The Iliad (/ˈɪliəd/; Ancient Greek: Ἰλιάς Iliás, pronounced [iː.li.ás] in Classical Attic; sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium) is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (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; 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.
The Iliad is paired with something of a sequel, the Odyssey, also attributed to Homer. Along with the Odyssey, the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western literature, and its written version is usually dated to around the 8th century BC. In the modern vulgate (the standard accepted version), the Iliad contains 15,693 lines; it is written in Homeric Greek, a literary amalgam of Ionic Greek and other dialects. According to Michael N. Nagler, the Iliad is a more complicated epic poem than the Odyssey.
(1) After an invocation to the Muses, the story launches in medias res towards the end of the Trojan War between the Trojans and the besieging Greeks. Chryses, a Trojan priest of Apollo, offers the Greeks wealth for the return of his daughter Chryseis, held captive of Agamemnon, the Greek leader. Although most of the Greek army is in favour of the offer, Agamemnon refuses. Chryses prays for Apollo's help, and Apollo causes a plague to afflict the Greek army.
After nine days of plague, Achilles, the leader of the Myrmidon contingent, calls an assembly to deal with the problem. Under pressure, Agamemnon agrees to return Chryseis to her father, but decides to take Achilles' captive, Briseis, as compensation. Angered, Achilles declares that he and his men will no longer fight for Agamemnon and will go home. Odysseus takes a ship and returns Chryseis to her father, whereupon Apollo ends the plague.
In the meantime, Agamemnon's messengers take Briseis away. Achilles becomes very upset, sits by the seashore, and prays to his mother, Thetis. Achilles asks his mother to ask Zeus to bring the Greeks to the breaking point by the Trojans, so Agamemnon will realize how much the Greeks need Achilles. Thetis does so, and Zeus agrees.
(2) Zeus sends a dream to Agamemnon, urging him to attack Troy. Agamemnon heeds the dream but decides to first test the Greek army's morale, by telling them to go home. The plan backfires, and only the intervention of Odysseus, inspired by Athena, stops a rout.
Odysseus confronts and beats Thersites, a common soldier who voices discontent about fighting Agamemnon's war. After a meal, the Greeks deploy in companies upon the Trojan plain. The poet takes the opportunity to describe the provenance of each Greek contingent.
When news of the Greek deployment reaches King Priam, the Trojans too sortie upon the plain. In a list similar to that for the Greeks, the poet describes the Trojans and their allies.
(3) The armies approach each other, but before they meet, Paris offers to end the war by fighting a duel with Menelaus, urged by his brother and head of the Trojan army, Hector. While Helen tells Priam about the Greek commanders from the walls of Troy, both sides swear a truce and promise to abide by the outcome of the duel. Paris is beaten, but Aphrodite rescues him and leads him to bed with Helen before Menelaus can kill him.
(5) In the fighting, Diomedes kills many Trojans, including Pandaros, and defeats Aeneas, whom Aphrodite rescues, but Diomedes attacks and wounds the goddess. Apollo faces Diomedes and warns him against warring with gods. Many heroes and commanders join in, including Hector, and the gods supporting each side try to influence the battle. Emboldened by Athena, Diomedes wounds Ares and puts him out of action.
(6) Hector rallies the Trojans and prevents a rout; the Greek Diomedes and the Trojan Glaukos find common ground and exchange unequal gifts. Hector enters the city, urges prayers and sacrifices, incites Paris to battle, bids his wife Andromache and son Astyanax farewell on the city walls, and rejoins the battle.
(7) Hector duels with Ajax, but nightfall interrupts the fight, and both sides retire. The Greeks agree to burn their dead, and build a wall to protect their ships and camp, while the Trojans quarrel about returning Helen. Paris offers to return the treasure he took and give further wealth as compensation, but not Helen, and the offer is refused. A day's truce is agreed for burning the dead, during which the Greeks also build their wall and a trench.
(8) The next morning, Zeus prohibits the gods from interfering, and fighting begins anew. The Trojans prevail and force the Greeks back to their wall, while Hera and Athena are forbidden to help. Night falls before the Trojans can assail the Greek wall. They camp in the field to attack at first light, and their watchfires light the plain like stars.
(9) Meanwhile, the Greeks are desperate. Agamemnon admits his error, and sends an embassy composed of Odysseus, Ajax, Phoenix, and two heralds to offer Briseis and extensive gifts to Achilles, who has been camped next to his ships throughout, if only he will return to the fighting. Achilles and his companion Patroclus receive the embassy well, but Achilles angrily refuses Agamemnon's offer and declares that he would only return to battle if the Trojans reached his ships and threatened them with fire. The embassy returns empty-handed.
(11) In the morning, the fighting is fierce, and Agamemnon, Diomedes, and Odysseus are all wounded. Achilles sends Patroclus from his camp to inquire about the Greek casualties, and while there Patroclus is moved to pity by a speech of Nestor's.
(12) The Trojans attack the Greek wall on foot. Hector, ignoring an omen, leads the terrible fighting. The Greeks are overwhelmed and routed, the wall's gate is broken, and Hector charges in.
(15) Zeus awakes and is enraged by Poseidon's intervention. Against the mounting discontent of the Greek-supporting gods, Zeus sends Apollo to aid the Trojans, who once again breach the wall, and the battle reaches the ships.
(16) Patroclus cannot stand to watch any longer and begs Achilles to be allowed to defend the ships. Achilles relents and lends Patroclus his armor, but sends him off with a stern admonition not to pursue the Trojans, lest he take Achilles' glory. Patroclus leads the Myrmidons into battle and arrives as the Trojans set fire to the first ships. The Trojans are routed by the sudden onslaught, and Patroclus begins his assault by killing Zeus's son Sarpedon, a leading ally of the Trojans. Patroclus, ignoring Achilles' command, pursues and reaches the gates of Troy, where Apollo himself stops him. Patroclus is set upon by Apollo and Euphorbos, and is finally killed by Hector.
(17) Hector takes Achilles' armor from the fallen Patroclus, but fighting develops around Patroclus' body.
(18) Achilles is mad with grief when he hears of Patroclus' death and vows to take vengeance on Hector; his mother Thetis grieves, too, knowing that Achilles is fated to die young if he kills Hector. Achilles is urged to help retrieve Patroclus' body but has no armour. Bathed in a brilliant radiance by Athena, Achilles stands next to the Greek wall and roars in rage. The Trojans are dismayed by his appearance, and the Greeks manage to bear Patroclus' body away. Polydamas urges Hector again to withdraw into the city; again Hector refuses, and the Trojans camp on the plain at nightfall. Patroclus is mourned. Meanwhile, at Thetis' request, Hephaestus fashions a new set of armor for Achilles, including a magnificently wrought shield.
