This material has been used for many years by Professor Tom Sienkewicz in his courses at Howard University and at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois. If you have any questions, you may contact him at


This analysis is based upon A Study of the "Iliad" in Translation by Frank Lowry Clark. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1927).

I. Achilles mourning for Patroclus cannot rest, 1-21

II. The council of gods and its sequel, 22-187

a) Paris' insult to their beauty causes Hera and Athena to remain implacable toward Troy, 23-30

b) Apollo pleads for the rescue of Hector's body, 31-54

c) Hera objects, 55-63

d) Zeus, recalling the many sacrifices offered by Hector sends Iris to summon Thetis to placate Achilles, 64-76

e) Iris descends to Thetis in the depths of the sea, and delivers the message from Zeus, 77-119

f) Thetis goes to Achilles and prevails on him to surrender the body of Hector for ransom, 120-40

g) Zeus sends Iris to bid Priam go to the Greek camp, 141-58

h) Iris encourages Priam to undertake the journey, 159-87

III. Priam, in spite of the earnest protestations of Hecuba and the Trojans, determines to go to the Greek camp, 188-321

a) Priam confides in Hecuba, who tries in vain to dissuade him, 188-227

b) The ransom is made ready, 228-37a

c) Priam drives the Trojans from his halls and chides his sons, 237b-64

d) Priam, about to begin his journey, pours out a libation and prays to Zeus, who sends a favorable omen, 265-321

IV. Priam's journey to the Greek camp, 322-467

a) Priam sets forth with the herald Idaeus and is meet by the god Hermes in the form of a beautiful youth, 322-57

b) Priam is persuaded to intrust himself to the guidance of this youth and safely comes to Achilles' tent, where Hermes reveals his identity and departs, 358-467

V. Priam in the hut of Achilles, 468-682

a) Priam appears like a fugitive suppliant before Achilles, 468-84

b) Priam's first appeal to Achilles, 485-506

c) Achilles greatly moved, answers Priam, relating the allegory of the two jars, 507-51

d) Priam's second appeal to Achilles, 552-58

e) Achilles grants the request, 559-70

f) The body of Hector is prepared to be restored to Priam, 571-90

g) Achilles' petition to the spirit of Patroclus, 591-95

h) Achilles, inviting Priam to eat, tells the story of Niobe, 596-617

i) The feast in the hut of Achilles, 618-32

j) Achilles orders a bed to be prepared in thew portico of his hut and grants a truce of ten days for the burial of Hector, 633-82

VI. Priam, aroused by Hermes, returns by night to Troy with the body of Hector, 683-722

a) Hermes warns Priam of his danger if seen by Agamemnon and urges him to return at once, 683-98

b) Cassandra sees them coming and cries out to the Trojans, who surround the car with loud lamentations, 699-715

c) Priam commands them to make the way; he places the body on a bier in the palace and sets leaders of the dirge round about it, 716-22

VII. The funeral of Hector, 723-804 (end)

a) Lament of Andromache, 723-45

b) Lament of Hecuba, 746-59

c) Lament of Helen, 760-75

d) Priam gives directions for the funeral pyre; description of the burial of Hector, 776-804 (end of the Iliad)

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