|Homer: The Iliad
- Homer's great epic story of heroic man in the Late Bronze Age: The Iliad
and The Odyssey
An Outline of The Iliad:
- The Judgment of Paris: Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena
- Menelaus and his brother, the great Mycenean King Agamemnon demand retribution:
they gather kings and warriors from throughout the
Nestor, Ajax, Diomedes, Achilles (whose mother Thetis hides him), and
Odysseus (who plays mad to escape the draft).
- The Sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis enables the fleet to sail.
- The Iliad tells the story of four weeks during the tenth year of the siege of Troy.
- The warriors on both sides have fought each other to a standstill, gods
(Hera, Athena and Poseidon) vs. gods (Apollo, Aphrodite) and men (Agamemnon,
Menelaus, Diomedes, Ajax, Odysseus, and Nestor) vs. men (Hector, Paris, Aeneas, and
- Achilles falls out with Agamemenon over a trophy of war, the Trojan woman
Chyseis. He refuses to fight and his men, the Myrmidons, retire from the field.
- The Trojans, led by Hector, drive the Greeks back into the sea and threaten to burn their boats.
- Patroclus, wearing Achilles' armor, leads a counterattack but is killed by Hector.
- Achilles joins the battle and revenges the death of his friend by slaying Hector.
He desecrates Hector's corpse and drags the body behind his chariot around
the walls of Troy.
- Priam comes alone to Achilles camp and begs Achilles to surrender the corpse of his son.
The Iliad ends with the burial of Hector.
- Achilles is killed in battle, shot in the heel.
the tenth year of the war, Odysseus devises a plan to break the siege:
the Greeks pretend to give up the battle and leave behind a great
wooden horse as a gift. The Trojans jubilantly draw the horse within
their gates where a contingent of Greek warriors hidden in the belly of
the horse emerge and set fire to the city. Troy is sacked and pillaged.
|Notes to Book One (Page references are to the Fitzgerald translation)
77 Achaeans - Greek forces who seek to win back Helen from the Trojans
Agamemnon - leader of the Greek forces; ruler of Argos; brother of
Menelaos; both are the sons of Atreus.
Zeus - the most powerful of the gods
The son of Zeus by Leto - a reference to the god Apollo, archer, singer, and god of wisdom
78 Chryses - priest of Apollo whose daughter Khryseis had been captured by the Greeks
Argives- another name for Greek forces
Olympus - home of the gods
Priam's city - the city of Troy, ruled by King Priam
Danaans - another names for the Greeks
79 Achilles - Greek warrior who tries to persuade Agamemnon to return Chryseis
Hera - goddess who is wife of Zeus; she supports the Greeks against the Trojans
Calchas - Greek priest who interprets signs from the gods
80 The Archer - another name for Apollo
81 Clytemnestra - the wife of Agamemnon [she will murder him upon his return from war]
82 Ajax, Odysseus, Idomeneus - Greek heroes
83 Myrmidons - Greek forces directly under the command of Akhilleus
Briseis - slave girl whom Akhilleus has taken captive and kept as his own prize
Son of Peleus - Akhilleus, whose father Peleus was mortal but whose mother Thetis was divine
84 Pallas Athena - Goddess of wisdom, justice, and the hunt; she supports the Greeks against Troy
Hera- Goddess of marriage and fidelity who is the wife of Zeus and supports the Greek side against Troy
85 Hector- hero of the Trojan army
Nestor - elder statesman among the Greeks; from the city of Pelos
87 Patroklos - close friend of Akhilleus [only after Hektor kills Patroklos will Akhilleus fight again]
88 Odysseus - the central figure in the Odyssey; the craftiest of Greek heroes
90 Mother of Achilles - the goddess Thetis
96 Son of Cronos - Zeus
Hephaistos - son of Hera; craftsmen for the gods