(19) In the morning, Agamemnon gives Achilles all the promised gifts, including Briseis, but Achilles is indifferent to them. Achilles fasts while the Greeks take their meal, straps on his new armor, and takes up his great spear. His horse Xanthos prophesies to Achilles his death. Achilles drives his chariot into battle.
(21) Driving the Trojans before him, Achilles cuts off half their number in the river Skamandros and proceeds to slaughter them, filling the river with the dead. The river, angry at the killing, confronts Achilles but is beaten back by Hephaestus' firestorm. The gods fight among themselves. The great gates of the city are opened to receive the fleeing Trojans, and Apollo leads Achilles away from the city by pretending to be a Trojan.
(22) When Apollo reveals himself to Achilles, the Trojans have retreated into the city, all except for Hector, who, having twice ignored the counsels of Polydamas, feels the shame of the rout and resolves to face Achilles, despite the pleas of his parents, Priam and Hecuba. When Achilles approaches, Hector's will fails him, and he is chased around the city by Achilles. Finally, Athena tricks him into stopping, and he turns to face his opponent. After a brief duel, Achilles stabs Hector through the neck. Before dying, Hector reminds Achilles that he, too, is fated to die in the war. Achilles takes Hector's body and dishonours it by dragging it behind his chariot.
(23) The ghost of Patroclus comes to Achilles in a dream, urging him to carry out his burial rites and to arrange for their bones to be entombed together. The Greeks hold a day of funeral games, and Achilles gives out the prizes.
(24) Dismayed by Achilles' continued abuse of Hector's body, Zeus decides that it must be returned to Priam. Led by Hermes, Priam takes a wagon out of Troy, across the plains, and into the Greek camp unnoticed. He clasps Achilles by the knees and begs for his son's body. Achilles is moved to tears, and the two lament their losses in the war. After a meal, Priam carries Hector's body back into Troy. Hector is buried, and the city mourns.
The many characters of the Iliad are catalogued; the latter half of Book II, the "Catalogue of Ships", lists commanders and cohorts; battle scenes feature quickly slain minor characters.
Much debate has surrounded the nature of the relationship of Achilles and Patroclus, as to whether it can be described as a homoerotic one or not. Classical and Hellenistic Athenian scholars perceived it as pederastic, while others perceived it as a platonic warrior-bond.
In the literary Trojan War of the Iliad, the Olympian gods, goddesses, and minor deities fight among themselves and participate in human warfare, often by interfering with humans to counter other gods. Unlike their portrayals in Greek religion, Homer's portrayal of gods suited his narrative purpose. The gods in traditional thought of fourth-century Athenians were not spoken of in terms familiar to us from Homer. The Classical-era historian Herodotus says that Homer and Hesiod, his contemporary, were the first writers to name and describe the gods' appearance and character.
In Greek Gods, Human Lives: What We Can Learn From Myths, Mary Lefkowitz discusses the relevance of divine action in the Iliad, attempting to answer the question of whether or not divine intervention is a discrete occurrence (for its own sake), or if such godly behaviors are mere human character metaphors. The intellectual interest of Classic-era authors, such as Thucydides and Plato, was limited to their utility as "a way of talking about human life rather than a description or a truth", because, if the gods remain religious figures, rather than human metaphors, their "existence"—without the foundation of either dogma or a bible of faiths—then allowed Greek culture the intellectual breadth and freedom to conjure gods fitting any religious function they required as a people. The religion had no founder and was not the creation of an inspired teacher which were popular origins of existing religions in the world. The individuals were free to believe what they wanted, as the Greek religion was created out of a consensus of the people. These beliefs coincide to the thoughts about the gods in polytheistic Greek religion. In the article "Greek Religion" A.W.H. Adkins, agrees with this by saying, “The early Greeks personalized every aspect of their world, natural and cultural, and their experiences in it. The earth, the sea, the mountains, the rivers, custom-law (themis), and one’s share in society and its goods were all seen in personal as well as naturalistic terms.” As a result of this thinking, each god or goddess in Polytheistic Greek religion is attributed to an aspect of the human world. For example, Poseidon is the god of the sea, Aphrodite is the goddess of beauty, Ares is the god of war, and so on and so forth for many other gods. This is how Greek culture was defined as many Athenians felt the presence of their gods through divine intervention in significant events in their lives. Oftentimes they found these events to be mysterious and inexplicable.
In The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, psychologist Julian Jaynes uses the Iliad as a major piece of evidence for his theory of Bicameralism, which posits that until about the time described in the Iliad, humans had a far different mentality from present day humans. He says that humans during that time were lacking what we today call consciousness. He suggests that humans heard and obeyed commands from what they identified as gods, until the change in human mentality that incorporated the motivating force into the conscious self. He points out that almost every action in the Iliad is directed, caused, or influenced by a god, and that earlier translations show an astonishing lack of words suggesting thought, planning, or introspection. Those that do appear, he argues, are misinterpretations made by translators imposing a modern mentality on the characters.
Some scholars believe that the gods may have intervened in the mortal world because of quarrels they may have had among each other. Homer interprets the world at this time by using the passion and emotion of the gods to be determining factors of what happens on the human level. An example of one of these relationships in the Iliad occurs between Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite. In the final book of the poem Homer writes, “He offended Athena and Hera—both goddesses.” Athena and Hera are envious of Aphrodite because of a beauty pageant on Mount Olympus in which Paris chose Aphrodite to be the most beautiful goddess over both Hera and Athena. Wolfgang Kullmann further goes on to say, “Hera’s and Athena’s disappointment over the victory of Aphrodite in the Judgement of Paris determines the whole conduct of both goddesses in The Iliad and is the cause of their hatred for Paris, the Judge, and his town Troy.” Hera and Athena then continue to support the Achaean forces throughout the poem because Paris is part of the Trojans, while Aphrodite aids Paris and the Trojans. The emotions between the goddesses often translate to actions they take in the mortal world. For example, in Book 3 of The Iliad, Paris challenges any of the Achaeans to a single combat and Menelaus steps forward. Menelaus was dominating the battle and was on the verge of killing Paris. “Now he’d have hauled him off and won undying glory but Aphrodite, Zeus’s daughter was quick to the mark, snapped the rawhide strap.” Aphrodite intervened out of her own self-interest to save Paris from the wrath of Menelaus because Paris had helped her to win the beauty pageant. The partisanship of Aphrodite towards Paris induces constant intervention by all of the gods, especially to give motivational speeches to their respective proteges, while often appearing in the shape of a human being they are familiar with. This connection of emotions to actions is just one example out of many that occur throughout the poem.
