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Setting: Troy
Troy
(modern Hisarlik, Turkey) Period: Bronze Age Traditional dating: c. 1194–1184 BC Modern dating: c. 1260–1180 BC Outcome: Greek victory, destruction of Troy See also: Historicity of the Iliad

Literary sources

Iliad Epic Cycle Aeneid, Book
Book
2 Iphigenia in Aulis Philoctetes Ajax The Trojan Women Posthomerica

See also: Trojan War
Trojan War
in popular culture

Episodes

Judgement of Paris Seduction of Helen Trojan Horse Sack of Troy The Returns Wanderings of Odysseus Aeneas
Aeneas
and the Founding of Rome

Greeks
Greeks
and allies

Agamemnon Achilles Helen Menelaus Nestor Odysseus Ajax Diomedes Patroclus Thersites Achaeans Myrmidons

See also: Catalogue of Ships

Trojans and allies

Priam Hecuba Hector Paris Cassandra Andromache Aeneas Memnon Troilus Penthesilea
Penthesilea
and the Amazons Sarpedon

See also: Trojan Battle Order

Participant gods

Caused the war:

Eris Zeus

On the Greek side:

Athena Hephaestus Hera Hermes Poseidon Thetis

On the Trojan side:

Aphrodite Apollo Ares Artemis Leto Scamander

Related topics

Homeric Question Archaeology of Troy Mycenae Mycenaean warfare

v t e

The Iliad
Iliad
(/ˈɪliəd/;[1] Ancient Greek: Ἰλιάς Iliás, pronounced [iː.li.ás] in Classical Attic; sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium) is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy
Troy
(Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon
Agamemnon
and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad
Iliad
mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' imminent death and the fall of Troy, although the narrative ends before these events take place. However, as these events are prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, when it reaches an end the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War. The Iliad
Iliad
is paired with something of a sequel, the Odyssey, also attributed to Homer. Along with the Odyssey, the Iliad
Iliad
is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and its written version is usually dated to around the 8th century BC.[2] In the modern vulgate (the standard accepted version), the Iliad
Iliad
contains 15,693 lines; it is written in Homeric Greek, a literary amalgam of Ionic Greek
Ionic Greek
and other dialects. According to Michael Nagler, the Iliad
Iliad
is a more complicated epic poem than The Odyssey. [3]

Contents

1 Synopsis 2 Major characters

2.1 Achaeans

2.1.1 Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus

2.2 Trojans 2.3 Gods

2.3.1 Divine intervention

3 Themes

3.1 Nostos 3.2 Kleos 3.3 Timê 3.4 Wrath 3.5 Fate

4 Date and textual history

4.1 The Iliad
Iliad
as oral tradition

5 Warfare in the Iliad

5.1 Depiction of infantry combat 5.2 Influence on classical Greek warfare

6 Influence on the arts and literature

6.1 20th century 6.2 Contemporary popular culture

7 English translations 8 Manuscripts 9 See also 10 References 11 Bibliography 12 Further reading 13 External links

Synopsis[edit]

The first verses of the Iliad

Note: Book
Book
numbers are in parentheses and come before the synopsis of the book.

(1) After an invocation to the Muses, the story launches in medias res towards the end of the Trojan War
Trojan War
between the Trojans and the besieging Greeks. Chryses, a Trojan priest of Apollo, offers the Greeks
Greeks
wealth for the return of his daughter Chryseis, held captive of Agamemnon, the Greek leader. Although most of the Greek army is in favour of the offer, Agamemnon
Agamemnon
refuses. Chryses
Chryses
prays for Apollo's help, and Apollo
Apollo
causes a plague to afflict the Greek army. After nine days of plague, Achilles, the leader of the Myrmidon contingent, calls an assembly to deal with the problem. Under pressure, Agamemnon
Agamemnon
agrees to return Chryseis
Chryseis
to her father, but decides to take Achilles' captive, Brisēís, as compensation. Angered, Achilles
Achilles
declares that he and his men will no longer fight for Agamemnon
Agamemnon
but will go home. Odysseus
Odysseus
takes a ship and returns Chryseis
Chryseis
to her father, whereupon Apollo
Apollo
ends the plague. In the meantime, Agamemnon's messengers take Briseis
Briseis
away. Achilles becomes very upset, sits by the seashore, and prays to his mother, Thetis.[4] Achilles
Achilles
asks his mother to ask Zeus
Zeus
to bring the Greeks
Greeks
to the breaking point by the Trojans, so Agamemnon
Agamemnon
will realize how much the Greeks
Greeks
need Achilles. Thetis
Thetis
does so, and Zeus
Zeus
agrees. (2) Zeus
Zeus
sends a dream to Agamemnon, urging him to attack Troy. Agamemnon
Agamemnon
heeds the dream but decides to first test the Greek army's morale, by telling them to go home. The plan backfires, and only the intervention of Odysseus, inspired by Athena, stops a rout. Odysseus
Odysseus
confronts and beats Thersites, a common soldier who voices discontent about fighting Agamemnon's war. After a meal, the Greeks deploy in companies upon the Trojan plain. The poet takes the opportunity to describe the provenance of each Greek contingent. When news of the Greek deployment reaches King Priam, the Trojans too sortie upon the plain. In a list similar to that for the Greeks, the poet describes the Trojans and their allies. (3) The armies approach each other, but before they meet, Paris offers to end the war by fighting a duel with Menelaus, urged by his brother and head of the Trojan army, Hector. While Helen tells Priam
Priam
about the Greek commanders from the walls of Troy, both sides swear a truce and promise to abide by the outcome of the duel. Paris is beaten, but Aphrodite
Aphrodite
rescues him and leads him to bed with Helen before Menelaus can kill him. (4) Pressured by Hera's hatred of Troy, Zeus
Zeus
arranges for the Trojan Pandaros to break the truce by wounding Menelaus
Menelaus
with an arrow. Agamemnon
Agamemnon
rouses the Greeks, and battle is joined. (5) In the fighting, Diomedes
Diomedes
kills many Trojans, including Pandaros, and defeats Aeneas, whom Aphrodite
Aphrodite
rescues, but Diomedes
Diomedes
attacks and wounds the goddess. Apollo
Apollo
faces Diomedes
Diomedes
and warns him against warring with gods. Many heroes and commanders join in, including Hector, and the gods supporting each side try to influence the battle. Emboldened by Athena, Diomedes
Diomedes
wounds Ares
Ares
and puts him out of action. (6) Hector
Hector
rallies the Trojans and prevents a rout; the Greek Diomedes and the Trojan Glaukos find common ground and exchange unequal gifts. Hector
Hector
enters the city, urges prayers and sacrifices, incites Paris to battle, bids his wife Andromache
Andromache
and son Astyanax
Astyanax
farewell on the city walls, and rejoins the battle. (7) Hector
Hector
duels with Ajax, but nightfall interrupts the fight, and both sides retire. The Greeks
Greeks
agree to burn their dead, and build a wall to protect their ships and camp, while the Trojans quarrel about returning Helen. Paris offers to return the treasure he took and give further wealth as compensation, but not Helen, and the offer is refused. A day's truce is agreed for burning the dead, during which the Greeks
Greeks
also build their wall and a trench. (8) The next morning, Zeus
Zeus
prohibits the gods from interfering, and fighting begins anew. The Trojans prevail and force the Greeks
Greeks
back to their wall, while Hera
Hera
and Athena
Athena
are forbidden to help. Night falls before the Trojans can assail the Greek wall. They camp in the field to attack at first light, and their watchfires light the plain like stars.

Iliad, Book
Book
VIII, lines 245–53, Greek manuscript, late 5th, early 6th centuries AD.

