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The Iliad Summary
Enter a Perseus citation to go to another section or work. Full search options are on the right side and top of the page. Let it not be that the gods have brought to pass grievous woes for my soul, even as on a time my mother declared unto me, and said that  while yet I lived the best man of the Myrmidons should leave the light of the sun beneath the hands of the Trojans!
Surely I bade him come back again to the ships when he had thrust off the consuming fire, and not to fight amain with Hector.
And himself in the dust lay outstretched, mighty in his mightiness, and with his own hands he tore and marred his hair.
Alan Dershowitz, Devil’s Advocate
And the handmaidens, that Achilles and Patroclus had got them as booty, shrieked aloud in anguish of heart,  and ran forth around wise-hearted Achilles, and all beat their breasts with their hands, and the knees of each one were loosed be-neath her.
And over against them Antilochus wailed and shed tears, holding the hands of Achilles, that in his noble heart was moaning mightily; for he feared lest he should cut his throat asunder with the knife. Thereat she uttered a shrill cry, and the goddesses thronged about her, even all the daughters of Nereus that were in the deep of the sea.
Ah, woe is me unhappy, woe is me that bare to my sorrow the best of men,  for after I had borne a son peerless and stalwart, pre-eminent among warriors, and he shot up like a sapling; then when I had reared him as a tree in a rich orchard plot, I sent him forth in the beaked ships to Ilios to war with the Trojans; but never again shall I welcome him  back to his home, to the house of Peleus.
And while yet he liveth, and beholdeth the light of the sun, he hath sorrow, neither can I anywise help him, though I go to him. Howbeit go I will, that I may behold my dear child, and hear what grief has come upon him while yet he abideth aloof from the war.
And when they were come to the deep-soiled land of Troy they stepped forth upon the beach, one after the other, where the ships of the Myrmidons were drawn up in close lines round about swift Achilles. What sorrow hath come upon thy heart. Speak out; hide it not.
Thy wish has verily been brought to pass for thee  by Zeus, as aforetime thou didst pray, stretching forth thy hands, even that one and all the sons of the Achaeans should be huddled at the sterns of the ships in sore need of thee, and should suffer cruel things. Him have I lost, and his armour Hector that slew him hath stripped from him, that fair armour, huge of size, a wonder to behold, that the gods gave as a glorious gift to Peleus  on the day when they laid thee in the bed of a mortal man.
Would thou hadst remained where thou wast amid the immortal maidens of the sea, and that Peleus had taken to his home a mortal bride. But now—it was thus that thou too mightest have measureless grief at heart for thy dead son, whom thou shalt never again welcome  to his home; for neither doth my own heart bid me live on and abide among men, unless Hector first, smitten by my spear, shall lose his life, and pay back the price for that he made spoil of Patroclus, son of Menoetius.
Far, far from his own land  hath he fallen, and had need of me to be a warder off of ruin. Now therefore, seeing I return not to my dear native land, neither proved anywise a light of deliverance to Patroclus nor to my other comrades, those many that have been slain by goodly Hector, but abide here by the ships.
Iliad Homework Help Questions
Profitless burden upon the earth—  I that in war am such as is none other of the brazen-coated Achaeans, albeit in council there be others better— so may strife perish from among gods and men, and anger that setteth a man on to grow wroth, how wise soever he be, and that sweeter far than trickling honey  waxeth like smoke in the breasts of men; even as but now the king of men, Agamemnon, moved me to wrath. Howbeit these things will we let be as past and done, for all our pain, curbing the heart in our breasts, because we must.
But now will I go forth that I may light on the slayer of the man I loved,  even on Hector; for my fate, I will accept it whenso Zeus willeth to bring it to pass, and the other immortal gods. For not even the mighty Heracles escaped death, albeit he was most dear to Zeus, son of Cronos, the king, but fate overcame him, and the dread wrath of Hera. But now let me win glorious renown, and set many a one among the deep-bosomed Trojan or Dardanian dames to wipe with both hands the tears from her tender cheeks, and ceaseless moaning;  and let them know that long in good sooth have I kept apart from the war.
Seek not then to hold me back from battle, for all thou lovest me; thou shalt not persuade me. This doth Hector of the flashing helm wear on his own shoulders, and exulteth therein. Yet I deem that not for long shall he glory therein. But do thou not enter into the turmoil of Ares  until thine eyes shall behold me again coming hither.
