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Type of Work .......

The Iliad is an epic poem, a long narrative work about heroic exploits that is elevated in tone and highly formal in its language. It was composed in ancient Greek and transmitted orally before it was written down. Many modern translators present the Iliad in prose, making it read like a novel. Title Explanation .......The Iliad derives the first two syllables of its name from Ilios or Ilion (Greek for Troy) or, alternately, from Ilium (Latin for Troy). The suffix -ad means related to, concerning, having to do with, or associated with. Thus, Iliad means a story concerning Troy. Setting . Time of Action: About 3,200 years ago in recorded history's infancy, when humankind's imagination peopled the known world with great heroes and villains and nature reflected the mood of the gods inhabiting the mountaintops, the seas, the forests, and the unseen worlds above and below. Homer fashioned The Iliad, the story of the Trojan War, about 600 years after the war ended. The story is a mixture of fact, legend, and myth. Place of Action: The walled city of Troy and the surrounding plains in northwestern Anatolia, a region that is part of modern-day Turkey. Anatolia is west of Greece (across the Aegean Sea) and north of Egypt (across the Mediterranean Sea). Historical Troy .......In archeological digs between 1870 and 1890, German-born American archeologist Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) appeared to prove that the ancient city of Troy was a fact, not a myth, as many had thought. However, the story of the Trojan Waras passed down to Homerwas a mixture of fact, legend, and myth. Iliad's Importance .......The Iliad ranks as one of the most important and most influential works in world literature in that it established literary standards and conventions that writers have imitated over the centuries, down to the present day. It also created archetypes that hundreds of great writersincluding Vergil, Dante, Shakespeare, Stephen Crane, and James Joycealluded to when in need of an apt metaphor or simile. In addition, the Iliad provided a mother lode of information about Greek customs and ideals and about Greek mythology. The Iliad was a truly remarkable accomplishment. Even though its author had no similar literary model on which to base his work, he wrote a masterpiece that ranks with the greatest works of all time. No student of literature can ignore Homer. No writer's education is complete unless he has read Homer. Verse Format .......The meter (rhythmic pattern of syllables) of Homers epic poems is dactylic hexameter. A dactyl is a metrical foot consisting of one accented syllable followed by two unaccented syllables, as in the words technical (TEK nik l), allocate (AL oh kate), and harbinger (HAR bin jer). Hexameter is a line containing six metrical feet. Thus, dactylic hexameter is a scheme containing six dactyls, as in the following line: MAKE

me a BEAU ti ful GOWN and a HAT fringed with TASS les of DOWN, good sir. For a full detailed discussion and explanation of meter and its forms, click here. The Homeric Epithet .......One of the hallmarks of the Homeric style is the epithet, a combination of a descriptive phrase and a noun. An epithet presents a miniature portrait that identifies a person or thing by highlighting a prominent characteristic of that person or thing. In English, the Homeric epithet usually consists of a noun modified by a compound adjective, such as the following: fleet-footed Achilles, rosy-fingered dawn, wine-dark sea, earth-shaking Poseidon, and gray-eyed Athena. The Homeric epithet is an ancient relative of such later epithets as Richard the Lion-Hearted, Ivan the Terrible, and America the Beautiful. Homer repeated his epithets often, presumably so the listeners of his recited tales could easily remember and picture the person or thing each time it was mentioned. In this respect, the Homeric epithet resembles the leitmotiv of opera composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883). The leitmotiv was a repeated musical theme associated with a character, a group of characters, an emotion, or an idea. Epic Conventions .......Homer established literary practices, rules, or devices that became commonplace in epic poetry written later. These rules or devices are now known as epic conventions. They include the following: The invocation of the muse, a goddess. In Greek mythology, there were nine muses, all sisters, who were believed to inspire poets, historians, flutists, dancers, singers, astronomers, philosophers, and other thinkers and artists. If one wanted to write a great poem, play a musical instrument with bravado, or develop a grand scientific or philosophical theory, he would ask for help from a muse. When a poet asked for help, he was said to be invoking the muse. The muse of epic poetry was named Calliope *kuh LY uh pe]. Telling a story with which readers or listeners are already familiar; they know the characters, the plot, and the outcome. Most of the great writers of the ancient worldas well as many great writers in later times, including Shakespearefrequently told stories already known to the public. Thus, in such stories, there were no unexpected plot twists, no surprise endings. If this sounds strange to you, the modern reader and theatergoer, consider that many of the most popular motion pictures today are about stories already known to the public. Examples are The Passion of the Christ, Titanic, The Ten Commandments, Troy, Spartacus, Pearl Harbor, and Gettysburg. Conflict in the celestial realm. Divine beings fight and scheme against one another in the epics of Homer and Vergil, and they do so in John Milton's Paradise Lost on a grand scale, with Satan and his forces opposing God and his forces. Use of epithets. See "Homeric Epithet," above. Attitude Toward the Afterlife .......The here and now concerns the Greeks at Troy more than the afterlife, for they generally believe that the abode of the dead is dark and dismal. Consequently, their main purpose in life is to achieve immediate rewards and to live for the moment. The idea of a heaven that will requite them for good deeds, whether on or off the battlefield, is of less importance to them. However, they generally do revere the gods of Olympus, who take sides in the war. Offending the gods could incur their wrath and affect the outcome of the war. Principal Characters .

Greeks Achilles: Temperamental Greek warrior and king of the Myrmidons, who were soldiers from Thessaly in Greece. Achilles, the protagonist, leads the Myrmidons against the Trojans. He is revered as the greatest warrior in the world; no man can stand against him. Achilles is the son of Peleus, the former king of the Myrmidons, and a sea nymph named Thetis. Agamemnon: Commander-in-chief of the Greek armies and son of Atreus, the king of Mycenae. He incurs the wrath of his greatest warrior, Achilles, by taking the latter's prize of war, the beautiful Briseis. Menelaus: King of Sparta and brother of Agamemnon. After his wife, Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world, was taken by a Trojan named Paris, the Greeks declared war on Troy. Helen: Wife of Menelaus, paramour of Paris, and the most beautiful woman in the world. Odysseus (Roman Name, Ulysses): King of Ithaca and brilliant strategist. He is unsurpassed in cunning. Aias the Great (Roman Name, Ajax the Great): Hulking giant who is second only to Achilles in battlefield prowess. Many translators of the epic use his Roman name, perhaps because of the force of its emphatic consonants. Aias the Lesser (Roman Name, Ajax the Lesser, or the Locrian Ajax): Leader of the Locrian archers on the Greek side. Patroclus: Greek warrior and beloved companion of Achilles. Diomedes: Greek warrior of extraordinary valor and ability. Calchas: Greek soothsayer who advises Agamemnon. Nestor: Wise old king who advises Agamemnon. Diomedes: Powerful Greek warrior. Idomeneus: King of Crete, who leads a Greek contingent against the Trojans. Machaon: Greek physician wounded by Paris. Automedon: Chariot driver for Achilles. Phoenix: Elderly Greek warrior and trusted friend of Achilles. Briseis: Beautiful captive of Achilles. Chryseis: Female captive of Agamemnon. He is forced to give her up. Eudorus: Myrmidon commander under Achilles. Neoptolemus: Son of Achilles. He arrives at Troy in the last year of fighting. Stentor: Greek herald. Trojans Priam: King of Troy. Hecuba: Wife of Priam and queen of Troy. Hector: Bravest and most accomplished of the Trojan warriors; son of Priam. Achilles slays him. Andromache: Hector's noble and dedicated wife. Astyanax: Son of Hector and Andromache. Paris: Trojan who took Helen From Menelaus. Aeneas: Brave and powerful Trojan warrior. Polydamas: Wise Trojan commander. Glaucus: Great Trojan warrior. Dolon: Trojan spy who reconnoiters the Greek camp. Pandarus: Trojan archer. Antenor: Advisor to King Priam. He argues that Paris should return Helen to the Greeks, but Paris will not give her up.

Sarpedon: Leader of the Lycian allies on the side the Trojans. He fights bravely but dies at the hands of Patroclus. Sarpedon was the son of Zeus and Laodameia, a human. Laocon: Trojan seer. Deiphobus: Trojan warrior and son of Priam. Gorgythion: Trojan warrior and son of Priam. He dies by an arrow meant for Hector. Cebriones: Chariot driver for Hector. Helenus: Trojan seer and son of Priam and Hecuba. Pandarus: Trojan archer. Euphorbus: Trojan soldier who wounds Patroclus. Gods Zeus (Roman names, Jupiter and Jove): King of the gods, who prefers to remain neutral in the war but intervenes after a plea for help. Hera (Roman name, Juno): Queen of the gods, who favors the Greeks. Athena (Roman name, Minerva): Goddess of wisdom and war, who favors the Greeks. Poseidon (Roman name, Neptune): God of the sea, who favors the Greeks. Hephaestus (Roman name, Vulcan): God of the forge, who favors the Greeks. Aphrodite (Roman name, Venus): Goddess of love and beauty, who sides with the Trojans. Apollo (or Phoebus Apollo): Highly revered and feared sun god, who sides with the Trojans. Ares (Roman name, Mars): God of war, who sides with the Trojans. Artemis (Roman name, Diana): Goddess of archery and hunting, who sides with the Trojans. Hades (Roman Name, Pluto): God of the Underworld. Hermes (Roman Name, Mercury): Messenger god. He guides Priam to Achilles' tent to ransom the body of Hector. Thetis: Sea nymph who is the mother of Achilles. Iris: Messenger goddess.

Themes Theme 1:.The wrath of Achilles. The main focus of the Iliad is the anger of the Greek warrior Achilles and the revenge he seeks against those who wrong him, including the general of the Greek armies, Agamemnon, and the Trojan warriors. Theme 2:.Glory and honor are everything. The war begins because a Trojan offended Greek honor by absconding with the wife of a Greek king. The war continuesfor fully 10 yearsin part because the combatants seek glory on the battlefield. In this respect, the combatants are like modern athletes, actors, and politicians who compete for Heisman Trophies, Academy Awards, and votes. Achilles withdraws from battle on a point of honor; King Priam reclaims his son's body for the same reason. Theme 3:.Revenge. The Greeks seek revenge against the Trojans because one of the latter has taken the wife of a Greek king. Chryses and Apollo seek revenge because Agamemnon has defied them. Achilles seeks revenge against Agamemnon because the latter has insulted him. Later, after he reenters the battle, Achilles seeks revenge against the Trojans in generaland Hector in particularfor the death of Patroclus. Theme 4:.Persistence pays. For 10 years, the Greeks fight a foreign war. Although they long for their families, although they have lost many men, they refuse to abandon the battlefield. Ultimately, their pertinacity enables them to gain the upper hand, setting the stage for ultimate victory. Theme 5:.Women play important roles in motivating action and shaping the future. Helen is the immediate cause of the Trojan War. Chryseis is the cause of the rift between Agamemnon and Apollo's

priest, Chryseis. Briseis is the cause of the rift between Agamemnon and Achilles. Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, and the sea-nymph mother of AchillesThetisall affect the action of The Iliad significantly. Sometimes these goddesses get the better of their male counterparts. ......

.. Mythology Background and Plot Summary .By Michael J. Cummings... 2003 . Mythology Background .......In the ancient Mediterranean world, feminine beauty reaches its zenith in Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Greece. Her wondrous face and body are without flaw. She is perfect. Even the goddess of love, Aphrodite, admires her. While Aphrodite competes with other goddesses in a beauty contestin which a golden apple is to be awarded as the prizeshe bribes the judge, a young Trojan named Paris. She promises him the most ravishing woman in the world, Helen, if he will select her, Aphrodite, as the most beautiful goddess. After winning the contest and receiving the coveted golden apple, she tells Paris about Helen and her incomparable pulchritude. Forthwith, Paris goes to Greece, woos Helen, and absconds with her to Troy, a walled city in Asia Minor (in present-day Turkey). .......The elopement is an affront to all the Greeks. How dare an upstart Trojan invade their land! How dare he steal the wife of one of their kings! Which Greek family would be next to fall victim to a Trojan machination? Infuriated, King Menelaus and his friends assemble a mighty army that includes the finest warriors in the land. Together, they cross the sea in one thousand ships to make war against Troy and win back their prideand Helen. But the war drags on and on. Weeks become months. Months become years. Years become a decade. It is in fact in the tenth year of the war that Homer picks up the thread of the story and spins his tale, focusing on a crisis in the Greek ranks in which the greatest soldier in history, Achilles, decides to withdraw from battle and allow his fellow Greeks to fend for themselves. It is Achilles who is the central figure in The Iliad. .......Homer begins with a one-paragraph invocation requesting the Muse (a goddess) to inspire him in the telling of his tale. Such an invocation was a convention in classical literature, notably in epics, from the time of Homer onward. ..... Plot Summary . .......Ten years have passed since the Greek armies arrived in Asia minor to lay waste Troy and win back their honor. Yet in all those years, neither side has gained enough advantage to force a surrender. The Greeks remain encamped outside the walls of the city, their nighttime fires mocking the glittering firmament while their generals plot stratagems and their warriors hone weapons. .......Among the Greek leaders, bloodstained and hardened to war, are Agamemnon, the commander-inchief; Menelaus, king of Sparta and brother of Agamemnon; Odysseus, king of Ithaca and a military genius of unparalleled cunning; and Aias the Great, a giant warrior of colossal strength. With sword and spear, with rocks and fists, the Greeks have fought the Trojansled by the godlike Hector, their mightiest warrior, and Aeneas, a war machine second only to Hector on the Trojan sideto a standoff. In time, the Greeks believe, they will prevail. They have right on their side, after all. But even more important, they have Achilles. He is the greatest warrior ever to walk the earthfierce, unrelenting, unconquerable. When Achilles fights, enemies cower in terror and rivers run with blood. No man can stand against him. Not Hector. Not an army of Hectors.

