"Bay." An immortal horse, the son of Podarge and Zephyrus. He and his brother Balius were first given to Castor by Hera. Later Poseidon gave them to Peleus, the father of Achilles, as a wedding present. During the Trojan War, Xanthus and Balius drew the chariot of Achilles.
Achilles' charioteer Automedon once chided Xanthus and Balius for leaving Patroclus behind on the battle field and would that they did not leave behind Achilles as well. Xanthus, given the ability of speech by Hera, turned its head reproachfully and told Achilles that this time they would save him but that his day of doom was nigh, by the decree of inexorable destiny, which also caused Patroclus' death.
A horse of Hector was also called Xanthus.1
- Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
- Bartelink, Dr. G.J.M. (1988). Prisma van de mythologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum.
- Homer. Iliad xix, 400-408.