For in the morning will I return at the rising of the sun, bearing fair armour from the lord Hephaestus. But I will get me to high Olympus to the house of Hephaestus, the famed craftsman, if so be he will give to my son glorious shining armour.
Book 18 Questions and Answers
Her then were her feet bearing to Olympus, but the Achaeans fled with wondrous shouting from before man-slaying Hector,  and came to the ships and the Hellespont. Howbeit Patroclus, the squire of Achilles, might the well-greaved Achaeans not draw forth from amid the darts; for now again there overtook him the host and the chariots of Troy, and Hector, son of Priam, in might as it were a flame.
But he, ever trusting in his might, would now charge upon them in the fray, and would now stand  and shout aloud; but backward would he give never a whit. And as shepherds of the steading avail not in any wise to drive from a carcase a tawny lion when he hungereth sore, even so the twain warrior Aiantes availed not to affright Hector, Priam's son, away from the corpse.
Bear thou aid to Patroclus, for whose sake is a dread strife afoot before the ships. And men are slaying one another, these seeking to defend the corpse of the dead, while the Trojans charge on to drag him to windy Ilios; and above all glorious Hector  is fain to drag him away; and his heart biddeth him shear the head from the tender neck, and fix it on the stakes of the wall. Nay, up then, lie here no more! Let awe come upon thy soul that Patroclus should become the sport of the dogs of Troy.
They yonder hold my battle-gear; and my dear mother forbade that I array me for the fight  until such time as mine eyes should behold her again coming hither; for she pledged her to bring goodly armour from Hephaestus.
No other man know I whose glorious armour I might don, except it were the shield of Aias, son of Telamon. Howbeit himself, I ween, hath dalliance amid the foremost fighters,  as he maketh havoc with his spear in defence of dead Patroclus. And as when a smoke goeth up from a city and reacheth to heaven from afar, from an island that foes beleaguer, and the men thereof contend the whole day through in hateful war  from their city's walls, and then at set of sun flame forth the beacon-fires one after another and high aloft darteth the glare thereof for dwellers round about to behold, if so be they may come in their ships to be warders off of bane; even so from the head of Achilles went up the gleam toward heaven.
There stood he and shouted, and from afar Pallas Athene uttered her voice; but amid the Trojans he roused confusion unspeakable. Clear as the trumpet's voice when it soundeth aloud  beneath the press of murderous foemen that beleaguer a city, so clear was then the voice of the son of Aeacus.
And when they heard the brazen voice of the son of Aeacus the hearts of all were dismayed; and the fair-maned horses  turned their cars backward, for their spirits boded bane. And the charioteers were stricken with terror when they beheld the unwearied fire blaze in fearsome wise above the head of the great-souled son of Peleus; for the goddess, flashing-eyed Athene, made it blaze. Thrice over the trench shouted mightily the goodly Achilles, and thrice the Trojans and their famed allies were confounded.
But the Achaeans with gladness drew Patroclus forth from out the darts and laid him on a bier, and his dear comrades thronged about him weeping; and amid them followed swift-footed Achilles,  shedding hot tears, for that he beheld his trusty comrade lying on the bier, mangled by the sharp bronze.
Him verily had he sent forth with horses and chariot into the war, but never again did he welcome his returning. Then was the unwearying sun sent by ox-eyed, queenly Hera  to go his way, full loath, to the stream of Ocean.
So the sun set and the goodly Achaeans stayed them from the fierce strife and the evil war.
And on their side, the Trojans, when they were come back from the fierce conflict, loosed from beneath their cars their swift horses,  and gathered themselves in assembly or ever they bethought them to sup.
Upon their feet they stood while the gathering was held, neither had any man heart to sit; for they all were holden of fear, seeing Achilles was come forth, albeit he had long kept him aloof from grievous battle.
Then among them wise Polydamas was first to speak,  the son of Panthous; for he alone looked at once before and after. Comrade was he of Hector, and in the one night were they born: howbeit in speech was one far the best, the other with the spear. For my own part I bid you  return even now to the city, neither on the plain beside the ships await bright Dawn, for afar from the wall are we.
As long as this man continued in wrath against goodly Agamemnon, even so long were the Achaeans easier to fight against; aye, and I too was glad, when hard by the swift ships I spent the night,  in hope that we should take the curved ships.