Fate (κήρ, kēr, "fated death") propels most of the events of the Iliad. Once set, gods and men abide it, neither truly able nor willing to contest it. How fate is set is unknown, but it is told by the Fates and by Zeus through sending omens to seers such as Calchas. Men and their gods continually speak of heroic acceptance and cowardly avoidance of one's slated fate. Fate does not determine every action, incident, and occurrence, but it does determine the outcome of life—before killing him, Hector calls Patroclus a fool Patroclus retorts: 
No, deadly destiny, with the son of Leto, has killed me,
and of men it was Euphorbos; you are only my third slayer.
And put away in your heart this other thing that I tell you.
You yourself are not one who shall live long, but now already
death and powerful destiny are standing beside you,
to go down under the hands of Aiakos' great son, Achilleus.
Here, Patroclus alludes to fated death by Hector's hand, and Hector's fated death by Achilles's hand. Each accepts the outcome of his life, yet, no-one knows if the gods can alter fate. The first instance of this doubt occurs in Book XVI. Seeing Patroclus about to kill Sarpedon, his mortal son, Zeus says:
Ah me, that it is destined that the dearest of men, Sarpedon,
must go down under the hands of Menoitios' son Patroclus.
About his dilemma, Hera asks Zeus:
Majesty, son of Kronos, what sort of thing have you spoken?
Do you wish to bring back a man who is mortal, one long since
doomed by his destiny, from ill-sounding death and release him?
Do it, then; but not all the rest of us gods shall approve you.
In deciding between losing a son or abiding fate, Zeus, King of the Gods, allows it. This motif recurs when he considers sparing Hector, whom he loves and respects. This time, it is Athene who challenges him:
Father of the shining bolt, dark misted, what is this you said?
Do you wish to bring back a man who is mortal, one long since
doomed by his destiny, from ill-sounding death and release him?
Do it, then; but not all the rest of us gods shall approve you.
Again, Zeus appears capable of altering fate, but does not, deciding instead to abide set outcomes; similarly, fate spares Aeneas, after Apollo convinces the over-matched Trojan to fight Achilles. Poseidon cautiously speaks:
But come, let us ourselves get him away from death, for fear
the son of Kronos may be angered if now Achilleus
kills this man. It is destined that he shall be the survivor,
that the generation of Dardanos shall not die ...
Divinely aided, Aeneas escapes the wrath of Achilles and survives the Trojan War. Whether or not the gods can alter fate, they do abide it, despite its countering their human allegiances; thus, the mysterious origin of fate is a power beyond the gods. Fate implies the primeval, tripartite division of the world that Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades effected in deposing their father, Cronus, for its dominion. Zeus took the Air and the Sky, Poseidon the Waters, and Hades the Underworld, the land of the dead—yet they share dominion of the Earth. Despite the earthly powers of the Olympic gods, only the Three Fates set the destiny of Man.
Kleos (κλέος, "glory, fame") is the concept of glory earned in heroic battle. Yet, Achilles must choose only one of the two rewards, either nostos or kleos. In Book IX (IX.410–16), he poignantly tells Agamemnon's envoys—Odysseus, Phoenix, Ajax—begging his reinstatement to battle about having to choose between two fates (διχθαδίας κήρας, 9.411).
The passage reads:
μήτηρ γάρ τέ μέ φησι θεὰ Θέτις ἀργυρόπεζα (410)
For my mother Thetis the goddess of silver feet tells me
|—Translated by Richmond Lattimore|
In forgoing his nostos, he will earn the greater reward of kleos aphthiton (κλέος ἄφθιτον, "fame imperishable"). In the poem, aphthiton (ἄφθιτον, "imperishable") occurs five other times, each occurrence denotes an object: Agamemnon's sceptre, the wheel of Hebe's chariot, the house of Poseidon, the throne of Zeus, the house of Hephaestus. Translator Lattimore renders kleos aphthiton as forever immortal and as forever imperishable—connoting Achilles's mortality by underscoring his greater reward in returning to battle Troy.
Kleos is often given visible representation by the prizes won in battle. When Agamemnon takes Briseis from Achilles, he takes away a portion of the kleos he had earned.
Achilles' shield, crafted by Hephaestus and given to him by his mother Thetis, bears an image of stars in the centre. The stars conjure profound images of the place of a single man, no matter how heroic, in the perspective of the entire cosmos.
Nostos (νόστος, "homecoming") occurs seven times in the poem, making it a minor theme in the Iliad itself. Yet the concept of homecoming is much explored in other Ancient Greek literature, especially in the post-war homeward fortunes experienced by the Atreidae (Agamemnon and Menelaus), and Odysseus (see the Odyssey).
Pride drives the plot of the Iliad. The Greeks gather on the plain of Troy to wrest Helen from the Trojans. Though the majority of the Trojans would gladly return Helen to the Greeks, they defer to the pride of their prince, Alexandros, also known as Paris. Within this frame, Homer’s work begins. At the start of the Iliad, Agamemnon’s pride sets forth a chain of events that leads him to take from Achilles, Briseis, the girl that he had originally given Achilles in return for his martial prowess. Due to this slight, Achilles refuses to fight and asks his mother, Thetis, to make sure that Zeus causes the Greeks to suffer on the battlefield until Agamemnon comes to realize the harm he has done to Achilles. Achilles’ pride allows him to beg Thetis for the deaths of his Greek friends and countrymen. When in Book 9 his friends urge him to return, offering him loot and his girl, Briseis, he refuses, stuck in his vengeful pride. Achilles remains stuck until the very end, when his anger at himself for Patroclus’ death overcomes his pride at Agamemnon’s slight and he returns to kill Hector. He overcomes his pride again when he keeps his anger in check and returns Hector to Priam at epic’s close. From epic start to epic finish, pride drives the plot.
