THE ILIAD: A Summary

I 1-7 Invocation of the Muse.

8-21 Chryses begs the return of his daughter.

22-52 Apollo punishes the Greeks with a plague.

53-129 Achilles calls meeting; Kalchas tells cause of plague.

130-311 Achilles and Agamemnon argue; Nestor fails to restore peace.

312-317 Purification of camp and sacrifices to Apollo.

318-347 Agamemnon takes Briseis from Achilles.

348-427 Achilles determines to abstain from battle; Thetis approves and promises revenge.

428-487 Chryseis is returned with gifts.

488-533 Zeus gives in to Thetis, promises Trojan victories until Achilles is satisfied.

534-567 Hera, angered at this, argues with Zeus over dinner.

568-611 Saddened by this argument, the gods are restored to good spirits by the antics of Hephaistos.

II 1-40 Zeus deceptively sends Dream to Agamemnon promising victory.

41-100 Before dawn, Agamemnon reveals dream to chieftains, then calls a general assembly.

101-154 As a test, Agamemnon pretends Greeks are to leave Troy; they fail the test and rush to the ships.

155-210 Odysseus, warned by Athene, forces Greeks back to camp.

211-277 The Thersites incident. (comic relief?)

278-393 Odysseus and Nestor address Greeks; Agamemnon fills them with ardor for battle.

394-484 The chieftains dine with Agamemnon; the men dine & sacrifice, chieftains arrange them into ranks.

485-770 The Catalogue of the Greeks.

771-785 Achilles broods by the sea and by his ships.

786-877 The Catalogue of the Trojans.

III 1-37 Paris challenges bravest Greek to combat, flees when Menelaos takes up challenge.

38-110 Chided by Hektor, Paris returns; Menelaos demands an oath in the presence of Priam.

111-244 Armies lay down their arms, sacrifices are prepared; meanwhile Helen from the walls point out Greek heroes to Priam and Trojan elders.

245-301 Summoned, Priam comes to the field and supervises oath: the winner will get Helen and her wealth.

302-382 Paris and Menelaos fight after Priam departs; Aphrodite rescues the wounded Paris, desposits him in bedchamber.

383-448 Aphrodite brings Helen to Paris, forcing her to receive him.

449-461 Menelaos vainly seeks Paris; Agamemnon demands the rewards of the victory according to the oath sworn.

IV 1-49 Hera extorts from Zeus promise of Troy's defeat.

50-104 Athena persuades Pandaros to break the truce.

104-219 Machaon heals the non-fatal wound of Menelaos.

220-421 Trojans rearm and return to fight; Agamemnon praises the alacrity of some Greeks, chides the slowness of others.

422-544 Battle is joined; Area ands Apollo aid Trojans, Athens aids Greeks; there is bloodshed on both sides.

V 1-94 Diomedes, under the protection of Athena who tricks Ares away from the battle, rages against the Trojans.

95-166 He is wounded by Pandaros but fights on.

167-296 He kills Pandaros who was fighting from Aeneas' chariot.

297-310 He wounds Aeneas who protects the body of his friend, Pandaros.

311-351 He wounds Aphrodite as she tries to rescue the wounded Aeneas.

352-431 Aphrodite, rescued by Iris, is conducted to Olympus in Ares' chariot, where she is comforted by her mother Dione, to the amusement of other gods.

432-460 Aeneas, deserted by his mother, is saved from Diomedes' wrath by Apollo who places him on the citadel and then recalls Ares to battle.

461-518 Ares stirs up the Trojan's faltering spirits; Aeneas returns to their aid.

519-710 The Greeks fight on; many are killed on both sides; the Greeks fall back slightly.

711-777 Hera and Athens come from Olympus to aid the Greek.

778-863 The Greeks are stirred up by Hera's voice; Diomedes, aided by Athena, wounds Ares himself.

864-909 Ares retreats to Olympus and is healed; the goddesses follow.

VI 1-101 Trojans incline towards flight; Helenos, a Trojan prophet and a brother of Hektor, urges Hektor to call for a public supplication of Athena by the women of Troy.

102-236 Hektor goes to the city. The Episodes of Glaukos and Diomedes.