.......But, alas, in the tenth year of the great war, Achilles refuses to fight after Agamemnon insults him. No one can offend the great Achilles with impunity. Not even Agamemnon, general of generals, who can whisper a command that ten thousand will obey. The rift between them opens after Agamemnon and Achilles capture two maidens while raiding the region around Troy. Agamemnons prize is Chryseis, the daughter of a priest of the god Apollo. For Achilles, there is the beautiful Briseis, who becomes his slave mistress. .......When Chryses, the father of Chryseis, offers a ransom for his daughter, Agamemnon refuses it. Chryses then invokes his patron, Apollo, for aid, and the sun god sends a pestilence upon the Greeks. Many soldiers die before Agamemnon learns the cause of their deaths from the soothsayer Calchas. Unable to wage war against disease, Agamemnon reluctantly surrenders Chryseis to her father. .......Unfortunately for the Greeks, the headstrong king then orders his men to seize Briseis as a replacement for his lost prize. Achilles is outraged. But rather than venting his wrath with his mighty sword, he retires from battle, vowing never again to fight for his countrymen. On his behalf, his mother, the sea nymph Thetis, importunes Zeus, king of the gods, to turn the tide of war in favor of the Trojans. Such a reversal would be fitting punishment for Agamemnon. But Zeus is reluctant to intervene in the war, for the other gods of Olympus have taken sides, actively meddling in daily combat. For him to support one army over the other would be to foment celestial discord. Among the deities favoring the Trojans are Ares, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Artemis. On the side of the Greeks are Athena, Poseidon, and Herathe wife of Zeus. There would be hell-raising in the heavens if Zeus shows partiality. In particular, his wifes scolding tongue would wag without surcease. But Zeus is Zeus, god of thunder and lightning. In the end, he well knows, he can do as he pleases. Swayed by the pleas of Thetis, he confers his benisons on the Trojans. .......However, when the next battle rages, the Greeksfired with Promethean defiance and succored by their godsfight like madmen. True, their right arm, Achilles, is absent; but their left arm becomes a scythe that reaps a harvest of Trojans. Aias and Diomedes are especially magnificent. Only intervention by the Trojans Olympian supporters save them from massacre. Alas, however, when the Trojans regroup for the next fight, Zeus infuses new power into Hectors sinews. After Hector bids a tender goodbye to his wife, Andromache, and little boy, Astyanax, he leads a fierce charge that drives the Greeks all the way back to within sight of the shoreline, where they had started ten years before. Not a few Greeks, including Agamemnon, are ready to board their ships and set sail for home. Such has been the fury of the Hector-led onslaught. .......Then Nestor, a wise old king of three score and ten, advises Agamemnon to make peace with Achilles. The proud commander, now repentant and fully acknowledging his unjust treatment of Achilles, accepts the advice and pledges to restore Briseis to Achilles. When representatives of Agamemnon meet with lordly Achilles, the great warrior is idly passing time with the person he loves most in the world, his friend Patroclus, a distinguished warrior in his own right. Told that all wrongs against him will be righted, Achillesstill smoldering with angerspurns the peace-making overture. His wrath is unquenchable. However, Patroclus, unable to brook the Trojan onslaught against his countrymen, borrows the armor of Achilles and, at the next opportunity, enters the battle disguised as Achilles. .......The stratagem works for a while as Patroclus chops and hacks his way through the Trojan ranks. But eventually Hectors spear fells brave Patroclus with no small help from meddlesome Apollo. The Trojan hero celebrates the kill with an audacious coup de grce: He removes and puts on Achilles armor. Grievously saddened by the death of his friend and outraged at the brazen behavior of Hector, wrathful Achilleswith a new suit of armor forged in Olympus by Hephaestus at the behest of Achilles' mother, Thetisagrees to rejoin the fight at long last. .......The next day, Achilles rules the battlefield with death and destruction, cutting a swath of terror through enemy ranks. Trojan blood mulches the fields. Limbs lie helter-skelter, broken and crooked, as

fodder for diving raptors. Terrified, the Trojans flee to the safety of Troy and its high wallsall of them, that is, except Hector. Foolishly, out of his deep sense of honor and responsibility as protector of Troy, he stands his ground. In a fairy tale about a noble hero with an adoring wife and son, Hector would surely have won the day against a vengeful, all-devouring foe. His compatriotsand the gallery of sons and daughters and wives peering down from the Trojan bulwarkswould surely have crowned him king. But in the brutal world of Achilleswhose ability to disembowel and decapitate is a virtueHector suffers a humiliating death. After Achilles chases and catches him, he easily slays him, then straps his carcass to his chariot and drags him around the walls of Troy. Patroclus has been avenged, the Greeks have reclaimed battlefield supremacy, and victory seems imminent. .......However, old Priam, the king of Troy and the father of Hector, shows that Trojan valor has not died with Hector. At great risk to himself, he crosses the battlefield in a chariot and presents himself to Achilles to claim the body of his son. But there is no anger in Priam's heart. He understands the ways of wars and warriors. He knows that Achilles, the greatest of the Greek soldiers, had no choice but to kill his son, the greatest of the Trojan warriors. Humbly, Priam embraces Achilles and gives him his hand. Deeply moved, Achilles welcomes Priam and orders an attendant to prepare Hector's body. To spare Priam the shock of seeing the grossly disfigured corpse, Achilles orders the attendant to cloak it. Troy mourns Hector for nine days, then burns his body and puts the remains in a golden urn that is buried in a modest grave. .......(The Iliad ends here. Homer's audience was aware of the outcome of the war: the defeat and destruction of Troy by the Greeks. When Troy fell, so did Achillesfrom the wound of arrow shot by Paris and guided by the god Apollo. In his other great epic, the Odyssey, Homer tells the story of the Greek hero Odysseus on his harrowing sea voyage home from Troy.) .. ......

Essay Topics and Discussion Questions Compare/Contrast Achilles and Hector .......Achilles and Hector are alike in some ways but different in many others. For example, each is the greatest warrior of his armyAchilles, the Greek champion, and Hector, the Trojan champion. In addition, both exhibit human flawsAchilles, vengeful rage, and Hector, impetuosity, as when he persuades Trojan warriors to leave the safety of Troy's walls shortly before Achilles returns to battle. However, they are unlike in many ways. Whereas Hector is a loving family man, Achilles has no wife or children. He seeks only one thing: battlefield glory. Write an informative essay or hold a discussion that compares and contrasts Achilles and Hector. Consider their personalities, their motivations, their intelligence, their leadership qualities, their relationships and standing with those around them, their skills as soldiers, their physical characteristics, and their moral and ethical values. Conflict .......Is the central conflict of the Iliad an internal or external onethat is, does the epic concern itself more with a conflict inside a person (or persons) or more with a conflict outside of a person (or persons) him, such as the war? Character You Admire or Despise

.......Which character do you most admire? Which character do you least admire? Is your selection based on qualities the character shares with you or on qualities of the character that you would like to have but lack? Overall, what does your choice say about your own personality and characteristics? The Role of Women Investigate and report on the role of women in ancient Mediterranean society. Does the treatment of women by Agamemnon, Achilles, Paris, Hector, or any other character reflect the prevailing values of ancient society in Greece and nearby lands? The Trojan War .......How much of the Trojan War, as presented by Homer, is fact and how much legend or myth? As a starting point, look up the name Heinrich Schliemann (or Henry Schliemann) on the Internet or in an encyclopedia. Schliemann (1822-1890), who changed his first name to Henry after moving from his native Germany to America, conducted archeological digs in Turkey (the country where the fabled city was said to be located) in an attempt to prove that Troy really existed. What he found startled the world. The Gods of Olympus . .......Encyclopedias and mythology books generally list twelve deities as the chief gods in Greek mythology and as residents of Mount Olympus. However, two of these important deities spent most of their time in the domains which they governed, the sea and the underworld. In addition, the Greeks of one era sometimes differed with the Greeks of another era on who were the most important gods. Consequently, the list of the favored twelve sometimes changed, omitting one god in favor of another. .......The Olympian gods were the successors of an earlier dynasty of gods known as Titans. The Titan ruler, Cronos, believing that one of his children might attempt to overthrow him, swallowed each of them after his or her birth. However, one child, Zeus, was rescued by his mother and hidden on the island of Crete. Later, Zeus forced his father to vomit the other children from his stomach. Then, with the help of his siblings, he overthrew Cronus to become lord of the universe. .......The names of the chief Olympian deities are listed below. Writers in ancient Greecesuch as Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripidesused the original Greek names, the English transliteration of which appears at left in the list. Writers in ancient Rome and its dominions used the Latin version of the names, the English transliteration of which appears in parentheses. .......Some English language writers, past and present, use the transliteration of the Greek version; others prefer the transliteration of the Latin (or Roman) version. For example, William Shakespeare uses the transliteration of the Latin version in his plays and poems. Instead of referring to the king of the gods as Zeus (the transliteration of the Greek name), he refers to him as Jupiter and Jove, the transliterations of the Latin names (Iuppiter and Iovis). Here are the names of the Olympian gods and a brief description of each:. Zeus (Jupiter and Jove): King and protector of the gods and humankind. As ruler of the sky, he made rain and thunder and wielded lightning bolts. Zeus was the youngest son of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Hera (Juno): Queen of the gods and protector of marriage. She was the wife of Zeus and, as the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea, also his sister.

Athena or Pallas Athena (Minerva): Goddess of wisdom and war. She was born fully grown in a suit of armor, issuing from the forehead of Zeus. The Greeks highly revered her and built many temples in her honor. Ares (Mars): God of war and the son of Zeus and Hera. Poseidon (Neptune): God of the sea and brother of Zeus. Hades (Pluto): God of the underworld and brother of Zeus. Hephaestus (Vulcan): God of fire and metalwork who built the palaces in which the Olympian gods lived. He also forged their armor and made their jewelry. He was the son of Zeus and Hera. Apollo, Phoebus Apollo, or Phoebus (Same as Greek Names): God of prophecy, music, poetry, and medicine. His alternate name, Phoebus, means brightness, and he was thus also considered the god of the sun. He was the son of Zeus and Leto, the daughter of Titans. The Greeks highly revered him and built many temples in his honor. One such temple at Delphi was the site of a famous oracle, the Pythia, who pronounced prophecies as the mouthpiece of Apollo. Artemis (Diana): Goddess of the hunt. She was the daughter of Zeus and Leto (see Apollo) and the twin sister of Apollo. Aphrodite (Venus): Goddess of love and beauty. According to Homer, she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione, the daughter of a Titan; according to the Greek poet Hesiod, she was born from the foam of the sea. Hermes (Mercury): Messenger god who wore a winged hat and winged sandals. He was also the god of science, luck, commerce, and cunning. He was the son of Zeus and Maia, the daughter of a Titan. Hestia (Vesta): Goddess of the home and hearth and sister of Zeus. .......Other lists of the major Olympian gods omit Hades in favor of Hebe, a cupbearer of the gods. Still others rank Dionysus (Roman name, Bacchus), the god of wine and vegetation and a patron of the arts, as one of the elite twelve. .. The Abode of the Gods .......The Olympian gods lived in palaces constructed by Hephaestus on the summit of Mount Olympus, the highest peak (9,570 feet) in a mountain range between Macedonia and Thessaly near the Aegean Sea. Mount Olympus is sometimes called Upper Olympus because it lies just north of a lesser peak (5,210 feet) known as Lower Olympus. .......Minor goddesses called the Seasons maintained watch at the entranceway of Mount Olympus, a gate of clouds which opened and closed whenever a god left or returned to Olympus. .......In their lofty domain, the gods breathed only pure air, or ether. They took their meals in the palace of Zeus, eating ambrosia to sustain eternal life and drinking a delicious beverage called nectar, served by Hebe. Near the throne of Zeus sat lesser goddesses known as Muses, who were nine in number. They regaled the gathering with songs of the gods and of earthly heroes and history. These daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, learned under the tutelage of Apollo. .......Other lesser gods on Olympus included the following: (1) Eros (Cupid), god of love and son of Aphrodite who shot arrows that impregnated humans with love. (2) Iris, messenger goddess of Zeus and Hera who created rainbows when she flew across the sky. (3) Themis, a companion of Zeus who was the goddess of justice. She holds scales on which she weighs the claims in a suit of law. (4) The Charites, or Graces, goddesses of joy and beauty. (5) Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance and punishment. (6) Aidos, the goddess of conscience...... Influence of Greek Mythology and Characteristics of the Gods .

.......Since ancient times, western literature has lived at the foot of Mount Olympus, the nearly two-mile high colossus that was believed to be home to important Greek gods. Writers of every age and every genre have invoked the magic of Olympus to make fire and thunder with wordsor to perfume them with the breath of Venus. .......The Greek writers Hesiod (born in the 7th or 8th Century B.C.) and Homer (born in the 8th or 9th Century B.C.) immortalized the Olympian godsHesiod in the Theogony and in Works and Days, Homer in The Iliad and The Odyssey. The Theogony presents a creation myth and a genealogy of the gods, along with accounts of their exploits. The Works and Days advises farmers how to prosper, through honest toil and righteous living, without incurring the disfavor of the gods. Homers Iliad tells the story of the final year of the Trojan War, between Greece and Troy, focusing on the greatest Greek warrior, Achilles, and on the machinations of Olympian gods who take sides and attempt to influence the outcome of the war. The Odyssey narrates the adventures of Odysseus (known as Ulysses to the Romans), a hero of the war who designed the famous Trojan horse to breach the walls of Troy, on his long sea voyage home after the war. While sailing home, the Olympian gods alternately help or hinder his progress. The Iliad and The Odyssey, both epic poems, are among the greatest works in world literature. .......Every great writer since Hesiod and Homerincluding Sophocles, Vergil, Ovid, Dante, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Miltonhas climbed Olympus to retrieve metaphorical divinities or one of their qualities to illumine, clarify, or beautify his or her language. .......Though everlasting and supernal, the gods of Olympus exhibited humanlike behavior. They could be loving and generous, wise and forbearing. They could also be petty and base, fickle and vile. And, they could be quick to anger. In Book I of The Iliad, the Olympian god Apollo descends the great mountain in a rage after the Greek general Agamemnon captures a beautiful maiden and refuses to give her up to her father, Chryses, a priest of Apollo. [Apollo] came down furious from the summits of Olympus, with his bow and his quiver upon his shoulder, and the arrows rattled on his back with the rage that trembled within him. He sat himself down away from the ships with a face as dark as night, and his silver bow rang death as he shot his arrow in the midst of them. First he smote their mules and their hounds, but presently he aimed his shafts at the people themselves, and all day long the pyres of the dead were burning. (English translation by.Samuel Butler) The gods could also be quick to laugh. In Book 8 of The Odyssey, the blacksmith god, Hephaestus (Vulcan)a lame and ugly hunchbackfashions an invisible chain to ensnare his beautiful wife, Aphrodite (Venus), and her inamorato, Ares (Mars), after they rendezvous to make love. In bed, they become hopelessly entangled in the chain. Hephaestus then invites other gods to look upon his unfaithful wife and her paramour caughtlike wasps in a spiders webin his trap. On this the gods gathered to the house of Vulcan. Earth-encircling Neptune came, and Mercury the bringer of luck, and King Apollo. . . . Then the givers of all good things stood in the doorway, and the blessed gods roared with inextinguishable laughter, as they saw how cunning Vulcan had been. . . . (English translation by Samuel Butler)

