The ''Iliad'' (; grc|Ἰλιάς, ', ; 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
. Usually considered to have been written down circa the 8th century BC, the ''Iliad'' is among the oldest extant works of Western literature
, along with the ''Odyssey
'', another epic poem attributed to Homer which tells of Odysseus's
experiences after the events of the ''Iliad''. In the modern vulgate (the standard accepted version), the ''Iliad'' contains 15,693 lines, divided into 24 books; it is written in Homeric Greek
, a literary amalgam of Ionic Greek
and other dialects
. It is usually grouped in the Epic Cycle
Set during the Trojan War
, the ten-year siege
of the city of Troy
(Ilium) by a coalition of Mycenaean Greek states
(Achaeans), it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon
and the warrior Achilles
Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the ''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.
:''Note: Book numbers are in parentheses and come before the synopsis of the book.''
() After an invocation
to the Muse
s, the story launches ''in medias res
'' towards the end of the Trojan War between the Trojans and the besieging Achaeans
, a Trojan priest of Apollo
, offers the Achaeans wealth for the return of his daughter Chryseis
, held captive by Agamemnon
, the Achaean leader. Although most of the Achaean army is in favour of the offer, Agamemnon refuses. Chryses prays
for Apollo's help, and Apollo causes a plague to afflict the Achaean army.
After nine days of plague, Achilles
, the leader of the Myrmidon
contingent, calls an assembly to deal with the problem. Under pressure, Agamemnon agrees to return Chryseis to her father, but decides to take Achilles' captive, Briseis
, as compensation. Achilles furiously declares that he and his men will no longer fight for Agamemnon and will go home. Odysseus
takes a ship and returns Chryseis to her father, whereupon Apollo ends the plague.
In the meantime, Agamemnon's messengers take Briseis away. Achilles becomes very upset, sits by the seashore, and prays to his mother, Thetis
. Achilles asks his mother to ask Zeus
to bring the Achaeans to the breaking point by the Trojans, so Agamemnon will realize how much the Achaeans need Achilles. Thetis does so, and Zeus agrees.
() Zeus sends a dream to Agamemnon, urging him to attack Troy. Agamemnon heeds the dream but first decides to test the Achaean 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 confronts and beats Thersites
, a common soldier who voices discontent about fighting Agamemnon's war. After a meal, the Achaeans deploy in companies upon the Trojan plain. The poet takes the opportunity to describe the provenance of each Achaean contingent.
When news of the Achaean deployment reaches King Priam
, the Trojans respond in a sortie
upon the plain. In a list similar to that for the Achaeans, the poet describes the Trojans and their allies.
() 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
. The initial cause of the entire war is alluded to here, when Helen
is said to be "embroidering the struggles between Trojans and Achaeans, that Ares
had made them fight for her sake." This allusion is then made definitive at the paragraph's close, when Helen is told that Paris and "Menelaus are going to fight about yourself, and you are to be the wife of him who is the victor." Both sides swear a truce and promise to abide by the outcome of the duel. Paris is beaten, but Aphrodite
rescues him and leads him to bed with Helen before Menelaus can kill him.
() Pressured by Hera
's hatred of Troy, Zeus arranges for the Trojan Pandaros
to break the truce by wounding Menelaus with an arrow. Agamemnon rouses the Achaeans, and battle is joined.
() In the fighting, Diomedes
kills many Trojans, including Pandaros, and defeats Aeneas
, whom Aphrodite rescues, but Diomedes attacks and wounds the goddess. Apollo faces 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 wounds Ares
and puts him out of action.
() Hector rallies the Trojans and prevents a rout; the Achaean Diomedes and the Trojan Glaukos
find common ground, and exchange unequal gifts, while Glaukos tells Diomedes the story of Bellerophon
. Hector enters the city, urges prayers and sacrifices, incites Paris to battle, bids his wife Andromache
and son Astyanax
farewell on the city walls, and rejoins the battle.
() Hector duels with Ajax
, but nightfall interrupts the fight, and both sides retire. The Achaeans 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 Achaeans also build their wall and a trench.
() The next morning, Zeus prohibits the gods from interfering, and fighting begins anew. The Trojans prevail and force the Achaeans back to their wall, while Hera and Athena are forbidden to help. Night falls before the Trojans can assail the Achaean wall. They camp in the field to attack at first light, and their watchfires light the plain like stars.
