The Iliad Book Summary

The Iliad Book Summary

Book 1:
Dispute Between Kings
Opening chapter
Dispute between Achilles and Agamemnon
Achilles refuses to fight in the war because Agamemnon took away Briseis from him
Book 2:
The Long Speech Book
Zeus sends a false dream to Agamemnon
Odysseus and Nestor give long speeches
Takes place in the Greek army camp
Book 3:
Paris the Coward
The Trojans come out of their walls to meet the Greeks
Paris and Menelaus prepare to fight single combat but Paris loses heart and shrinks back.
Hektor yells at Paris for his cowardice.
Paris finally fights and just before he is about to be killed Aphrodite whisks him away to his room in Prium’s palace
Book 4:
The Quarlelling Gods
Gods engage in their own quarel about who won the duel
Zeus sends Aphrodite into the battle to rekindle the fighting
She convinces an archer to fire an arrow ar Menelaus
She guides it so that it doenst kill him
Agamemnon rallies his men and he launches a full attack on Troy and much blood is shed
Book 5:
Superhuman Diomedes
Pandarus wounds Diomedes in battle
Diomedes prays to Athena for revenge and she gives him super human strength
Diomedes eventually kills Pandarus with a spear
Aeneas also gets wounded by Diomedes and while Aphrodite his helping him, Diomedes cuts her wrists
Apollo goes to help Aeneas in Aphrodites’ stead and Diomedes tries to fight him too and Apollo just pushes him aside
With the help of the Gods the Trojans begin to take the upper hand
Book 6:
Trojans Weaken and the Women Pray
With the Gods absent the Greeks begin to comeback
Nestor senses the Trojans weakening and he tells the Greeks to focus on killing as many Trojans as possible instead of stripping them of their weapons and armor
The Trojans sense downfall and the women go to the temple of Athena and pray for mercy
Hektor finds Paris not fighting and him and Helen scold him harshly until he finally returns to battle with his brother Hektor
Book 7:
Hektor and Ajax Duel
When Hektor and Paris return to battle the fighting escalates
Hektor offers himself to anyone who would want to challenge him to a duel
Ajax is chosen to fight Hektor
Ajax draws first blood, but Zeus calls off the fight by making night fall and the two depart making a pact of friendship
Nestor gives a speech urging the Greeks to ask for a day to bury their dead
In the Trojan camp, one of the king’s advisors tells Paris to give up Helen and thus end the war, but Paris refuses
Instead he offers to return all the loot he took when he took Helen
The Greeks see this offer and refuse to accept the compromise, but both sides agree to have a day off to observe and bury their dead
Book 8:
Zeus Weighs the Battle
Zeus goes to Mount Ida and weighs the fate of Troy and the Greeks
The Greek side sinks down and Zeus turns the tide of the battle in the Trojans favor
The Trojans overwhelm the Greeks driving them all the way back to their ships and Athena and Hera want to help the Greeks but Zeus warns them not to or there will be consequences
That night the Trojans being so confident decide to camp outside the city walls
Book 9:
The Petition to Achilles to Return
The Greeks sit in their camp broken hearted and feel like the war is lost and they wanna return home
Diomedes and Nestor urge perseverence as well as reconcilliation with Achilles
Odysseus, Ajax, and Phoniex are chosen to go talk to Achilles
They find him in his tent playing the lyre with his good friend Patroklos
Odysseus goes first in offering Agamemnon’s request and is quickly shot down
Phoniex, who actually raised Achilles, goes next giving another long speech and he too is rejected
Book 10:
Spy Time
Agamemnon and Menlaus send Odysseus and Diomedes as spies to go spy on the Trojans
The Trojans also send Dolon as a spy to go spy on the Greeks
The spies run into each other and Dolon ends up telling the Greek spies everything that the Trojans are planning
The Greeks kill Dolon and strip him of his armor
The two Greek spies proceed to the Thracian camp and kill 12 men and the king and take the king’s chariot back to their camp where they are greeted warmly
Book 11:
Blood Rain=Greek Massacre
Zeus rains down blood upon the Greeks in the morning thus causing them to panic and they get massacred, but by the afternoon thu begin making a comeback
Agamemnon is killing men left and right
Zeus sends Iris to tell Hektor to wait till Agamemnon gets injured and then attack
Soon later, Agamemnon gets injured and leaves the field and Hektor seizes his oppurtunity
