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
Book XXIII Book XXIV
Achaean War Council & Catalogue of Ships
True to his word to Thetis, Zeus sent a deceitful dream to Agamemnon which would bring destruction to the Greeks. In the guise of Nestor, he told Agamemnon that Hera had persuaded him to bring victory to the Greeks and so he should prepare his troops for battle and they would defeat the Trojans.
When he awoke at dawn, Agamemnon firstly called a council of his senior advisors, told them about his dream and said he would test the morale of the Greek troops by ordering them to sail home; his advisors must dissuade them. When all the Greek troops had gathered like swarms of bees, Agamemnon, holding the spectre made by Hephaestus and handed down to him via his father from Zeus, addressed them but his test almost backfired: he told them Zeus had ordered them to return home in disgrace with the war not won; the Greeks outnumbered the Trojans but the latter had held out for nine years because of the help from numerous allies so they should return home.
The Greeks took Agamemnon at his word and ran to their ships. They were only stopped by Hera sending Athena to Odysseus who told him to stop the Greeks leaving. Holding Agamemnon’s spectre of authority, he persuaded individual leaders and groups of men to return to the assembly. One soldier, Thersites, who was universally detested by the Greek leaders, shouted abuse at Agamemnon: he kept the best of the plunder and women that the soldiers won; the other soldiers were cowards, more like women than men; they should return home and leave Agamemnon behind; he had insulted Achilles, a far better man than him and was lucky he was still alive.
Odysseus hit his back and shoulders with the spectre, saying he could expect far worse if he ever uttered such abuse again against the leaders. Odysseus, having been praised by the other troops for the way he had dealt with Thersites, addressed the assembly: he understood their desire to return home to their wives after nine years but it would be humiliating to return home without victory; he reminded them of the omen at Aulis interpreted by Calchas of a snake sent by Zeus which ate nine birds and was then turned into a stone, signifying they would fight at Troy for nine years and would have victory in the tenth year.
This morale boosting speech was followed by one from Nestor who reminded them of their oaths and plans and of the good omen of a flash of lightning on the right as they had set sail; he advised Agamemnon to lead the men into battle by tribe and clan so that they would support each other; he would then discover whether it was the gods’ will stopping him capturing Troy or his men’ cowardice. Agamemnon praised the advice he had been given and told the Greeks to prepare for battle.
Led by Agamemnon, sacrifices were made to the gods in the hope of victory and the Greek troops assembled for battle. Athena inspired them with bravery and the gleam of their armour flashed like a mighty fire as they gathered in huge numbers and with much loud noise like many flocks of birds, as many as the flowers and leaves and flies, their leaders moving amongst them to bring order and Agamemnon standing out like a bull amongst cattle.
Homer then listed a detailed catalogue (see below) of the various Greek contingents: their leaders, the countries and towns they had come from, the number of ships and men from each area. The ground groaned as these vast numbers marched towards Troy. Disguised as Polites, one of Priam’s sons who had been posted as a lookout, Iris was sent by Zeus to Hector to alert the Trojans to the imminent threat from the Greeks. Hector dismissed the Trojan assembly and led out their troops against the Greeks. Homer then listed a detailed catalogue (see below) of the Trojan contingents and their leaders.
|Line||Ethnic identity||No. of ships||Captains||Settlements|
