The Iliad

by Homer

The Iliad

The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set in the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of 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.

Source: Homer. (1899). The Iliad. Boston, MA; B.H. Stanton.

Introduction by Theodore Buckley
Pope's Introduction to the Iliad of Homer
Alexander Pope's introduction to the work.
Book 1: The Contention of Achilles and Agamemnon
The story of Achilles and Agamemnon is told. The Gods nearly come to blows as a result of mortal conflict.
Book 2: The Trial of the Army, and Catalogue of the Forces
Zeus, keeping his promise to the Trojans, sends a false dream to Agamemnon.
Book 3: The Duel of Menelaus and Paris
The Trojans and Achaeans come to an agreement in an attempt to establish peace. Paris and Menelaus face each other in battle, but outside forces intervene on the outcome.
Book 4: The Breach of the Truce, and the First Battle
The gods continue to argue amongst themselves while interfering with the lives of mortals.
Book 5: The Acts of Diomed
Athena's gift to Diomedes has dire consequences for Pandarus. Diomedes breaks his agreement with a goddess.
Book 6: The Episodes of Glaucus and Diomed, and of Hector and Andromache
The Achaeans once again have the upper hand. Hector and Paris prepare to re-enter the field of battle.
Book 7: The Single Combat of Hector and Ajax
Hector presents a challenge to the Achaean line. Ajax and Hector engage in battle until Zeus intervenes.
Book 8: The Second Battle, and the Distress of the Greeks
Zeus issues an order to the gods. The Trojans and Greeks continue to battle.
Book 9: The Embassy to Achilles
With certain defeat looming over the Greeks, Agamemnon presents an offer to Achilles.
Book 10: The Night-Adventure of Diomed and Ulysses
Both the Trojans and Greeks devise plans to spy on one another. However, only the Greeks are successful.
Book 11: The Third Battle, and the Acts of Agamemnon
Zeus fills the Achaeans with fear before sending an important message to Hector. Odysseus Diomedes inspire the Achaeans fight courageously.
Book 12: The Battle at the Grecian Wall
Hector charges the Greek ramparts, pushing the Achaeans back to their ships.
Book 13: The Fourth Battle Continued, in which Neptune Assists the Greeks; The Acts of Idomeneus
With Zeus absent from the field of battle, Poseidon gives some much needed assistance to the Greeks.
Book 14: Juno Deceives Jupiter by the Girdle of Venus
Poseidon continues to encourage Agamemnon and the Achaean army. Hera devises a plan to further assist the battered Achaeans.
Book 15: The Fifth Battle at the Ships; and the Acts of Ajax
Zeus wakes to view the aftermath of Hera and Poseidon's meddling. Led by Hector, the Trojans continue their advance.
Book 16: The Sixth Battle, the Acts and Death of Patroclus
Patroclus asks a favor of Achilles, who is still absent from the battle. Patroclus is slain, but not before telling Hector of his own dire fate.
Book 17: The Seventh Battle, For the Body of Patroclus—The Acts of Menelaus
The Trojans and Greeks fight over Patroclus' body.
Book 18: The Grief of Achilles, and New Armour made him by Vulcan
Achilles is told of Patroclus' death. Patroclus' body is prepared for burial, while Achilles plots his revenge against Hector.
Book 19: The Reconciliation of Achilles an Agamemnon
Achilles heads to battle, having received his new armor from Hephaestus.
Book 20: The Battle of the Gods, and the Acts of Achilles
News of Achilles entrance into the field of battle prompts Zeus to remove his injunction.
Book 21: The Battle in the River Scamander
Achilles takes no mercy on the Trojans, as he takes his vengeance for the slain patroclus.
Book 22: The Death of Hector
Achilles and Hector finally meet on the field of battle.
Book 23: Funeral Games in Honour of Patroclus
Patroclus appears to Achilles in a dream. Following the burial, a series of games is held in Patroclus' honor.
Book 24: The Redemption of the Body of Hector
With some assistance from the gods, Priam retrieves the body of Hector.
Concluding Note
Pope's concluding notes.
  • Year Published: 1899
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: Greece
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 6.4
  • Word Count: 179,103
  • Genre: Epic
  • Keywords: destiny, fate, glory, honor
  • ✎ Cite This
  • Share |