Homer, Iliad

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Book II


"Like the swarms of clustering bees that issue forever / in fresh bursts from the hollow in the stone, and hang like / bunched grapes as they hover beneat the flowers in spring time / fluttering in swarms together this way and that way, / so the many nations of men from the ships and the shelters / along the front of the deep sea beach marched in order / by companies to the assembly, and Rumour walked blazing among them, / Zeus' messenger, to hasten them along." (II.87-94) c.f. FQ
"As obliterating fire lights up a vast forest/ along the flares of a mountain, and the flare shows far off,/ So as they marched, from the magnificent bronze gleam went/ dazzling all about through the upper air to the heaven./ These, as the multitudinous nations of birds winged,/ of geese, and of cranes, and of swans long throated/ in the Asian meadow beside the Kaystrian waters/ this way and that way make their flights in the pride of their wings, then/ settle in clashing swarms and the whole meadow echoes with them,/ so of these multitudinous tribes from the ships and/ shelters poured to the plain of Skamandros, and the earth beneath their/ feet and under the feet of their horses thundered horribly." (II.455-466)

Therisites, good with words, excellent orator, but says wrong/foolish words (II.~230)

"So he spoke, and the Argives shouted aloud, as surf crashing / against a sheer ness, driven by the south wind descending, / some cliff out-jutting, left never alone by the waves from /mall the winds that blow, as they rise one place and another." (II.394-7)

Book III

weaving -- first appearance of Helen, she's "weaving a great web, / a red folding robe, and working into it the numerous struggles / of Trojans" (III.125-7)

perspective of the Achaians through Helen's eyes, as asked for by a Trojan (III.180ff)

Aphrodite tries to fool Helen (III.385ff); lays her hand on her robes; Helen goes to Paris, "shrouding herself about in the luminous spun robe" (III.419)

Book IV

women weaving -- Menelaus' wound is compared to cloth woven by women (IV. 141ff)

warriors fall like a tree (IV.482)

Book V

Aeneas injured (V.302)

Aphrodite injured; "the spear tore the skin driven clean on through the immortal / robe that the very Graces had woven for her carefully" (V.337-8)

Athena puts on her war tunic (V.735)

Book VI

ladies of Troy offer Athene a robe (VI.85ff, VI.270ff)

story of Bellerophontes

weaving, Helen directing it (VI.324)

Hektor foresees the fall of Troy, says goodbye to Andromache and his son

Book VII

Hektor and Ajax fight

"Night darkens now. It is a good thing to give way to the night-time." (VII.293)

"Green fear took hold of them." (VII.479)


new day; begins with Zeus describing his strength

"He came to Ida with all her springs, the mother of wild beasts, / to Gargaron, where was his holy ground and his smoking altar. / There the father of gods and of mortals halted his horses, / and slipped them from their harness, and drifted close mist about them, / and himself rejoicing in the pride of his strength sat down on the mountain / looking out over the city of Troy and the ships of the Achaians." (VIII.47-52)

Hera and Zeus bickering over who's side should win

Athena puts on the tunic of war (VIII.385ff), as in Book V

Book IX

opening lines; nature infiltrating the body

"the aged man began to weave his counsel" (IX.93)

Agamemnon admits he was wrong, offers treasure to Achilles; echoes Paris offering his goods but not Helen several books back

when the dispatched group comes upon Achilles, he's playing the lute

Phoinix recites the "old days" (IX.525ff)

Book X

night mission against the Trojans

Book XI through XVII

battle; ends with Patroklos, who has gone out in Achilles' armor, being killed by Hektor; Trojans strip the body of its armor, Achaeians fight over it


Antilochos comes to Achilles to tell him of Patroklos death; Achilles sees he is doomed to kill Hektor and then die; mourns that Trojans now have his special armor from his father

Thetis, Achilles' mother, promises to get him new armor from Hephaistos

Athene dresses Achilles to look terrible, with a flame coming out of his head (XVIII.196ff)

Hephaistos makes Achilles a wondrous new shield, with many scenes from the world and life; scenes that move, plowers that plow, etc. (XVIII.478ff)

Book XIX

materiality of Patroklos' body -- Achilles worries that worms might eat it

Agamemnon and Achilles fight about doing battle now; Achilles wants to go, Agamemnon urges him to wait until the men have eaten

Book XX

council of immortals; Zeus lifts the ban on gods intervening, they take sides

Aeneas and Achilles do battle until Poseidon tosses Aeneas

Hektor and Achilles meet

Book XXI

Achilles slaughters many Trojans in the river; Xanthos is angry, battles Achilles (XXI.214ff)

Hera saves Achilles from Xanthos by bringing Hephaistos to burn the river


Hektor and Achilles meet; Hektor is killed

ends with Andromache, Hektor's wife, mourning -- describing the hardshipt their son will go through without a father (XXII.460ff)


games; Achilles distributes prizes


Priam ransoms his son Hektor's body, with the help of Hermes and Zeus; Hektor is given a proper burning and burial