But now do I wondrously fear the swift-footed son of Peleus; so masterful is his spirit, he will not be minded to abide in the plain, where in the midst both Trojans and Achaeans share in the fury of Ares;  but it is for our city that he will fight, and for our wives. Nay, let us go to the city; hearken ye unto me, for on this wise shall it be. For this present hath immortal night stayed the swift-footed son of Peleus, but if on the morrow he shall come forth in harness and light on us yet abiding here, full well shall many a one come to know him; for with joy shall he that escapeth win to sacred Ilios,  and many of the Trojans shall the dogs and vultures devour—far from my ear be the tale thereof.
But and if we hearken to my words for all we be loath, this night shall we keep our forces in the place of gathering, and the city shall be guarded by the walls  and high gates and by the tall well-polished doors that are set therein, bolted fast. But in the morning at the coming of Dawn arrayed in our armour will we make our stand upon the walls; and the worse will it be for him, if he be minded to come forth from the ships and fight with us to win the wall.
Englishing the Iliad: Grading Four Rival Translations
But to force his way within will his heart not suffer him nor shall he lay it waste; ere that shall the swift dogs devour him. In good sooth have ye not yet had your fill of being pent within the walls?
The Iliad (Book XVIII: The shield of Achilles) [AudioBook]
Of old all mortal men were wont to tell of Priam's city, for its wealth of gold, its wealth of bronze;  but now are its goodly treasures perished from its homes, and lo, possessions full many have been sold away to Phrygia and lovely Maeonia, since great Zeus waxed wroth.
But now, when the son of crooked-counselling Cronos hath vouchsafed me to win glory at the ships, and to pen the Achaeans, beside the sea,  no longer, thou fool, do thou show forth counsels such as these among the folk. For not a man of the Trojans will hearken to thee; I will not suffer it. Nay, come; even as I shall bid, let us all obey: for this present take ye your supper throughout the host by companies, and take heed to keep watch, and be wakeful every man.
But in the morning, at the coming of Dawn, arrayed in our armour, let us arouse sharp battle at the hollow ships. But if in deed and in truth goodly Achilles is arisen by the ships, the worse shall it be for him, if he so will it. I verily will not flee from him out of dolorous war, but face to face will I stand against him, whether he shall win great victory, or haply I. Alike to all is the god of war, and lo, he slayeth him that would slay. To Hector they all gave praise in his ill advising, but Polydamas no man praised, albeit he devised counsel that was good.
The iliad book 18 translation services
So then they took supper throughout the host; but the Achaeans  the whole night through made moan in lamentation for Patroclus. And among them the son of Peleus began the vehement lamentation, laying his man-slaying hands upon the breast of his comrade and uttering many a groan, even as a bearded lion whose whelps some hunter of stags hath snatched away  from out the thick wood; and the lion coming back thereafter grieveth sore, and through many a glen he rangeth on the track of the footsteps of the man, if so be he may anywhere find him; for anger exceeding grim layeth hold of him.
Vain in sooth was the word I uttered on that day,  when I sought to hearten the warrior Menoetius in our halls; and said that when I had sacked Ilios I would bring back to him unto Opoeis his glorious son with the share of the spoil that should fall to his lot.
But lo, Zeus fulfilleth not for men all their purposes; for both of us twain are fated to redden the selfsame earth with our blood  here in the land of Troy; since neither shall I come back to be welcomed of the old knight Peleus in his halls, nor of my mother Thetis, but even here shall the earth hold me fast.
But now, Patroclus, seeing I shall after thee pass beneath the earth, I will not give thee burial till I have brought hither the armour and the head of Hector,  the slayer of thee, the great-souled; and of twelve glorious sons of the Trojans will I cut the throats before thy pyre in my wrath at thy slaying.
Until then beside the beaked ships shalt thou lie, even as thou art, and round about thee shall deep-bosomed Trojan and Dardanian women  make lament night and day with shedding of tears, even they that we twain got us through toil by our might and our long spears, when we wasted rich cities of mortal men.
And they set upon the blazing fire the cauldron for filling the bath, and poured in water, and took billets of wood and kindled them beneath it. Then the fire played about the belly of the cauldron, and the water grew warm. But when the water boiled in the bright bronze,  then they washed him and anointed him richly with oil, filling his wounds with ointment of nine 4 years old; and they laid him upon his bed, and covered him with a soft linen cloth from head to foot, and thereover with a white robe.
In good sooth must the long-haired Achaeans be children of thine own womb. Lo, even a man, I ween, is like to accomplish what he can for another man, one that is but mortal, and knoweth not all the wisdom that is mine.