The Gods The Gods and the hero The connection between the fragility of life and the pursuit of greatness is made more poignant by the presence and intervention of the gods in the Iliad. Their interest and the love they profess to feel for the mortal characters of the poem raises those characters' achievements to a more elevated level. For it is not just that they are honoured by their fellow humans, but also by the immortals. However, the fact that the gods do not need to fear death, are willing to see their favourites killed and to withdraw their involvement in the conflict, if it threatens their own peace and tranquillity, marks them out as essentially superior and thus causes us to see the true impotence of the human condition. This is what Achilles has realised by the end of the poem, when he says to Priam 'this is the fate that the gods have spun for poor mortal men, that we should live in misery, but they themselves have no sorrows' (24.5256). For although they claim to care about certain mortals, the deaths of those same mortals seem to affect the gods very little. Sarpedon, Patroclus, Hector and Achilles can all lay claim to divine favour, but it does not prevent their deaths in the poem (or, in Achilles' case, in the near future) and nor does it bring the immortals prolonged grief on the mortal scale. For, in truth, it is the certainty of early heroic death that attracts the gods to them. The acknowledgement of the fragility of their lives (in contrast to the timeless nature of the gods) and the consequent suffering that they undertake is what makes them heroes and what elevates them above the average human in the eyes of the gods. Thetis The only god that we see who does not fit into such a conception is Thetis, Achilles' mother. She is important, not only for being the catalyst for the start of the action of the poem, but also because of her position as an intermediary between the immortal and mortal worlds. Unlike the human characters, she is able to influence the gods directly; but unlike the gods, she feels real grief at human suffering, most obviously that of Achilles. For evidence of this, we only need note that when Achilles is most upset or grief-stricken in Books 1 and 18, his mother comes to comfort him and provides him with important aids to maintaining his reputation as a hero, namely her petition to Zeus and the divine armour. She understands her son and makes no real attempt to dissuade him from being what he is, a hero. Yet, at the same time, she grieves for his fate privately, as we see in her lament to her fellow Nereids (18.5264). The Character of the Gods The Homeric gods are fascinating because they are not moral exempla. They are not dignified in the way that we expect. In truth, they are little better morally than the mortal characters, but are simply blessed with eternal life and superhuman powers. They are an amalgam of the majestic and the ridiculous, the impersonally powerful and the personally weak. Zeus is the god whose nod shakes Olympus and who can alter the fortunes of either side in the war, yet he also has to avoid upsetting his domineering wife. Aphrodite is the goddess whose gift can cause the whole Trojan War, yet who runs crying to her father's lap when she is injured by Diomedes. Hephaestus can create divine armour of awesome beauty and strength, yet he is also laughed at by his fellow gods in Book 1, as he bustles around. The power of Homer's depiction is in the frequent juxtaposition of these scenes. Zeus' fear of Hera's wrath is followed by his awe-inspiring assent to Thetis' request (Book 1). The wounds dealt by Diomedes to Ares and Aphrodite, in Book 5, are followed by Apollo's warning to the hero that he should never try to be the equal of the gods. While Zeus' seduction by Hera in Book 14 is followed by a re-assertion of his power in Book 15, which sees all the other gods bow to his command.

This juxtaposition of the ridiculous and the sublime emphasises the ultimate power of the gods and their superiority over the mortals whose lives they govern. The contrast is marked throughout. The gods can disagree, yet they do not concern themselves with loss of face, as the hero must, for their lives are not limited. It is not important for them to prove themselves before their allotted time runs out. Similarly, they may enter the battlefield secure in the knowledge that they will not be killed, a situation that means that they are risking nothing and that consequently they can leave the battlefield without any questions being asked. The battlefield is an interest and amusement, not a matter of life and death. Constantly, we are reminded of the frivolous nature of the conflict for the gods, in contrast to its deadly seriousness for mortals. In Book 1, Zeus and Hera quarrel over Zeus' decision to honour Thetis' request Symbolic Representation The action of the Iliad occurs within a very limited timeframe. We do not see the start of the war nor do we see anything from the first nine years nor do we see Troy fall. Instead, only a few days in the tenth year are covered, separated from the rest of the war by two periods of nine days at both ends of the poem - the plague and the preparation of Hector's funeral. However, in the course of relating these few days, Homer succeeds in producing a poem that is representative of the whole war. The major events that have occurred prior to the period described are symbolically represented by events within the period, while those that are to come are foreshadowed or prophesied. In Book 2, we are treated to a catalogue of the ships and peoples who are contesting the war. This catalogue and the descriptions of the preparations of the two sides for battle would be more fitting at the start of the war, and yet Homer has seamlessly managed to fit them into the structure of a poem that details the events of the tenth year of that war, without any loss of coherence. Similarly, when Helen stands with Priam at the walls of Troy in Book 3 and points out the great Achaean heroes, it is a scene we would have expected to have occurred long before now. In both cases, the poet represents events that naturally took place in the early days of the war and fits them into the present situation. He contextualises the few days that he is covering. In Book 3, we are also shown the duel between Paris and Menelaus, which is representative of the start of the conflict. Paris constantly challenges the best of the Achaeans to oppose him in single combat. Menelaus accepts and the two characters whose personal quarrel has resulted in the war find themselves face to face. Menelaus has the better of the contest and is on the point of killing Paris, when the latter is suddenly rescued by Aphrodite, the goddess whose gift to him started the whole affair. She transports him to his room and forces Helen, against her will, to return there and sleep with him. Therefore, we see in this episode an echo of the war's origin. We see Paris the aggressor, ill-equipped to deal with the consequences of his actions; Menelaus the victim, wronged by one of the gods of the victory that should have been his; Aphrodite, the meddlesome goddess, whose allegiance to Paris and his marriage to Helen brings frustration to Menelaus and his fellow Achaean and; and Helen who is reluctant to be with Paris and is conscious of her own guilt. As far as future events after the end of the poem are concerned, the fall of Troy and the death of Achilles are constantly foreshadowed within it. In Book 2 (300ff.), Odysseus reminds the Achaeans of the prophecy of Calchas at Aulis that they would sack Troy in the tenth year of the war. On a divine level, Zeus makes it clear throughout that the city is fated to fall and that any success for the Trojans is only short-lived, while symbolically, the destruction of Hector represents the city's own destruction. Having heard in Book 6 that Hector alone is defending the city, the poet makes a pointed remark when describing the reaction of the Trojan people to the mutilation of their hero's body. After relating how lamentation filled the city, he notes that, 'it was as if all lofty Troy were burning utterly in fire', thus unequivocally connecting Hector's death to the now- inevitable fall of the city. As for the death of Achilles, as soon as he re-enters the fray, we know, as indeed he does, that he will die shortly. The fact that this does not occur within the poem does not matter, since the fact and

manner of his death have already been made clear. After the death of Patroclus, Achilles' cries of grief reach his mother Thetis' ears. Briefly, she laments her own misfortune in raising a son who will never now return to his father's home, but will die on the plains of Troy. She then goes to him and finds that he is intent on killing Hector, despite knowing that such a course of action will lead inevitably to his death. For he has always been aware of the prophecy that he would either die young and gloriously, or old and unknown. Here, when reminded by his mother of his predicament, he clearly states his choice 'then let me die directly' (18.98). Further clarity is added to the manner of his death when his horse Xanthus, briefly blessed with the power of human speech, prophesies that he will be 'brought down in battle by a god and a man' (19.417). The final piece of information is provided by Hector in his prophecy as he dies. Apollo will be the god, Paris the man and the location will be the Scaean gates (22.359ff.). We are given, therefore, a relatively Themes The Problems of Heroism To see the Iliad, as many have done, as a straightforward glorification of war and the role of the hero is to neglect many of the complex aspects of the poem and to overlook the fact that its most heroic character ends the poem utterly disillusioned at his own, and his fellow men's, position within the cosmos. On the other hand, to see it as a damning indictment of war and its consequences is to misunderstand the world of Homer and the demands made upon individuals within that world. We must, therefore, find some middle ground between these two polarised views. The question that the poem poses and which the more reflective of the leading players battle with is 'what is it to be a hero?'. Acceptance of the heroic code The choice that Achilles is given explicitly and which is emphasised throughout the poem is the choice that implicitly every heroic character has to face, namely between a life that is short yet glorious and a life that is long yet obscure. That Achilles, in Books 1 and 9, questions whether his exertions are worth their results is not a rejection of the heroic code per se, but rather a situational dilemma. It is not that he is averse to the heroic lifestyle, which demands that he risk his own life in the pursuit of glory, but that he feels that he is not being rewarded sufficiently. Agamemnon is disrespecting him by threatening to confiscate the gifts and prizes that he has won, the material possessions by which his heroism is manifestly proven. In addition, he is dishonouring him in front of his fellow Achaeans by insulting him in such a way. Heroism in Homer is all about proving oneself to be better than anyone else, yet Agamemnon is seeking to outdo him through his rank rather than through his capabilities as a warrior and hence as a hero. To Achilles, a world in which the pay-off for being a hero is not fully realised is a world in which it is not worth being a hero. Achilles' great speech to Priam in Book 24 (518-551), which has similarly been held up as proof of his rejection of the heroic code, is again no such thing. Certainly, Achilles is pained by the events that have led him to realise that his father Peleus will never see him again and that Priam is in a parallel situation with respect to Hector, but he never suggests that things might have been different. He accepts that this is the hero's lot and that endless grieving is of no use. Men must simply learn to endure the harsh realities of a life which requires heroes to be heroes in a world governed by divine and ultimately unchangeable rulers. Individual versus Society

The difficulty for all the great heroes is in squaring the requirement to be better than anybody else with the need to protect their own people. The hero does not exist in isolation. Heroic status is conferred on him by the people who benefit from his acts of heroism. The requirements of the hero are succintly stated by Sarpedon when he urges on his fellow Lycian king, Glaucus (12.310-328). In order to justify the privileges they receive in peacetime, the two men must prove themselves in war. It is they who must provide the lead and perform the deeds that win the day. Problems arise, however, when the hero's character, which requires that sometimes he overreach himself to bring glory to himself or to avoid being shamed, brings disaster upon those he is supposed to be protecting. Agamemnon, in order not to lose face in front of the Achaean army, succeeds in insulting their greatest warrior with disastrous consequences. Achilles initially takes umbrage in Book 1 and then refuses to accept Agamemnon's offers of reconciliation via the embassy in Book 9, feeling that his honour has been irreparably damaged, and sees his best friend die the next day. Patroclus, seeking to gain greater personal glory, ignores Achilles' instruction to return to his hut after he has driven back the Trojans from the Achaean ships, and is subsequently killed. Hector rejects the advice of Poulydamas, in Book 18, to return to Troy that night, rather than camping on the plain, and sees the Trojans slaughtered the next day by the returning Achilles. He then refuses the pleas of his family and fellow citizens to retreat inside the walls of Troy, when Achilles is set on single combat, and consequently is slain, a death which, symbolically, marks the fall of Troy itself. In all these cases, the hero is given the opportunity to relinquish his heroic position by the more pragmatic advice of another party. Every time he rejects it, in order to add to, or at least not detract from, his glory. Every time the consequence of that decision is fatal. And yet, if any of the heroes had decided upon the more pragmatic course of action, they would have abrogated their duty as heroes, which requires them

Character List ACHAEANS including captive women in the Achaean encampment. Homer calls the Greeks "Achaeans." They are also referred to as Argives, Danaans, and Thessalians. Achilles Prince of Phthia. Leader of the Myrmidon contingent. Son of Peleus and Thetis. He is the central character of the Iliad. He is by far the greatest warrior involved in the Trojan War. On the battlefield, he is unstoppable, able to rout whole armies single-handedly. Dealing with his rage is the central action of the epic; he sacrifices many of his allies to his pride, refusing to fight because of an insult to his honor. His movement from rage to grief and wrath and finally to recognition is the heart of the Iliad. Patroclus Son of Menoetius. Beloved companion of Achilles. Patroclus is Achilles henchman, reared in the house of Peleus, Achilles' father. As a child, he killed a man in anger, and in his exile he was taken in by Peleus. Achilles and Patroclus have been inseparable since boyhood. Patroclus is compassionate as well as fierce; when Achilles will not fight, it is Patroclus who attempts to save his comrades from certain death. He is killed by Hector, and his death brings Achilles back to battle. Agamemnon King of Mycenae. Son of Atreus. Brother of Menelaus. Commander-in-chief of the Achaean forces. As the high king of the Achaeans, Agamemnon feels the burden of responsibility most strongly. He is at times torn by indecision, and at other times he is a stubborn and monstrously proud man. His insult to Achilles' honor is an outrage, and he is never able to bring himself to give Achilles the true apology that will bring the great warrior back to battle. But his majesty is recognizable, and his attacks of indecision show how seriously he takes his role as ruler. Odysseus King of Ithaca. Son of Laertes. Beloved of Athena, Odysseus is the shrewd counselor and skilled diplomat. He is cunning and loyal, supporting and spurring Agamemnon when the commander-in-chief falters. Great Ajax Also known as Telamonian Ajax. Son of Telamon. Commander of the contingent from Salamis. A giant of a man, Great Ajax is the embodiment of the good soldier and second-greatest of the Achaean warriors. Although he does not drive back whole armies as Achilles, Hector, and Diomedes do, he is a nearly insurmountable bulwark against advancing troops. Halting the enemy advance is his specialty. When he and Little Ajax are grouped together, they are called the Aeantes. Little Ajax Also known as Oilean Ajax. Son of Oileus. Commander of the contingent from Locris. Swift of foot, Little Ajax is a great warrior in his own right. He comes quickly when called on by hard-pressed allies. He and Great Ajax work well together as a team. When he and Great Ajax are referred to as a pair, they are called the Aeantes. Nestor King of the Nelians. Son of Neleus. Nestor is the oldest of the Achaean kings. He is still courageous and surprisingly strong, but in terms of battle prowess his best days are behind him. He is an important counselor to Agamemnon. He often tells long stories about the exploits of his youth. Menelaus King of Lacedaemon. Son of Atreus. Brother of Agamemnon. Husband of Helen. Often in his brother's shadow, Menelaus is still a strong warrior and at times an effective leader. The abduction of his wife Helen is the cause of the Trojan War. Diomedes