Akin to kleos is timê (τιμή, "respect, honor"), the concept denoting the respectability an honorable man accrues with accomplishment (cultural, political, martial), per his station in life. In Book I, the Greek troubles begin with King Agamemnon's dishonorable, unkingly behavior—first, by threatening the priest Chryses (1.11), then, by aggravating them in disrespecting Achilles, by confiscating Briseis from him (1.171). The warrior's consequent rancor against the dishonorable king ruins the Greek military cause.
Hybris (Ὕβρις) plays a part similar to timê. The epic takes as its thesis the anger of Achilles and the destruction it brings. Anger disturbs the distance between human beings and the gods. Uncontrolled anger destroys orderly social relationships and upsets the balance of correct actions necessary to keep the gods away from human beings. (footnote Thompson). Despite the epic’s focus on Achilles’ rage, hybris plays a prominent role also, serving as both kindling and fuel for many destructive events. Agamemnon refuses to ransom Chriseis up out of hybris and harms Achilles’ pride when he demands Briseis. Hybris forces Paris to fight against Menelaus. Agamemnon spurs the Greeks to fight, by calling into question Odysseus, Diomedes, and Nestor’s pride, asking why they were cowering and waiting for help when they should be the ones leading the charge. While the events of the Iliad focus on the Achilles’ rage and the destruction it brings on, hybris fuels and stokes them both.
The poem's initial word, μῆνιν (mēnin, accusative of μῆνις, mēnis, "wrath, rage, fury"), establishes the Iliad's principal theme: The "Wrath of Achilles". His personal rage and wounded soldier's vanity propel the story: the Greeks' faltering in battle, the slayings of Patroclus and Hector, and the fall of Troy. In Book I, the Wrath of Achilles first emerges in the Achilles-convoked meeting, between the Greek kings and the seer Calchas. King Agamemnon dishonours Chryses, the Trojan priest of Apollo, by refusing with a threat the restitution of his daughter, Chryseis—despite the proffered ransom of "gifts beyond count". The insulted priest prays his god's help, and a nine-day rain of divine plague arrows falls upon the Greeks. Moreover, in that meeting, Achilles accuses Agamemnon of being "greediest for gain of all men". To that, Agamemnon replies:
But here is my threat to you.
Even as Phoibos Apollo is taking away my Chryseis.
I shall convey her back in my own ship, with my own
followers; but I shall take the fair-cheeked Briseis,
your prize, I myself going to your shelter, that you may learn well
how much greater I am than you, and another man may shrink back
from likening himself to me and contending against me.
After that, only Athena stays Achilles's wrath. He vows to never again obey orders from Agamemnon. Furious, Achilles cries to his mother, Thetis, who persuades Zeus's divine intervention—favouring the Trojans—until Achilles's rights are restored. Meanwhile, Hector leads the Trojans to almost pushing the Greeks back to the sea (Book XII). Later, Agamemnon contemplates defeat and retreat to Greece (Book XIV). Again, the Wrath of Achilles turns the war's tide in seeking vengeance when Hector kills Patroclus. Aggrieved, Achilles tears his hair and dirties his face. Thetis comforts her mourning son, who tells her:
So it was here that the lord of men Agamemnon angered me.
Still, we will let all this be a thing of the past, and for all our
sorrow beat down by force the anger deeply within us.
Now I shall go, to overtake that killer of a dear life,
Hektor; then I will accept my own death, at whatever
time Zeus wishes to bring it about, and the other immortals.
Accepting the prospect of death as fair price for avenging Patroclus, he returns to battle, dooming Hector and Troy, thrice chasing him 'round the Trojan walls, before slaying him, then dragging the corpse behind his chariot, back to camp.
The poem dates to the archaic period of Classical Antiquity. Scholarly consensus mostly places it in the 8th century BC, although some favour a 7th-century date. Herodotus, having consulted the Oracle at Dodona, placed Homer and Hesiod at approximately 400 years before his own time, which would place them at c.850 BC.
The historical backdrop of the poem is the time of the Late Bronze Age collapse, in the early 12th century BC. Homer is thus separated from his subject matter by about 400 years, the period known as the Greek Dark Ages. Intense scholarly debate has surrounded the question of which portions of the poem preserve genuine traditions from the Mycenaean period. The Catalogue of Ships in particular has the striking feature that its geography does not portray Greece in the Iron Age, the time of Homer, but as it was before the Dorian invasion.
The title Ἰλιάς "Ilias" (genitive Ἰλιάδος "Iliados") is elliptic for ἡ ποίησις Ἰλιάς "he poíesis Iliás", meaning "the Trojan poem". Ἰλιάς, "of Troy", is the specifically feminine adjective form from Ἴλιον, "Troy"; the masculine adjective form would be Ἰλιακός or Ἴλιος. It is used by Herodotus.
Venetus A, copied in the 10th century AD, is the oldest fully extant manuscript of the Iliad. The first edition of the "Iliad", editio princeps, edited by Demetrius Chalcondyles and published by Bernardus Nerlius, and Demetrius Damilas in Florence in 1488/89.
In antiquity, the Greeks applied the Iliad and the Odyssey as the bases of pedagogy. Literature was central to the educational-cultural function of the itinerant rhapsode, who composed consistent epic poems from memory and improvisation, and disseminated them, via song and chant, in his travels and at the Panathenaic Festival of athletics, music, poetics, and sacrifice, celebrating Athena's birthday.
Originally, Classical scholars treated the Iliad and the Odyssey as written poetry, and Homer as a writer. Yet, by the 1920s, Milman Parry (1902–1935) had launched a movement claiming otherwise. His investigation of the oral Homeric style—"stock epithets" and "reiteration" (words, phrases, stanzas)—established that these formulae were artifacts of oral tradition easily applied to a hexametric line. A two-word stock epithet (e.g. "resourceful Odysseus") reiteration may complement a character name by filling a half-line, thus, freeing the poet to compose a half-line of "original" formulaic text to complete his meaning. In Yugoslavia, Parry and his assistant, Albert Lord (1912–1991), studied the oral-formulaic composition of Serbian oral poetry, yielding the Parry/Lord thesis that established oral tradition studies, later developed by Eric Havelock, Marshall McLuhan, Walter Ong, and Gregory Nagy.
