OUTLINE OF THE ILIAD
1-7: Homer calls upon the goddess of poetry and inspiration (the MUSE)
to sing of Achilleus' anger.
8-52: Chryses, priest of Apollo , comes
to the Greek camp to ransom his daughter,
Chryseis , held captive by Agamemnon
. He is insulted and sent away, and Apollo sends a plague on the
53-305: Inspired by the goddess, Hera ,
Achilleus calls an assembly to deal with the plague, and the prophet, Kalchas , reveals that Apollo was
angered by Agamemnon's refusal to return the daughter of his
priest. Agamemnon reluctantly agrees to give her back, but
demands compensation. This provokes Achilleus' anger, and, after
they exchange threats and angry words, Agamemnon decides to take
Achilleus' "prize", the captive woman, Briseis
. The goddess, Athene
, prevents Achilleus from killing Agamemnon by promising that he will
one day be compensated with three times as many prizes.
Nestor 's efforts to make peace fail.
306-430: Agamemnon's men take Briseis from Achilleus, and Achilleus
prays to his divine mother, Thetis ,
for help. He says he will not fight, and he asks her to persuade Zeus to make the battle go badly for the
Greeks so they will see that they should not have dishonored him.
430-87: Odysseus leads a group of
Greeks to Chryse (the place!) to return Chryseis (the daughter!) to
Chryses (the priest!). Meanwhile, Achilleus isolates
himself from the other Greeks.
488-611: Thetis, begs Zeus to honor her son, Achilleus, by turning the
battle against the Greeks so they will see that they need him.
Afterwards, Zeus' wife, Hera , bickers
with him over his plan, and the lame god, Hephaistos , tries to make peace
Zeus begins to fulfill his promise to Thetis to bring honor to
Achilleus. First, he deceives Agamemnon
with a dream that promises victory. Agamemnon calls the Greek
leaders together to tell them his dream. He proposes to test the
soldiers by saying that they are going home. When he does this,
the soldiers run for the ships; only Odysseus is able to rally them and
shame them into staying. A common soldier, THERSITES, protests
and urges his fellow Greeks to go
home, but Odysseus beats him down and reminds the Greeks that they had
promised victory when they set out. The troops assemble and Homer
all of the contingents in "the CATALOG
OF THE SHIPS". The Trojans
to meet the Greeks, and Homer names their warriors and troops as well.
Paris challenges Menelaos to a duel; Helen is to be awarded to the winner.
Helen joins Priam on the walls of Troy
and names the Greek warriors for him. Then, Priam goes to the
battlefield to swear an oath with Agamemnon to respect
the results of the duel. Menelaos and Paris fight, but Aphrodite snatches Paris away,
deposits him in his bedroom, and brings Helen to him.
At a council of the gods on MOUNT OLYMPOS, Zeus considers bringing the
Trojan War to an end and sparing the city of Troy. Hera angrily objects, and Zeus sends Athene
to break the truce. Athene persuades PANDAROS, a Trojan, to shoot
an arrow at Menelaos. Menelaos is wounded, the truce is broken
and, as Agamemnon rallies the troops, fighting breaks out.
Diomedes ' exploits on the battlefield
dominate this section. After he wounds Aphrodite, Ares, the god
of war, intervenes to help the Trojans. The goddesses, Hera and
Athene, join in on the Greek side.
Diomedes and GLAUKOS , an ally of the
Trojans, meet, but do not fight because they discover they are
"GUEST-FRIENDS": their grandfathers had visited each other and
exchanged gifts. Hektor returns
to Troy to ask the Trojan women to make a sacrifice to Athene to win
her pity. He visits Helen and scolds his brother, Paris, for
abandoning the battlefield. In a moving scene, Hektor explains
duty to fight, and says an emotional good-bye to his wife, Andromache , and their baby,
ASTYANAX, before returning to battle.
Hektor proposes a duel with one of the Greeks. Aias is chosen by lot, but the duel ends in
a draw as night falls. Both sides agree to a truce to bury the
dead, and the Greeks fortify their camp.
The battle resumes. Zeus orders the
gods to stay out, and the Trojans gain the advantage. Hera and Athene
try to help the Greeks, but are stopped by Zeus who foretells Patroklos ' death and Achilleus'
return to the fighting. At nightfall,
Hektor persuades the Trojans to camp outside of the city in the
hope of decisively defeating the Greeks the next day.
The Greek leaders hold an assembly.