Prince of Argos. Son of Tydeus. Never one to shrink from a fight, Diomedes cries out for battle whenever the possibility of withdrawal is mentioned. He is given great strength by Athena in Book 5, and slaughters countless Trojans. He also accompanies Odysseus during the night raids of Book 10. Phoenix Son of Amyntor. He is an old mentor of Achilles, beloved by the great warrior. He relates the story of Meleager, hoping to win Achilles over in the embassy of Book 9, but he does not succeed in persuading Achilles to return to battle. Antilochus Son of Nestor. In Book 18, Antilochus is the man on whom falls the hard task of telling Achilles that Patroclus has been killed. Idomenus Son of Deucalion. Leader of the Cretan contingent. He and Meriones lead a staunch counterattack on the left side of the battlefield in Book 13. Even at Hector's high tide, Idomenus and Meriones manage to make the Trojans pay a heavy price in lives. Meriones Son of Molos. He is Idomenus' comrade and second-in-command. See Idomenus, above. Teucer Bastard son of Telamon. Half-brother of Great Ajax. Teucer is one of the most skilled of the Achaean archers. Calchas Son of Thestor. He is a great prophet. He correctly diagnoses the cause of the plague in Book 1. Automedon One of the Myrmidons. He is an esteemed comrade and charioteer of Patroclus and Achilles. Machaon Son of Asclepius. Co-commander, with his brother, of the Thessalians who hail from Tricca and Oechalia. Machaon is the greatest of the Achaean healers. Briseis Daughter of Briseus. Captive woman in the Achaean camp. Given to Achilles as a prize for valor. When Agamemnon retracts the gift, the insult to Achilles honor is the cause of his rage. Chryseis Daughter of Chryses. Captive of Agamemnon. When Agamemnon refuses her father's ransom, Apollo brings plague on the Achaeans. TROJANS and their Allies Troy is also referred to as Ilium. Hector Prince of Troy. Son of Priam and Hecuba. Husband of Andromache. Greatest of the Trojan warriors, he is the champion of his people. He is a civilized man, more suited to peacetime than to war. When he slays Patroclus, he brings Achilles back into battle. Hector, in turn, is killed by Achilles. Aeneas Son of Anchises and Aphrodite. Leader of those Trojans called Dardanians. A great Trojan champion, he is watched over by the gods to ensure that he survives. He is destined to be the ruler of the Trojans who survive the war. Priam King of Troy. Son of Laomedon. Father of Hector, Paris, and many other Trojan heroes. An old man with no appetite for war, Priam watches the battles from the ramparts of Troy. He ransoms Hector's body at the end of the epic. Helen

Daughter of Zeus. Wife of Menelaus. Consort of Paris. Paris' abduction of Helen is the cause of the Trojan War. Nine years later, she is wracked by remorse for the havoc she has caused. At times, she is full of disdain for her new husband Paris. Paris Also called Alexander. Prince of Troy. Son of Priam. Husband of Helen. His choice of Aphrodite in the beauty contest of the goddesses wins him Helen. Helen's abduction causes the Trojan War. Paris is a strong fighter, but he has little appetite for battle. His greatest skills remain those of the bedroom. Andromache Daughter of Eetion. Wife of Hector. Andromache correctly fears that her husband will die at Achilles' hands. Achilles has already killed her father and all of her brothers. Her speeches are often heartrending, as she mourns her dead loved ones and worries about the fate of her infant son. Hecuba Queen of Troy. Daughter of Dymas. Wife of Priam. Mother of Hector. Hecuba fears for the fate of her husband when he goes to ransom Hector's body. Earlier, she watched from the ramparts with horror as Achilles desecrated the corpse of her most beloved son. Sarpedon One of the commanders of the Lycians. Son of Zeus. Sarpedon is one of the greatest men among the Trojan allies. He is killed by Patroclus, and his death reveals an interesting aspect of the Homeric vision of fate. Glaucos One of the commanders of the Lycians. Son of Hippolochus. Glaucos is a good friend of Sarpedon, and works hard to avenge his death. In Book 6, he and Diomedes exchange information about their respective heritages, and they realize that their families have a history of friendship. They vow not to harm each other, though they fight on opposite sides in the war. Polydamas Son of Panthous. Commander of a Trojan contingent. Polydamas is a great counselor, providing Hector with wise advice that Hector does not always follow. Hector's rejection of Polydamas' counsel late in the epic ultimately leads to Hector's death. Euphorbus Son of Panthous and Phrontis. After Apollo has stunned, stripped, and disarmed Patroclus, Euphorbus wounds him. He, in turn, is killed by Menelaus. Agenor Son of Antenor. His brave decision to face Achilles, even though he has no chance of winning, buys his people enough time to withdraw behind the city walls. His life is spared thanks to Apollo. Chryses Priest of Apollo. Father of Chryseis. Agamemnon's rejection of Chryses' offer to give ransom for his daughter leads to plague among the Achaean troops. GODS and Demi-Gods. Zeus King of the gods. Son of Cronus and Rhea. Brother and husband of Hera. Father of the Olympian gods and many mortals, including Sarpedon. Zeus is the strongest of the gods, lord of the sky and wielder of the lightning bolt. He is the governor the universe, deciding the destinies of men, but he must sometimes act in accordance with fate. Hera

Queen of the gods. Daughter of Cronus and Rhea. Sister and wife of Zeus. Jealous, scheming, and powerful, Hera hates the Trojans fiercely and works for their destruction. She cannot overpower Zeus, but she can outwit him. Athena Also known as Pallas Athena and Tritogenia. Daughter of Zeus. Goddess of war, wisdom, and crafts. She is a tireless defender of the Achaeans, and she bears strong hatred for Troy. She has a special affection for Odysseus, whose wiliness makes him her favorite among mortals. Thetis Daughter of Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea. Wife of Peleus. Mother of Achilles. Zeus and Hephaestus are both indebted to her, and she calls in on the debts on behalf of her son. Through her mortal son, she suffers, and she is able to foresee all of the calamities that will befall him. Apollo Son of Zeus and Leto. God of archery and music, Apollo is a great champion of the Trojans. He bears no great love for Achilles, and foils Achilles on several occasions. He also makes possible the brutal and unfair killing of Patroclus. Artemis Daughter of Zeus and Leto. Goddess of archery and the hunt, she favors the Trojans but not with the vigor of her brother. Poseidon Son of Cronus and Rhea. Brother of Hera, Hades, and Zeus. A powerful god, Poseidon is lord of the sea and earthquakes. Because of a wrong done to him by Laomedon, Priam's father, Poseidon hates the Trojans and sides with the Achaeans throughout the war. Aphrodite Daughter of Zeus and Dione. Mother of Aeneas. Goddess of love. Helen and Paris are among her favorites, and Aphrodite fights on the side of Troy. Of little use on the battlefield, in her own realm she reigns supreme. Hera uses a token of her power to overcome Zeus himself. Hephaestus Son of Zeus and Hera. Crippled smith of the gods, lord of the forge and fire. In Book 18, he makes Achilles his new magnificent armor and shield. He rescues Achilles from the river god Xanthus in Book 21. Ares Son of Zeus and Hera. Bloodthirsty god of war, more frenzied (but also less powerful) than his half-sister Athena. He is a protector of the Trojans. Leto Consort of Zeus. Mother of Artemis and Apollo. She sides with Troy because her children do. Hermes Son of Zeus. Guide. He escorts Priam safely into the Achaean encampment in Book 24. Iris Swift goddess messenger of Zeus. Dawn Wife of Tithonus. Goddess of the morning. She is mentioned every time a new day begins in the Iliad. Sleep Sleep personified. He helps Hera to put Zeus out of the action, so that Poseidon can help the Achaeans. Night Night personified. More a force of the cosmos than a personality, even Zeus is wary of angering her. Panic, Rout, Rumor, Hate

Homer personifies these forces as deities, although they have no real personalities beyond the forces they represent. Personifying them is mostly a poetic device. These gods are a constant presence on the battlefield. Xanthus Also called Scamander. River god. He nearly drowns Achilles in Book 21, but he withdraws when Hephaestus sends fire to combat Xanthus' water. Chiron Centaur. Wise and gentle, he is mentioned as a friend to Achilles back home. Myths portray him as an important mentor to the young Achilles, and Achilles' mighty spear is a gift from Chiron. Boreas, Zephyrus The North and West wind. Major Themes The interaction between fate and free will A complicated theme, the interaction between fate and free will is present in every book of the Iliad. At times it seems that men have no real freedom. The gods intercede repeatedly, altering events as they please. But Homer was no determinist, and there is a place in the Iliad for human agency. At key points, Homer makes it clear that mortals make important choices, and a few times mortals nearly overturn the dictates of fate itself. Zeus's will determines much of fate, but even he is sometimes subject to a higher necessity that is never personalized in the Iliad. Pride Pride is a theme of pivotal importance, not only for the Iliad, but for all of Greek literature. Where pride in Christianity is a vice paired off against the central Christian virtue of humility, pride to the ancient Greeks was the source of both ruin and greatness. The central hero of Christianity, Jesus Christ, is the embodiment of humility. Divine, he suffers humiliation that not even mortals should bear. In contrast, it is hard to imagine a male heroic Greek hero who is humble; for the Greeks, pride is inextricable from heroic action. The pursuit of Glory Closely linked to the above theme, the pursuit of glory is a consuming occupation for Homeric heroes. A Homeric hero wins glory by performing great deeds, the memory of which will outlive him. There is no comforting afterlife in Homer. Shades go down to the gloomy world of Hades. Emphasis is on the deeds of this life for the sake of this life, and a hero must win glory that will be remembered always by the living even after he is gone. The glory of battle and the horror of war Homer has never been surpassed in his ability to portray both the beauty and horror of war. War brings out the best in his heroes, as they tap previously unknown reserves of strength, courage, and loyalty. But war also can bring out the worst in men. The endless carnage and cruelty of the poem dehumanizes many of the men of the Iliad, and Homer never shirks from depicting the brutality of battle. Although Homer glorifies warriors, the Iliad is full of an unmistakable love for peace. Iliad Summary In the tenth and final year of the Trojan War, Chryses, a priest of Apollo, attempts to ransom his daughter from Agamemnon, commander-in-chief of the Achaeans, who has taken her captive while on a raid. When Agamemnon treats him roughly and refuses the ransom, Apollo is angered and brings plague on the Achaeans. The Achaean prophet Calchas correctly identifies the cause of the problem, and he suggests giving the girl back with gifts to Apollo. Agamemnon demands that he be compensated for the loss of the girl, and Achilles, the greatest Achaean warrior, objects. The two men quarrel viciously. Agamemnon says he will take back Briseis, a captive woman who was given to Achilles as a prize for

valor. Horribly dishonored, Achilles returns to his ships and refuses to fight. Agamemnon has Briseis taken from Achilles, and he returns Chryses' daughter to him. Achilles asks his mother, the goddess Thetis, to prevail on Zeus, king of the gods, to bring ruin on the Achaeans as long as Achilles does not fight for them. Zeus is indebted to Thetis, and he grants her request. With Achilles out of the way, Hector, champion of the Trojans, drives the Achaeans back to their beached ships. The Achaeans build fortifications, but at the urging of the chieftains Agamemnon sends and embassy to ask Achilles to return to battle. Agamemnon offers rich prizes, but Achilles refuses the offer and remains withdrawn from battle. The Achaean fortifications are breached, and many of the the greatest remaining Achaean warriors are wounded. Achilles beloved companion, Patroclus, begs Achilles to do something to help their fellow soldiers. He asks that he be allowed to put on Achilles' armor, so that the Trojans will think that Achilles has returned. Achilles grants the request, but warns Patroclus to return once he has driven the Trojans back from the ships. Patroclus drives the Trojans back all the way to their own city walls, but there Hector kills him with the help of Apollo. Hector strips his armor and puts it on himself, and the Achaeans barely manage to save Patroclus' body from desecration. Achilles goes berserk with grief and rage. Thetis warns him that if he kills Hector, he will die soon afterward. Achilles accepts his own life as the price for revenge. He reconciles himself to Agamemnon, receives new armor, via his mother, forged by the smith of the gods, Hephaestus. He charges into battle, slaughtering Trojans left and right, routing the Trojan army almost single-handedly. He meets Hector, chases him around the city, and kills him easily. He then drags the body from the back of his chariot, running laps around the city of Troy so that the Trojans can watch as their champion's body is horribly desecrated. Achilles returns to the Achaean camp, where he holds magnificent funeral games for Patroclus. He continues to abuse Hector's corpse. Zeus sends Thetis to tell Achilles that he must accept the ransom that Priam, king of Troy and father of Hector, will offer in exchange for Hector's body. Priam himself comes to see Achilles, the man who has slaughtered so many of his sons, and Achilles suddenly is reminded of his own father who, as Priam has, will outlive his most beloved son. He understands what he has done, and his rage and grief give way to compassion. He returns the body and offers a cease-fire so that the Trojans can bury Hector. With the word of Achilles as their guarantee, the Trojans take eleven days to give Hector a proper mourning and funeral. As the epic ends, the future is clear: Achilles will not live to see the fall of Troy, but the city is doomed nonetheless. All but a handful of her people will be slaughtered, and the city will be wiped off the face of the earth.

