1. A son of Heracles by Pyrippe. (Apollodorus. ii)
2. The celebrated friend of Achilles, was a son of Menoetius of Opus, and a grandson of Actor and Aegina, whence he is called Actorides. (Metamorphoses by Ovid VIII) His mother is commonly called Sthenele, but some mention her under the name of Periapis or Polymele.
Aeacus, the grandfather of Achilles, was a brother of Menoetius and, according to Hesiod, Menoetius was a brother of Peleus, so that the friendship between Achilles and Patroclus arose from their being kinsmen.
When yet a boy Patroclus, during a game of dice, involuntarily slew Clysonymus, a son of Amphidamas, and in consequence of this accident Patroclus was taken by his father to Peleus at Phthia, where he was educated together with Achilles. (Apollodorus iii) He is also mentioned among the suitors of Helen. (Apollodorus iii) He is said to have taken part in the expedition against Troy on account of his attachment to Achilles.
On their voyage thither, the Greeks plundered in Mysia the territory of Telephus, but were repelled, and on their flight to their ships they were protected by Patroclus and Achilles.
During the war against Troy he took an active part in the struggle, until his friend withdrew from the scene of action, when Patroclus followed his example. But when the Greeks were hard pressed, and many of their heroes were wounded, he begged Achilles to allow him to put on Achilles' armour, and with his men to hasten to the assistance of the Greeks. Achilles granted the request, and Patroclus succeeded in driving back the Trojans and extinguishing the fire which was raging among the ships. He slew many enemies, and thrice made an assault upon the walls of Troy but on a sudden he was struck by Apollo, and became senseless.
In this state Euphorbus ran him through with his lance from behind, and Hector gave him the last and fatal blow. Hector also took possession of his armour. A long struggle now ensued between the Greeks and Trojans about the body of Patroclus but the former obtained possession of it, and when it was brought to Achilles, he was deeply grieved, and vowed to avenge the death of his friend.
Thetis protected the body with ambrosia against decomposition, until Achilles had leisure solemnly to burn it with funeral sacrifices.
His ashes were collected in a golden urn which Dionysus had once given to Thetis, and were deposited under a mound, where subsequently the remains of Achilles also were buried. Funeral games were celebrated in his honour.
Achilles and Patroclus met again in the lower world (Odyssey of Homer XXIV), or, according to others, they continued after their death to live together in the island of Leuce.
Patroclus was represented by Polygnotus in the Lesche at Delphi and on Cape Sigeum in Troas, where his tomb was shown, he was worshipped as a hero.