() Meanwhile, the Achaeans are desperate. Agamemnon admits his error, and sends an embassy composed of Odysseus, Ajax, Phoenix
, and two heralds to offer Briseis and extensive gifts to Achilles, who has been camped next to his ships throughout, if only he will return to the fighting. Achilles and his companion Patroclus
receive the embassy well, but 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.
() Later that night, Odysseus and Diomedes venture out to the Trojan lines, kill the Trojan Dolon
, and wreak havoc in the camps of some Thracian
allies of Troy's.
() In the morning, the fighting is fierce, and Agamemnon, Diomedes, and Odysseus are all wounded. Achilles sends Patroclus from his camp to inquire about the Achaean casualties, and while there Patroclus is moved to pity by a speech of Nestor
() The Trojans attack the Achaean wall on foot. Hector, ignoring an omen, leads the terrible fighting. The Achaeans are overwhelmed and routed, the wall's gate is broken, and Hector charges in.
() Poseidon is pitied upon the Acheans. He disobeys Zeus and arrives at the battlefield and helps the Acheans. The feats of Idomeneus. Many fall on both sides. The Trojan seer Polydamas
urges Hector to fall back and warns him about Achilles, but is ignored.
() Hera seduce
s Zeus and lures him to sleep, allowing Poseidon
to help the Greeks, and the Trojans are driven back onto the plain.
() Zeus awakes and is enraged by Poseidon's intervention. Against the mounting discontent of the Achaean-supporting gods, Zeus sends Apollo to aid the Trojans, who once again breach the wall, and the battle reaches the ships.
() Patroclus cannot stand to watch any longer and begs Achilles to be allowed to defend the ships. 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 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 begins his assault by killing Zeus's son Sarpedon
, a leading ally of the Trojans. Patroclus, ignoring Achilles' command, pursues and reaches the gates of Troy, where Apollo himself stops him. Patroclus is set upon by Apollo and Euphorbos
, and is finally killed by Hector.
() Hector takes Achilles' armor from the fallen Patroclus, but fighting develops around Patroclus' body.
() Achilles is mad with grief when he hears of Patroclus' death and vows to take vengeance on Hector; his mother Thetis grieves, too, knowing that Achilles is fated to die young if he kills Hector. Achilles is urged to help retrieve Patroclus' body but has no armour. Bathed in a brilliant radiance by Athena, Achilles stands next to the Achaean wall and roars in rage. The Trojans are dismayed by his appearance, and the Achaeans manage to bear Patroclus' body away. Polydamas urges Hector again to withdraw into the city; again Hector refuses, and the Trojans camp on the plain at nightfall. Patroclus is mourned. Meanwhile, at Thetis' request, Hephaestus
fashions a new set of armor for Achilles, including a magnificently wrought shield
() In the morning, Agamemnon gives Achilles all the promised gifts, including Briseis
, but Achilles is indifferent to them. Achilles fasts while the Achaeans take their meal, straps on his new armor, and takes up his great spear. His horse Xanthos
prophesies to Achilles his death. Achilles drives his chariot into battle.
lifts the ban on the gods' interference, and the gods freely help both sides. Achilles, burning with rage and grief, slays many.
() Driving the Trojans before him, 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 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 leads Achilles away from the city by pretending to be a Trojan.
() When 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 and Hecuba
. When Achilles approaches, Hector's will fails him, and he is chased around the city by Achilles. Finally, Athena tricks him into stopping, and he turns to face his opponent. After a brief duel, Achilles stabs Hector through the neck. Before dying, Hector reminds Achilles that he, too, is fated to die in the war. Achilles takes Hector's body and dishonours it by dragging it behind his chariot.
() The ghost of Patroclus comes to Achilles in a dream, urging him to carry out his burial rites and to arrange for their bones to be entombed together. The Achaeans hold a day of funeral games, and Achilles gives out the prizes.
() Dismayed by Achilles' continued abuse of Hector's body, Zeus decides that it must be returned to Priam. Led by Hermes
, Priam takes a wagon out of Troy, across the plains, and into the Achaean camp unnoticed. He clasps Achilles by the knees and begs for his son's body. Achilles is moved to tears, and the two lament their losses in the war. After a meal, Priam carries Hector's body back into Troy. Hector is buried, and the city mourns.
The many characters of the ''Iliad'' are catalogued; the latter half of Book II, the "Catalogue of Ships
", lists commanders and cohorts; battle scenes feature quickly slain minor characters.