(9) Meanwhile, the Greeks
Greeks
are desperate. Agamemnon
Agamemnon
admits his error, and sends an embassy composed of Odysseus, Ajax, Phoenix, and two heralds to offer Briseis
Briseis
and extensive gifts to Achilles, who has been camped next to his ships throughout, if only he will return to the fighting. Achilles
Achilles
and his companion Patroclus
Patroclus
receive the embassy well, but Achilles
Achilles
angrily refuses Agamemnon's offer and declares that he would only return to battle if the Trojans reached his ships and threatened them with fire. The embassy returns empty-handed. (10) Later that night, Odysseus
Odysseus
and Diomedes
Diomedes
venture out to the Trojan lines, kill the Trojan Dolon, and wreak havoc in the camps of some Thracian
Thracian
allies of Troy's. (11) In the morning, the fighting is fierce, and Agamemnon, Diomedes, and Odysseus
Odysseus
are all wounded. Achilles
Achilles
sends Patroclus
Patroclus
from his camp to inquire about the Greek casualties, and while there Patroclus
Patroclus
is moved to pity by a speech of Nestor's. (12) The Trojans attack the Greek wall on foot. Hector, ignoring an omen, leads the terrible fighting. The Greeks
Greeks
are overwhelmed and routed, the wall's gate is broken, and Hector
Hector
charges in. (13) Many fall on both sides. The Trojan seer Polydamas urges Hector to fall back and warns him about Achilles, but is ignored. (14) Hera
Hera
seduces Zeus
Zeus
and lures him to sleep, allowing Poseidon
Poseidon
to help the Greeks, and the Trojans are driven back onto the plain. (15) Zeus
Zeus
awakes and is enraged by Poseidon's intervention. Against the mounting discontent of the Greek-supporting gods, Zeus
Zeus
sends Apollo
Apollo
to aid the Trojans, who once again breach the wall, and the battle reaches the ships. (16) Patroclus
Patroclus
cannot stand to watch any longer and begs Achilles
Achilles
to be allowed to defend the ships. Achilles
Achilles
relents and lends Patroclus his armor, but sends him off with a stern admonition not to pursue the Trojans, lest he take Achilles' glory. Patroclus
Patroclus
leads the Myrmidons into battle and arrives as the Trojans set fire to the first ships. The Trojans are routed by the sudden onslaught, and Patroclus
Patroclus
begins his assault by killing the Trojan hero Sarpedon. Patroclus, ignoring Achilles' command, pursues and reaches the gates of Troy, where Apollo himself stops him. Patroclus
Patroclus
is set upon by Apollo
Apollo
and Euphorbos, and is finally killed by Hector. (17) Hector
Hector
takes Achilles' armor from the fallen Patroclus, but fighting develops around Patroclus' body. (18) Achilles
Achilles
is mad with grief when he hears of Patroclus' death and vows to take vengeance on Hector; his mother Thetis
Thetis
grieves, too, knowing that Achilles
Achilles
is fated to die young if he kills Hector. Achilles
Achilles
is urged to help retrieve Patroclus' body but has no armour. Made brilliant by Athena,[clarification needed] Achilles
Achilles
stands next to the Greek wall and roars in rage. The Trojans are dismayed by his appearance, and the Greeks
Greeks
manage to bear Patroclus' body away. Polydamas urges Hector
Hector
again to withdraw into the city; again Hector refuses, and the Trojans camp on the plain at nightfall. Patroclus
Patroclus
is mourned. Meanwhile, at Thetis' request, Hephaestus
Hephaestus
fashions a new set of armor for Achilles, including a magnificently wrought shield. (19) In the morning, Agamemnon
Agamemnon
gives Achilles
Achilles
all the promised gifts, including Briseis, but Achilles
Achilles
is indifferent to them. Achilles
Achilles
fasts while the Greeks
Greeks
take their meal, straps on his new armor, and heaves[clarification needed] his great spear. His horse Xanthos prophesies to Achilles
Achilles
his death. Achilles
Achilles
drives his chariot into battle. (20) Zeus
Zeus
lifts the ban on the gods' interference, and the gods freely help both sides. Achilles, burning with rage and grief, slays many. (21) Driving the Trojans before him, Achilles
Achilles
cuts off half their number in the river Skamandros and proceeds to slaughter them, filling the river with the dead. The river, angry at the killing, confronts Achilles
Achilles
but is beaten back by Hephaestus' firestorm. The gods fight among themselves. The great gates of the city are opened to receive the fleeing Trojans, and Apollo
Apollo
leads Achilles
Achilles
away from the city by pretending to be a Trojan. (22) When Apollo
Apollo
reveals himself to Achilles, the Trojans have retreated into the city, all except for Hector, who, having twice ignored the counsels of Polydamas, feels the shame of the rout and resolves to face Achilles, despite the pleas of his parents, Priam
Priam
and Hecuba. When Achilles
Achilles
approaches, Hector's will fails him, and he is chased around the city by Achilles. Finally, Athena
Athena
tricks him into stopping, and he turns to face his opponent. After a brief duel, Achilles
Achilles
stabs Hector
Hector
through the neck. Before dying, Hector
Hector
reminds Achilles
Achilles
that he, too, is fated to die in the war. Achilles
Achilles
takes Hector's body and dishonours it by dragging it behind his chariot. (23) The ghost of Patroclus
Patroclus
comes to Achilles
Achilles
in a dream, urging him to carry out his burial rites and to arrange for their bones to be entombed together. The Greeks
Greeks
hold a day of funeral games, and Achilles
Achilles
gives out the prizes. (24) Dismayed by Achilles' continued abuse of Hector's body, Zeus decides that it must be returned to Priam. Led by Hermes, Priam
Priam
takes a wagon out of Troy, across the plains, and into the Greek camp unnoticed. He clasps Achilles
Achilles
by the knees and begs for his son's body. Achilles
Achilles
is moved to tears, and the two lament their losses in the war. After a meal, Priam
Priam
carries Hector's body back into Troy. Hector
Hector
is buried, and the city mourns. Major characters[edit] Main article: List of characters in the Iliad See also: Category: Deities in the Iliad

Hypnos
Hypnos
and Thanatos
Thanatos
carrying the body of Sarpedon
Sarpedon
from the battlefield of Troy; detail from an Attic white-ground lekythos, c. 440 BC.

The many characters of the Iliad
Iliad
are catalogued; the latter half of Book
Book
II, the "Catalogue of Ships", lists commanders and cohorts; battle scenes feature quickly slain minor characters. Achaeans[edit]

The Achaeans (Ἀχαιοί) – also called Hellenes (Greeks), Danaans
Danaans
(Δαναοί), or Argives (Ἀργεĩοι).

Agamemnon
Agamemnon
– King of Mycenae, leader of the Greeks. Achilles
Achilles
– son of Peleus, foremost warrior, leader of the Myrmidons and King of Phthia,[5] son of a divine mother, Thetis. Odysseus
Odysseus
– King of Ithaca, Greek commander. Ajax the Greater – son of Telamon
Telamon
and king of Salamis. Menelaus
Menelaus
– King of Sparta, husband of Helen and brother of Agamemnon. Diomedes
Diomedes
– son of Tydeus, King of Argos. Ajax the Lesser
Ajax the Lesser
– son of Oileus, commander of the Locrians. Patroclus
Patroclus
– Achilles' closest companion. Nestor – King of Pylos, and trusted advisor to Agamemnon.

Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus[edit] Main article: Achilles
Achilles
and Patroclus

Achilles
Achilles
Lamenting the Death of Patroclus
Patroclus
(1855) by the Russian realist Nikolai Ge

Much debate has surrounded the nature of the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus, as to whether it can be described as a homoerotic one or not. Classical and Hellenistic Athenian scholars perceived it as pederastic,[6] while others perceived it as a platonic warrior-bond.[7] Trojans[edit]

The Trojan men

Hector
Hector
– son of King Priam
Priam
and the foremost Trojan warrior. Aeneas
Aeneas
– son of Anchises
Anchises
and Aphrodite. Deiphobus – brother of Hector
Hector
and Paris. Paris – Helen's lover–abductor. Priam
Priam
– the aged King of Troy. Polydamas – a prudent commander whose advice is ignored; he is Hector's foil. Agenor – a Trojan warrior, son of Antenor, who attempts to fight Achilles
Achilles
( Book
Book
XXI). Sarpedon, son of Zeus
Zeus
– killed by Patroclus. Was friend of Glaucus and co-leader of the Lycians (fought for the Trojans). Glaucus, son of Hippolochus – friend of Sarpedon
Sarpedon
and co-leader of the Lycians (fought for the Trojans). Euphorbus
Euphorbus
– first Trojan warrior to wound Patroclus. Dolon – a spy upon the Greek camp ( Book
Book
X). Antenor – King Priam's advisor, who argues for returning Helen to end the war. Polydorus – son of Priam
Priam
and Laothoe. Pandarus
Pandarus
– famous archer and son of Lycaon.

The Trojan women

Hecuba
Hecuba
(Ἑκάβη, Hekábe) – Priam's wife, mother of Hector, Cassandra, Paris, and others. Helen (Ἑλένη) – daughter of Zeus; Menelaus's wife; espoused first to Paris, then to Deiphobus; her abduction by Paris precipitated the war. Andromache
Andromache
– Hector's wife, mother of Astyanax. Cassandra
Cassandra
– Priam's daughter. Briseis
Briseis
– a Trojan woman captured by Achilles
Achilles
from a previous siege, over whom Achilles's quarrel with Agamemnon
Agamemnon
began.