Iliad Genre - Epic Literary works are divided into various categories called genres in accordance with their characteristic form and content. The Iliad1 belongs to the genre of epic. An epic is a long poem which tells a story involving gods, heroes and heroic exploits. Since the epic is by its very nature lengthy, it tends to be rather loosely organized. Not every episode is absolutely necessary to the main story and digressions are not uncommon. You will notice how different in this regard is the genre of drama, in which every episode tends to be essential to the plot and digressions are inappropriate. The events narrated in epic are drawn from legend rather than invented by the poet and are typically of great significance as in the case of the Iliad, which relates an important incident centering around the greatest hero of the Greeks in the Trojan War, the most celebrated war of Greek legend (see Troy for more information on the Trojan War). The epic poet tends to present his narrative impersonally, not drawing attention to himself except occasionally, as in the first line of the Iliad when Homer addresses the goddess who is the Muse2 of epic poetry. 1The word Iliad means "a poem about Ilion [another name for Troy]." 2In Greek myth a Muse is one of the nine daughters of Zeus, who are goddesses of the arts. See line 604 of the first book of the Iliad. To learn more about Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War, see Troy. Reading the Iliad When you first read the Iliad, the beginning of the poem can present some difficulty because it assumes a general familiarity with the war between the Trojans and Greeks that most modern readers, unlike the ancient Greeks, do not possess (see Troy for more information on the Trojan War). You should have no trouble, however, if you keep a few facts in mind. The war had been occasioned by an offense given twenty years earlier to Menelaos, the Greek king of Sparta, by the Trojan Prince, Paris (also called Alexandros). Paris, aided by the goddess Aphrodite, whom he had judged the winner of a beauty contest over the goddesses Athene and Hera, had stolen Menelaos's wife, Helen. In order to recover Helen, Menelaos's brother, Agamemnon, the powerful king of Mykenai, had gathered together a large force that included many prominent Greek warriors, themselves either princes or kings. The greatest of these was the hero, Achilleus, the central character of the Iliad . The main story of the poem consists of the experiences of Achilleus within a rather limited period of time (fifty-four days) in the tenth year of the war. Another problem you might encounter in your first reading of the poem of the language in which the story is told. After reading even a small portion of the Iliad one quickly becomes aware of Homer's distinctive style, which is characterized by the constant repetition of phrases, whole lines and even whole passages. The name Achilleus is frequently accompanied by the phrase "of the swift feet".3 Apollo is often described as he "who strikes from afar". Speeches are repeatedly introduced by phrases such as "Then in answer again spoke..." and summed up by "So he spoke". You could no doubt provide numerous other examples of this stylistic phenomenon. What is most unusual about the recurring descriptive words applied to the name of a god/goddess,/hero/heroine, or inanimate things is that, although they are sometimes relevant to their context, they most often are irrelevant and therefore seemingly unnecessary. For example, it is helpful to the reader to have Agamemnon identified once or

twice as "lord of men" and Achilleus called "brilliant" and "of the swift feet", but the frequent repetition of these descriptive words throughout the poem reveals that their purpose goes beyond identification. The description of Apollo in 1.213 as the one "who strikes from afar" has some relevance because the god will send a destructive plague into the Achaian camp by shooting arrows from his silver bow (1.4851).4 But there are many more of these repeated descriptions which are totally irrelevant. The Achaian ships are often called "fast" when they are not in motion. Odysseus is twice called "crafty" in book one although he engages in no tricks. The sea is referred to as "barren" for no apparent purpose. But even the relevant epithets5 lose their relevance when they are constantly repeated, as is the case with Apollo, who continues to be referred to as he "who strikes from afar" throughout the rest of book one without any connection with the action. The problem is further complicated by the fact that other epithets are also applied to Apollo such as "King"," Phoibos", "radiant", "beloved of Zeus", "archer", "who works from afar", etc. with a similar lack of relevance. 3All quotations from the Iliad are from Richmond Lattimore's translation (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1961). 4References to the Iliad will be given by the book number (before the period) and line numbers (after the period). 5An epithet is a descriptive word or phrase that is linked with the name of a person or thing. Remember that you can also consult the Glossary for terms, as well as characters, events and places To learn more about the epithets of the gods and goddesses, see the Knowledge Builders for all 12 major Greek gods and goddesses. The reason for the constant repetitions in the Iliad is that Homer composed in an oral style, which involved the improvisation of poetry without the aid of writing. In order to facilitate the adaptation of his words to the requirements of the dactylic hexameter, the traditional meter of Greek epic poetry, the oral poet used stock phrases called formulas, which aided him in filling out various metrical portions of the line. A character or object in the Iliad generally has a number of epithets of varying metrical size used in conjunction with it. The reason for this is that sometimes a longer epithet is needed to suit the meter, while on other occasions a shorter one is needed. For example, in lines 58, 84, 364, 489 of book 1 a metrically longer epithet is required to describe Achilleus; therefore he is referred to as Achilleus "of the swift feet". But in lines 7 and 292 of the same book a metrically shorter epithet is needed; therefore he is called "brilliant". The term formula can also be used in reference to other elements larger than the name plus epithet. A whole line can be formulaic, such as the line which is regularly employed at the end of a meal: After they had put away their desire for eating and drinking Also formulaic are whole passages which are repeated in almost exactly the same language with a closely corresponding sequence of events, as is evident in the description of a sacrifice and a meal in 1.458-469 and 2.421-432. Messages tend to be repeated or stories retold in almost exactly the same language. These repetitions are essential to the oral style of composition. They not only aided the poet in composing, but also helped the audience, who did not have the benefit of a text, to remember the details of the story. But if these repeated formulas had been just practical necessities, the Iliad would not have succeeded as poetry. In addition to their practical purpose, these formulas with their emphasis on particulars create an indelibly vivid impression of the characters and the Homeric world in general. Who can forget "swift-footed Achilleus", "fair-cheeked Briseis," "Zeus who gathers the clouds" or "the

glancing-eyed Achaians", "the infinite water"? Some formulas have an inherent poetic beauty: "Dawn with her rosy fingers", "Hera of the white arms", "the shadowy mountains and the echoing sea", etc. The formulaic line which is often used to describe the death of a hero has a power that survives its many repetitions: He fell thunderously and his armor clattered upon him. You will no doubt find your own favorites in the poem. Be patient with this oral style of composition; you will soon become used to it. Also, don't be put off by the great variety of characters and actions. The Iliad is something like a very large painting which contains crowds of people and many insignificant events but focuses on a central action. These details are not important individually, but do create an impression of largeness and provide an imposing background for the main focus of the painting. Confronted for the first time with a poem with a large cast of characters and the seemingly countless details of the narrative, you might find yourself somewhat confused. But if you read carefully and are willing to reread, you will find that the main story of the Iliad is fairly simple and involves a relatively small number of major characters. Heroic Code The code which governs the conduct of the Homeric heroes is a simple one. The aim of every hero is to achieve honor, that is, the esteem received from one's peers. Honor is essential to the Homeric heroes, so much so that life would be meaningless without it. Thus, honor is more important than life itself. As you will notice in reading the Iliad, when a hero is advised to be careful to avoid a life-threatening situation in battle, his only choice is to ignore this warning. A hero's honor is determined primarily by his courage and physical abilities and to a lesser degree by his social status and possessions. The highest honor can only be won in battle. Here competition was fiercest and the stakes were the greatest. Two other heroic activities, hunting and athletics, could only win the hero an inferior honor. An even lesser honor was won by the sole non-physical heroic activity, the giving of advice in council (1.490; 9.443). Nestor, who is too old to fight, makes a specialty of giving advice since that is the only heroic activity left to him (1.254-284). The heroic ideal in the Iliad is sometimes offensive to modern sensibility, but what is required here is not the reader's approval, but understanding of these heroic values. One can only understand the Iliad, if one realizes what motivates action in the poem. Indeed, Homeric heroism is savage and merciless. Thus the hero often finds himself in a pressure-filled kill-or-be-killed situation. Success means survival and greater honor; failure means death and elimination from the competition for honor. But victory in battle is not enough in itself; it is ephemeral and can easily be forgotten. Therefore, the victor sought to acquire a permanent symbol of his victory in the form of the armor of the defeated enemy. As you will notice, furious battles break out over the corpse as the victor tries to strip the armor and the associates of the defeated warrior try to prevent it. Occasionally, prizes from the spoils of war are awarded for valor in battle as in the cases of Chryseis and Briseis, who belong respectively to Agamemnon and Achilleus. The importance of these captive girls as symbols of honor is evident in the dispute which arises in Book 1. The Homeric hero is also fiercely individualistic; he is primarily concerned with his own honor and that of his household,6 which is only an extension of himself. As is particularly true of Achilleus, the Homeric hero is not likely to be as concerned about his fellow warriors as he is about himself and the members of his household. Loyalty to the community or city had not yet achieved the importance it was going to have in later times.

6The household, or oikos, consisted not only of blood relatives, but also of retainers like Phoinix and Sarpedon (12.322-328): Man, supposing you and I, escaping this battle would be able to live on forever, ageless, immortal, so neither would I myself go on fighting in the foremost nor would I urge you into the fighting where men win glory. But now, seeing that the spirits of death stand close about us in their thousands, no man can turn aside nor escape them, let us go on and win glory for ourselves or yield it to others. The moral pressure which ensures compliance with this heroic code is simply what peers will think and say. The Homeric hero is supremely concerned with the reaction of his fellow heroes to his actions, since ultimately it is they alone who can bestow honor. When Hektor's wife urges him not to re-enter the war, he answers (6.441-443): ...yet I would feel deep shame before the Trojans, and the Trojan women with trailing garments, if like a coward I were to shrink aside from the fighting. Hektor is not free to walk away from the war. His fear of adverse public opinion forces him to ignore the pleas of his wife and risk his life for the sake of honor. Therefore, one must fight courageously, whatever the cost. As Odysseus says (11.408-410): ...I know that it is the cowards who walk out of the fighting, but if one is to win honour in battle, he must by all means stand his ground strongly, whether he be struck or strike down another. Gods The religion of the ancient Greeks was polytheistic7 and consisted of the worship of various gods who presided over different aspects of the physical world and human experience: Zeus, god of the sky; Aphrodite, goddess of sex; Ares, god of war, etc. The Greek gods are not spiritual beings but are anthropomorphic.8 They resemble human beings and tend to act in a human way, displaying all human emotions, virtues and vices. Their anthropomorphism is further illustrated by the patriarchal organization of the divine family, which imitates the patriarchy9 of human society. Zeus is the patriarch of the gods, who demands (but does not always get) the obedience of the other gods. The importance of both divine and human patriarchy in the Homeric world can be seen in the frequent use of patronymics1 in the Iliad, (e.g., Zeus, son of Kronos; Achilleus, son of Peleus). One of the most important things that can be said about a god or mortal is the identity of the father. To learn more about Zeus, the patriarch of the gods, see the Zeus Knowledge Builder. 7'Characterized by the worship of many gods'. 8'Having human characteristics'. 9'Father-rule'. 10'A name inherited from a paternal ancestor'.

It should be noted that Homer's depiction of the gods in the Iliad is more the result of the poet's inventive imagination than a literal representation of the gods of actual ancient Greek religious observance. Homer is more concerned with making the gods suit the thematic needs of his poem than inspiring religious piety in his audience. It is quite clear that the gods in the Iliad on one level act as a foil11 for humanity by accenting the troubles and sufferings experienced by men through the contrast with the joys and general ease of divine existence. For this reason, appearances of the gods in the Iliad are sometimes characterized by comedy in order to emphasize human misfortune by contrast. In fact, Herodotus, the fifth century historian, says that Homer and Hesiod, an epic poet contemporary with Homer, first named the gods, determined their honors and functions and devised their physical appearance (2.53). 11'A person or thing that emphasizes, through contrast, the distinctive traits of another person or thing'. In the Iliad the gods are very much concerned with human affairs. One reason for this involvement is the fact that many gods and goddesses who have mated with mortals have human children or human favorites participating in the war. The gods take sides in the war in accordance with their like or dislike of one side or the other. For example, Athene and Hera, who lost a beauty contest judged by the Trojan prince Paris, are fiercely anti-Trojan, while the winner Aphrodite dotes on Paris and favors the Trojans in the war. The interest and involvement of the gods in human affairs have an important effect on the action of the Iliad. The gods universalize the action of the poem. Because the gods take interest in human affairs, the events described in the Iliad are not just particular actions of little significance, but take on a universal meaning and importance that would have been missing without the gods. On the one hand, the involvement of the gods exalts human action. When Achilleus in Book 1 considers killing Agamemnon, his decision not to kill could have been presented on a purely human level without the intervention of a deity, but we are shown exactly just how critical a decision it is by the involvement of Athene. Throughout the Iliad there is a tendency to present action consistently on two planes, the human and the divine. On the other hand, the gods also serve to emphasize the limitations of man, how short his life is and, quite paradoxically in view of the previously stated purpose, how ultimately meaningless human affairs are. Exercise for Reading Comprehension and Interpretation Book 1 First of all, in order to understand the Iliad you must try to identify the main theme12 of the poem. Once identified the main theme will help you separate the essential action of the Iliad from the action which is not crucial to the central plot. The main theme is presented by Homer in the first line of the poem. What is the main theme? Here is the first line in Greek followed first by a transliteration and then by a wordfor-word translation: Menin aeide thea Peleiadeo Achileos Anger sing of, goddess, of Peleus's son Achilleus Note the difference between the word order at the beginning of the line and the normal English arrangement. How does the Greek word order help you identify the main theme? Learn more about the events before, during and after the Iliad by following Achilles' life from birth to death, see The Iliad: Through the Eyes of Achilles.

12A theme in literature is a central idea that gives a literary work logical unity. After the introduction of the poem (1-7), Homer tries to create immediate interest by thrusting his audience in medias res, 'into the middle of things'. This Latin phrase is used in literary criticism to refer to the epic poet's practice of beginning his story without an introduction to the main characters and an explanation of the situation which forms the background of the story (i.e., without any exposition). The first action of the poem is a suppliancy, that is, a ritual act, in which the suppliant, while sitting or kneeling, grasps the knees of the person supplicated and touches his chin or kisses his hands (see 1.500501 and 24.478). This act of self-humiliation was an attempt to forestall any unfavorable reaction on the part of the supplicated. Once the supplication was properly performed, the suppliant was under the protection of Zeus; anyone who rejected a supplication risked the anger of that god. What request does Chryses make of Agamemnon (20)? What is the reaction of the Achaians 13(22-23)? What is Agamemnon's response (26-32)? Why does Chryses pray to Apollo and what prayer does he make (3642)? How does Apollo answer his prayer (43-52)? 13Homer uses three names, with no apparent difference in meaning, to refer to the people whom we call Greeks: Achaians, Danaans, and Argives. What advice does Achilleus give to Agamemnon in the midst of the plague (59-67)? What does Kalchas fear (74-83)? What effect is Achilleus's assurance of protection to Kalchas (85-91) likely to have on Agamemnon? What explanation does Kalchas give of the plague (93-100)? What is Agamemnon's reaction (106-120)? Why does Achilleus say that Agamemnon should not demand an immediate replacement for Chryseis (122-129)? What is Agamemnon's answer to Achilleus((131-139)? Why does Achilleus take Agamemnon's vague threat so personally (149-171)? What specific threat does Agamemnon make to Achilleus (181-187)? What is Achilleus's reaction to this threat (188-194) and what is the result of Athene's intervention (216-221)? What is the meaning of Achilleus's dashing the sceptre to the ground (233-246)? What is the purpose of Nestor's speech (254-284)? What are the reactions of Agamemnon and Achilleus to this speech (286-303)? What is Achilleus's conduct toward the heralds of Agamemnon who come to get Briseis (334-344)? What important fact do we find out about Achilleus when he calls to his mother (352-356)? What request does Achilleus ask Thetis to make of Zeus (407-412)? What is the purpose of the prayer and sacrifice that Chryses makes to Apollo in 451-474? Describe the feelings of Achilleus after his decision to withdraw from the war (488-492). What request does Thetis make of Zeus (505-510)? What is Zeus's answer and why is he disturbed by the request (518527)? What complaint does Hera make to Zeus (540-543)? Why is she disturbed by Thetis's supplication of Zeus (555-559)? What is Zeus's reaction to her complaints (545-550; 561-567)? What is Hephaistos's advice to Hera (573-583)? Why do the gods laugh (599-600)? How do the events on Mt. Olympos reflect events on earth in book 1? Compare the result of the quarrel between Achilleus and Agamemnon and that between Zeus and Hera. What is the main difference between the quality of human and divine life? Character Analysis First, you should note that the word 'character' is used in literary criticism in two different ways. It can mean a personage in a literary work (e.g., Achilleus in the Iliad), or the personal traits which make such a personage a well defined individual (e.g., Achilleus's tendency to anger and his other distinctive