* The Achaeans
() or Argives ()
– King of Mycenae
, leader of the Achaeans.
– King of Sparta
, husband of Helen and brother of Agamemnon.
– Leader of the Myrmidons
and King of Phthia
, son of Peleus
and divine Thetis
, the foremost warrior.
– King of Ithaca
, Greek commander, the smartest warrior.
– King of Pylos
and trusted advisor to Agamemnon, the wisest warrior.
** Ajax the Great
– King of Salamis
, son of Telamon
– King of Argos
, son of Tydeus.
** Ajax the Lesser
– Commander of the Locrians
, son of Oileus
– Commander of the Cretans
– Achilles' closest companion.
– Leader of the Myrmidons
after Achilles death, killer of Priam.
Achilles and Patroclus
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. Some Classical and Hellenistic Athenian scholars perceived it as pederastic
[Aeschylus does portray it so in Fragment 134a.]
while others perceived it as a platonic warrior-bond.
* The Trojan
– First king of Troy, and he originally named the city Dardania.
– Prince of Troy, son of King Priam, and the foremost Trojan warrior.
– son of Anchises and Aphrodite.
– brother of Hector and Paris.
– Prince of Troy, son of King Priam, and Helen's lover/abductor.
– the aged King of Troy.
– a prudent commander whose advice is ignored; he is Hector's foil.
– son of Antenor, a Trojan warrior who attempts to fight Achilles (Book XXI).
** Sarpedon, son of 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 and co-leader of the Lycians (fought for the Trojans).
– first Trojan warrior to wound Patroclus.
– a spy upon the Greek camp (Book X).
– King Priam's advisor, who argues for returning Helen to end the war.
– son of Priam and Laothoe
– famous archer and son of Lycaon.
* The Trojan women
() – Priam's wife; mother of Hector, Cassandra, Paris, and others.
() – daughter of Zeus; Menelaus's wife; espoused first to Paris, then to Deiphobus; her being taken by Paris back to Troy precipitated the war.
– Princess of Troy, Hector's wife, mother of Astyanax
– Priam's daughter.
– a Trojan woman captured by Achilles from a previous siege, over whom Achilles's quarrel with Agamemnon began.
In the literary 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.
The Classical-era historian Herodotus
says that Homer and Hesiod
, his contemporary, were the first writers to name and describe the gods' appearance and character.
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
, 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.
[Lefkowitz, Mary (2003). ''Greek Gods, Human Lives: What We Can Learn From Myths''. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press.]
The religion had no founder and was not the creation of an inspired teacher which were popular origins of existing religions in the world. 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. Adkins and Pollard (2020/1998), agree with this by saying, "the early 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." 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
is the god of the sea, Aphrodite
is the goddess of beauty, 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.
Psychologist Julian Jaynes
uses the ''Iliad'' as a major piece of evidence for his theory of the Bicameral Mind
, which posits that until about the time described in the ''Iliad'', humans had a far different mentality from 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'' 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.
[Jaynes, Julian. (1976) ''The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind''. p. 221]
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.
An example of one of these relationships in the ''Iliad'' occurs between Athena
, and Aphrodite. In the final book of the poem Homer writes, "He offended Athena and Hera—both goddesses."
Athena and Hera are envious of Aphrodite because of a beauty pageant on Mount Olympus in which Paris
chose Aphrodite to be the most beautiful goddess over both Hera and Athena. Wolfgang Kullmann further goes on to say, "Hera's and Athena's disappointment over the victory of Aphrodite in the Judgement of Paris determines the whole conduct of both goddesses in ''The Iliad'' and is the cause of their hatred for Paris, the Judge, and his town Troy."
Hera and Athena then continue to support the Achaean forces throughout the poem because Paris is part of the Trojans, while 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 3 of the ''Iliad'', Paris challenges any of the Achaeans to a single combat and Menelaus
steps forward. 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."
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 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.
This connection of emotions to actions is just one example out of many that occur throughout the poem.
* The major deities:
(Achaeans, then Trojans)
* The minor deities:
() 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
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. Fate does not determine every action, incident, and occurrence, but it does determine the outcome of life—before killing him, Hector calls Patroclus a fool Patroclus retorts:
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.
Here, 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 XVI. Seeing Patroclus about to kill Sarpedon
, his mortal son, Zeus says:
Ah me, that it is destined that the dearest of men, Sarpedon,
must go down under the hands of Menoitios' son Patroclus.
About his dilemma, 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.