Hektor pushes the Greek line back until Diomedes throws a spear at Hektor and knocks off his helmet making Hektor retreat
Paris fires an arrow and hits Diomedes putting him out for the rest of the epic
The Trojans surround Odysseus but he is able to fight them all off until Socus wounds him through the ribs
Ajax rescues Odyseeus before the Trojans can harm him more
The Greek healer Machanon is injuried in battle and the Greeks panic
He is placed in a chariot and rushed back to his tent
Achilles sees this and tells Patroklos to go see what happened
Nestor tells Patroklos of all the injuries and deaths and begs him to convince Achilles to return to battle or even Patroklos put on Achilles armor and pretend to be Achilles
Patroklos agrees to appeal to Achilles and he also dresses a wound of a man who was fighting alongside Ajax
Book 12:
Hektor and the Trojans attack the ramparts
We learn that the Greek fortifications are doomed to be destroyed by the Gods when Troy falls but they stand for now
Hektor orders his men to gy off their chariots and storm the ramparts
Just before they are about to an eagle flies overhead and drops a serpent in the midst of them and they assume that its a sign that the charge will fail but Hektor refuses to retreat
The Trojans Glaucus and Sarpedon charge the ramparts and Ajax and Teucer struggle to hold them back
Sarpedon makes the first breach and Hektor follows by shattering one of the gates with a boulder and the Trojans pour in pushing the Greeks all the way back to their ships
Book 13:
Posideons’ Vengence
Zeus leaves the battle field and Posideon sees that and visits Great Ajax and Little Ajax and gives them confidence to resist the Trojan assult
With their spirits restored the Greeks drive Hektor and the Trojans back
Hektor throws a spear at Teucer and he dodges it but it hits and kills Posideon’s grandson
As an act of vengence Posideon gives Idomeneus raging power
He kills a number of Trojans but he is mainly looking for Deiphobus
Hektor contines his assult but the Trojans with him have lost heart
Ajax insults Hektor and then an eagle appears on Ajax’s right which is a favorable sign for the Greeks
Book 14:
Hera Seduces Zeus
Agamemnon propses giving up and sailing for home and is scolded by Odysseus
Posideon encourages Agamemnon and gives added strength to the Greek army
Hera spots Zeus overlooking Troy and she wants to help the Greeks but she has to do it behind Zeus’ back
She tricks Aphrodite into giving her a breastband that is woven with love and longing and then she visits the embodiment of Sleep and perauses him to lull Zeus to sleep
Sleep disguses himself as a bird and follows Hera to Zeus
Zeus sees Hera and struck with passion because of the band and he makes love to her
Soon after he falls asleep
Hera tells Posideon that he has free rein to steer the Greeks to victory
Posideon regroups the Greeks and they begin taking the upper hand
Hektor is injured by a boulder thrown by Ajax and he is carries back to Troy and the Trojans begin dying in great numbers
Book 15:
Close Enough To Touch A Ship
Zeus wakes up and sees what has happened during his sleep
Hera tries to blame Posideon but Zeus tells her that he is not interested in a Trojan victory, they are still fated to fall
Iris tells Posideon to leave the battle field and he reluctantly does so
Meanwhile Apollo seeks out Hektor and fills him and his men with strength
Hektor leads a charge aganist the Greeks and they hold them off until Apollo himself enters the battle and aids the Trojans in bringing down the ramparts
The Greeks are pushed all the way back to the ships
Ajax and Hektor fight again while Teucer fells several Trojans with his bow, but when he aims at Hektor, Zeus snaps his bow string
The Trojans push the Greeks so far back that Hektor is close enough to touch a ship
Book 16:
Patroklos Inquires of Achilles’ Armor and Dies in Battle
Patroklos goes to Achilles and begs him to allow him to wear his armor if Achilles still does not want to enter the battle
Achilles declines to fight but agrees to let Patroklos use his armor only if Patroklos agrees to fight long enough to save the ships
As Patroklos arms himself the 1st ship goes up in flames and Achilles sends out his men to help aid Patroklos
Achilles then prays to Zeus that Patroklos would return safely and that the ships would be saved also
The poet reveals that Zeus would only grant one of the prayers
When Patroklos shows up in Achilles’ armor the battle shifts and the Trojans retreat from the Greek ships