Gods[edit] In the literary Trojan War
Trojan War
of the Iliad, the Olympian gods, goddesses, and minor deities fight among themselves and participate in human warfare, often by interfering with humans to counter other gods. Unlike their portrayals in Greek religion, Homer's portrayal of gods suited his narrative purpose. The gods in traditional thought of fourth-century Athenians were not spoken of in terms familiar to us from Homer.[8] The Classical-era historian Herodotus
Herodotus
says that Homer and Hesiod, his contemporary, were the first writers to name and describe the gods' appearance and character.[9] In Greek Gods Human Lives: What We Can Learn From Myths, Mary Lefkowitz discusses the relevance of divine action in the Iliad, attempting to answer the question of whether or not divine intervention is a discrete occurrence (for its own sake), or if such godly behaviors are mere human character metaphors. The intellectual interest of Classic-era authors, such as Thucydides
Thucydides
and Plato, was limited to their utility as "a way of talking about human life rather than a description or a truth", because, if the gods remain religious figures, rather than human metaphors, their "existence"—without the foundation of either dogma or a bible of faiths—then allowed Greek culture the intellectual breadth and freedom to conjure gods fitting any religious function they required as a people.[10][11] The religion had no founder and was not the creation of an inspired teacher which were popular origins of existing religions in the world.[12] The individuals were free to believe what they wanted, as the Greek religion was created out of a consensus of the people. These beliefs coincide to the thoughts about the gods in polytheistic Greek religion. In the article "Greek Religion" A.W.H. Adkins, agrees with this by saying, “The early Greeks
Greeks
personalized every aspect of their world, natural and cultural, and their experiences in it. The earth, the sea, the mountains, the rivers, custom-law (themis), and one’s share in society and its goods were all seen in personal as well as naturalistic terms.”[13] As a result of this thinking, each god or goddess in Polytheistic Greek religion is attributed to an aspect of the human world. For example, Poseidon
Poseidon
is the god of the sea, Aphrodite
Aphrodite
is the goddess of beauty, Ares
Ares
is the god of war, and so on and so forth for many other gods. This is how Greek culture was defined as many Athenians felt the presence of their gods through divine intervention in significant events in their lives. Oftentimes they found these events to be mysterious and inexplicable.[8] In The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, psychologist Julian Jaynes uses the Iliad
Iliad
as a major piece of evidence for his theory of Bicameralism, which posits that until about the time described in the Iliad, humans had a much different mentality than present day humans. He says that humans during that time were lacking what we today call consciousness. He suggests that humans heard and obeyed commands from what they identified as gods, until the change in human mentality that incorporated the motivating force into the conscious self. He points out that almost every action in the Iliad
Iliad
is directed, caused, or influenced by a god, and that earlier translations show an astonishing lack of words suggesting thought, planning, or introspection. Those that do appear, he argues, are misinterpretations made by translators imposing a modern mentality on the characters.[14] Divine intervention[edit] Some scholars believe that the gods may have intervened in the mortal world because of quarrels they may have had among each other. Homer interprets the world at this time by using the passion and emotion of the gods to be determining factors of what happens on the human level.[15] An example of one of these relationships in the Iliad occurs between Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite. In the final book of the poem Homer
Homer
writes, “He offended Athena
Athena
and Hera—both goddesses.”[16] Athena
Athena
and Hera
Hera
are envious of Aphrodite
Aphrodite
because of a beauty pageant on Mount Olympus in which Paris chose Aphrodite
Aphrodite
to be the most beautiful goddess over both Hera
Hera
and Athena. Wolfgang Kullmann further goes on to say, “Hera’s and Athena’s disappointment over the victory of Aphrodite
Aphrodite
in the Judgement of Paris determines the whole conduct of both goddesses in The Iliad
Iliad
and is the cause of their hatred for Paris, the Judge, and his town Troy.”[15] Hera
Hera
and Athena
Athena
then continue to support the Achaean forces throughout the poem because Paris is part of the Trojans, while Aphrodite
Aphrodite
aids Paris and the Trojans. The emotions between the goddesses often translate to actions they take in the mortal world. For example, in Book
Book
3 of The Iliad, Paris challenges any of the Achaeans to a single combat and Menelaus
Menelaus
steps forward. Menelaus
Menelaus
was dominating the battle and was on the verge of killing Paris. “Now he’d have hauled him off and won undying glory but Aphrodite, Zeus’s daughter was quick to the mark, snapped the rawhide strap.”[16] Aphrodite
Aphrodite
intervened out of her own self-interest to save Paris from the wrath of Menelaus because Paris had helped her to win the beauty pageant. The partisanship of Aphrodite
Aphrodite
towards Paris induces constant intervention by all of the gods, especially to give motivational speeches to their respective proteges, while often appearing in the shape of a human being they are familiar with.[15] This connection of emotions to actions is just one example out of many that occur throughout the poem.

The major deities:

Zeus
Zeus
(Neutral) Hera
Hera
(Achaeans) Artemis
Artemis
(Trojans) Apollo
Apollo
(Trojans) Hades
Hades
(Neutral) Aphrodite
Aphrodite
(Trojans) Ares
Ares
(Achaeans, then Trojans) Athena
Athena
(Achaeans) Hermes
Hermes
(Neutral/Achaeans) Poseidon
Poseidon
(Achaeans) Hephaestus
Hephaestus
(Achaeans)

The minor deities:

Eris (Trojans) Iris (Neutral) Thetis
Thetis
(Achaeans) Leto
Leto
(Trojans) Proteus
Proteus
(Achaeans) Scamander
Scamander
(Trojans) Phobos (Trojans) Deimos (Trojans) Hypnos
Hypnos
(Achaeans)

Themes[edit] Nostos[edit] Nostos
Nostos
(νόστος, "homecoming") occurs seven times in the poem.[17] Thematically, the concept of homecoming is much explored in Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
literature, especially in the post-war homeward fortunes experienced by the Atreidae ( Agamemnon
Agamemnon
and Menelaus), and Odysseus (see the Odyssey). Thus, nostos is impossible without sacking Troy—King Agamemnon's motive for winning, at any cost. Kleos[edit] Kleos (κλέος, "glory, fame") is the concept of glory earned in heroic battle.[18] For most of the Greek invaders of Troy, notably Odysseus, kleos is earned in a victorious nostos (homecoming). Yet, Achilles
Achilles
must choose only one of the two rewards, either nostos or kleos.[19] In Book
Book
IX (IX.410–16), he poignantly tells Agamemnon's envoys—Odysseus, Phoenix, Ajax—begging his reinstatement to battle about having to choose between two fates (διχθαδίας κήρας, 9.411).[20] The passage reads:

μήτηρ γάρ τέ μέ φησι θεὰ Θέτις ἀργυρόπεζα (410) διχθαδίας κῆρας φερέμεν θανάτοιο τέλος δέ. εἰ μέν κ’ αὖθι μένων Τρώων πόλιν ἀμφιμάχωμαι, ὤλετο μέν μοι νόστος, ἀτὰρ κλέος ἄφθιτον ἔσται εἰ δέ κεν οἴκαδ’ ἵκωμι φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν, ὤλετό μοι κλέος ἐσθλόν, ἐπὶ δηρὸν δέ μοι αἰὼν (415) ἔσσεται, οὐδέ κέ μ’ ὦκα τέλος θανάτοιο κιχείη.[21]

For my mother Thetis
Thetis
the goddess of silver feet tells me I carry two sorts of destiny toward the day of my death. Either, if I stay here and fight beside the city of the Trojans, my return home is gone, but my glory shall be everlasting; but if I return home to the beloved land of my fathers, the excellence of my glory is gone, but there will be a long life left for me, and my end in death will not come to me quickly.[22]

—Translated by Richmond Lattimore

In forgoing his nostos, he will earn the greater reward of kleos aphthiton (κλέος ἄφθιτον, "fame imperishable").[20] In the poem, aphthiton (ἄφθιτον, "imperishable") occurs five other times,[23] each occurrence denotes an object: Agamemnon's sceptre, the wheel of Hebe's chariot, the house of Poseidon, the throne of Zeus, the house of Hephaestus. Translator Lattimore renders kleos aphthiton as forever immortal and as forever imperishable—connoting Achilles's mortality by underscoring his greater reward in returning to battle Troy. Kleos is often given visible representation by the prizes won in battle. When Agamemnon
Agamemnon
takes Briseis
Briseis
from Achilles, he takes away a portion of the kleos he had earned. Achilles' shield, crafted by Hephaestus
Hephaestus
and given to him by his mother Thetis, bears an image of stars in the centre. The stars conjure profound images of the place of a single man, no matter how heroic, in the perspective of the entire cosmos. Timê[edit] Akin to kleos is timê (τιμή, "respect, honor"), the concept denoting the respectability an honorable man accrues with accomplishment (cultural, political, martial), per his station in life. In Book
Book
I, the Greek troubles begin with King Agamemnon's dishonorable, unkingly behavior—first, by threatening the priest Chryses
Chryses
(1.11), then, by aggravating them in disrespecting Achilles, by confiscating Briseis
Briseis
from him (1.171). The warrior's consequent rancor against the dishonorable king ruins the Greek military cause. Wrath[edit]

The Wrath of Achilles
Achilles
(1819), by Michel Drolling.