|II.494||Boeotians||50 of 120 men each||(First led by Thersander, then by:) Peneleōs, Leïtus, Arcesilaus, Prothoënor and Clonius||Hyria, Aulis, Schoenus, Scolus, Eteonus, Thespeia, Graia, Mycalessus, Harma, Eilesium, Erythrae, Eleon, Hyle, Peteon, Ocalea, Medeon, Copae, Eutresis, Thisbe, Coronea, Haliartus, Plataea, Glisas, Thebes, Onchestus, Arne, Midea, Nisa, Anthedon|
|II.511||Minyans||30||Ascalaphus, Ialmenus||Aspledon, Orchomenus|
|II.517||Phocēans||40||Schedius, Epistrophus||Cyparissus, Pytho, Crisa, Daulis, Panopeus, Anemorea, Hyampolis, river Cephissus, Lilaea|
|II.527||Locrians||40||Ajax the Lesser||Kynos, Opoüs, Calliarus, Bessa, Scarphe, Augeae, Tarphe, Thronium|
|II.537||Abantes of Euboea||40||Elephenor||Chalcis, Eretria, Histiaea, Cerinthus, Dium, Carystus, Styra|
|II.546||Athenians||50||Led first by Menestheus (then by later by Acamas and Demophon, the sons of Theseus)||Athens|
|II.559||Argives||80||Diomedes with subordinates Sthenelus and Euryalus||Argos, Tiryns, Hermione, Asine, Troezen, Eiones, Epidaurus, Aegina, Mases|
|II.569||Mycenaeans||100||Agamemnon||Mycenae, Corinth, Cleonae, Orneae, Araethyrea, Sicyon, Hyperesia, Gonoessa, Pellene, Aegium, Helice|
|II.581||Lacedaemonians (or Laconians)||60||Menelaus||Pharis, Sparta, Messe, Bryseae, Augeae, Amyclae, Helos, Laas, Oetylus|
|II.592||No name given (Messenians)||90||Nestor||Pylos, Arēne, Thryon, Aipy, Cyparisseis, Amphigenea, Pteleum, Helos, Dorium|
|II.603||Arcadians||60||Agapenor||Cyllene, Pheneus, Orchomenus, Rhipae, Stratie, Enispe, Tegea, Mantinea, Stymphalos, Parrhasia|
|II.615||Epeans of Elis||40||Amphimachus, Thalpius, Diōres, Polyxenus||Buprasium and the lands enclosed by Hyrmine, Myrsinus, Olene, Alesium|
|II.624||Men of Dulichium||40||Meges||Dulichium, Echinean Islands|
|II.631||Cephallenians||12||Odysseus||Ithaca, Neritum, Crocylea, Aegilips, Same, Zacynthus|
|II.638||Aetolians||40||Thoas||Pleuron, Olenus, Pylene, Chalcis, Calydon|
|II.645||Cretans||80||Idomeneus, Meriones||Cnossus, Gortys, Lyctus, Miletus, Lycastus, Phaestus, Rhytium|
|II.653||Rhodians||9||Tlepolemus||Lindus, Ielysus, Cameirus|
|II.676||No name given.||30||Pheidippus, Antiphus||Nisyrus, Crapathus, Casus, Cos, Calydnian Islands|
|II.681||Pelasgians, Myrmidons, Hellenes, Achaeans||50||Achilles (later by Neoptolemus)||Pelasgic Argos, Alos, Alope, Trachis, Phthia|
|II.695||No name given.||40||Protesilaus, later by Podarces||Phylace, Pyrasus, Iton, Antrium, Pteleum|
|II.711||No name given.||11||Eumelus||Pherae, Boebe, Glaphyrae, Iolcus|
|II.716||No name given.||7, with 50 oarsmen each who were also archers||Philoctetes, later by Medon||Methone, Thaumacia, Meliboea, Olizon|
|II.729||No name given.||30||Podalirius, Machaon, two sons of Asclepius||Tricca, Ithome, Oechalia|
|II.734||No name given.||40||Eurypylus||Ormenius, Hypereia, Asterius, Titanus|
|II.738||(Lapiths)||40||Polypoetes, Leonteus||Argissa, Gyrtone, Orthe, Elone, Oloösson|
|II.748||Enienes, Peraebi||22||Guneus||Cyphus, Dodona, Gonnos, banks of the Titaresius|
|II.756||Magnetes||40||Prothoüs||About the Peneus and Mt. Pelion|
|II.815||Trojans||Hector||None stated (Troy)|
|II.819||Dardanians||Aeneas, Archelochus, Acamas||None stated.|
|II.824||Trojans of Mt. Ida||Pandarus||Zeleia|
|II.828||No name given.||Adrestus, Amphius||Adresteia, Apaesus, Pityeia, Mount Tereia|
|II.835||No name given.||Asius||Percote, Practius, Sestus, Abydus, Arisbe|
|II.840||Pelasgians, who were spearmen||Hippothous, Pylaeus||Larissa|
|II.844||Thracians bounded by the Hellespont||Acamas, Peiroüs||None stated.|
|II.846||Ciconians, who were spearmen||Euphemus||None stated.|
|II.848||Paeonians, archers, “from far away”||Pyraechmes (Asteropaios is also recognized as a leader in book XXI)||Amydon, river Axius|
|II.851||Paphlagonians||Pylaemenes of the Eneti||Cytorus, Sesamus, along the river Parthenius, Cromna, Aegialus, Erythini|
|II.856||Halizones “from far away”||Odius, Epistrophus||Alybe|
|II.858||Mysians||Chromis, Ennomus||None stated.|
|II.862||Phrygians||Phorcys, Ascanius||“Far-off” Ascania|
|II.864||Maeonians||Mesthles, Antiphus||Under Mt. Tmolus|
|II.867||Carians||Nastes, Amphimachus||Miletus, Mt. Phthires, streams of the Maeander, crest of Mycale|
|II.875||Lycians “from far away”||Sarpedon, Glaucus||River Xanthus|