characteristics). The term "character analysis" refers to the examination of the character's personal traits. When you attempt a character analysis, there are a number of things that you must take into consideration. The personality of any character is revealed in what the character says, thinks and does, and what other characters and the author in his own person say about that character. Although the evaluation of the personality of a character is most important in a character analysis, you should not neglect physical appearance and condition, which also can have an important effect on character and action (e.g., Helen's beauty, Nestor's and Priam's old age). Book 3 is especially rich in characterization, particularly in reference to the two people whose actions were the cause of the war - Paris and Helen. Paris's character is revealed not only by his words and actions, but also by implicit contrast with his brother Hektor. Helen is presented as a complex character, who realizes the wrong she has done and despises Paris, but yet seems unable to give up her sexual relationship with him. The analysis of her ambivalent character is further complicated by the control that Aphrodite exercises over her. One general rule, however, should be kept in mind with regard to divine influence on human behavior: the gods tend to influence characters to act in a way consistent with their personalities. For example, the close relationship of Aphrodite, the goddess of sexual love, with Paris and Helen, is probably an indication that sexual desire is a predominant drive in their psychological make-up. Conversely, Aphrodite never exerts influence on Hektor, whose personality makes him primarily a fighter rather than a lover. As you read the Iliad, make note of the evidence in the text which gives insight into the personalities of important characters. The better you understand the characters of the Iliad, the better you will understand their actions. One note of warning: characters in a literary work are not real human beings, but have been created by the author to suit the needs of the story. Always keep this in mind in character analysis. Irony Irony is a frequently used device in literature, which can be employed in various ways. One kind of irony is evident when literary characters in word or deed make assumptions which the reader or audience know to be false or say things which the characters cannot know the significance of till later in the work. This kind of irony is often referred to as "dramatic irony", which is so called because of its frequent use in drama, but this term is also loosely applied to the same phenomenon in narrative works like the Iliad. Dramatic irony underlines the frustration suffered by central characters in literature in the pursuit of their own happiness. A classic example of dramatic irony occurs in Sophocles's play Oedipus the King, in which the hero Oedipus curses the killer of his predecessor in the kingship, not knowing that he himself is the murderer. Watch out for examples of dramatic irony in the Iliad; they are important for a proper understanding of the poem. Simile and Metaphor A simile is a comparison of two unlike things introduced by "like" or "as". For example, Menelaos is compared to a wild beast because of his eagerness to find Paris, who had been rescued by Aphrodite: "Menelaos was wandering through the throng like a wild beast..." (3.449). The basic purpose of this or any simile is to present a word-picture which will make the reader experience in a more vivid way what is being described. In the above example Menelaos's movement in search of Paris is brought to life by

the picture of a wild beast, which suggests the frantic agitation of a man who has been frustrated in his desire for revenge. The simile is an important feature of Homer's style. He uses both short similes like the one above and extended ones which became a standard feature of the epic tradition after Homer. The first 35 lines of Book 3 contain four extended similes. Akin to the simile is a figure of speech called a metaphor, a comparison between two different things without the use of "like" or "as". The simile describing Menelaos stated that he was "like a wild beast". That simile could be stated as a metaphor: "Menelaos is a wild beast". This, of course, does not mean that Menelaos is literally a wild beast, but that at this time he shares some characteristics with a wild beast. Metaphors are not as common in the Iliad as similes, but they do occur as in the formulaic phrase, "winged words" (1.201). Obviously, words do not have wings, birds do. But words do fly out of the mouth like birds, and once they have been said, they are as hard to take back as birds are to capture. Book 3 What contrast is suggested by the description of the Trojans and the Achaians in 1-9? by the description of Menelaos and Alexandros (Paris) (15-37)? Why is Hektor upset by Paris's behavior (38-57)? What difference does Paris see between himself and Hektor (59-66)? What proposal does Paris make (67-75)? What is Helen doing when she first appears in the narrative (125-127)? What is the symbolic significance of her action? Why is Helen summoned by Iris (130-138)? How does Homer depict Helen's beauty (156160)? What does Helen do for Priam (161-242)? Do you find anything strange in the questions asked of Helen by Priam at this point in the war (the tenth year)? What purpose does the information given by Helen serve in the Iliad? What literary device is Homer employing in 236-244? What are the terms of the duel (281-291)? What crime of Paris does Menelaos mention in his prayer to Zeus (351-354)? What does Aphrodite's intervention prevent (373-382)? Why does Aphrodite want Helen to go to Paris's chamber (390-394)? What is Helen's reaction to the goddess's invitation (399412)? What threat does Aphrodite make to Helen (414-417)? What criticism does Helen make of Paris (428-436)? What is Paris's reaction to this criticism (438-446)? Helen's actions in this scene are obviously inconsistent with her feelings. What is the reason for her inconsistency? What purpose does book 3 serve? Does it advance the story begun in book 1 at all? Explain your answer. Foreshadowing Homer often gives his audience hints about what is going to happen later in the story. This technique is called foreshadowing and conveys a sense of the inevitability of important events. An example of foreshadowing occurs in book 6 when Hektor leaves Andromache to return to battle while her handmaidens mourn for him as if he were already dead (500-502). Note also Hektor's pessimism which he expresses to Andromache (447-465). This foreshadowing prepares us for Hektor's death in book 22. Achilleus's approaching death (which does not occur in the Iliad) is also foreshadowed as early as book 1 by himself and his mother (352; 416). The above examples are only the most obvious instances of foreshadowing in the Iliad. Try to find other more subtle instances of anticipation of future events. Book 6 Book six begins with the deaths of minor figures on the Trojan side, many of whom Homer brings briefly to life with a few words before they are killed. What is the intended effect of Homer's description of

Axylos (12-15)? Evaluate the words and actions of Agamemnon in the case of Adrestos in the light of Homeric morality (44-60). What order does Helenos give to Hektor (86-95)? What is unusual about this order? Why does Diomedes (the son of Tydeus) ask Glaukos to identify himself (123-143)? What comment does Glaukos's simile in 146-150 make on humanity? The story which Glaukos tells about his grandfather Bellerophontes has little or no connection with the plot, but has an interest of its own as a heroic tale. The typically loose organization of the epic form easily accommodates such a digression, which would be intolerable in a smaller and more tightly structured form like drama. What discovery does Diomedes make when Glaukos mentions his grandfather (215-231)? What is the result of Diomedes's discovery (232-236)? After he delivers Helenos's message to his mother Hekabe, what does Hektor tell her he intends to do (280)? What is Hektor's attitude toward Paris (281-285)? What is Athene's reaction to the prayers and gift of the Trojan women (311)? What literary device is Homer employing here? Explain your answer. What does Hektor encourage Paris to do (326-331)? How does Paris react to Hektor's words (333-341)? What is Helen's view of herself and Paris (343-353)? Where does Hektor go next (365)? What does Andromache fear (405-410)? Note carefully Andromache's story about the death of her father at the hands of Achilleus (414-428). It is a foreshadowing of Achilleus's behavior in the last book of the Iliad. What does Andromache think is most notable about Achilleus's conduct with regard to her father? What request does Andromache make of Hektor (431-434)? In Hektor's mind what prevents him from doing what his wife asks (440-446)? What does Hektor foresee for the Trojans and his wife (447-465)? What is the intended effect of the laughter of Hektor and Andromache at their son's terror in the context this sorrow-filled situation (466-471)? What hopes does Hektor have for his son (476-481)? What literary device is evident in this expression of Hektor's hopes? What is Hektor's state of mind as he leaves his family (486-493)? What literary device is evident in 500? What do we learn about Hektor's character from his meetings with Hekabe, Paris, Helen and Andromache? What comment does the simile in 506-511 make on the character of Paris? What are Hektor's feelings about Paris (521-525)? What purpose does book 6 serve? Does it advance the story begun in book 1 at all? Explain your answer. Book 9 How are the Achaians doing in the war at this point in the story (1-8)? Note the capitalization of the first letters of Panic and Terror (2; see Hate in 11.4). The reason for this is that these two human emotions are personified as minor divinities by Homer. What recommendation does Agamemnon make to the Achaians (17-28)? What criticism does Diomedes make of Agamemnon (38-39)? What is Diomedes's attitude with regard to the war (45-49)? What advice does Nestor give to Agamemnon (96-113)? How does Agamemnon react to this advice (115-161)? What Achaians does Nestor suggest should go to Achilleus (168-170)? Why doesn't Agamemnon go himself? What is Achilleus doing when these men arrive at his hut (186-189)? How does Achilleus behave toward them (197-204)? What is Patroklos's role in this scene (201-220)? Then each ambassador delivers a speech which is in turn answered by Achilleus. You no doubt have noted that Homer frequently employs speeches in his narrative. Throughout ancient times speech-making was the primary means of mass communication. Writing did exist, but without a printing press, publication of written material was very

limited. Thus it is natural that speeches are prominent in the Iliad. The speeches also give a lively dramatic quality to the poem. This quality often leads students to make the mistake of calling the Iliad a play, that is, a dramatic performance in which actors impersonate characters, when it is really a narrative poem, that is, a genre in which a story teller or narrator relates the whole story. Odysseus is spokesman for Agamemnon and therefore speaks first because of his rhetorical skills (see 3.216-223). Although Odysseus repeats word for word most of Agamemnon's earlier speech (115-161), he makes purposeful additions and omissions. Read Odysseus's speech (225-306) carefully and identify these additions and omissions. Explain the reason for each addition and omission. To whom do you think Achilleus is referring in 312-313? Achilleus then presents his reasons for rejecting Agamemnon's offer (315-420). Briefly summarize these reasons. Do you find them convincing? Explain your answer. What does Achilleus say he will do now that he has refused to accept the gifts (357-363; 426-429)? The speech of Phoinix is divided into three sections: Phoinix's relationships with his father, Peleus and Achilleus (447-495), the parable of the prayers (502-512), and the example of Meleagros (529-599). What effect does Phoinix hope lines 485-496 will have on Achilleus? What is Phoinix's basic message to Achilleus (496-501)? Phoinix's story of the spirits of Prayer is a parable: a story illustrating a moral lesson. In this story what we would regard as psychological phenomena internal to a human being are personified as minor divinities. Ruin represents the tendency to give offense to others and the spirit of prayers, the desire to make amends by asking forgiveness. What point does this parable make? The story of Meleagros is an instance of the technique commonly used by Homeric characters of giving a mythological example to make an argument more persuasive. Although this story is long and detailed, its essential message is clear and simple. What is this message (600-605)? What is Achilleus's response to Phoinix's speech (607-619)? What is the main point of Aias's brief speech (624-642)? What is Achilleus's response to this speech (644-655)? What does Odysseus report to Agamemnon (677-692)? Is Odysseus's report entirely accurate? Explain your answer. What is Diomedes's reaction to this report (697-709)? Describe Achilleus's state of mind in book 9. Does he really believe everything he says to Odysseus? Explain your answer. Book 11 What purpose does the wounding of Agamemnon, Diomedes, Odysseus and Eurypylos serve at this point in the story (1-590)? What significance do the disasters suffered by the Achaians have for Achilleus (608-609)? What do lines 598-614 say about Achilleus's feelings with regard to the war and the Achaians? What literary device is evident in 603? What order does Achilleus give to Patroklos (610-614)? How is Nestor's speech (655-802; cf. 1.254-284) typical of him? What suggestion does Nestor make to Patroklos (791-802)? What do you think is the effect of Eurypylos's words (822-835) on Patroklos? Book 16 Why does Patroklos mention the wounding of the Achaian chieftains to Achilleus (23-29)? Explain the meaning of the metaphors of the sea and rocks in 34-35. What request does Patroklos make of Achilleus and what does he hope to accomplish, if Achilleus consents (38-45)? Read 49-63 carefully. Explain why Achilleus agrees to Patroklos's request. What warning does Achilleus give to Patroklos (87-96)? Why does Achilleus give this warning? What frustration does Achilleus's prayer to the gods reveal (97-100)?

What emergency critical to the fortunes of the Achaians arises (112-124)? After the formulaic scene of Patroklos's arming (130-144), Achilleus prepares his men the Myrmidons for battle. Homer then presents a catalogue of the Myrmidons (168-197). Catalogue poetry is an important feature of the epic. In book two there is an elaborate catalogue of the Achaians at Troy and a smaller one of the Trojans. In book 18 there is also a catalogue of the daughters of Nereus who are mourning the death of Patroklos (39-49). What comment do the similes in 156-163 and 259-265) make on the character of the Myrmidons? What was their attitude with regard to Achilleus's withdrawal from the war (200-209)? What prayer does Achilleus make to Zeus (241-248)? What literary device is evident in 249-252? Fate in the Iliad is not a force which predetermines all human actions. Fate primarily refers to ends, like the end of a man's life or of a city such as Troy. These ends are governed by fate and cannot be avoided. The relationship of the gods to fate is an issue in the conversation between Zeus and Hera. What action does Zeus consider in 435-438? What warning does Hera give to Zeus (440-449)? Is fate the same as the will of the gods? What control do the gods have over fate? What does Zeus's sorrow for Sarpedon's death add to the account of his son's death (459-461)? What is Patroklos's first concern after killing Sarpedon (558-561)? What is the effect of the extended simile describing the battle over Sarpedon's armor (641-643)? What request does Zeus make of Apollo (667-675)? In what sense is Patroklos responsible for his own death (684-691;705;786-787)? What warning does Apollo give to Patroklos (707-709)? What aid does Apollo give to Hektor (715-725)? How is the simile in 752-753 an example of foreshadowing? How is Patroklos's death accomplished (791-821)? Why does Homer have Patroklos killed in this manner? What is the significance of Achilleus's helmet which is struck off Patroklos's head and is picked up and worn by Hektor (796-800)? What prediction does the dying Patroklos make to Hektor (844-854)? What is Hektor's reaction to this prophecy (859861)? Book 18 How does Achilleus react to the news of Patroklos's death (22-34)? What figure of speech is employed in 22? What ironical fact does Thetis point out to Achilleus (72-77)? Explain the irony of her statement. What is Achilleus determined to do as a result of Patroklos's death (90-93)? What does this action entail for Achilleus (95-96)? How does Achilleus view his anger which had led him to withdraw from the war (98-126)? What must Thetis do before Achilleus can return to battle (130-137)? What message does Hera send to Achilleus (197-201)? How does Achilleus drive back the Trojans (203-231)? What does Achilleus's rout of the Trojans enable the Achaians to do (231-238)? What help does Hera provide (239242)? Summarize briefly Poulydamas's speech to the Trojans (254-283). What is Hektor's reaction to this advice (285-309)? Is Hektor correct when he says that Zeus's intention in allowing him to drive the Achaians back to their ships was to give him glory (293-295; see 1.407-410)? Explain your answer. What comment does Homer make on the Trojan reaction to the speeches of Poulydamas and Hektor (312313)? What promise does Achilleus make to the body of Patroklos (333-342)? Explain Zeus's sarcasm to Hera in 357-359. How does Hera reply (361-367)? What obligation does Hephaistos owe to Thetis (394-409)? What request does Thetis make of Hephaistos (457-461)? How does Hephaistos react to this request (463-467)? What connections with the story of the Iliad do the pictures engraved on the shield suggest to you?