The poem's initial word, μῆνιν (mēnin, accusative of μῆνις, mēnis, "wrath, rage, fury"), establishes the Iliad's principal theme: The "Wrath of Achilles".[24] His personal rage and wounded soldier's vanity propel the story: the Greeks' faltering in battle, the slayings of Patroclus
Patroclus
and Hector, and the fall of Troy. In Book
Book
I, the Wrath of Achilles
Achilles
first emerges in the Achilles-convoked meeting, between the Greek kings and the seer Calchas. King Agamemnon dishonours Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, by refusing with a threat the restitution of his daughter, Chryseis—despite the proffered ransom of "gifts beyond count".[25] The insulted priest prays his god's help, and a nine-day rain of divine plague arrows falls upon the Greeks. Moreover, in that meeting, Achilles
Achilles
accuses Agamemnon
Agamemnon
of being "greediest for gain of all men".[26] To that, Agamemnon
Agamemnon
replies:

But here is my threat to you. Even as Phoibos Apollo
Apollo
is taking away my Chryseis. I shall convey her back in my own ship, with my own followers; but I shall take the fair-cheeked Briseis, your prize, I myself going to your shelter, that you may learn well how much greater I am than you, and another man may shrink back from likening himself to me and contending against me.[27]

After that, only Athena
Athena
stays Achilles's wrath. He vows to never again obey orders from Agamemnon. Furious, Achilles
Achilles
cries to his mother, Thetis, who persuades Zeus's divine intervention—favouring the Trojans—until Achilles's rights are restored. Meanwhile, Hector leads the Trojans to almost pushing the Greeks
Greeks
back to the sea (Book XII). Later, Agamemnon
Agamemnon
contemplates defeat and retreat to Greece (Book XIV). Again, the Wrath of Achilles
Achilles
turns the war's tide in seeking vengeance when Hector
Hector
kills Patroclus. Aggrieved, Achilles
Achilles
tears his hair and dirties his face. Thetis
Thetis
comforts her mourning son, who tells her:

So it was here that the lord of men Agamemnon
Agamemnon
angered me. Still, we will let all this be a thing of the past, and for all our sorrow beat down by force the anger deeply within us. Now I shall go, to overtake that killer of a dear life, Hektor; then I will accept my own death, at whatever time Zeus
Zeus
wishes to bring it about, and the other immortals.[28]

Accepting the prospect of death as fair price for avenging Patroclus, he returns to battle, dooming Hector
Hector
and Troy, thrice chasing him 'round the Trojan walls, before slaying him, then dragging the corpse behind his chariot, back to camp.

Achilles
Achilles
Slays Hector, by Peter Paul Rubens
Peter Paul Rubens
(1630–35).

Fate[edit] Fate (κήρ, kēr, "fated death") propels most of the events of the Iliad. Once set, gods and men abide it, neither truly able nor willing to contest it. How fate is set is unknown, but it is told by the Fates and by Zeus
Zeus
through sending omens to seers such as Calchas. Men and their gods continually speak of heroic acceptance and cowardly avoidance of one's slated fate.[29] Fate does not determine every action, incident, and occurrence, but it does determine the outcome of life—before killing him, Hector
Hector
calls Patroclus
Patroclus
a fool for cowardly avoidance of his fate, by attempting his defeat;[citation needed] Patroclus
Patroclus
retorts: [30]

No, deadly destiny, with the son of Leto, has killed me, and of men it was Euphorbos; you are only my third slayer. And put away in your heart this other thing that I tell you. You yourself are not one who shall live long, but now already death and powerful destiny are standing beside you, to go down under the hands of Aiakos' great son, Achilleus.[31]

Here, Patroclus
Patroclus
alludes to fated death by Hector's hand, and Hector's fated death by Achilles's hand. Each accepts the outcome of his life, yet, no-one knows if the gods can alter fate. The first instance of this doubt occurs in Book
Book
XVI. Seeing Patroclus
Patroclus
about to kill Sarpedon, his mortal son, Zeus
Zeus
says:

Ah me, that it is destined that the dearest of men, Sarpedon, must go down under the hands of Menoitios' son Patroclus.[32]

About his dilemma, Hera
Hera
asks Zeus:

Majesty, son of Kronos, what sort of thing have you spoken? Do you wish to bring back a man who is mortal, one long since doomed by his destiny, from ill-sounding death and release him? Do it, then; but not all the rest of us gods shall approve you.[33]

In deciding between losing a son or abiding fate, Zeus, King of the Gods, allows it. This motif recurs when he considers sparing Hector, whom he loves and respects. Again, Hera
Hera
asks him:

Father of the shining bolt, dark misted, what is this you said? Do you wish to bring back a man who is mortal, one long since doomed by his destiny, from ill-sounding death and release him? Do it, then; but not all the rest of us gods shall approve you.[34]

Again, Zeus
Zeus
appears capable of altering fate, but does not, deciding instead to abide set outcomes; yet, contrariwise, fate spares Aeneas, after Apollo
Apollo
convinces the over-matched Trojan to fight Achilles. Poseidon
Poseidon
cautiously speaks:

But come, let us ourselves get him away from death, for fear the son of Kronos may be angered if now Achilleus kills this man. It is destined that he shall be the survivor, that the generation of Dardanos shall not die ...[35]

Divinely aided, Aeneas
Aeneas
escapes the wrath of Achilles
Achilles
and survives the Trojan War. Whether or not the gods can alter fate, they do abide it, despite its countering their human allegiances; thus, the mysterious origin of fate is a power beyond the gods. Fate implies the primeval, tripartite division of the world that Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades effected in deposing their father, Cronus, for its dominion. Zeus
Zeus
took the Air and the Sky, Poseidon
Poseidon
the Waters, and Hades
Hades
the Underworld, the land of the dead—yet they share dominion of the Earth. Despite the earthly powers of the Olympic gods, only the Three Fates set the destiny of Man. Date and textual history[edit] Further information: Homeric question
Homeric question
and Historicity of the Iliad

Achilles
Achilles
being adored by princesses of Skyros, a scene from the Iliad where Odysseus
Odysseus
(Ulysses) discovers him dressed as a woman and hiding among the princesses at the royal court of Skyros. A late Roman mosaic from La Olmeda, Spain, 4th-5th centuries AD

Detail of Achilles

Detail of Odysseus
Odysseus
(Ulysses)

The poem dates to the archaic period of Classical Antiquity. Scholarly consensus mostly places it in the 8th century BC, although some favour a 7th-century date. Herodotus
Herodotus
placed Homer
Homer
at approximately 400 years before his own time, which would place Homer
Homer
at circa 850 BC. The historical backdrop of the poem is the time of the Late Bronze Age collapse, in the early 12th century BC. Homer
Homer
is thus separated from his subject matter by about 400 years, the period known as the Greek Dark Ages. Intense scholarly debate has surrounded the question of which portions of the poem preserve genuine traditions from the Mycenaean period. The Catalogue of Ships
Catalogue of Ships
in particular has the striking feature that its geography does not portray Greece in the Iron Age, the time of Homer, but as it was before the Dorian invasion. The title Ἰλιάς "Ilias" (genitive Ἰλιάδος "Iliados") is elliptic for ἡ ποίησις Ἰλιάς "he poíesis Iliás", meaning "the Trojan poem". Ἰλιάς, "of Troy", is the specifically feminine adjective form from Ἴλιον, "Troy"; the masculine adjective form would be Ἰλιακός or Ἴλιος.[36] It is used by Herodotus.[37] Venetus A, copied in the 10th century AD, is the oldest fully extant manuscript of the Iliad.[38] The first edition of the "Iliad", editio princeps, edited by Demetrius Chalcondyles
Demetrius Chalcondyles
and published by Bernardus Nerlius, and Demetrius Damilas in Florence
Florence
in 1488/89.[39] The Iliad
Iliad
as oral tradition[edit] In antiquity, the Greeks
Greeks
applied the Iliad
Iliad
and the Odyssey
Odyssey
as the bases of pedagogy. Literature was central to the educational-cultural function of the itinerant rhapsode, who composed consistent epic poems from memory and improvisation, and disseminated them, via song and chant, in his travels and at the Panathenaic Festival
Panathenaic Festival
of athletics, music, poetics, and sacrifice, celebrating Athena's birthday.[40] Originally, Classical scholars treated the Iliad
Iliad
and the Odyssey
Odyssey
as written poetry, and Homer
Homer
as a writer. Yet, by the 1920s, Milman Parry (1902–1935) had launched a movement claiming otherwise. His investigation of the oral Homeric style—"stock epithets" and "reiteration" (words, phrases, stanzas)—established that these formulae were artifacts of oral tradition easily applied to an hexametric line. A two-word stock epithet (e.g. "resourceful Odysseus") reiteration may complement a character name by filling a half-line, thus, freeing the poet to compose a half-line of "original" formulaic text to complete his meaning.[41] In Yugoslavia, Parry and his assistant, Albert Lord (1912–1991), studied the oral-formulaic composition of Serbian oral poetry, yielding the Parry/Lord thesis that established oral tradition studies, later developed by Eric Havelock, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, and Gregory Nagy. In The Singer of Tales (1960), Lord presents likenesses between the tragedies of the Greek Patroclus, in the Iliad, and of the Sumerian Enkidu, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and claims to refute, with "careful analysis of the repetition of thematic patterns", that the Patroclus storyline upsets Homer's established compositional formulae of "wrath, bride-stealing, and rescue"; thus, stock-phrase reiteration does not restrict his originality in fitting story to rhyme.[42][43] Likewise, in The Arming Motif, Prof. James Armstrong reports that the poem's formulae yield richer meaning because the "arming motif" diction—describing Achilles, Agamemnon, Paris, and Patroclus—serves to "heighten the importance of ... an impressive moment", thus, "[reiteration] creates an atmosphere of smoothness", wherein, Homer
Homer
distinguishes Patroclus
Patroclus
from Achilles, and foreshadows the former's death with positive and negative turns of phrase.[44][45] In the Iliad, occasional syntactic inconsistency may be an oral tradition effect—for example, Aphrodite
Aphrodite
is "laughter-loving", despite being painfully wounded by Diomedes
Diomedes
( Book
Book
V, 375); and the divine representations may mix Mycenaean and Greek Dark Age (c. 1150–800 BC) mythologies, parallelling the hereditary basileis nobles (lower social rank rulers) with minor deities, such as Scamander, et al.[46] Warfare in the Iliad[edit] Depiction of infantry combat[edit] Despite Mycenae
Mycenae
and Troy
Troy
being maritime powers, the Iliad
Iliad
features no sea battles.[47] So, the Trojan shipwright (of the ship that transported Helen to Troy), Phereclus, fights afoot, as an infantryman.[48] The battle dress and armour of hero and soldier are well-described. They enter battle in chariots, launching javelins into the enemy formations, then dismount—for hand-to-hand combat with yet more javelin throwing, rock throwing, and if necessary hand to hand sword and a shoulder-borne hoplon (shield) fighting.[49] Ajax the Greater, son of Telamon, sports a large, rectangular shield (σάκος, sakos) with which he protects himself and Teucer, his brother:

Ninth came Teucer, stretching his curved bow. He stood beneath the shield of Ajax, son of Telamon. As Ajax cautiously pulled his shield aside, Teucer
Teucer
would peer out quickly, shoot off an arrow, hit someone in the crowd, dropping that soldier right where he stood, ending his life—then he'd duck back, crouching down by Ajax, like a child beside its mother. Ajax would then conceal him with his shining shield. ( Iliad
Iliad
8.267–72, Ian Johnston, translator)

Ajax's cumbersome shield is more suitable for defence than for offence, while his cousin, Achilles, sports a large, rounded, octagonal shield that he successfully deploys along with his spear against the Trojans:

Just as a man constructs a wall for some high house, using well-fitted stones to keep out forceful winds, that's how close their helmets and bossed shields lined up, shield pressing against shield, helmet against helmet man against man. On the bright ridges of the helmets, horsehair plumes touched when warriors moved their heads. That's how close they were to one another. ( Iliad
Iliad
16.213–17, Ian Johnston, translator)

In describing infantry combat, Homer
Homer
names the phalanx formation,[50] but most scholars do not believe the historical Trojan War
Trojan War
was so fought.[51] In the Bronze Age, the chariot was the main battle transport-weapon (e.g. the Battle of Kadesh). The available evidence, from the Dendra armour and the Pylos
Pylos
Palace paintings, indicate the Mycenaeans used two-man chariots, with a long-spear-armed principal rider, unlike the three-man Hittite chariots with short-spear-armed riders, and unlike the arrow-armed Egyptian and Assyrian two-man chariots. Nestor spearheads his troops with chariots; he advises them:

In your eagerness to engage the Trojans, don't any of you charge ahead of others, trusting in your strength and horsemanship. And don't lag behind. That will hurt our charge. Any man whose chariot confronts an enemy's should thrust with his spear at him from there. That's the most effective tactic, the way men wiped out city strongholds long ago — their chests full of that style and spirit. ( Iliad
Iliad
4.301–09, Ian Johnston, translator)

Although Homer's depictions are graphic, it can be seen in the very end that victory in war is a far more somber occasion, where all that is lost becomes apparent. On the other hand, the funeral games are lively, for the dead man's life is celebrated. This overall depiction of war runs contrary to many other[citation needed] ancient Greek depictions, where war is an aspiration for greater glory. Influence on classical Greek warfare[edit] While the Homeric poems (the Iliad
Iliad
in particular) were not necessarily revered scripture of the ancient Greeks, they were most certainly seen as guides that were important to the intellectual understanding of any educated Greek citizen. This is evidenced by the fact that in the late fifth century BC, "it was the sign of a man of standing to be able to recite the Iliad
Iliad
and Odyssey
Odyssey
by heart."[52] Moreover, it can be argued that the warfare shown in the Iliad, and the way in which it was depicted, had a profound and very traceable effect on Greek warfare in general. In particular, the effect of epic literature can be broken down into three categories: tactics, ideology, and the mindset of commanders. In order to discern these effects, it is necessary to take a look at a few examples from each of these categories. Much of the detailed fighting in the Iliad
Iliad
is done by the heroes in an orderly, one-on-one fashion. Much like the Odyssey, there is even a set ritual which must be observed in each of these conflicts. For example, a major hero may encounter a lesser hero from the opposing side, in which case the minor hero is introduced, threats may be exchanged, and then the minor hero is slain. The victor often strips the body of its armor and military accoutrements.[53] Here is an example of this ritual and this type of one-on-one combat in the Iliad:

There Telamonian Ajax struck down the son of Anthemion, Simoeisios in his stripling's beauty, whom once his mother descending from Ida bore beside the banks of Simoeis when she had followed her father and mother to tend the sheepflocks. Therefore they called him Simoeisios; but he could not render again the care of his dear parents; he was short-lived, beaten down beneath the spear of high-hearted Ajax, who struck him as he first came forward beside the nipple of the right breast, and the bronze spearhead drove clean through the shoulder.[54]

The biggest issue in reconciling the connection between the epic fighting of the Iliad
Iliad
and later Greek warfare is the phalanx, or hoplite, warfare seen in Greek history well after Homer's Iliad. While there are discussions of soldiers arrayed in semblances of the phalanx throughout the Iliad, the focus of the poem on the heroic fighting, as mentioned above, would seem to contradict the tactics of the phalanx. However, the phalanx did have its heroic aspects. The masculine one-on-one fighting of epic is manifested in phalanx fighting on the emphasis of holding one's position in formation. This replaces the singular heroic competition found in the Iliad.[55] One example of this is the Spartan tale of 300 picked men fighting against 300 picked Argives. In this battle of champions, only two men are left standing for the Argives and one for the Spartans. Othryades, the remaining Spartan, goes back to stand in his formation with mortal wounds while the remaining two Argives go back to Argos
Argos
to report their victory. Thus, the Spartans claimed this as a victory, as their last man displayed the ultimate feat of bravery by maintaining his position in the phalanx.[56] In terms of the ideology of commanders in later Greek history, the Iliad
Iliad
has an interesting effect. The Iliad
Iliad
expresses a definite disdain for tactical trickery, when Hector
Hector
says, before he challenges the great Ajax:

I know how to storm my way into the struggle of flying horses; I know how to tread the measures on the grim floor of the war god. Yet great as you are I would not strike you by stealth, watching for my chance, but openly, so, if perhaps I might hit you.[57] However, despite examples of disdain for this tactical trickery, there is reason to believe that the Iliad, as well as later Greek warfare, endorsed tactical genius on the part of their commanders. For example, there are multiple passages in the Iliad
Iliad
with commanders such as Agamemnon
Agamemnon
or Nestor discussing the arraying of troops so as to gain an advantage. Indeed, the Trojan War
Trojan War
is won by a notorious example of Greek guile in the Trojan Horse. This is even later referred to by Homer
Homer
in the Odyssey. The connection, in this case, between guileful tactics of the Greeks
Greeks
in the Iliad
Iliad
and those of the later Greeks
Greeks
is not a difficult one to find. Spartan commanders, often seen as the pinnacle of Greek military prowess, were known for their tactical trickery, and, for them, this was a feat to be desired in a commander. Indeed, this type of leadership was the standard advice of Greek tactical writers.[58] Ultimately, while Homeric (or epic) fighting is certainly not completely replicated in later Greek warfare, many of its ideals, tactics, and instruction are.[59] Hans van Wees argues that the period that the descriptions of warfare relate can be pinned down fairly specifically—to the first half of the 7th century BC.[60] Influence on the arts and literature[edit] Main article: Trojan War
Trojan War
in popular culture The Iliad
Iliad
was a standard work of great importance already in Classical Greece and remained so throughout the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. It made its return to Italy and Western Europe beginning in the 15th century, primarily through translations into Latin and the vernacular languages. Prior to this reintroduction, a shortened Latin version of the poem, known as the Ilias Latina, was very widely studied and read as a basic school text. The West, however, had tended to view Homer
Homer
as unreliable, as they believed they possessed much more down to earth and realistic eyewitness accounts of the Trojan War written by Dares and Dictys Cretensis who were supposedly present at the events. These late antique forged accounts formed the basis of several eminently popular medieval chivalric romances, most notably those of Benoit de Sainte-Maure and Guido delle Colonne. These in turn spawned many others in various European languages, such as the first printed English book, the 1473 Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye. Other accounts read in the Middle Ages were antique Latin retellings such as the Excidium Troiae and works in the vernaculars such as the Icelandic Troy
Troy
Saga. Even without Homer, the Trojan War
Trojan War
story had remained central to Western European medieval literary culture and its sense of identity. Most nations and several royal houses traced their origins to heroes at the Trojan War. Britain was supposedly settled by the Trojan Brutus, for instance.[citation needed] Subjects from the Trojan War
Trojan War
were a favourite among ancient Greek dramatists. Aeschylus' trilogy, the Oresteia, comprising Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides, follows the story of Agamemnon
Agamemnon
after his return from the war. Homer
Homer
also came to be of great influence in European culture with the resurgence of interest in Greek antiquity during the Renaissance, and it remains the first and most influential work of the Western canon. William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
used the plot of the Iliad
Iliad
as source material for his play Troilus
Troilus
and Cressida, but focused on a medieval legend, the love story of Troilus, son of King Priam
Priam
of Troy, and Cressida, daughter of the Trojan soothsayer Calchas. The play, often considered to be a comedy, reverses traditional views on events of the Trojan War and depicts Achilles
Achilles
as a coward, Ajax as a dull, unthinking mercenary, etc. William Theed the elder made an impressive bronze statue of Thetis
Thetis
as she brought Achilles
Achilles
his new armor forged by Hephaesthus. It has been on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
in New York City since 2013. Robert Browning's poem Development discusses his childhood introduction to the matter of the Iliad
Iliad
and his delight in the epic, as well as contemporary debates about its authorship. 20th century[edit]

Simone Weil
Simone Weil
wrote the essay The Iliad or the Poem of Force
The Iliad or the Poem of Force
in 1939, shortly after the commencement of World War
War
II. The essay describes how the Iliad
Iliad
demonstrates the way force, exercised to the extreme in war, reduces both victim and aggressor to the level of the slave and the unthinking automaton.[61] The 1954 Broadway musical
Broadway musical
The Golden Apple, by librettist John Treville Latouche and composer Jerome Moross, was freely adapted from the Iliad
Iliad
and the Odyssey, re-setting the action to America's Washington state in the years after the Spanish–American War, with events inspired by the Iliad
Iliad
in Act One and events inspired by the Odyssey
Odyssey
in Act Two. Christa Wolf's novel Cassandra
Cassandra
(1983) is a critical engagement with the Iliad. Wolf's narrator is Cassandra, whose thoughts we hear at the moment just before her murder by Clytemnestra in Sparta. Wolf's narrator presents a feminist's view of the war, and of war in general. Cassandra's story is accompanied by four essays which Wolf delivered as the Frankfurter Poetik-Vorlesungen. The essays present Wolf's concerns as a writer and rewriter of this canonical story and show the genesis of the novel through Wolf's own readings and in a trip she took to Greece. David Melnick's Men in Aida (cf. μῆνιν ἄειδε) (1983) is a postmodern homophonic translation of Book
Book
One into a farcical bathhouse scenario, preserving the sounds but not the meaning of the original.

Contemporary popular culture[edit]

Dan Simmons' epic science fiction adaptation/tribute, Ilium was released (2003), received a Locus Award for best science fiction novel of 2003.[citation needed] Troy
Troy
(2004), a loose film adaptation of the Iliad, received mixed reviews but was a commercial success, particularly in international sales. It grossed $133 million in the United States
United States
and $497 million worldwide, making it the 88th top-grossing movie of all time.[62] Eric Shanower's Image Comics
Image Comics
series, Age of Bronze, which began in 1998, retells the legend of the Trojan War.[63][64][65] Alice Oswald's sixth collection, Memorial (2011),[66] is based on but departs from the narrative form of the Iliad
Iliad
to focus on, and so commemorate, the individually-named characters whose deaths are mentioned in that poem.[67][68][69] Later in October 2011, Memorial was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize,[70] but in December 2011, Oswald withdrew the book from the shortlist,[71][72] citing concerns about the ethics of the prize's sponsors.[73] The Rage of Achilles, by American author and Yale Writers' Conference founder Terence Hawkins, recounts the Iliad
Iliad
as a novel in modern, sometimes graphic language. Informed by Julian Jaynes' theory of the bicameral mind and the historicity of the Trojan War, it depicts its characters as real men to whom the gods appear only as hallucinations or command voices during the sudden and painful transition to truly modern consciousness.[citation needed]

English translations[edit]

Wenceslas Hollar's engraved title page of a 1660 edition of the Iliad, translated by John Ogilby.

Further information: English translations of Homer

Sampling of translations and editions of Iliad
Iliad
in English

George Chapman
George Chapman
published his translation of the Iliad, in installments, beginning in 1598, published in "fourteeners", a long-line ballad metre that "has room for all of Homer's figures of speech and plenty of new ones, as well as explanations in parentheses. At its best, as in Achilles' rejection of the embassy in Iliad
Iliad
Nine; it has great rhetorical power".[74] It quickly established itself as a classic in English poetry. In the preface to his own translation, Pope praises "the daring fiery spirit" of Chapman's rendering, which is "something like what one might imagine Homer, himself, would have writ before he arrived at years of discretion". John Keats
John Keats
praised Chapman in the sonnet On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
Homer
(1816). John Ogilby's mid-seventeenth-century translation is among the early annotated editions; Alexander Pope's 1715 translation, in heroic couplet, is "The classic translation that was built on all the preceding versions",[75] and, like Chapman's, it is a major poetic work in its own right. William Cowper's Miltonic, blank verse 1791 edition is highly regarded for its greater fidelity to the Greek than either the Chapman or the Pope versions: "I have omitted nothing; I have invented nothing", Cowper says in prefacing his translation. In the lectures On Translating Homer
Homer
(1861), Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
addresses the matters of translation and interpretation in rendering the Iliad to English; commenting upon the versions contemporarily available in 1861, he identifies the four essential poetic qualities of Homer
Homer
to which the translator must do justice:

[i] that he is eminently rapid; [ii] that he is eminently plain and direct, both in the evolution of his thought and in the expression of it, that is, both in his syntax and in his words; [iii] that he is eminently plain and direct in the substance of his thought, that is, in his matter and ideas; and, finally, [iv] that he is eminently noble.

After a discussion of the metres employed by previous translators, Arnold argues for a poetical dialect hexameter translation of the Iliad, like the original. "Laborious as this meter was, there were at least half a dozen attempts to translate the entire Iliad
Iliad
or Odyssey in hexameters; the last in 1945. Perhaps the most fluent of them was by J. Henry Dart [1862] in response to Arnold".[76] In 1870, the American poet William Cullen Bryant
William Cullen Bryant
published a blank verse version, that Van Wyck Brooks
Van Wyck Brooks
describes as "simple, faithful". An 1898 translation by Samuel Butler was published by Longmans. Butler had read Classics
Classics
at Cambridge University, graduating during 1859.[77] Since 1950, there have been several English translations. Richmond Lattimore's version (1951) is "a free six-beat" line-for-line rendering that explicitly eschews "poetical dialect" for "the plain English of today". It is literal, unlike older verse renderings. Robert Fitzgerald's version (Oxford World's Classics, 1974) strives to situate the Iliad
Iliad
in the musical forms of English poetry. His forceful version is freer, with shorter lines that increase the sense of swiftness and energy. Robert Fagles
Robert Fagles
(Penguin Classics, 1990) and Stanley Lombardo (1997) are bolder than Lattimore in adding dramatic significance to Homer's conventional and formulaic language. Barry B. Powell's translation (Oxford University Press, 2014) renders the Homeric Greek with a simplicity and dignity reminiscent of the original. Caroline Alexander published the first full-length English translation by a woman in 2016.[78] Manuscripts[edit] There are more than 2000 manuscripts of Homer.[79][80] Some of the most notable manuscripts include:

Rom. Bibl. Nat. gr. 6 + Matriti. Bibl. Nat. 4626 from 870–890 AD Venetus A
Venetus A
= Venetus Marc. 822 from the 10th century Venetus B = Venetus Marc. 821 from the 11th century Ambrosian Iliad Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 20 Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 21 Codex Nitriensis
Codex Nitriensis
(palimpsest)

See also[edit]

Hellenismos portal Parallels between Virgil's Aeneid
Aeneid
and Homer's Iliad
Iliad
and Odyssey Mask of Agamemnon

References[edit]

^ "Iliad". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary. ^ Vidal-Naquet, Pierre. Le monde d'Homère (The World of Homer), Perrin (2000), p. 19 ^ Approaches to teaching Homer's Iliad
Iliad
and Odyssey. Myrsiades, Kostas., Modern Language Association of America. New York: Modern Language Association of America. 1987. ISBN 0873524993. OCLC 14932229.  ^ Homer. The Iliad. New York: Norton Books. p. 115.  ^ Lattimore, Richmond (2011). The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer. The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London: The University of Chicago Press. Book
Book
1, Line number 155 (p. 79). ISBN 978-0-226-47049-8.  ^ Aeschylus
Aeschylus
does portray it so in Fragment 134a. ^ Hornblower, S. and Spawforth, A. The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization (1998) pp. 3, 347, 352. ^ a b Mikalson, Jon (1991). Honor Thy Gods: Popular Religion in Greek Tragedy. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.  ^ Homer's Iliad, Classical Technology Center. ^ Lefkowitz, Mary. Greek Gods, Human Lives: What We Can Learn From Myths (2003) New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press ^ Taplin, Oliver. "Bring Back the Gods", The New York Times 14 December 2003. ^ Lawson, John (2012). Modern Greek Folklore and Ancient Greek Religion:A Study in Survivals. Cambridge University
Cambridge University
Press. p. 2.  ^ "Greek religion ancient religion". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2016-12-09.  ^ Jaynes, Julian. (1976) The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind. p. 221 ^ a b c Kullmann, Wolfgang (1985-01-01). "Gods and Men in the Iliad and the Odyssey". Harvard Studies in Classical Philology. 89: 1–23. doi:10.2307/311265. JSTOR 311265.  ^ a b Homer; Fagles, Robert; Knox, Bernard (1998). The Iliad. New York, N.Y: Penguin Books. p. 589.  ^ 2.155, 2.251, 9.413, 9.434, 9.622, 10.509, 16.82 ^ "The Concept of the Hero in Greek Civilization". Athome.harvard.edu. Archived from the original on 2010-04-21. Retrieved 2010-04-18.  ^ "Heroes and the Homeric Iliad". Uh.edu. Retrieved 2010-04-18.  ^ a b Volk, Katharina. "ΚΛΕΟΣ ΑΦΘΙΤΟΝ Revisited". Classical Philology, Vol. 97, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 61–68. ^ 9.410-416 ^ Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951) ^ II.46, V.724, XIII.22, XIV.238, XVIII.370 ^ Rouse, W.H.D. The Iliad
Iliad
(1938) p. 11 ^ Homer. The Iliad, Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951). 1.13. ^ Homer. The Iliad, Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951). 1.122. ^ Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951). 1.181–87. ^ Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951). 18.111–16. ^ Fate as presented in Homer's "The Iliad", Everything2 ^ Iliad
Iliad
Study Guide, Brooklyn College Archived December 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951). 16.849–54. ^ Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951). 16.433–34. ^ Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951). 16.440–43. ^ Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951). 22.178–81. ^ Homer. The Iliad. Richmond Lattimore, translator. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (1951). 20.300–04. ^ Ἰλιάς, Ἰλιακός, Ἴλιος. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project ^ Hist. 2.116 ^ Robot Scans Ancient Manuscript in 3-D, Wired.[unreliable source?] ^ "Homerus, [Τὰ σωζόμενα]". Onassis Library. Retrieved 2017-09-03.  ^ The Columbia Encyclopedia, Fifth Edition (1994) p. 173 ^ Porter, John. The Iliad
Iliad
as Oral Formulaic Poetry (8 May 2006) University of Saskatchewan. Retrieved 26 November 2007. ^ Lord, Albert. The Singer of Tales Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press (1960) p. 190 ^ Lord, Albert. The Singer of Tales Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press (1960) p. 195 ^ Iliad, Book
Book
XVI, 130–54 ^ Armstrong, James I. The Arming Motif in the Iliad. The American Journal of Philology, Vol. 79, No. 4. (1958), pp. 337–54. ^ Toohey, Peter. Reading Epic: An Introduction to the Ancient Narrative. New Fetter Lane, London: Routledge, (1992). ^ Iliad 3.45–50 ^ Iliad 59–65 ^ Keegan, John. A History of Warfare (1993) p. 248 ^ Iliad 6.6 ^ Cahill, Tomas. Sailing the Wine Dark Sea: Why the Greeks
Greeks
Matter (2003) ^ Lendon, J.E."Soldiers and Ghosts" (2005) p. 36 ^ Lendon, J.E. "Soldiers and Ghosts" (2005) pp. 22–23 ^ Iliad. 4.473–83, Lattimore, translator ^ Lendon, J.E. "Soldiers and Ghosts" (2005) p. 51 ^ 5.17 ^ (Iliad. 7.237–43, Lattimore, translator) ^ Lendon, J.E. "Soldiers and Ghosts" (2005) p. 240 ^ A large amount of the citations and argumentation in this section of the article must be ultimately attributed to:Lendon, J.E. Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity. New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2005. ^ Greek Warfare: Myth and Realities [Paperback] Hans Van Wees, p 249 ^ Bruce B. Lawrence and Aisha Karim (2008). On Violence: A Reader. Duke University Press. p. 377. ISBN 978-0-8223-3769-0.  ^ "All Time Worldwide Box Office Grosses". Box Office Mojo.  ^ A Thousand Ships (2001, ISBN 1-58240-200-0) ^ Sacrifice (2004, ISBN 1-58240-360-0) ^ Betrayal, Part One (2008, ISBN 978-1-58240-845-3) ^ Oswald, Alice (2011). Memorial: An Excavation of the Iliad. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-27416-1. Archived from the original on 2012-06-06.  ^ Holland, Tom (17 October 2011). "The Song of Achilles
Achilles
by Madeline Miller / Memorial by Alice Oswald. Surfing the rip tide of all things Homeric". The New Statesman. London: New Statesman. Retrieved 1 June 2012.  ^ Kellaway, Kate (2 October 2011). "Memorial by Alice Oswald – review". The Observer. London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 1 June 2012.  ^ Higgins, Charlotte (28 October 2011). "The Song of Achilles
Achilles
by Madeline Miller, and more – review". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 1 June 2012.  ^ Flood, Alison (20 October 2011). "TS Eliot prize 2011 shortlist revealed". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 1 June 2012.  ^ Waters, Florence
Florence
(6 December 2011). "Poet withdraws from TS Eliot prize over sponsorship". The Telegraph. London: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 2012-02-13.  ^ Flood, Alison (6 December 2011). " Alice Oswald withdraws from TS Eliot prize in protest at sponsor Aurum". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 2012-02-13.  ^ Oswald, Alice (12 December 2011). "Why I pulled out of the TS Eliot poetry prize". The Guardian. London: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 2012-02-13.  ^ The Oxford Guide to English Literature in Translation, p. 351 ^ The Oxford Guide to English Literature in Translation, p. 352 ^ The Oxford Guide to English Literature in Translation, p. 354 ^ St John's College – The Iliad
Iliad
(1898) Cambridge University [Retrieved 2016-06-16] ^ Karl Wolff. "The Iliad: A New Translation by Caroline Alexander". New York Journal of Books. ^ OCLC 722287142 ^ Bird, Graeme D. (2010). Multitextuality in the Homeric Iliad: The Witness of the Ptolemaic Papyr. Washington, D.C.: Center for Hellenic Studies. ISBN 0-674-05323-0. 

Bibliography[edit]

Budimir, Milan (1940). On the Iliad
Iliad
and Its Poet.  Mueller, Martin (1984). The Iliad. London: Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-800027-2.  Nagy, Gregory (1979). The Best of the Achaeans. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-2388-9.  Powell, Barry B. (2004). Homer. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-5325-6.  Seaford, Richard (1994). Reciprocity and Ritual. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-815036-9.  West, Martin (1997). The East Face of Helicon. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-815221-3.  Fox, Robin Lane (2008). Travelling Heroes: Greeks
Greeks
and their myths in the epic age of Homer. Allen Lane. ISBN 978-0-7139-9980-8. 

