One of the Achaean leaders in the Trojan War, Patroclus was one of the suitors of Helen of Troy and thus bound by the Oath of Tyndareus to go to Troy when she was stolen away.
He brought with him ten ships to join the Achaean fleet and was a fierce and unyielding warrior, but as well as this he was a good-hearted and honourable man. (After his death, Briseis - war prize of Achilles - comments on his kindness towards her.)
He was the beloved cousin and comrade of Achilles, and although Achilles was nobler by birth and stronger, Patroclus was older and wiser and it was he who tried to convince Achilles that they needed to return to their duty in battle after Agamemnon offended Achilles’ honour by taking Briseis. Achilles refused, but gave permission for Patroclus to wear his armour, but only to remove the battling Trojans from their ships and not to pursue them further. But in the heat of battle Patroclus forgot this advice and followed them back to the gates of Troy where Prince Hector killed him. Patroclus had singlehandedly slain fifty-three of Troy’s soldiers.
After the war, his ashes were mixed with those of Achilles and they were said to be buried in the island of Leuke.