Homer's Iliad: Book One


Front and center: we're no longer in Mesopotamia, but now in Greece

Background: The Story of the Trojan War

Gods in Homer

Greek supporters

Trojan supporters

Heroes in Homer: Some principal Heroes



Important only in Book one

Structure of the army

Primus inter pares: "first among equals": kings vs the "king of kings"

Culture of raiding parties: thus the "prizes" Chryseis and Briseis: distribution of the prizes

The Story of the Iliad

The Iliad as poetry

Note: does not match the story of Troy!

The Iliad from the view of a(n only moderately informed) modern audience

Continue to Iliad, Books 2-3

Images relating to Homer's Iliad and the story of Troy

Ajax and Achilles playing a game of dice, with Athena standing in between. Black figure vase of ca. 520-515 B.C.

Judgement of Paris. Red figure vase of ca. 485 B.C.

Alexander (Paris) abducting Helen, with Eros in between. Red figure vase of the early fifth century B.C.

Agamemnon takes away Briseis, the woman of Achilles. Red figure vase of ca. 480 B.C.

Departure of Hektor for the battle, with Priam and Hecube to the side. Red figure vase of ca. 450 B.C.

Funeral Games for Patroclus. Black figure vase of ca. 565 B.C.

Achilles and Hektor fight over the body of Troilos. Black figure vase of ca. 550 B.C.

Priam begs for the body of Hektor from Achilles. Red figure vase of ca. 510 B.C.

The Trojan Horse. Relief-decorated Amphora from Mykonos of ca. 670 B.C.