In The Singer of Tales (1960), Lord presents likenesses between the tragedies of the Greek Patroclus, in the Iliad, and of the Sumerian Enkidu, in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and claims to refute, with "careful analysis of the repetition of thematic patterns", that the Patroclus storyline upsets Homer's established compositional formulae of "wrath, bride-stealing, and rescue"; thus, stock-phrase reiteration does not restrict his originality in fitting story to rhyme. Likewise, in The Arming Motif, Prof. James Armstrong reports that the poem's formulae yield richer meaning because the "arming motif" diction—describing Achilles, Agamemnon, Paris, and Patroclus—serves to "heighten the importance of ... an impressive moment", thus, "[reiteration] creates an atmosphere of smoothness", wherein, Homer distinguishes Patroclus from Achilles, and foreshadows the former's death with positive and negative turns of phrase.
In the Iliad, occasional syntactic inconsistency may be an oral tradition effect—for example, Aphrodite is "laughter-loving", despite being painfully wounded by Diomedes (Book V, 375); and the divine representations may mix Mycenaean and Greek Dark Age (c. 1150–800 BC) mythologies, parallelling the hereditary basileis nobles (lower social rank rulers) with minor deities, such as Scamander, et al.
Despite Mycenae and Troy being maritime powers, the Iliad features no sea battles. So, the Trojan shipwright (of the ship that transported Helen to Troy), Phereclus, fights afoot, as an infantryman. The battle dress and armour of hero and soldier are well-described. They enter battle in chariots, launching javelins into the enemy formations, then dismount—for hand-to-hand combat with yet more javelin throwing, rock throwing, and if necessary hand to hand sword and a shoulder-borne hoplon (shield) fighting. Ajax the Greater, son of Telamon, sports a large, rectangular shield (σάκος, sakos) with which he protects himself and Teucer, his brother:
Ajax's cumbersome shield is more suitable for defence than for offence, while his cousin, Achilles, sports a large, rounded, octagonal shield that he successfully deploys along with his spear against the Trojans:
In describing infantry combat, Homer names the phalanx formation, but most scholars do not believe the historical Trojan War was so fought. In the Bronze Age, the chariot was the main battle transport-weapon (e.g. the Battle of Kadesh). The available evidence, from the Dendra armour and the Pylos Palace paintings, indicate the Mycenaeans used two-man chariots, with a long-spear-armed principal rider, unlike the three-man Hittite chariots with short-spear-armed riders, and unlike the arrow-armed Egyptian and Assyrian two-man chariots. Nestor spearheads his troops with chariots; he advises them:
Although Homer's depictions are graphic, it can be seen in the very end that victory in war is a far more somber occasion, where all that is lost becomes apparent. On the other hand, the funeral games are lively, for the dead man's life is celebrated. This overall depiction of war runs contrary to many other ancient Greek depictions, where war is an aspiration for greater glory.
While the Homeric poems (the Iliad in particular) were not necessarily revered scripture of the ancient Greeks, they were most certainly seen as guides that were important to the intellectual understanding of any educated Greek citizen. This is evidenced by the fact that in the late fifth century BC, "it was the sign of a man of standing to be able to recite the Iliad and Odyssey by heart." Moreover, it can be argued that the warfare shown in the Iliad, and the way in which it was depicted, had a profound and very traceable effect on Greek warfare in general. In particular, the effect of epic literature can be broken down into three categories: tactics, ideology, and the mindset of commanders. In order to discern these effects, it is necessary to take a look at a few examples from each of these categories.
Much of the detailed fighting in the Iliad is done by the heroes in an orderly, one-on-one fashion. Much like the Odyssey, there is even a set ritual which must be observed in each of these conflicts. For example, a major hero may encounter a lesser hero from the opposing side, in which case the minor hero is introduced, threats may be exchanged, and then the minor hero is slain. The victor often strips the body of its armor and military accoutrements. Here is an example of this ritual and this type of one-on-one combat in the Iliad:
There Telamonian Ajax struck down the son of Anthemion, Simoeisios in his stripling's beauty, whom once his mother descending from Ida bore beside the banks of Simoeis when she had followed her father and mother to tend the sheepflocks. Therefore they called him Simoeisios; but he could not render again the care of his dear parents; he was short-lived, beaten down beneath the spear of high-hearted Ajax, who struck him as he first came forward beside the nipple of the right breast, and the bronze spearhead drove clean through the shoulder.
The biggest issue in reconciling the connection between the epic fighting of the Iliad and later Greek warfare is the phalanx, or hoplite, warfare seen in Greek history well after Homer's Iliad. While there are discussions of soldiers arrayed in semblances of the phalanx throughout the Iliad, the focus of the poem on the heroic fighting, as mentioned above, would seem to contradict the tactics of the phalanx. However, the phalanx did have its heroic aspects. The masculine one-on-one fighting of epic is manifested in phalanx fighting on the emphasis of holding one's position in formation. This replaces the singular heroic competition found in the Iliad.
One example of this is the Spartan tale of 300 picked men fighting against 300 picked Argives. In this battle of champions, only two men are left standing for the Argives and one for the Spartans. Othryades, the remaining Spartan, goes back to stand in his formation with mortal wounds while the remaining two Argives go back to Argos to report their victory. Thus, the Spartans claimed this as a victory, as their last man displayed the ultimate feat of bravery by maintaining his position in the phalanx.
In terms of the ideology of commanders in later Greek history, the Iliad has an interesting effect. The Iliad expresses a definite disdain for tactical trickery, when Hector says, before he challenges the great Ajax:
I know how to storm my way into the struggle of flying horses; I know how to tread the measures on the grim floor of the war god. Yet great as you are I would not strike you by stealth, watching for my chance, but openly, so, if perhaps I might hit you.
However, despite examples of disdain for this tactical trickery, there is reason to believe that the Iliad, as well as later Greek warfare, endorsed tactical genius on the part of their commanders. For example, there are multiple passages in the Iliad with commanders such as Agamemnon or Nestor discussing the arraying of troops so as to gain an advantage. Indeed, the Trojan War is won by a notorious example of Greek guile in the Trojan Horse. This is even later referred to by Homer in the Odyssey. The connection, in this case, between guileful tactics of the Greeks in the Iliad and those of the later Greeks is not a difficult one to find. Spartan commanders, often seen as the pinnacle of Greek military prowess, were known for their tactical trickery, and, for them, this was a feat to be desired in a commander. Indeed, this type of leadership was the standard advice of Greek tactical writers.
Ultimately, while Homeric (or epic) fighting is certainly not completely replicated in later Greek warfare, many of its ideals, tactics, and instruction are.
Hans van Wees argues that the period that the descriptions of warfare relate can be pinned down fairly specifically—to the first half of the 7th century BC.
