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Son of Peleus, a mortal, and Thetis, a sea nymph, Achilles' mother was given a choice by the gods (Greek) as to how his life should be short but glorious, or long but obscure. Fearing for her son's safety, Thetis chose the latter, and to this end bargained with the gods to protect her son from harm. This they granted, by advising the nymph to immerse the child in the waters of the Styx, which would immunize him from all harm. This Achilles' mother did, but having to hold on to her son by the ankle, that he would not be dragged away by the current, this part of the boy did not receive the protection of the gods, and indeed was to prove the death of Achilles.

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