Patroklos then begins killing every Trojan he encounters
Patroklos ends up killing Zeus’ son Sarpedon and Zeus decides to kill Patroklos because of that
Patroklos disobeys Achilles and charges the Trojans all the way back to the gates of Troy
Apollo intervenes and injures Patroklos and Hektor takes advantage of that and finishes him off, but as Patroklos is dying he foretells Hektor’s own death
Book 17:
A Fight Over A Dead Body
A fight breaks out over Patroklos’ body
Euphorbius, who speared Patroklos, tries to take Achilles’ armor but is killed by Menelaus
Hektor sees Euphorbius fall and comes to help but is forced to back down because of Ajax
Hektor is rebuked for not getting the body and offers half of the war spoils to any Trojan who can drag the body away
Zeus temporaily gives Hektor great power but still he is forced to retreat to the gates of Troy
Menelaus sends Antilochus for help from Achilles
Zeus moves the battle in favor of Troy but relents long enough so that the Greeks can retrieve the body
Book 18:
Screaming In The Ditch
Achilles’ Rage
The climax of the Iliad
Antilochus brings word to Achilles of Patroklos’ death and he loses control of himself
He cries so much that his mother hears him and comes to see what is wrong
Achilles tells her the tragedy and that he will avenge himself on Hektor
Iris, who was sent bu Hera, tells Achilles that he must go now and make an apperence on the battlefield. This appereance will scare the Trojans and give them time to retrieve the body
He leaves his tent and stands in the ditch and begins screaming and Athena also joins him and this scream does indeed send the Trojans running
Book 19:
Achilles Loses His Humanity
Achilles mother gives him the new armor
Achilles will not eat until Hektor is dead
Book 20:
Achilles Duels Two Men Who Get Whisked Away
Zeus summons the gods and tells them that Achilles needs to be in check or else he could take the city before its fated time
Apollo encourages Aeneas to challenge Achilles
Before Achilles kills him Apollo whisks him away
Apollo warns Hektor not strike up a duel with Achilles
Hektor obeys intially bit as he sees his fellow men getting killed he challenges Achilles and Apollo is forced to save him again
Book 21:
Fighting A River
Achilles continues to slaughter Trojans
He flings the dead bodies into tye river clogging up the channel
The river cries out to Apollo and when Achilles hears that he attacks the river itself
The river gets the upper hand and nearly kills Achilles until Hephaestus intervenes and sets fire to the plains and boils the water
Prium opens the gates to let his retreating army in
Apollo disguises himself as Agenor and stalls Achilles so that the Trojans can get back into the city
Book 22:
Getting Revenge on Hektor
Hektor is the only Trojan outside the walls
Pruim begs him to come inside the walls but he is too ashamed to
Achilles begins chasing him around the city
Hektor tries to reason with Achilles and that fails
Athena disguises herself as Deiphobus and convinces Hektor that they both can kill Achilles
He turns around and charges Achilles but since he was wearing Achilles’ armor he knew the weak spots and drove his spear into Hektor’s throat
Hektor, near death, pleaded to have Achilles return his body to the Trojans but instead Achilles tied the body to back of his chariot and dragged around in the dirt
Book 23:
Humanity Restored (somewhat)
After this Achilles finally begins to eat again butvhe atill refuses to wash until he has buries Patroklos
That night he has a dream of Patroklos coming to him begging Achilles to bury his body so that his soul can enter the land of the dead
The day following the burial Achilles holds a series of competitions and marvelous prizes are given out
Book 24:
Prium and Achilles Cry Together
Achilles continues to mourn Patroklos and destroying Hektors body
Apollo prevents Hektors body from rotting but he tella Zeus that its time for Achilles to return the body
Zeus sends Iris to Prium to instruct him to strike up a ransom
Prium sets out and is guided by Hermes who is disguised as a soldier
Prium tearfully supplictes Achilles for the body
Achilles and Prium both shed tears
Prium spends the night in Achilles’ tent but Hermes wakes him up in the middle of the night telling him that he must not sleep among them
Achilles gives them a reprive from battle and they light Hektor’s body on the 10th day
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