The Iliad

Book I Book II Book III Book IV Book V Book VI Book VII
Book VIII Book IX Book X Book XI Book XII Book XIII Book XIV Book XV 
Book XVI Book XVII Book XVIII Book XIX Book XX Book XXI Book XXII

The Iliad is one of two major Ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still read by contemporary audiences. As with the Odyssey, the poem is divided into 24 books. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Mycenean Greek states (Achaeans), it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.

The earliest known depiction of the Trojan Horse, from the Mykonos vase, c. 670 BC. (c) Travelling Runes

Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles’ imminent death and the fall of Troy, although the narrative ends before these events take place. However, as these events are prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, when it reaches an end the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War.

A map of Homeric Greece. (c) PinPin

Below a synopsis of each book will be given:

Book I: Achilles Withdraws from the Fighting

Book II: The Achaean War Council & Catalogue of Ships

Book III: The Duel of Paris & Menelaus

Book IV: The Restart of War

Book V: The Wrath of Diomedes

Book VI: Hector Tries to Rally the Trojans

Book VII: Hector fights Ajax

Book VIII: The Trojans Gain the Upper Hand

Book IX: Achilles Refuses to Return to the Fighting

Book X: Diomedes Kills Rhesus

Book XI: Nestor Encourages Patroclus to Take the Place of Achilles

Book XII: The Trojans Attack the Greek Camp

Book XIII: Battle Rages in the Greek Camp

Book XIV: The Deception of Zeus

Book XV: Zeus Lays Down the Law

Book XVI: The Death of Patroclus

Book XVII: The Fight Over Patroclus’ Body

Book XVIII: The Shield of Achilles

Book XIX: Achilles Readies Himself for Battle

Book XX: Aeneas Fights Achilles

Book XXI: The Wrath of Achilles

Book XXII: The Death of Hector

Book XXIII: The Funeral Games of Patroclus

Book XXIV: Hector’s Body is Returned

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