Imagery When a series of related images appears in a literary work, the reader should be alert to the possibility that the author is expressing something important about his story and/or characters through the pattern of his imagery.14 The Iliad as a whole and, in particular, Book 22 give evidence of patterns of imagery which add significance to the narrative. 14Imagery is the employment of images (word pictures) in a given passage of a literary work, a whole work, or a group of works. As Cedric Whitman in his book, Homer and the Heroic Tradition (New York, 1965, 128-147), has shown, there is a network of fire imagery, which extends throughout the Iliad and is connected with heroism, especially that of Achilleus. The fire imagery of book 22 is a continuation of the image which accompanies Achilleus's appearance in book 18 at the ditch to frighten the Trojans with his war cry and is designed to strengthen the impression of Achilleus's destructive power. There Athene causes a flame to issue forth from a cloud around Achilleus's head. This flame is in turn compared to a flare and signal fires originating from a besieged city (207-213). The image of the besieged city is a foreshadowing of what the city of Troy will soon experience when Achilleus kills its champion Hektor. Also, the armor which is made for Achilleus later in book 18 is created by Hephaistos, the god of fire, and on the shield are depicted images associated with fire: sun, moon, and stars. In book 22 the fiery brightness of Achilleus's armor is compared to the destructive star Orion's Dog (Sirius), which rises in late summer when, as the ancients believed, oppressive heat caused disease (26-31) and later Achilleus's spear is likened to the evening star Hesper, which seems to gleam especially brightly because of the darkening sky (317-318). To learn more about the sounds of war and Ares, god of war, see the Ares Knowledge Builder. In book 22 there are many other related images which contribute important significance to the narrative. Take careful note of this imagery and its meaning as you read this book. Tragedy The word 'tragedy' primarily used of a dramatic work, that is, a play in which a central character called a tragic protagonist or hero suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and therefore meaningless, but is significant in that the misfortune is logically connected with the hero's actions. 'Tragedy' and its adjective 'tragic', however, can be used of any literary work containing a protagonist whose actions lead to disaster for himself and others (e.g., the Iliad). In tragic literature, the actions of the protagonist, no matter how well-intentioned, lead to disaster. In the Iliad, a sense of the futility of human action is conveyed by the use of dramatic irony, especially when Homer depicts his characters unknowingly doing things which lead them to their own doom and contrasts their ignorance with the gods' knowledge of their fate. In reading the Iliad note carefully how the actions of Achilleus and Hektor contribute to their own misfortunes and exactly when they become aware of the consequence of their actions.15 15More will be said on the nature of tragedy in the introduction to Greek Tragedy. Book 22

What does Apollo point out to Achilleus about his pursuit of the god (7-13)? What is Achilleus's reply (15-20)? What does the Orion's Dog simile emphasize about Achilleus (26-31)? Why does Priam urge Hektor not to fight Achilleus (38-76)? What is Hekabe's reason for making the same request (82-89)? What are Hektor's feelings about fighting Achilleus (99-110)? What does Hektor think about the possibility of making peace with Achilleus (111-130)? What is Hektor's reaction to Achilleus's approach (136-137)? Note carefully the images applied to Achilleus and Hektor in 139-142, 189-192, 262-264, and 308-310. How are these images related and what comment do they make upon these two heroes and the situation in which they find themselves? Explain what the images of the race and dream contribute to the narrative (159-164;199-201). Why does Homer interrupt his account of the chase to describe the two springs(147-156)? What is the meaning of "Father" Zeus's balancing of the golden scales (209-213)? How does Athene help Achilleus (224-246;276277;293-303)? What request does Hektor twice make of Achilleus (254-259;338-343)? How does Achilleus answer him on both occasions (261-272; 345-354)? What does the dying Hektor predict to Achilleus (356-360)? What is Achilleus's reaction to this prediction (365-366)? How do the Achaians and Achilleus treat Hektor's body (367-371;396-404)? What comment does the simile in 410-411 make on Hektor's death? What does Priam decide he must do (418-422)? What did Hektor mean to Hekabe and the other Trojans (431-436)? Why does Homer take time to describe Andromache's headdress when she faints at her discovery of Hektor's death (466-472)? What effect will Hektor's death have on Astyanax (489-514)? Book 24 Describe Achilleus's psychological state in the beginning of the book (1-22). Why do Hera and Athene ("the girl of the grey eyes") hate Priam and his people (25-30)? How is Achilleus's treatment of Hektor's corpse viewed by the gods in general (23-24)? by Apollo (33-54)? by Hera (56-63)? What role does Iris play in 77-88 and in 159-187 (as in 18.166-167)? What request does Zeus make of Thetis (104-119)? How has Achilleus been living since Patroklos's death (128-131)? What is Achilleus's reaction to Zeus's message (139-140)? What message does Zeus give to Iris to deliver to Priam (144-152)? What prediction does Zeus make about Achilleus's reaction to Priam's supplication (158)? In what condition does Iris find Priam (162165)? What does Hekabe think of Priam's intention to go to Achilleus (201-216)? How does Priam answer Hekabe's objections (218-227)? How does Priam feel about his surviving sons (239-264)? What sign does Priam ask of Zeus (308-313)? How does Zeus answer his prayer (314-321)? What task does Zeus assign to Hermes (334-338)? Who does Hermes (Argeiphontes) pretend to be (390-400)? Where and in what condition is Hektor's body (411-423)? What is the significance of the fact that Achilleus has resumed eating and drinking (475-476)? What does Priam do first when he enters Achilleus's dwelling (478-480)? What ritual act is Priam performing with these gestures? What is the irony of his kissing Achilleus's hands (478-480)? What arguments does Priam use to persuade Achilleus to return the body (486-506)? How does Achilleus react to Priam's acts and words (507-524)? According to Achilleus, what is the basic difference between divine and human life (525-526)? What is the moral of Achilleus's story of the two urns (527-533)? How does the experience of Peleus illustrate this moral (534-541)? What is Achilleus's reaction to Priam's impatience (560-570)? In your opinion, why does Achilleus give Hektor's body back to Priam? Is it only because Zeus so ordered? Explain your answer. Why does Achilleus tell Priam the story of Niobe (601-620)? What

connections can you find between the experiences of Niobe and Priam? How do Achilleus and Priam feel about each other (629-632)? What additional favor does Achilleus grant Priam (656-658)? Why does Hermes urge Priam to leave Achilleus's dwelling (683-688)? What future does Andromache foresee for herself and her son (725-739)? What view of Hektor does Helen present (762-775)? Why does the poem end with the burial of Hektor? Do you find this an appropriate ending to the poem? Explain your answer.

Iliad From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article is about the epic poem by Homer. For other uses, see Iliad (disambiguation). Trojan War Achilles tending the wounded Patroclus (Attic red-figure kylix, ca. 500 BC) The war Setting: Troy (modern Hisarlik, Turkey) Period: Bronze Age Traditional dating: ca. 11941184 BC Outcome: Greek victory, destruction of Troy See also: Historicity of the Iliad Literary sources Iliad Epic Cycle Aeneid, Book 2 Iphigenia in Aulis Philoctetes Ajax The Trojan Women Posthomerica See also: Trojan War in popular culture Episodes Judgement of Paris Seduction of Helen Trojan Horse Sack of Troy The Returns Wanderings of Odysseus Aeneas and the Founding of Rome 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 and the Amazons Sarpedon See also: Trojan Battle Order Related topics Homeric question Archaeology of Troy Mycenae Bronze Age warfare This box: view talk edit The Iliad (sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium) is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, 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' looming death and the sack of Troy, prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, so that when it reaches an end, the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War. Along with the Odyssey, also attributed to Homer, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and its written version is usually dated to around the eighth century BC.[1] The Iliad contains 15,693 lines, and is written in Homeric Greek, a literary amalgam of Ionic Greek and other dialects. Contents [hide]

1 Synopsis 2 The major characters 2.1 Achaeans 2.1.1 Achilles and Patroclus 2.2 Trojans 2.3 Gods 3 Themes 3.1 Nostos 3.2 Kleos 3.3 Tim 3.4 Wrath 3.5 Fate 4 Date and textual history 4.1 The 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 Notes 10 References 11 Further reading 12 External links [edit]Synopsis Note: 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 between the Trojans and the besieging Greeks. Chryses, a Trojan priest of Apollo, offers the Greeks wealth for the return of his daughter Chryseis, a captive of Agamemnon, the Greek leader. Although most of the Greek army is in favour of the offer, Agamemnon refuses. Chryses prays for Apollo's help, and Apollo causes a plague throughout the Greek army. After nine days of plague, Achilles, the leader of the Myrmidon contingent, calls an assembly to solve the plague problem. Under pressure, Agamemnon agrees to return Chryseis to her father, but also decides to take Achilles's captive, Briseis, as compensation. Angered, Achilles declares that he and his men will no longer fight for Agamemnon, but will go home. Odysseus takes a ship and brings Chryseis to her father, whereupon Apollo ends the plague.

The first verses of the Iliad In the meantime, Agamemnon's messengers take Briseis away, and Achilles asks his mother, Thetis, to ask Zeus that the Greeks be brought to the breaking point by the Trojans, so Agamemnon will realise how much the Greeks need Achilles. Thetis does so, Zeus agrees, (2) and sends a dream to Agamemnon, urging him to attack the city. Agamemnon heeds the dream but decides to first test the morale of the Greek army 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 at 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 similar list to that for the Greeks, the poet describes the Trojans and their allies. (3) The armies approach each other on the plain, 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 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 rescues him and leads him to bed with Helen before Menelaus could kill him. (4) 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 Greeks, and battle is joined. (5) In the fighting, Diomedes kills many Trojans and defeats Aeneas, whom again 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. (6) Hector rallies the Trojans and stops a rout; the Greek Diomedes and the Trojan Glaukos find common ground and exchange unequal gifts. 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. (7) Hector duels with Ajax, but nightfall interrupts the fight and both sides retire. The 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 without returning Helen, and the offer is refused. A day's truce is agreed for burning the dead, during which the Greeks also build their wall and trench. (8) The next morning, Zeus prohibits the gods from interfering, and fighting begins anew. The Trojans prevail and force the Greeks back to their wall while Hera and Athena are forbidden from helping. 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 VIII, lines 24553, Greek manuscript, late 5th, early 6th centuries AD. (9) Meanwhile, the Greeks 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 would 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 reach his ships and threaten them with fire. The embassy returns empty-handed. (10) Later that night, Odysseus and Diomedes venture out to the Trojan lines, killing the Trojan Dolon and wreaking havoc in the camps of some Thracian allies of Troy. (11) 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 Greek casualties, and while there Patroclus is moved to pity by a speech of Nestor. (12) The Trojans assault the Greek wall on foot. Hector, ignoring an omen, leads the terrible fighting. The Greeks are overwhelmed in rout, the wall's gate is broken, and 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 seduces Zeus and lures him to sleep, allowing Poseidon to help the Greeks, and the Trojans are driven back onto the plain. (15) Zeus awakes and is enraged by Poseidon's intervention. Against the mounting discontent of the Greek-supporting gods, Zeus sends Apollo to aid the Trojans, who once again breach the wall, and the battle reaches the ships.

(16) Patroclus can stand to watch no 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 to not pursue the Trojans, lest he take Achilles's glory. Patroclus leads the Myrmidons to battle and arrives as the Trojans set fire to the first ships. The Trojans are routed by the sudden onslaught. Patroclus, ignoring Achilles's 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. (17) Hector takes Achilles's armor from the fallen Patroclus, but fighting develops around Patroclus' body. (18) Achilles is mad with grief when he hears of Patroclus's 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. Made brilliant by Athena, Achilles stands next to the Greek wall and roars in rage. The Trojans are dismayed by his appearance and the Greeks manage to bear Patroclus' body away. Again Polydamas urges Hector to withdraw into the city, again Hector refuses, and the Trojans camp in the plain at nightfall. Patroclus is mourned, and meanwhile, at Thetis' request, Hephaistos fashions a new set of armor for Achilles, among which is a magnificently wrought shield. (19) In the morning, Agamemnon gives Achilles all the promised gifts, including Briseis, but he is indifferent to them. Achilles fasts while the Greeks take their meal, and straps on his new armor, and heaves his great spear. His horse Xanthos prophesies to Achilles his death. Achilles drives his chariot into battle. (20) Zeus lifts the ban on the gods' interference, and the gods freely intervene on both sides. The onslaught of Achilles, burning with rage and grief, is terrible, and he slays many. (21) Driving the Trojans before him, Achilles cuts off half in the river Skamandros and proceeds to slaughter them and fills the river with the dead. The river, angry at the killing, confronts Achilles, but is beaten back by Hephaistos' 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. (22) When Apollo reveals himself to Achilles, the Trojans had retreated into the city, all except for Hector, who, having twice ignored the counsels of Polydamas, feels the shame of rout and resolves to face Achilles, in spite of the pleas of Priam and Hecuba, his parents. When Achilles approaches, Hector's will fails him, and he is chased around the city by Achilles. Finally, Athena tricks him to stop running, and he turns to face his opponent. After a brief duel, Achilles stabs Hector through the neck. Before dying, Hector reminds Achilles that he is fated to die in the war as well. Achilles takes Hector's body and dishonours it. (23) The ghost of Patroclus comes to Achilles in a dream and urges the burial of his body. The Greeks hold a day of funeral games, and 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 takes a wagon out of Troy, across the plains, and enters the Greek camp unnoticed. He grasps Achilles by the knees and begs to have 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. [edit]The major characters Main article: List of characters in the Iliad See also: Category: Deities in the Iliad 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. [edit]Achaeans The Achaeans () aka the Hellenes (Greeks), Danaans (), and Argives (). Agamemnon King of Mycenae, leader of the Greeks. Achilles Leader of the Myrmidons, half-divine war hero. Odysseus King of Ithaca, the wiliest Greek commander and hero of the Odyssey.