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. This time, it is Athene who challenges 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.
Again, Zeus appears capable of altering fate, but does not, deciding instead to abide set outcomes; similarly, fate spares Aeneas, after Apollo convinces the over-matched Trojan to fight Achilles. 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…
Divinely aided, Aeneas escapes the wrath of 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 took the Air and the Sky, Poseidon the Waters, and 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.
'' (, "glory, fame") is the concept of glory
earned in heroic battle. Yet, Achilles must choose only one of the two rewards, either ''nostos'' or ''kleos''. In 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 (, 9.411).
ΚΛΕΟΣ ΑΦΘΙΤΟΝ Revisited
. ''Classical Philology'', Vol. 97, No. 1 (Jan., 2002), pp. 61–68.
The passage reads:
In forgoing his ''nostos'', he will earn the greater reward of ''kleos aphthiton'' (, "fame imperishable").
In the poem, ''aphthiton'' (, "imperishable") occurs five other times, 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 takes Briseis from Achilles, he takes away a portion of the kleos he had earned.
Achilles' shield, crafted by 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.
'' (, "homecoming") occurs seven times in the poem, making it a minor theme in the ''Iliad'' itself. Yet the concept of homecoming is much explored in other Ancient Greek literature, especially in the post-war homeward fortunes experienced by the Atreidae (Agamemnon and Menelaus), and Odysseus (see the ''Odyssey
'' drives the plot of the Iliad. The Achaeans gather on the plain of Troy to wrest Helen from the Trojans. Though the majority of the Trojans would gladly return Helen to the Achaeans, they defer to the pride of their prince, Alexandros, also known as Paris. Within this frame, Homer's work begins. At the start of the Iliad, Agamemnon's pride sets forth a chain of events that leads him to take from Achilles, Briseis, the girl that he had originally given Achilles in return for his martial prowess. Due to this slight, Achilles refuses to fight and asks his mother, Thetis, to make sure that Zeus causes the Achaeans to suffer on the battlefield until Agamemnon comes to realize the harm he has done to Achilles. Achilles’ pride allows him to beg Thetis for the deaths of his Achaean friends. When in Book 9 his friends urge him to return, offering him loot and his girl, Briseis, he refuses, stuck in his vengeful pride. Achilles remains stuck until the very end, when his anger at himself for Patroclus’ death overcomes his pride at Agamemnon's slight and he returns to kill Hector. He overcomes his pride again when he keeps his anger in check and returns Hector to Priam at epic's close. From epic start to epic finish, pride drives the plot.
[Frobish (2003:24) writes that the war "starts with his pride and immaturity, yet is finished with his skill and bravery on the battlefield.”]
Akin to ''kleos'' is ''timē'' (, "respect, honor"), the concept denoting the respectability an honorable man accrues with accomplishment (cultural, political, martial), per his station in life. In Book I, the Achaean troubles begin with King Agamemnon's dishonorable, unkingly behavior—first, by threatening the priest Chryses (1.11), then, by aggravating them in disrespecting Achilles, by confiscating Briseis from him (1.171). The warrior's consequent rancor against the dishonorable king ruins the Achaean military cause.
''Hybris'' () plays a part similar to ''timê.'' The epic takes as its thesis the anger of Achilles and the destruction it brings. Anger disturbs the distance between human beings and the gods. Uncontrolled anger destroys orderly social relationships and upsets the balance of correct actions necessary to keep the gods away from human beings. (footnote Thompson). Despite the epic's focus on Achilles’ rage, ''hybris'' plays a prominent role also, serving as both kindling and fuel for many destructive events. Agamemnon refuses to ransom Chriseis up out of ''hybris'' and harms Achilles’ pride when he demands Briseis. Hubris forces Paris to fight against Menelaus. Agamemnon spurs the Achaean to fight, by calling into question Odysseus, Diomedes, and Nestor's pride, asking why they were cowering and waiting for help when they should be the ones leading the charge. While the events of the ''Iliad'' focus on the Achilles’ rage and the destruction it brings on, ''hybris'' fuels and stokes them both.
The poem's initial word, (''mēnin''; acc.
, ''mēnis'', "wrath," "rage," "fury"), establishes the ''Iliad''s principal theme: The "Wrath of Achilles". His personal rage and wounded soldier's pride propel the story: the Achaeans' faltering in battle, the slayings of Patroclus and Hector, and the fall of Troy. In Book I, the Wrath of 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." The insulted priest prays to Apollo for help, and a nine-day rain of divine plague arrows falls upon the Achaeans. Moreover, in that meeting, Achilles accuses Agamemnon of being "greediest for gain of all men." To that, Agamemnon replies:
But here is my threat to you.