The Iliad was a standard work of great importance already in Classical Greece and remained so throughout the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. Subjects from the Trojan War were a favourite among ancient Greek dramatists. Aeschylus' trilogy, the Oresteia, comprising Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers and The Eumenides, follows the story of Agamemnon after his return from the war. Homer also came to be of great influence in European culture with the resurgence of interest in Greek antiquity during the Renaissance, and it remains the first and most influential work of the Western canon. In its full form the text made its return to Italy and Western Europe beginning in the 15th century, primarily through translations into Latin and the vernacular languages.
Prior to this reintroduction, however, a shortened Latin version of the poem, known as the Ilias Latina, was very widely studied and read as a basic school text. The West tended to view Homer as unreliable as they believed they possessed much more down to earth and realistic eyewitness accounts of the Trojan War written by Dares and Dictys Cretensis, who were supposedly present at the events. These late antique forged accounts formed the basis of several eminently popular medieval chivalric romances, most notably those of Benoît de Sainte-Maure and Guido delle Colonne. These in turn spawned many others in various European languages, such as the first printed English book, the 1473 Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye. Other accounts read in the Middle Ages were antique Latin retellings such as the Excidium Troiae and works in the vernaculars such as the Icelandic Troy Saga. Even without Homer, the Trojan War story had remained central to Western European medieval literary culture and its sense of identity. Most nations and several royal houses traced their origins to heroes at the Trojan War. Britain was supposedly settled by the Trojan Brutus, for instance.
William Shakespeare used the plot of the Iliad as source material for his play Troilus and Cressida, but focused on a medieval legend, the love story of Troilus, son of King Priam of Troy, and Cressida, daughter of the Trojan soothsayer Calchas. The play, often considered to be a comedy, reverses traditional views on events of the Trojan War and depicts Achilles as a coward, Ajax as a dull, unthinking mercenary, etc.
William Theed the elder made an impressive bronze statue of Thetis as she brought Achilles his new armor forged by Hephaesthus. It has been on display in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City since 2013.
Robert Browning's poem Development discusses his childhood introduction to the matter of the Iliad and his delight in the epic, as well as contemporary debates about its authorship.
George Chapman published his translation of the Iliad, in installments, beginning in 1598, published in "fourteeners", a long-line ballad metre that "has room for all of Homer's figures of speech and plenty of new ones, as well as explanations in parentheses. At its best, as in Achilles' rejection of the embassy in Iliad Nine; it has great rhetorical power". It quickly established itself as a classic in English poetry. In the preface to his own translation, Pope praises "the daring fiery spirit" of Chapman's rendering, which is "something like what one might imagine Homer, himself, would have writ before he arrived at years of discretion".
John Keats praised Chapman in the sonnet On First Looking into Chapman's Homer (1816). John Ogilby's mid-seventeenth-century translation is among the early annotated editions; Alexander Pope's 1715 translation, in heroic couplet, is "The classic translation that was built on all the preceding versions", and, like Chapman's, it is a major poetic work in its own right. William Cowper's Miltonic, blank verse 1791 edition is highly regarded for its greater fidelity to the Greek than either the Chapman or the Pope versions: "I have omitted nothing; I have invented nothing", Cowper says in prefacing his translation.
In the lectures On Translating Homer (1861), Matthew Arnold addresses the matters of translation and interpretation in rendering the Iliad to English; commenting upon the versions contemporarily available in 1861, he identifies the four essential poetic qualities of Homer to which the translator must do justice:
[i] that he is eminently rapid; [ii] that he is eminently plain and direct, both in the evolution of his thought and in the expression of it, that is, both in his syntax and in his words; [iii] that he is eminently plain and direct in the substance of his thought, that is, in his matter and ideas; and, finally, [iv] that he is eminently noble.
After a discussion of the metres employed by previous translators, Arnold argues for a poetical dialect hexameter translation of the Iliad, like the original. "Laborious as this meter was, there were at least half a dozen attempts to translate the entire Iliad or Odyssey in hexameters; the last in 1945. Perhaps the most fluent of them was by J. Henry Dart  in response to Arnold". In 1870, the American poet William Cullen Bryant published a blank verse version, that Van Wyck Brooks describes as "simple, faithful".
Since 1950, there have been several English translations. Richmond Lattimore's version (1951) is "a free six-beat" line-for-line rendering that explicitly eschews "poetical dialect" for "the plain English of today". It is literal, unlike older verse renderings. Robert Fitzgerald's version (Oxford World's Classics, 1974) strives to situate the Iliad in the musical forms of English poetry. His forceful version is freer, with shorter lines that increase the sense of swiftness and energy. Robert Fagles (Penguin Classics, 1990) and Stanley Lombardo (1997) are bolder than Lattimore in adding dramatic significance to Homer's conventional and formulaic language. Rodney Merrill's translation (University of Michigan Press, 2007) not only renders the work in English verse like the dactylic hexameter of the original, but also conveys the oral-formulaic nature of the epic song, to which that musical meter gives full value. Barry B. Powell's translation (Oxford University Press, 2014) renders the Homeric Greek with a simplicity and dignity reminiscent of the original. Caroline Alexander published the first full-length English translation by a woman in 2016.
In Greek mythology, Achilles or Achilleus ( ə-KIL-eez; Greek: Ἀχιλλεύς, Achilleus [a.kʰil.le͜ús]) was a Greek hero of the Trojan War and the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. His mother was the immortal Nereid Thetis, and his father, the mortal Peleus, was the king of the Myrmidons.