237-311 Hekuba and the women, at Hektor's urging, supplicate Athens at her temple in Troy.

312-368 Hektor chides Paris for staying at home; leads him back.

369-502 Farewell of Hektor to his wife, Andromache, and his baby son, Astayanax.

503-529 Paris soon follows his brother Hektor back to battle.

VII 1-16 Hektor and Paris press on against the Greeks.

17-90 Hektor challenges the bravest Greek to single combat.

90-122 Agamemnon discourages Menelaos from volunteering.

123-205 Prodded by Nestor, nine Greek heroes volunteer; the lot falls to Aias, son of Telamon.

206-312 Hektor and Aias fight to a draw and at nightfall exchange gifts and withdraw.

313-364 At a meeting, Nestor proposes a truce for burial of the dead and to fortify the ships and camp. At a Trojan meeting, Antenor proposes the surrender of Helen and her wealth for the sake of peace; Paris refuses to give up Helen, but he is willing to give back her wealth.

365-420 Priam orders this word be brought to the Greeks; a truce is declared to bury the dead.

421-464 The burials take place; the Greeks protect their ships with a wall and a ditch; Poseidon is angered at this.

465-482 Nightfall with thunder follows the dinner at the end of the day.

VIII 1-52 At a gathering, Zeus forbids the gods to take sides in the battle, he rides his chariot to Mt. Ida.

52-77 In the morning he watches from Ida, weighs the fates of the two sides; the fates go against the Greeks and he sends thunderbolt portending disaster for them.

78-250 Greeks are driven back to their wall, while Hera vainly entreats the aid of Poseidon; Agamemnon revives their spirits.

251-334 The Greeks rally and counterattack; Teucer wounds many Trojans, is wounded in turn by Hektor.

335-437 The Greeks fall back again; Hera and Athena try to help but are prevented by Zeus who has spotted them at it.

438-484 Zeus berates the two goddesses on Olympus and promises worse disaster on the morrow.

485-565 The fighting ends with the nightfall; the victorious Trojans camp on the battlefield, lighting many fires to prevent an attack or escape by the Greeks.

IX 1-28 Agamemnon proposes flight to the chieftains.

29-78 Diomedes and Nestor dissuade him.

79-113 Dinner is held in Agamemnon's tent; they discuss what can be done to satisfy Achilles.

114-161 Agamemnon says that, if Achilles renounces publicly his warth, he will return to Achilles Briseis and send gifts as well.

162-184 Phoenix, Ajax of Telemon, Odysseus are sent as envoys.

185-668 The Embassy to the Achilles

--Achilles greets the envoys warmly.

--He rejects their pleas and the promises of Agamemnon.

--He asks Phoenix to stay as his guest for the night.

669-713 Ajax and Odysseus report the failure of the mission; Diomedes encourages the afflicted and faltering chieftains.

X 1-193 Agamemnon, sleepless, with Menelaos, wakens Nestor and other chieftains for a night conference.

194-271 they decide to send Diomedes and Odysseus as spies to the Trojan camp.

272-298 A good omen is discovered.

299-381 The spies, crossing noman's land, come upon Dolon, a Trojan on his way to spy on the Greeks.

382-464 Dolon, frightened, tells all, especially about the ally Rhesus; Dolon is slain.

465-503 The two spies come upon the encampment of Rhesus, slay his men in their sleep and drove off the horses.

504-579 They make good escape back to the Greek camp.

XI 1-66 Agamemnon, in splendor, leads his troops to battle; Hektor and the Trojan leaders do the likewise.

67-162 The Trojans, frightened by Agamemnon, fall back to the walls of Troy.

163-283 Hektor falls back to the walls of the city; commanded by Zeus he beats back onset of Agamemnon until Agamemnon, wounded, retires.

284-309 Hektor returns to the battle and restores the Trojan spirit.

310-400 Diomedes, Odysseus and Ajax restore Greek spirits; Diomedes wounded by Paris retires.

401-488 Odysseus wounded by Sokus, is rescued by Menelaos and Ajax.

489-596 Machaon and Eyrupylus are wounded by Paris.

597-617 Achilles seeing Machaon on Nestor's chariot, sends Patroklos to learn what has happened.