Even as Phoibos 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.
After that, only Athena stays Achilles's wrath. He vows to never again obey orders from Agamemnon. Furious, 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 Achaeans back to the sea (Book XII). Later, Agamemnon contemplates defeat and retreat to Greece (Book XIV). Again, the Wrath of Achilles turns the war's tide in seeking vengeance when Hector kills Patroclus. Aggrieved, Achilles tears his hair and dirties his face. Thetis comforts her mourning son, who tells her:
So it was here that the lord of men 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 wishes to bring it about, and the other immortals.
Accepting the prospect of death as fair price for avenging Patroclus, he returns to battle, dooming Hector and Troy, thrice chasing him 'round the Trojan walls, before slaying him, then dragging the corpse behind his chariot, back to camp.
Date and textual history
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. In any case, the ''terminus ante quem
'' for the dating of the ''Iliad'' is 630 BC, as evidenced by reflection in art and literature.
, having consulted the Oracle
, placed Homer and Hesiod
at approximately 400 years before his own time, which would place them at .
The historical backdrop of the poem is the time of the Late Bronze Age collapse
, in the early 12th century BC. 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
'' 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 (''Ilias''; gen.
) is an ellipsis
of , meaning "the Trojan poem". , is the specifically feminine adjective form from . The masculine adjective form would be or . It is used by Herodotus
, copied in the 10th century AD, is the oldest fully extant manuscript of the ''Iliad.''
The first edition of the "Iliad", ''editio princeps
'', edited by Demetrius Chalcondyles
and published by Bernardus Nerlius, and Demetrius Damilas in Florence
As oral tradition
In antiquity, the Greeks
applied the ''Iliad'' and the ''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
of athletics, music, poetics, and sacrifice, celebrating Athena
Originally, Classical scholars treated the ''Iliad'' and the ''Odyssey'' as written poetry, and 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 a 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. 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 Achaean Patroclus
, in the ''Iliad'', and of the Sumer
, 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. Likewise, James Armstrong (1958)
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, "eiteration
creates an atmosphere of smoothness," wherein, Homer distinguishes Patroclus from Achilles, and foreshadows the former's death with positive and negative turns of phrase.
[Armstrong, James I. (1958). "The Arming Motif in the Iliad." ''American Journal of Philology'' 79(4):337–54.]
In the ''Iliad'', occasional syntactic inconsistency may be an oral tradition effect—for example, Aphrodite is "laughter-loving", despite being painfully wounded by Diomedes (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.
In modern Greece
children are educated by ''Iliad'' and ''Odyssey'' at school, as specific mandatory lessons. Through these, they learn mythology
, ancient customs and ethics of their homeland and they analyze the poetry of Homer.
Depiction of warfare
Depiction of infantry combat
Despite Mycenae and Troy being maritime powers, the ''Iliad'' features no sea battles. So, the Trojan shipwright (of the ship that transported Helen to Troy), Phereclus
, fights afoot, as an infantryman. The battle dress and armour of hero and soldier are well-described. They enter battle in chariot
s, 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. Ajax the Great
er, son of Telamon, sports a large, rectangular shield () 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 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.
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.
In describing infantry combat, Homer names the phalanx formation
, but most scholars do not believe the historical Trojan War was so fought. 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 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.
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 ancient Greek depictions, where war is an aspiration for greater glory.
Modern reconstructions of armor, weapons and styles
Few modern (archeologically, historically and Homerically accurate) reconstructions of arms, armor and motifs as described by Homer exist. Some historical reconstructions have been done by Salimbeti et al.
Influence on classical Greek warfare
While the Homeric poems (particularly, the ''Iliad'') 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'' and ''Odyssey'' by heart."
[Lendon, J.E. (2005). ''Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity''. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.]
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
, 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'' 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.
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
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.
The biggest issue in reconciling the connection between the epic fighting of the ''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''.
One example of this is the Sparta
n 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 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.
In terms of the ideology of commanders in later Greek history, the ''Iliad'' has an interesting effect. The ''Iliad'' expresses a definite disdain for tactical trickery, when 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.