Achilles' most notable feat during the Trojan War was the slaying of the Trojan hero Hector outside the gates of Troy. Although the death of Achilles is not presented in the Iliad, other sources concur that he was killed near the end of the Trojan War by Paris, who shot him in the heel with an arrow. Later legends (beginning with a poem by Statius in the 1st century AD) state that Achilles was invulnerable in all of his body except for his heel because, when his mother Thetis dipped him in the river Styx as an infant, she held him by one of his heels. Alluding to these legends, the term "Achilles' heel" has come to mean a point of weakness, especially in someone or something with an otherwise strong constitution. The Achilles tendon is also named after him due to these legends.Aeneas
In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas (; Greek: Αἰνείας, Aineías, possibly derived from Greek αἰνή meaning "praised") was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite (Venus). His father was a first cousin of King Priam of Troy (both being grandsons of Ilus, founder of Troy), making Aeneas a second cousin to Priam's children (such as Hector and Paris). He is a character in Greek mythology and is mentioned in Homer's Iliad. Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgil's Aeneid, where he is cast as an ancestor of Romulus and Remus. He became the first true hero of Rome. Snorri Sturluson identifies him with the Norse Æsir Vidarr.Ajax the Great
Ajax or Aias ( or ; Greek Αἴας /a͜í.aːs/, gen. Αἴαντος Aiantos; archaic ΑΣϜΑϺ /a͜í.waːs/) is a Greek mythological hero, the son of King Telamon and Periboea, and the half-brother of Teucer. He plays an important role, and is portrayed as a towering figure and a warrior of great courage in Homer's Iliad and in the Epic Cycle, a series of epic poems about the Trojan War. He is also referred to as "Telamonian Ajax" (Αἴας ὁ Τελαμώνιος, in Etruscan recorded as Aivas Tlamunus), "Greater Ajax", or "Ajax the Great", which distinguishes him from Ajax, son of Oileus (Ajax the Lesser).Ares
Ares (; Ancient Greek: Ἄρης, Áres [árɛːs]) is the Greek god of war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians, the son of Zeus and Hera. In Greek literature, he often represents the physical or violent and untamed aspect of war, in contrast to his sister, the armored Athena, whose functions as a goddess of intelligence include military strategy and generalship.The Greeks were ambivalent toward Ares: although he embodied the physical valor necessary for success in war, he was a dangerous force, "overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-slaughtering." His sons Phobos (Fear) and Deimos (Terror) and his lover, or sister, Enyo (Discord) accompanied him on his war chariot. In the Iliad, his father Zeus tells him that he is the god most hateful to him. An association with Ares endows places and objects with a savage, dangerous, or militarized quality. His value as a war god is placed in doubt: during the Trojan War, Ares was on the losing side, while Athena, often depicted in Greek art as holding Nike (Victory) in her hand, favoured the triumphant Greeks.Ares plays a relatively limited role in Greek mythology as represented in literary narratives, though his numerous love affairs and abundant offspring are often alluded to. When Ares does appear in myths, he typically faces humiliation. He is well known as the lover of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who was married to Hephaestus, god of craftsmanship. The most famous story related to Ares and Aphrodite shows them exposed to ridicule through the wronged husband's device.The counterpart of Ares among the Roman gods is Mars, who as a father of the Roman people was given a more important and dignified place in ancient Roman religion as a guardian deity. During the Hellenization of Latin literature, the myths of Ares were reinterpreted by Roman writers under the name of Mars. Greek writers under Roman rule also recorded cult practices and beliefs pertaining to Mars under the name of Ares. Thus in the classical tradition of later Western art and literature, the mythology of the two figures later became virtually indistinguishable.Briseis
Brisēís (; Ancient Greek: Βρισηΐς, pronounced [brisɛːís]), also known as Hippodámeia (Ἱπποδάμεια, [hippodámeːa]), was a mythical queen of Anatolia at the time of the Trojan War. Her character lies at the heart of a dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon that drives the plot of Homer's Iliad. She was the daughter of Briseus, the wife of King Mynes of Lyrnessus, and lover of Achilles.Hector
In Greek mythology and Roman mythology, Hector (; Ἕκτωρ, Hektōr, pronounced [héktɔːr]) was a Trojan prince and the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War. As the first-born son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, who was a descendant of Dardanus and Tros, the founder of Troy, he was a prince of the royal house and the heir apparent to his father's throne. He was married to Andromache, with whom he had an infant son, Scamandrius (whom the people of Troy called Astyanax). He acted as leader of the Trojans and their allies in the defence of Troy, "killing 31,000 Greek fighters", offers Hyginus. During the European Middle Ages, Hector figures as one of the Nine Worthies noted by Jacques de Longuyon, known not only for his courage but also for his noble and courtly nature. Indeed, Homer places Hector as peace-loving, thoughtful as well as bold, a good son, husband and father, and without darker motives. James Redfield describes Hector as a "martyr to loyalties, a witness to the things of this world, a hero ready to die for the precious imperfections of ordinary life."Hephaestus
Hephaestus (; eight spellings; Greek: Ἥφαιστος Hēphaistos) is the Greek god of blacksmiths, metalworking, carpenters, craftsmen, artisans, sculptors, metallurgy, fire, and volcanoes. Hephaestus' Roman equivalent is Vulcan. In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was either the son of Zeus and Hera or he was Hera's parthenogenous child. He was cast off Mount Olympus, by his mother because of his deformity or, in another account, by Zeus for protecting Hera from his advances.As a smithing god, Hephaestus made all the weapons of the gods in Olympus. He served as the blacksmith of the gods, and was worshipped in the manufacturing and industrial centers of Greece, particularly Athens. The cult of Hephaestus was based in Lemnos. Hephaestus' symbols are a smith's hammer, anvil, and a pair of tongs.Hera
Hera (; Greek: Ἥρᾱ, Hērā; Ἥρη, Hērē in Ionic and Homeric Greek) is the goddess of women, marriage, family, and childbirth in ancient Greek religion and myth, one of the Twelve Olympians and the sister-wife of Zeus. She is the daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. Hera rules over Mount Olympus as queen of the gods. A matronly figure, Hera served as both the patroness and protectress of married women, presiding over weddings and blessing marital unions. One of Hera's defining characteristics is her jealous and vengeful nature against Zeus' numerous lovers and illegitimate offspring, as well as the mortals who cross her.