Ajax the Greater son of Telamon, with Diomedes, he is second to Achilles in martial prowess. Menelaus King of Sparta, husband of Helen and brother of Agamemnon. Diomedes son of Tydeus, King of Argos. Ajax the Lesser son of Oileus, often partner of Ajax the Greater. Patroclus Achilles closest companion. Nestor King of Pylos, and trusted advisor to Agamemnon. [edit]Achilles and Patroclus Main article: Achilles and Patroclus

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. Classical and Hellenistic Athenian scholars perceived it as pederastic,[2] while others perceived it as a platonic warrior-bond.[3] [edit]Trojans The Trojan men Hector son of King Priam and the foremost Trojan warrior. Aeneas son of Anchises and Aphrodite. Deiphobus brother of Hector and Paris. Paris Helens lover-abductor. Priam the aged King of Troy. Polydamas a prudent commander whose advice is ignored; he is Hectors foil. Agenor 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). Euphorbus first Trojan warrior to wound Patroclus. Dolon a spy upon the Greek camp (Book X). Antenor King Priams advisor, who argues for returning Helen to end the war. Polydorus son of Priam and Laothoe. Pandarus famous archer and son of Lycaon. The Trojan women Hecuba (, Hekabe) Priams wife, mother of Hector, Cassandra, Paris, and others. Helen () Menelauss wife; espoused first to Paris, then to Deiphobus; her abduction by Paris precipitated the war. Andromache Hectors wife, mother of Astyanax. Cassandra Priams daughter; courted by Apollo, who bestows the gift of prophecy to her; upon being rejected by her, he curses her, and her warnings of Trojan doom go unheeded. Briseis a Trojan woman captured by the Greeks; she was Achilles' prize of the Trojan war. [edit]Gods In the literary Trojan War of the Iliad, the Olympic gods, goddesses, and demigods fight and play great roles in human warfare. Unlike practical Greek religious observance, Homers portrayals of them suited his narrative purpose, being very different from the polytheistic ideals Greek society used. To wit, the Classical-era historian Herodotus says that Homer, and his contemporary, the poet Hesiod, were the first artists to name and describe their appearance and characters.[4] 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 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 faithsthen allowed Greek culture the intellectual breadth and freedom to conjure gods fitting any religious function they required as a people.[5][6] In The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, psychologist Julian Jaynes uses the Iliad as a major supporting 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, essentially lacking in what we 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.[7] The major deities: Zeus (Neutral) Hera (Achaeans) Artemis (Trojans) Apollo (Trojans) Hades (Neutral) Aphrodite (Trojans) Ares (Trojans) Athena (Achaeans) Hermes (Neutral) Poseidon (Achaeans) Hephaestus (Neutral) The minor deities: Eris (Trojans) Iris (Achaeans) Thetis (Achaeans) Leto (Trojans) Proteus (Achaeans) Scamander (Trojans) Phobos (Trojans) Deimos (Trojans) [edit]Themes [edit]Nostos Nostos (, "homecoming") occurs seven times in the poem (2.155, 2.251, 9.413, 9.434, 9.622, 10.509, 16.82). Thematically, the concept of homecoming is much explored in Ancient Greek literature, especially in the post-war homeward fortunes experienced by the Atreidae (Agamemnon and Menelaus), and Odysseus (see the Odyssey). Thus, nostos is impossible without sacking TroyKing Agamemnons motive for winning, at any cost. [edit]Kleos Kleos (, "glory, fame") is the concept of glory earned in heroic battle.[8] For most of the Greek invaders of Troy, notably Odysseus, kleos is earned in a victorious nostos (homecoming), yet not for Achilles, he must choose one reward, either nostos or kleos.[9] In Book IX (IX.41016), he poignantly

tells Agamemnons envoysOdysseus, Phoenix, Ajaxbegging his reinstatement to battle about having to choose between two fates ( , 9.411).*10+ The passage reads (the translation is Lattimore's): (410) . , , , , (415) , .*11+ For my mother 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.[12] In forgoing his nostos, he will earn the greater reward of kleos aphthiton ( , "fame imperishable").[10] In the poem, aphthiton (, "imperishable") occurs five times (II.46, V.724, XIII.22, XIV.238, XVIII.370), each occurrence denotes an object (i.e. Agamemnons sceptre, the wheel of Hebe's chariot, the house of Poseidon, the throne of Zeus, the house of Hephaistos). Translator Lattimore renders kleos aphthiton as forever immortal and as forever imperishableconnoting Achilless mortality by underscoring his greater reward in returning to battle Troy. On Achilles' shield, crafted by Hephaistos and gifted 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. [edit]Tim Akin to kleos is tim (, "respect, honour"), the concept denoting the respectability an honourable man accrues with accomplishment (cultural, political, martial), per his station in life. In Book I, the Greek troubles begin with King Agamemnons dishonourable, unkingly behaviourfirst, by threatening the priest Chryses (1.11), then, by aggravating them in disrespecting Achilles, by confiscating Briseis from him (1.171). The warriors consequent rancour against the dishonourable king ruins the Greek military cause. [edit]Wrath

The Wrath of Achilles (1819), by Michel Drolling. The poems initial word, (mnin, accusative of , mnis, "wrath, rage, fury"), establishes the Iliad's principal theme: The "Wrath of Achilles."*13+ His personal rage and wounded soldiers vanity propel the story: the Greeks 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 Calchas, the Seer. King Agamemnon dishonours Chryses, the Trojan Apollonian priest, by refusing with a threat the restitution of his daughter, Chryseisdespite the proffered ransom of "gifts beyond count".[14] The insulted priest prays his gods help, and a nine-day rain of divine plague arrows falls upon the Greeks. Moreover, in that meeting, Achilles accuses Agamemnon of being greediest for gain of all men.*15+ 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.[16] After that, only Athena stays Achilless wrath. He vows to never again obey orders from Agamemnon. Furious, Achilles cries to his mother, Thetis, who persuades Zeuss divine interventionfavouring the Trojansuntil Achilless rights are restored. Meanwhile, Hector leads the Trojans to almost pushing the Greeks back to the sea (Book XII). Later, Agamemnon contemplates defeat and retreat to Greece (Book XIV). Again, the Wrath of Achilles turns the wars 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.[17] Accepting prospective 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.

Achilles Slays Hector, by Peter Paul Rubens (163035). [edit]Fate Fate (, kr, "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 Seers such as Calchas. Men and their gods continually speak of heroic acceptance and cowardly avoidance of ones slated fate.*18+ Fate does not determine every action, incident, and occurrence, but it does determine the outcome of lifebefore killing him, Hector calls Patroclus a fool for cowardly avoidance of his fate, by attempting his defeat; Patroclus retorts: [19] 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.*20+ Here, Patroclus alludes to fated death by Hectors hand, and Hectors fated death by Achilless hand. Despite free will, 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.*21+ 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.[22]

In deciding between losing a son or abiding fate, Zeus, the King of the Gods, allows it. This motif recurs when he considers sparing Hector, whom he loves and respects. Again, Athena 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.[23] Again, Zeus appears capable of altering fate, but does not, deciding instead to abide set outcomes; yet, contrariwise, 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. . . .[24] 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 deadyet, they share dominion of the Earth. Despite the earthly powers of the Olympic gods, only the Three Fates set the destiny of Man. [edit]Date and textual history Further information: Homeric question and Historicity of the Iliad 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 placed Homer at approximately 400 years before his own time, circa 850 BC. The historical backdrop of the poem is the time of the 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" (genitive "Iliados") is elliptic for "he poiesis Ilias", meaning "the Trojan poem". , "of Troy", is the specifically feminine adjective form from , "Troy"; the masculine adjective form would be or .*25+ It is used by Herodotus (Hist. 2.116). Venetus A, copied in the 10th century AD, is the oldest fully extant manuscript of the Iliad.[26] The editio princeps dates to 1488, printed by Demetrius Chalcondyles in Florence. [edit]The Iliad 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 Athenas birthday.*27+ Originally, Classical scholars treated the Iliad and the Odyssey as written poetry, and Homer as a writer, yet, by the 1920s, Milman Parry (19021935) 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.[28] In Yugoslavia, Parry and his assistant, Albert Lord (19121991), studied the oralformulaic composition of Serbian oral poetry, yielding the Parry/Lord thesis that established oral tradition studies, later developed by Eric Havelock, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, et al. 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.[29][30] Likewise, in The Arming Motif, Prof. James Armstrong reports that the poems formulae yield richer meaning because the "arming motif" diction describing Achilles, Agamemnon, Paris, and Patroclusserves to "heighten the importance of ... an impressive moment", thus, "[reiteration] creates an atmosphere of smoothness", wherein, Homer distinguishes Patroclus from Achilles, and foreshadows the former's death with positive and negative turns of phrase.[31][32] In the Iliad, occasional syntactic inconsistency may be an oral tradition effectfor 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 (ca. 1150800 BC) mythologies, parallelling the hereditary basileis nobles (lower social rank rulers) with minor deities, such as Scamander, et al.[33] [edit]Warfare in the Iliad [edit]Depiction of infantry combat Despite Mycenae and Troy being maritime powers, the Iliad features no sea battles.[34] So, the Trojan shipwright (of the ship that transported Helen to Troy), Phereclus, fights afoot, as an infantryman.[35] The battle dress and armour of hero and soldier are well-described. They enter battle in chariots, launching javelins into the enemy formations, then dismountfor 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.*36+ Ajax the Greater, son of Telamon, sports a large, rectangular shield (, 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 would peer out quickly, shoot off an arrow, hit someone in the crowd, dropping that soldier right where he stood, ending his lifethen hed duck back, crouching down by Ajax, like a child beside its mother. Ajax would then conceal him with his shining shield. (Iliad 8.26772, Ian Johnston, translator) Ajaxs 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, thats 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 16.2137, Ian Johnston, translator) In describing infantry combat, Homer names the phalanx formation,[37] but most scholars do not believe the historical Trojan War was so fought.[38] 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, dont any of you charge ahead of others, trusting in your strength and horsemanship. And dont lag behind. That will hurt our charge. Any man whose chariot confronts an enemys should thrust with his spear at him from there. Thats the most effective tactic, the way men wiped out city strongholds long ago their chests full of that style and spirit. (Iliad 4.30109, 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. [edit]Influence on classical Greek warfare While the Homeric poems (the 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 and Odyssey by heart."[39] 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 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.[40] Here is an excellent 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 shortlived, beaten down beneath the spear of highhearted 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.[41] 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 ones position in formation. This replaces the singular heroic competition found in the Iliad.[42]

There is no better example of this than 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 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.[43] 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.[44] 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 Greek 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 Greeks 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.[45] Ultimately, while Homeric (or epic) fighting is certainly not completely replicated in later Greek warfare, many of its ideals, tactics, and instruction are. Note: 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. Hans van Wees argues that the period that the descriptions of warfare relate can be pinned down fairly specificallyto the first half of the 7th century BC.[46] [edit]Influence on the arts and literature The 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 look at Homer as a liar 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 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. 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. William Shakespeare 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. Robert Browning'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. [edit]20th century Simone Weil wrote the essay The Iliad or the Poem of Force in 1939 shortly after the commencement of World War II. It has been claimed that 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.[47] 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's Washington 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. Christa Wolf's 1983 novel Cassandra 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. [edit]Contemporary popular culture An epic science fiction adaptation/tribute by acclaimed author Dan Simmons titled Ilium was released in 2003. The novel received a Locus Award for best science fiction novel of 2003. Yokanaan Kearns wrote a stage version of The Iliad titled "Dis/Troy." The one-hour adaptation aimed at adolescents, in which four actors play all the major characters, was workshopped and read to the public at the Kennedy Center 2002 New Visions/New Voices Festival, premiered in 2003 at Honolulu Theatre for Youth, and published by Playscripts Inc. A loose film adaptation of the Iliad, Troy, was released in 2004. Though the film received mixed reviews, it was a commercial success, particularly in international sales. It grossed $133 million in the United States and $497 million worldwide, placing it in the 88th top-grossing movies of all time.[48] An excerpt from the Iliad is featured in volume one of the graphic novel anthology The Graphic Canon, with artwork and adaptation executed by Alice Duke. The anthology is edited by Russ Kick and published by Seven Stories Press. Age of Bronze is an American comics series by writer/artist Eric Shanower retelling the legend of the Trojan War. It began in 1998 and is published by Image Comics.[49] [50][51] [edit]English translations

Wenceslas Hollars engraved title page of a 1660 edition of the Iliad, translated by John Ogilby. Further information: English translations of Homer George Chapman published his translation of the Iliad, in instalments, beginning in 1598, published in fourteeners, a long-line ballad metre that has room for all of Homers 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.*52+ It quickly established itself as a classic in English poetry. In the preface to his own translation, Pope praises the daring fiery spirit of Chapmans rendering, which is something like what one might imagine Homer, himself, would have writ before he arrived at years of discretion. John Keats praised Chapman in the sonnet On First Looking into Chapman's Homer (1816). John Ogilbys mid-seventeenth-century translation is among the early annotated editions; Alexander Popes 1715 translation, in heroic couplet, is The classic translation that was built on all the preceding versions,*53+ and, like Chapmans, it is a major poetic work in its own right. William Cowpers 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 (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: [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 or Odyssey in hexameters; the last in 1945. Perhaps the most fluent of them was by J. Henry Dart *1862+ in response to Arnold.*54+ In 1870, the American poet William Cullen Bryant published a blank verse version, that Van Wyck Brooks describes as simple, faithful. Moreover, since 1950, there have been several English translations. Richmond Lattimores version 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 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 and Stanley Lombardo are bolder in adding dramatic significance to Homers conventional and formulaic language.