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'' with commanders such as Agamemnon or Nestor discussing the arraying of troops so as to gain an advantage. Indeed, the Trojan War is won by a notorious example of Achaean guile in the Trojan Horse
. This is even later referred to by Homer in the ''Odyssey''. The connection, in this case, between guileful tactics of the Achaeans and the Trojans in the ''Iliad'' and those of the later 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.
Ultimately, while Homeric (or epic) fighting is certainly not completely replicated in later Greek warfare, many of its ideals, tactics, and instruction are.
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.
Influence on arts and pop culture
The ''Iliad'' was a standard work of great importance already in Classical Greece
and remained so throughout the Hellenistic
periods. Subjects from the 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 after his return from the war. 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
. In its full form the text 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, however, 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 tended to view 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 romance
s, most notably those of Benoît 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 Saga
. Even without Homer, the 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.
used the plot of the ''Iliad'' as source material for his play ''Troilus and Cressida
'', but focused on a medieval legend, the love story of Troilus
, son of King 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 as a coward, Ajax as a dull, unthinking mercenary, etc.
William Theed the elder
made an impressive bronze statue of Thetis as she brought Achilles his new armor forged by Hephaesthus. It has been on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art
in New York City since 2013.
's poem ''Development'' discusses his childhood introduction to the matter of the ''Iliad'' and his delight in the epic, as well as contemporary debates about its authorship.
According to Suleyman al-Boustani
, a 19th-century poet who made the first Arabic translation of the Iliad to Arabic, the epic may have been widely circulated in Syriac
translations during the early Middle Ages. Al-Boustani credits Theophilus of Edessa
with the Syriac translation, which was supposedly (along with the Greek original) widely read or heard by the scholars of Baghdad
in the prime of the Abbasid Caliphate
, although those scholars never took the effort to translate it to the official language of the empire; Arabic. The Iliad was also the first full epic poem to be translated to Arabic from a foreign language, upon the publication of Al-Boustani's complete work in 1904.
* Simone Weil
wrote the essay "The Iliad or the Poem of Force
" in 1939, shortly after the commencement of World War II
. The essay describes how the ''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.
* The 1954 Broadway musical
''The Golden Apple
'', by librettist John Treville Latouche
and composer Jerome Moross
, was freely adapted from the ''Iliad'' and the ''Odyssey'', re-setting the action to America
state in the years after the Spanish–American War
, with events inspired by the ''Iliad'' in Act One and events inspired by the ''Odyssey'' in Act Two.
* The opera ''King Priam
'' by Sir Michael Tippett
(which received its premiere in 1962) is based loosely on the ''Iliad''.
's poem ''War Music
'', an "account", not a translation, of the ''Iliad'', was begun in 1959 as a commission for radio. He continued working on it until his death in 2011. Described by Tom Holland
as "one of the most remarkable works of post-war literature", it has been an influence on Kae Tempest
and Alice Oswald
, who says that it "unleashes a forgotten kind of theatrical energy into the world."
* Christa Wolf
's novel ''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 One into a farcical bathhouse scenario, preserving the sounds but not the meaning of the original.
* Marion Zimmer Bradley
's 1987 novel ''The Firebrand
'' retells the story from the point of view of Kassandra
, a princess of Troy and a prophetess who is cursed by Apollo
Contemporary popular culture
* Eric Shanower
's Image Comics
series ''Age of Bronze
'', which began in 1998, retells the legend of the Trojan War.
* Dan Simmons
' epic science fiction adaptation/tribute ''Ilium
'' was released in 2003, receiving a Locus Award
for best science fiction novel of 2003.
'' (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 and $497 million worldwide, making it the 188th top-grossing movie of all time.
* Madeline Miller
's 2011 debut novel ''The Song of Achilles'' tells the story of Achilles' and Patroclus' life together as children, lovers, and soldiers. The novel, which won the 2012 Women's Prize for Fiction
, draws on the ''Iliad'' as well as the works of other classical authors such as Statius
, and Virgil
* Alice Oswald
's sixth collection, ''Memorial'' (2011),
is based on but departs from the narrative
form of the ''Iliad'' to focus on, and so commemorate, the individually-named characters whose deaths are mentioned in that poem.
Later in October 2011, ''Memorial'' was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize
but in December 2011, Oswald withdrew the book from the shortlist,
citing concerns about the ethics of the prize's sponsors.
* ''The Rage of Achilles'', by American author and Yale Writers' Conference founder Terence Hawkins
, recounts the ''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.