Hera is commonly seen with the animals she considers sacred including the cow, lion and the peacock. Portrayed as majestic and solemn, often enthroned, and crowned with the polos (a high cylindrical crown worn by several of the Great Goddesses), Hera may hold a pomegranate in her hand, emblem of fertile blood and death and a substitute for the narcotic capsule of the opium poppy. Scholar of Greek mythology Walter Burkert writes in Greek Religion, "Nevertheless, there are memories of an earlier aniconic representation, as a pillar in Argos and as a plank in Samos."Her Roman counterpart is Juno.Homer
Homer (; Ancient Greek: Ὅμηρος Greek pronunciation: [hómɛːros], Hómēros) is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, around 20 years after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.The Homeric Question – concerning by whom, when, where and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed – continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Iliad and (according to some) the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius. The other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, and that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition. It is generally accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC.The poems are in Homeric Greek, also known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries; the predominant influence is Eastern Ionic. Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of the Homeric epics on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music, art and film. The Homeric epics were the greatest influence on ancient Greek culture and education; to Plato, Homer was simply the one who "has taught Greece" – ten Hellada pepaideuken.Iliad Glacier
Iliad Glacier (64°27′S 63°27′W) is a glacier flowing northeast from the central highlands of Anvers Island between the Achaean Range and the Trojan Range into Lapeyrere Bay, in the Palmer Archipelago, Antarctica. It was surveyed in 1955 by the Falkland Islands Dependencies Survey and named by the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee for Homer's Iliad.List of Homeric characters
This is a list of principal characters in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey.Menelaus
In Greek mythology, Menelaus (; Greek: Μενέλαος, Menelaos, from μένος "vigor, rage, power" and λαός "people," "wrath of the people") was a king of Mycenaean (pre-Dorian) Sparta, the husband of Helen of Troy, and the son of Atreus and Aerope. According to the Iliad, Menelaus was a central figure in the Trojan War, leading the Spartan contingent of the Greek army, under his elder brother Agamemnon, king of Mycenae. Prominent in both the Iliad and Odyssey, Menelaus was also popular in Greek vase painting and Greek tragedy, the latter more as a hero of the Trojan War than as a member of the doomed House of Atreus.Nestor (mythology)
Nestor of Gerenia (Ancient Greek: Νέστωρ Γερήνιος, Nestōr Gerēnios) was the wise King of Pylos described in Homer's Odyssey.Excavations from 1939 revealed his palace and excavations have recently resumed at the site.Odysseus
Odysseus (; Greek: Ὀδυσσεύς, Ὀδυσεύς, Ὀdysseús [odysse͜ús]), also known by the Latin variant Ulysses (US: , UK: ; Latin: Ulyssēs, Ulixēs), is a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in that same epic cycle.
Son of Laërtes and Anticlea, husband of Penelope and father of Telemachus and Acusilaus. Odysseus is renowned for his intellectual brilliance, guile, and versatility (polytropos), and is thus known by the epithet Odysseus the Cunning (Greek: μῆτις or mētis, "cunning intelligence"). He is most famous for his nostos or “homecoming”, which took him ten eventful years after the decade-long Trojan War.Patroclus
In Greek mythology, as recorded in Homer's Iliad, Patroclus (; Ancient Greek: Πάτροκλος Pátroklos, "glory of the father") was a close friend and wartime companion of Achilles. He was the son of Menoetius, grandson of Actor, King of Opus.Priam
In Greek mythology, Priam (; Greek: Πρίαμος, pronounced [prí.amos]) was the legendary king of Troy during the Trojan War. His many children included notable characters like Hector and Paris.Thetis
Thetis (; Greek: Θέτις [tʰétis]), is a figure from Greek mythology with varying mythological roles. She mainly appears as a sea nymph, a goddess of water, or one of the 50 Nereids, daughters of the ancient sea god Nereus.When described as a Nereid in Classical myths, Thetis was the daughter of Nereus and Doris, and a granddaughter of Tethys with whom she sometimes shares characteristics. Often she seems to lead the Nereids as they attend to her tasks. Sometimes she also is identified with Metis.
Some sources argue that she was one of the earliest of deities worshipped in Archaic Greece, the oral traditions and records of which are lost. Only one written record, a fragment, exists attesting to her worship and an early Alcman hymn exists that identifies Thetis as the creator of the universe. Worship of Thetis as the goddess is documented to have persisted in some regions by historical writers such as Pausanias.
In the Trojan War cycle of myth, the wedding of Thetis and the Greek hero Peleus is one of the precipitating events in the war which also led to the birth of their child Achilles.Trojan War
In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad. The core of the Iliad (Books II – XXIII) describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the war's heroes. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid.
The war originated from a quarrel between the goddesses Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, after Eris, the goddess of strife and discord, gave them a golden apple, sometimes known as the Apple of Discord, marked "for the fairest". Zeus sent the goddesses to Paris, who judged that Aphrodite, as the "fairest", should receive the apple. In exchange, Aphrodite made Helen, the most beautiful of all women and wife of Menelaus, fall in love with Paris, who took her to Troy. Agamemnon, king of Mycenae and the brother of Helen's husband Menelaus, led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy and besieged the city for ten years because of Paris' insult. After the deaths of many heroes, including the Achaeans Achilles and Ajax, and the Trojans Hector and Paris, the city fell to the ruse of the Trojan Horse. The Achaeans slaughtered the Trojans (except for some of the women and children whom they kept or sold as slaves) and desecrated the temples, thus earning the gods' wrath. Few of the Achaeans returned safely to their homes and many founded colonies in distant shores. The Romans later traced their origin to Aeneas, Aphrodite's son and one of the Trojans, who was said to have led the surviving Trojans to modern-day Italy.
The ancient Greeks believed that Troy was located near the Dardanelles and that the Trojan War was a historical event of the 13th or 12th century BC, but by the mid-19th century AD, both the war and the city were widely seen as non-historical. In 1868, however, the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann met Frank Calvert, who convinced Schliemann that Troy was a real city at what is now Hissarlik in Turkey. On the basis of excavations conducted by Schliemann and others, this claim is now accepted by most scholars.Whether there is any historical reality behind the Trojan War remains an open question. Many scholars believe that there is a historical core to the tale, though this may simply mean that the Homeric stories are a fusion of various tales of sieges and expeditions by Mycenaean Greeks during the Bronze Age. Those who believe that the stories of the Trojan War are derived from a specific historical conflict usually date it to the 12th or 11th century BC, often preferring the dates given by Eratosthenes, 1194–1184 BC, which roughly corresponds with archaeological evidence of a catastrophic burning of Troy VII.Troy (film)
Troy is a 2004 epic period war film written by David Benioff, directed by Wolfgang Petersen and co-produced by units in Malta, Mexico and Britain's Shepperton Studios. The film features an ensemble cast led by Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, and Orlando Bloom. It is loosely based on Homer's Iliad in its narration of the entire story of the decade-long Trojan War—condensed into little more than a couple of weeks, rather than just the quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon in the ninth year. Achilles leads his Myrmidons along with the rest of the Greek army invading the historical city of Troy, defended by Hector's Trojan army. The end of the film (the sack of Troy) is not taken from the Iliad, but rather from Homer's Odyssey as the Iliad concludes with Hector's death and funeral.
Troy made over $497 million worldwide, temporarily placing it in the #60 spot of top box office hits of all time. It was the 8th highest-grossing film of 2004.