Agamemnon proposes to go home, but Diomedes
and Nestor dissuade him. The aged
king, Nestor, convinces him to return
Briseis to Achilleus and offer him gifts in reconciliation. Odysseus , Aias
and Phoinix , Achilleus' tutor, go to
Achilleus' tent and offer him many gifts from Agamemnon, if he will
return to battle. Achilleus rejects their appeals.
Diomedes and Odysseus volunteer to spy on the Trojan camp. They
meet DOLON, a Trojan spy, and kill him, after he gives them
information. They sneak into the Trojan camp, brutally murder
Rhesos and twelve of his warriors, allies of the Trojans, and lead off
their horses as spoils.
When battle resumes, several prominent Greek warriors are wounded and
must leave the fighting. Achilleus watches and sends Patroklos to find out who was
wounded. Nestor urges him to
persuade Achilleus to return to battle or at least let Patroklos and
his men fight for the Greeks.
Hektor and the Trojans storm the
fortifications surrounding the Greek camp. The sea-god, Poseidon , rallies the Greeks, and
Telamonian Aias and Aias Oileus defend the Greek
ships. The wounded Greek warriors go back to the fighting. Hera seduces her husband, Zeus , to distract him and allow Poseidon to
continue helping the Greeks. As the Greeks rally, Hektor is
wounded. Zeus wakes up and threatens the other gods, forcing them
to stop helping the Greeks. Then, Zeus outlines the future course
of the battle and sends Apollo to
revive Hektor. Hektor returns to the battle, drives the Greeks
back to their ships, and tries to set the ships on fire.
Following Nestor ’s advice, Patroklos persuades Achilleus to let
him wear his armor and lead their troops,
the Myrmidons, into battle. Achilleus warns him to return once he
has driven the Trojans from the ships. The Trojans are routed,
Patroklos kills one of their great allies, Sarpedon
, a mortal son of Zeus. Zeus is persuaded by Hera not to
intervene to save his son. Patroklos ignores Achilleus' warning
and is killed by Hektor with Apollo's help.
The two sides battle over Patroklos' corpse, after Hektor strips it of
Achilleus learns of Patroklos' death, and Thetis, his mother, consoles
him. He wants to join the battle, but Thetis reminds him that he
has no armor. She promises to get new armor from Hephaistos, the
of the gods. Achilleus' warcry drives the Trojans away, and the
Greeks finally recover Patroklos' body. In the Trojan camp,
Hektor rejects the advice of POULYDAMAS, a counsellor, that they
withdraw to Troy. In
the Greek camp,
Achilleus mourns over Patroklos. Thetis asks Hephaistos to forge
armor for Achilleus, and Homer describes the elaborate decoration of
Achilleus calls an assembly, puts aside his quarrel with Agamemnon, and
announces his return to battle. Agamemnon blames Zeus for their
quarrel, presents gifts to Achilleus, and returns Briseis to him.
for Patroklos, and Achilleus, who refuses to eat, is fed by the
Before he enters the battle, Achilleus’ horses prophesy his death.
Zeus urges the gods to join in the day's fighting to prevent Achilleus
from storming Troy "against destiny". Achilleus leads the Greeks,
and fights the Trojan hero, Aineias, son of Aphrodite, who is saved by
Achilleus brutally slaughters many Trojans in the Xanthos river, and
the rivers of Troy attempt to drown him. The gods rescue him, and
battle one another, while Zeus looks on. The Trojans are routed
flee to the city, seeking protection within its walls.
Priam and Hekabe, beg their son, Hektor, to return to the city, but he
prepares to fight Achilleus. Hektor panics and Achilleus chases
him around the walls of Troy. He makes a stand when Athene tricks
into thinking that one of his brothers, DEIPHOBOS, is with him.
kills Hektor and abuses his body by hitching it to his chariot and
it around the walls of Troy. Hektor's parents and wife look on
mourn his death and the inevitable destruction of Troy.
Patroklos appears to Achilleus in a dream and urges him to hold a
funeral for him so that his shade can enter Hades, the realm of the
Achilleus hosts splendid funeral games in Patroklos' honor and
prizes to the competitors in the different athletic events.
The gods are outraged that Achilleus continues to mistreat the body of
Hektor by dragging it around the Greek camp every day. They
that Priam must be allowed to ransom the body of his son. Thetis
Achilleus, and the gods inspire Priam to visit Achilleus' tent and beg
to accept a splendid ransom for the body. Priam and Achilleus
together, the body is returned to Troy, and the Trojans mourn Hektor's
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