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'' Nine; it has great rhetorical power."
[''The Oxford Guide to English Literature in Translation.'']
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."
praised Chapman in the sonnet ''On First Looking into Chapman's 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,"
and, like Chapman's, it is a major poetic work in its own right. William Cowper
, 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
'' (1861), 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 to which the translator must do justice:
that he is eminently rapid; ithat 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; iithat he is eminently plain and direct in the substance of his thought, that is, in his matter and ideas; and, finally, vthat 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'' or ''Odyssey'' in hexameters; the last in 1945. Perhaps the most fluent of them was by J. Henry Dart 862
in response to Arnold."
In 1870, the American poet William Cullen Bryant
published a blank verse version, that Van Wyck Brooks
describes as "simple, faithful."
An 1898 translation by Samuel Butler
was published by Longmans. Butler had read Classics
at Cambridge University, graduating during 1859.
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'' 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
, 1990) and Stanley Lombardo
(1997) are bolder than Lattimore in adding dramatic significance to Homer's conventional and formulaic language. Rodney Merrill
's translation (University of Michigan Press
, 2007) not only renders the work in English verse like the dactylic hexameter
of the original, but also conveys the oral-formulaic nature of the epic song, to which that musical meter gives full value. Barry B. Powell
's translation (Oxford University Press
, 2014) renders the Homeric Greek with a simplicity and dignity reminiscent of the original.
Peter Green translated the Iliad in 2015. Published by University of California Press.
published the first full-length English translation by a woman in 2015.
There are more than 2000 manuscripts of Homer.
Some of the most notable manuscripts include:
* Rom. Bibl. Nat. gr. 6 + Matriti. Bibl. Nat. 4626
from 870–890 AD
* 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
* Mask of Agamemnon
* Parallels between Virgil's ''Aeneid'' and Homer's ''Iliad'' and ''Odyssey''
* Heinrich Schliemann
* De Jong, Irene (2012). ''Iliad. Book XXII,'' Cambridge University Press.
* Edwards, Mark W.
; Janko, Richard
; Kirk, G.S., The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume IV, Books 13–16
''Cambridge University Press, 1992.
* Edwards, Mark W.
; Kirk, G.S.''The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume V, Books 17–20''
Cambridge University Press, 1991.
* Graziosi, Barbara
; Haubold, Johannes, ''Iliad: Book VI'', Cambridge University Press, 2010.
* Hainsworth, Bryan; Kirk, G.S.
, The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume III, Books 9–12
', Cambridge University Press, 1993. ]
* Geoffrey Kirk|Kirk, G.S.
, The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume I, Books 1–4
''Cambridge University Press, 1985.
* Kirk, G.S.
, The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume II, Books 5–8
', Cambridge University Press, 1990.
* Murray, A.T.; Wyatt, William F., ''Homer: The Iliad, Books I–XII, ''Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, 1999,
* Richardson, Nicholas
; Kirk, G.S.
, ''The Iliad: A Commentary: Volume VI, Books 21–24, ''Cambridge University Press, 1993.
* West, Martin L.''Studies in the text and transmission of the Iliad''
München : K.G. Saur, 2001.
* 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
), 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.
by 2008 translator Herbert Jordan.
study guide, themes, quotes, teacher resources
* The Iliad
', trans. by William Cullen Bryant
at Standard Ebooks
''The Iliad of Homer''
by George Chapman
, at Project Gutenberg
''The Iliad of Homer''
by Alexander Pope
, at Project Gutenberg
''The Iliad of Homer''
by William Cowper
, at Project Gutenberg
''The Iliad of Homer''
by Theodore Alois Buckley
, at Project Gutenberg
''The Iliad of Homer''
by Edward, Earl of Derby
, at Project Gutenberg
''The Iliad of Homer''
by Andrew Lang, Walter Leaf and Ernest Meyers, at Project Gutenberg
''The Iliad of Homer''
by Samuel Butler
, at Project Gutenberg
''The Opening to the Iliad (Proem)''
Read in Ancient Greek with a simultaneous translation.
''The Iliad'' Map
map of locations in ''The Iliad''
with samples and some reviews by translator and scholar Ian Johnston
Digital facsimile of the first printed publication (''editio princeps'') of the ''Iliad'' in Homeric Greek by Demetrios Chalkokondyles, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek
Category:8th-century BC books
Category:Ancient Greek religion
Category:Poems adapted into films
Category:Public domain books