618-803 Patroklos recognizes Machaon; learns from Nestor the bad news of battle, is asked by him to try to get Achilles back into battle or to wear Achilles' armor himself and fight.

804-848 On the way back, Patroklos runs into Eurypylus who has been wounded, brings him to his tent and tends his wound.

XII 1-59 The Greeks withdraw behind their walls and watch the onslaught of the Trojans.

60-107 Advised by Poulydamas, the Trojans dismount from their chariots and advance in five groups.

108-194 Asius attempts an assault on one of the gates from his chariot and is repulsed with losses to his men.

195-250 An unlucky omen interpreted by Poulydamas does not deter Hektor from continuing the assault.

251-289 The Greeks, especially the two Aiases, defend the camp valiantly.

290-377 Sarpedon and Galukos, Trojan heroes, attack and are repulsed by Ajax and Teucer.

378-399 Epicles, friend of Sarpedon, is wounded by Ajax; Glaukos by Teucer; finally part of the wall is torn out by Sarpedon.

400-471 The Greeks hold off the Lykians, Trojan allies, from breaking in; Hektor breaks down the gate with the boulder and opens the way to the ships of the Greeks for his men.

XIII 1-42 With the wall broken here and there, Trojans kill Greeks; Poseidon in pity and without Zeus' knowledge aids the Greeks in defending their ships.

42-124 In the form of a human, Poseidon encourages the two Aiases and other chieftains.

125-205 Therefore, the Aiases and others keep Hektor from destroying the ships.

205-329 Idomeneus, driven to arm himself by Poseidon, aids those Greeks on the left flank who need help.

330-362 Fierce battle ensues; Zeus helps the Trojans, Poseidon the Greeks; Idomeneus excels among the Greek heroes.

363-672 He kills Othryoneus, Asius, Alkanthous; then with Meriones , Antilochos, and Menlaos he valiantly attacks Aeneas, Deiphobus, Helenus, and Paris.

673-808 The Aiases and others so press upon Hektor that the Trojans begin to fall back; but Hektor, advised by Poulydamas, makes a counterattack.

809-837 Ajax makes a fresh attack; great fighting continues on both sides.

XIV 1-26 Aroused by the clamor, Nestor leaves his tent where Machaon is recuperating to see what has happened.

27-81 He meets Agamemnon, Odysseus, and Diomedes returning wounded from the battle; Agamemnon contemplates flight for the Greeks.

82-152 Odysseus disagrees; Diomedes persuades all to return to the fray where they may help their men by their presence; as he goes along, Agamemnon is comforted by Poseidon.

153-351 Hera, to aid the Greeks, prepares to beguile Zeus with her womanly charm, enlisting the innocent help of Aphrodite; Sleep is summoned from Lemnos to cast a spell on Zeus.

352-401 While Zeus sleeps, Poseidon openly aids the Greeks.

402-439 Hektor, wounded by Ajax, is carried off and cared for by his companions.

440-522 The Greeks turn the Trojans back from the ships; Ajax, son of Oileus, excels among the Greeks.

XV 1-11 Zeus awakens to see Poseidon helping the Greeks.

12-77 He commands Hera to call Iris and Apollo from Olympus; he will use them to help the Trojans, at the same time he predicts the ultimate fall of Troy.

78-142 Ares hears from Hera of the death of his son Ascalaphos and he burns for vengeance; Athena calms him.

143-219 Apollo and Iris come to Zeus and Poseidon is dissuaded from further battle.

220-280 Apollo heals Hektor, returns him to battle, and restore the Trojans flagging fortunes.

281-389 Hektor attacks the bravest Greeks, kills some, put others to flight; Apollo goes before him with the aegis frightening the Greeks; the wall is torn down and the Trojans have access to the ships.

390-404 Patroklos returns to Achilles from Eurypylus to beg him to aid the Greeks.

405-590 The Greeks fight bitterly by the ships; many fall on both sides.

591-746 The Greeks fall back among the ships; Ajax tries to defend the ships from the fires Hektor is starting to spread among them.

XVI 1-100 Achilles allows Patroklos to wear his armor and drive the Greeks from the ships, warning him to go no further.

101-123 Ajax is unable to fight off the fires.

