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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

armor-bearer and faithful friend of Aeneas in the "Aeneid," hence sometimes used figuratively for "faithful friend." The name is from Greek akhates "agate" (see agate).


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 four spoken lines 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.


Achates (disambiguation)

Achates may refer to:

  • Achates, a close friend of Aeneas, his name became a by-word for an intimate companion
  • Achates (river), the Sicilian river known in antiquity as the Achates
  • 5144 Achates, an asteroid
  • Agate, the gemstone called achates by Theophrastus and Pliny the Elder
  • Leonardus Achates, the fifteenth century composer from Basel
  • HMS Achates, the series of British Royal Navy ships named for after this character
  • Achates Power, an American developer of engines

Usage examples of "achates".

Aethylla returned with Achates who she handed to Cornelia, who smiled and took her son eagerly.

The trees had the thickest of canopies, stunningly clothed in the reds and golds and russets of their autumn canopies: I spent many an hour while Achates slept in my arms watching their seductive dancing against the sky.

I felt sick to my stomach, and grateful that Achates was such a beautiful and healthy child.

I ventured outside, Achates in my arms, wondering if the Llangarlian guards beyond the door would allow me to walk about the town.

I wrapped myself and Achates warmly against the cool gray of the day, and escaped the house.

When I was carrying Achates he kept me with him even though he hated me!

Brutus and his men that night Achates was born, only infinitely more frightening, more murderous.

I managed to calm a little, and Aethylla had fed Achates once more, I noticed that it was a wonderfully clear morning.

Then, very slowly, very gently, he gathered myself and Achates in his arms, and held us tight.

Brutus, you said to me the day after Achates was born that we should make the best of the marriage we were doomed to.

HI Lovat came in slowly, and with him his inevitable interpreter, his fidus Achates, Sergeant Hutton.

The braziers began giving off a thick, resinous, overly sweet smoke with something astringent to it but I had no way of knowing if it was, in fact, the perfume the grimoire had specified for operations ruled by the planet Mercury: a mixture of mastic, frankincense, cinquefoil, achates, and the dried and powdered brains of a fox.

Brutus had gone to Genvissa, and taken Achates, and everything I hold dear?