Further reading[edit]

De Jong, Irene Iliad. Book
Book
XXII, Cambridge University
Cambridge University
Press, 2012. ISBN 9780521709774 Edwards, Mark W.; Janko, Richard; Kirk, G.S., The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume IV, Books 13–16, Cambridge University
Cambridge University
Press, 1992. ISBN 0-521-28171-7 Edwards, Mark W.; Kirk, G.S., The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume V, Books 17–20, Cambridge University
Cambridge University
Press, 1991. ISBN 0-521-30959-X Graziosi, Barbara; Haubold, Johannes, Iliad: Book
Book
VI, Cambridge University Press, 2010. ISBN 9780521878845 Hainsworth, Bryan; Kirk, G.S., The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume III, Books 9–12, Cambridge University
Cambridge University
Press, 1993. ISBN 0-521-23711-4] Kirk, G.S., The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume I, Books 1–4, Cambridge University Press, 1985. ISBN 0-521-23709-2 Kirk, G.S., The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume II, Books 5–8, Cambridge University Press, 1990. ISBN 0-521-23710-6 Murray, A.T.; Wyatt, William F., Homer: The Iliad, Books I–XII, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 1999, ISBN 978-0-674-99579-6 Richardson, Nicholas; Kirk, G.S., The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume VI, Books 21–24, Cambridge University
Cambridge University
Press, 1993. ISBN 0-521-30960-3 West, Martin L., Studies in the text and transmission of the Iliad, München : K.G. Saur, 2001. ISBN 3-598-73005-5

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Iliad.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: The Iliad

Greek Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Ἰλιάς

Library resources about Iliad

Online books Resources in your library Resources in other libraries

D. B. Monro, Homer: Iliad, Books I–XII, with an Introduction, a Brief Homeric Grammar, and Notes (3rd ed., 1890) D. B. Monro, Homer: Iliad, Books XIII–XXIV, with Notes (4th ed., 1903) D. B. Monro, A Grammar of the Homeric Dialect (2nd ed., 1891) Iliad : from the Perseus Project (PP), with the Murray and Butler translations and hyperlinks to mythological and grammatical commentary Gods, Achaeans and Troyans. An interactive visualization of The Iliad's characters flow and relations. The Iliad: A Study Guide Comments on background, plot, themes, authorship, and translation issues by 2008 translator Herbert Jordan. Flaxman illustrations of the Iliad The Iliad
Iliad
study guide, themes, quotes, teacher resources The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer, Books I–XIII, Translated into English Blank Verse by William Cowper, edition c.1860. Online at Project Gutenberg. The Iliad
Iliad
of Homer, done into English prose by Andrew Lang, Walter Leaf and Ernest Myers. Revised edition, 1892. (25MB PDF at Archive.org) The Opening to the Iliad
Iliad
(Proem), Read in Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
with a simultaneous translation. The Iliad
Iliad
Map, map of locations in The Iliad Published English translations of Homer, with samples and some reviews by translator and scholar Ian Johnston Digital facsimile of the first printed publication (editio princeps) of the Iliad
Iliad
in Homeric Greek by Demetrios Chalkokondyles, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek The Iliad
Iliad
public domain audiobook at LibriVox

v t e

Epic Cycle

Cypria Iliad Aethiopis Little Iliad Iliupersis Nostoi Odyssey Telegony

v t e

Works related to Homer
Homer
in antiquity

Attributed to Homer

Batrachomyomachia Cercopes Cypria Epigrams (Kiln) Epigoni Homeric Hymns Iliad Little Iliad Margites Nostoi Odyssey Capture of Oechalia Phocais Thebaid

About Homer

Ancient accounts of Homer Contest of Homer
Homer
and Hesiod Life of Homer
Homer
(Pseudo-Herodotus)

v t e

Kings of Thebes

Kings

Calydnus Ogyges Cadmus Pentheus Polydorus Nycteus (regent for Labdacus) and Lycus I (regent for Labdacus) Labdacus Lycus I (regent for Laius) Laius Amphion and Zethus Laius (second rule) Creon Oedipus Creon (second rule) (regent for Eteocles
Eteocles
and Polynices) Polynices
Polynices
and Eteocles Creon (third rule) (regent for Laodamas) Lycus II (usurper) Laodamas Thersander Peneleos (regent for Tisamenus) Tisamenus Autesion Damasichthon Ptolemy Xanthos

In literature

Antigone Antigone (Euripides) The Bacchae Herakles Iliad Oedipus Oedipus
Oedipus
at Colonus Oedipus
Oedipus
Rex The Phoenician Women Seven Against Thebes The Thebans

Related articles

Thebes Necklace of Harmonia

Book:Theban Kings Category:Theban kings Portal:Ancient Greece

v t e

Homer's Iliad
Iliad
(8th century BC)

Characters

Achaeans

Acamas Achilles Agamemnon Agapenor Ajax the Greater Ajax the Lesser Alcimus Anticlus Antilochus Arcesilaus Ascalaphus Automedon Balius and Xanthus Bias Calchas Diomedes Elephenor Epeius Eudoros Euryalus Eurybates Eurydamas Eurypylus Guneus Helen Ialmenus Idomeneus Leitus Leonteus Lycomedes Machaon Medon Meges Menelaus Menestheus Meriones Neoptolemus Nestor Nireus Odysseus Palamedes Patroclus Peneleos Philoctetes Phoenix Podalirius Podarces Polites Polypoetes Promachus Protesilaus Prothoenor Schedius Stentor Sthenelus Talthybius Teucer Thersites Thoas Thrasymedes Tlepolemus

Trojans

Aeneas Aesepus Agenor Alcathous Amphimachus Anchises Andromache Antenor Antiphates Antiphus Archelochus Asius Asteropaios Astyanax Atymnius Axylus Briseis Calesius Caletor Cassandra Chryseis Chryses Clytius Coön Dares Phrygius Deiphobus Dolon Epistrophus Euphemus Euphorbus Glaucus Gorgythion Hector Hecuba Helenus Hyperenor Hypsenor Ilioneus Imbrius Iphidamas Kebriones Laocoön Lycaon Melanippus Mentes Mydon Mygdon of Phrygia Othryoneus Pandarus Panthous Paris Pedasus Peirous Phorcys Polites Polydamas Polybus Polydorus Priam Pylaemenes Pylaeus Pyraechmes Rhesus of Thrace Sarpedon Theano Ucalegon

Major deities

Aphrodite Apollo Ares Artemis Athena Hades Hephaestus Hera Hermes Poseidon Zeus

Minor deities

Deimos Eris Iris Leto Phobos Proteus Scamander Thetis

Films

Helena (1924) Helen of Troy
Troy
(1956) The Trojan Horse
Trojan Horse
(1961) Troy
Troy
(2004)

Literature

Verse

Priapea 68 De bello Troiano
De bello Troiano
(1183) The Rape of the Lock
The Rape of the Lock
(1712) "The Shield of Achilles" (1952) War
War
Music (1959) Omeros
Omeros
(1990)

Novels

The Firebrand
The Firebrand
(1987) Black Ships Before Troy
Troy
(1993) Troy
Troy
(2000) Ilium (2003) Ransom (2009) The Adventures of Odysseus
Odysseus
(2010-2014) Starcrossed (2011)

Alternate versions

Ilias Latina (60–70 CE) Dictys Cretensis Ephemeridos belli Trojani (4th century ?) Daretis Phrygii de excidio Trojae historia (5th century) Hermoniakos' Iliad (14th century) Men in Aida (1983)

Translations

"On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" On Translating Homer

Stage

The Golden Apple (musical) Rhesus (play)

Sections

Catalogue of Ships Deception of Zeus Trojan Battle Order

Manuscripts

Ambrosian Iliad Codex Nitriensis Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 20 Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 21 Uncial 098 Venetus A Venetus B

Phrases

"Ever to Excel" "Hold your horses"

Television

The Myth Makers
The Myth Makers
(1965) In Search of the Trojan War
Trojan War
(1985) Helen of Troy
Troy
(2003 miniseries)

Art

The Apotheosis of Homer The Loves of Paris and Helen Menelaus
Menelaus
supporting the body of Patroclus Orestes Pursued by the Furies The Revelers Vase Statue of Zeus
Zeus
at Olympia

Music

King Priam
Priam
(1961 Tippett opera) The Triumph of Steel
The Triumph of Steel
(1992 album) "And Then There Was Silence" (2001 song) The Odyssey
Odyssey
(Smith symphony)

Study

Homeric scholarship Homeric Question

Chorizontes

Historicity of Homer

The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales "The Iliad
Iliad
or the Poem of Force" (1939 essay) Milawata letter Rediscovering Homer

Dactylic hexameter

Other

Warriors: Legends of Troy
Troy
(video game) Age of Bronze (comics) Sortes Homericae Tabula iliaca "In medias res" "Noblesse oblige" The Trojan War
Trojan War
Will Not Take Place Heraclitus Weighing of souls Where Troy
Troy
Once Stood Blood rain

Authority control

GND: 4135525-8 BNF:

.