124-256 Achilles calls Patroklos to arm, lines up his men, addresses them, and prays for Patroklos in private.

257-305 Thinking Patroklos to be Achilles, the Trojans fall back, the ships are freed from siege, the fires are extinguished.

306-418 Patroklos drives the Trojans back over the walls.

419-507 Patroklos kills Sarpedon, a son of Zeus and a Trojan ally.

508-683 A struggle ensues over his body; it is snatched away.

684-711 Patroklos chases Trojans to city, scales the wall, but is repulsed by the god himself.

712-782 He faces up to Hektor, he kills Hektor's charioteer and makes off with the body.

783-867 He kills more Trojans until, stunned by Apollo, he is wounded by Euphorbus and finished off by Hektor.

XVII 1-60 Menelaos killls Euphorbus as he makes off with Patroklos' armor.

61-139 Menelaos summons Ajax to help defend Patroklos' body, which would be captured by the Trojans without his help.

140-261 Hektor yields to Ajax; then wearing Achilles' captured armor he returns to capture Patroklos' body, calling his bravest men to the task; the best of the Greeks, called by Menelaos, rush to his aid.

262-425 A bitter fight takes place over the body, Menelaos vs. Hektor, and the followers of each.

426-483 Achilles' horses, weeping for dead Patroklos, are strengthened by Zeus and return pulling Achilles' chariot and his charioteer Automedon.

484-596 Hektor, Aeneas, and others attack the chariot to capture the fine horses; the Greeks withstand this attack and continue to defend Patroklos' body; Athena strengthens Menelaos; Apollo aids Hektor with Zeus' approval.

597-701 The Greek line falters; Ajax wavers; Menelaos dispatches Antilochos to Achilles with the tragic news of his friend's death.

702-761 Menelaos and Meriones begin to carry off Patroklos' body while others of the Greeks fend off the Trojan's attack.

XVIII 1-34 Hearing the bad news of Patroklos, Achillles weeps.

35-137 Thetis comes from the sea to console him; she bids him put off his revenge for one day while she has Hepahaistos fashion new armor for him.

138-231 Thetis leaves for Olympus; the battle for Patroklos goes on; the Trojans are on the point of prevailing when Achilles appears in person on the ramparts of the Greek encampment and with a shriek terrifies the Trojans and put them to flight.

232-242 The Greeks bring the body of Patroklos to Achilles' camp.

243-314 The Trojans hold the tumultuous meeting; Poulydamas urges them to remain in the city and avoid the wrathful revenge of Achilles; Hektor and others disagree with this plan.

315-355 The Trojans spend a vigilant night; the Greeks mourn for Paroklos, care for his body and place it on a bier.

356-427 At Olympus, where Zeus had been chiding Hera for stirring up Achilles, Thetis is warmly received at the house of Hephaistos, the fire god.

428-617 Hephaistos acceeds to her wishes and fashions new arms for Achilles.

XIX 1-39 Thetis brings Achilles his new armor at dawn, urges him to join battle; she magically embalms the body of Patroklos to preserve it.

40-73 Achilles calls a meeting at which he renounces his wrath.

74-153 Agamemnon confesses in turn his error and offers gifts through Odysseus; Achilles, intent on revenge, ignores them.

154-275 But he yields to Odysseus, waits while the troops breakfast, publicly accepts the gifts and receives back Briseis, whom Agamemnon solemnly swears he has not touched.

276-339 The gifts are brought into his tent where the women weep for Patroklos; Achilles again weeps and refuses food.

340-424 He is restored to strength by Athena, puts on his new armor, ascends his chariot with Automedon; one of his horses predicts the future and he sets out for battle.

XX 1-30 At a meeting on Olympus, Zeus gives the gods permission to aid whom they will, so that the wrath of Achilles may not accomplish the premature downfall of Troy.

31-74 The gods proceed to battle: Hera, Athena, Poseidon, Hermes, Hephaistos, too aid the Greeks; Ares, Apollo, Diana, Leto, Xanthos, Aphrodite, to aid the Trojans; the earth trembles at their arrival.

75-155 Before battle is joined, Apollo urges Aeneas on against Achilles who is pressing toward Hektor; meanwhile, the gods, on the advice of Poseidon, remain on the sidelines for the time being.

