the Pelian ash, but the warrior Asteropaeus
threw with both spears at the same time, being ambidextrous.
With one spear he hit the shield but could not altogether
break through the shield, since the gold stayed it that [Hephaestus] had given.
With the other spear he struck Achilles on the right forearm
and grazed it so that the blood gushed out in a dark cloud, and the spear
overpassed him and fixed in the ground, straining to reach his body.
Alone of all of the Trojans and their allies, Asteropaeus succeeds in drawing blood from Achilles. No doubt his ability to throw two spears at once worked to his advantage here, wounding Achilles in his spear arm. (Note that there is no trace in Homer of the later story that Achilles was only vulnerable in his heel; he is the Greeks’ greatest champions, but nevertheless just as mortal as any other man.)
Achilles throws his mighty spear at Asteropaeus, but misses. He then draws his sword while preparing to attack Asteropaeus. Meanwhile, the Paeonian vainly struggles to draw Achilleus’ spear from where it had struck the river-bank. Vulnerable to attack, Achilles pierces his belly with the sword, so that “all his guts poured out on the ground” (Il. 21.181–182).
Asteropaeus then dies. Achilles is said to jump on Asteropaeus’ chest and strip him of his armour. Achilles, drunk with success, then boasts that he can trace his line back to Zeus and that none can thus hope to defeat him. After this, he sets out to pursue the rest of the Paeonians, leading the river god to speak to Achilles directly and warn him to stop (Il. 21.214–221).
The corslet that Achilles stripped from Asteropaeus was made of bronze and featured a tin inlay. It is briefly described in the twenty-third book of the Iliad (Il. 23.560), where it is given to Eumelus, a Thessalian warrior who took part in the chariot-races that were part of the funeral games in honour of Patroclus.