquered by his own sorrow"
Ovid, (Metamorphoses)
Aeacidae Genealogy in Greek mythology

In Popular Culture

Ajax the Lesser

Ajax the Lesser, called the Locrian Ajax, is the son of King Oileus of Locris. During the fall of Troy, Ajax attempted to rape Cassandra, daughter of King Priam, in a temple of Athena, earning him her undying hatred.

Despite Athena's hostility to him, and causing him to be shipwrecked upon his return to Locris, he was saved from drowning by Poseidon. However, he proclaimed he would save himself without immortal help, Poseidon split the rock Ajax was on with his trident, and drowned him.