156-352 Achilles and Aeneas go to it; Poseidon rescues Aeneas in a cloud because of his particular destiny.

353-418 Hektor, about to attack Achilles, is recalled by Apollo; Achilles kills many Trojans, among them Polydoros, a son of Priam.

419-454 To avenge the death of his brother Polydoros, Hektor attacks Hektor; Apollo snatches him away in a cloud.

455-503 Achilles rages against the Trojans, filling the field with corpses.

XXI 1-33 Achilles drives some Trojans to the city, others into the river Xanthus (called also Skamandros, under the protection of the god Xanthus); he kills many in the water but saves twelve as a funeral offering for Patroklos.

34-135 He kills Lycaon, son of Priam, though he surrenders.

136-210 He kills Asteropaeus with some of his followers.

211-271 Xanthos, the river, choked with bodies, orders him to leave; Achilles refuses and the river tries to drown him.

272-384 Poseidon and Athena aid the struggling Achilles; Xanthos calls upon the river Simoeis for help; Hera sends Hephaistos against Xanthus; he burns up the river and has to be called off by Hera.

385-513 The gods pair off to fight: Ares, Aphrodite--Athena; Apollo--Poseidon; Hera--Artemis; Hermes--Leto.

514-543 After this the gods and goddesses return to Olympus except Apollo who makes for Troy; Achilles rages on; Priam orders the closing of the gates.

544-611 Apollo, by a ruse, keeps Achilles away from the city as the refugees enter the gates.

XXII 1-89 With each army withdrawn from the field, Hektor awaits Achilles before the gates, while his weeping parents, from the walls, begs him to escape while he can.

90-166 Hektor however holds fast; then, frightened by Achilles' aspect, flees; Achilles chases him around the city walls three times.

167-247 Zeus pities Hektor's plight; he weighs the fates and finds it is Hektor's doomsday; Apollo abandons Hektor and Apollo chases him with a false vision of his brother Polydoros.

248-305 The heroes meet; Athena aids Achilles and tricks Hektor.

306-404 Achilles transfixes Hektor with a spear, strips his body, and disgraces the corpse, drags it by chariot to the ships.

405-515 The city bewails the death of Hektor from the walls; Andromache learns the tragic news.

XXIII 1-58 The Myrmidons process around the bier of Patroklos; Achilles provides them a feast, though he himself dines with Agamemnon, setting a date for the funeral.

59-107 That night Patroklos appears to Achilles in a dream, begging burial.

108-225 Next morning the body is burned with much ceremony.

226-256 The following day the ashes are collected in a urn and a mound of earth is raised over it.

257-650 Achilles declares games with prizes in Partroklos' honor; there is a chariot race: Diomedes, Antilochos, Menelaos, Merione, Eumelos, Nestor.

651-699 Epeus and Euryalos box.

700-739 Ajax and Odysseus wrestle.

740-797 Odysseus, Ajax of Olieus, Antilochos race.

798-825 Diomedes and Ajax of Telemon fight with weapons.

826-849 Polypoetes throws the discus.

850-883 Meriones and Teucer contend with bow and arrow.

884-897 Agamemnon and Meriones throw the javelin.

XXIV 1-18 The games over, the Greeks eat and sleep; Achilles after a sleepless night, drags the body of Hektor around the tomb.

19-54 Some of the gods approve, some disapprove of the actions of Achilles going on for so many days; Apollo complains bitterly.

55-186 Therefore: Zeus, through Thetis, command Achilles to desist, to accept a ransom and surrender the body; at his command, Iris tells Priam to offer a ransom and retrieve the body.

187-282 On the 12th night after the death of Hektor, Priam secretly prepares a ransom, loads a chariot and enlists the aid of Idaeus, a herald.

283-330 A libation is offered; favorable omens are received; they set out.

331-467 Hermes guides them through the sleeping Greeks.

468-676 Achilles accepts the ransom, orders the preparation of the body, grants an eleven day truce for burial, feeds Priam and dismisses him.

677-776 Helped by Hermes, Priam returns Hektor's body to Troy, where the entire population comes out to greet it with lamentation; Andromache, Hecuba, and Helen mourn over the body.

777-804 The burial of Hektor.

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

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