Greeks, Argives, Danaans
Agamemnon – Son of Atreus, king of Argos
Odysseus – son of Laertes, father of Telemachos, born in Ithaka
Menelaos, Atreides – son of Atreus, brother of Agamemnon, husband of Helen
Nestor – son of Neleus, king of Pylos, Gerenian horseman: honored above all the elders by Agamemnon
Calchas – seer who tells what must be done to stop the plague in Book 1; Prophesizes in Book 2 that Troy will fall in the 10th year and this is used by Odysseus to convince the Argives to come back to battle
Idomeneus – king of Crete
Priam – son of Laomedon, leader
Hektor – Priam’s son
Paris, Alexandros, son of Priam – shrinks from Menelaos in Book 3 and is chastised by Hektor
Pandaros – Guided by Athena, shoots Menelaos in Book 4, breaking the oath in Book 3
Aeneas – son of Aphrodite and Anchises
Euphorbus – Kills Patroclus in Book 16
Zeus – supporter of Trojans
Hera – “sister” of Zeus, supporter of Greeks
Athena – daughter of Zeus, supporter of Greeks
Aphrodite – broke Paris’ chinstrap as he was being dragged in Book 3, and then whisked him away in a cloud to his bed
Apollo – favored the Trojans
Ares – favored the Trojans
Hephaistos – wrought Agamemnon’s scepter
Iris – favored the Trojans; warned them in Book 2 of the coming of the Achaeans
For when a king when he is angry with a man beneath him is too strong,
and suppose even for the day itself he swallow down his anger,
he still keeps bitterness that remains until its fulfillment
deep in his chest. Speak forth then, tell me if you will protect me’
-Book 1, Lines 80-83
Let me nevermore be called Telmachos’ father,
if I do not take you and strip away your personal clothing,
your mantle and your tunic that cover over your nakedness,
and send you thus bare and howling back to the fast ships,
whipping you out of the assembly place with the strokes of indignity.’
-Book 2, Lines 260-264
Always it is, that the hearts in the younger men are frivolous,
but when an elder man is among them, he looks behind him
and in front, so that all comes out far better for both sides.’
-Book 3, Lines 108-110
‘Wretched girl, do not tease me lest in anger I forsake you
and grow to hate you as much as now I terribly love you,
lest I encompass you in hard hate, caught between both sides,
Danaans and Trojans alike, and you wretchedly perish.’
-Book 3, Lines 414-417
These would not have hidden him for love, if any had seen him,
Since he was hated among them all as dark death is hated.
-Book 3, Lines 453-454
‘If you could walk through the gates and through the towering ramparts
and eat Priam and the children of Priam raw, and the other
Trojans, then, then only might you glut at last your anger.’
-Book 4, Lines 34-36
She then hurled down bitterness equally between both sides
as she walked through the onslaught making men’s pain heavier.
-Book 4, Lines 444-445
Athena convinces Ares to sit out, and the Greeks push back the Trojans. Diomedes goes on a rampage, is shot by Pandaros, but is healed by Athena. She gives him the ability to see gods and grants him permission to stab Aphrodite. Pandaros then joins Aeneas in his chariot and they attack Diomedes, who kills Pandaros with a spear.and crushed Aeneas’ hip with a rock. Aphrodite then carried him out of the fighting, but Diomedes ran her down and stabbed her. Apollo caught Aeneas and whisked him away, healed him and sent him back as Ares rallied the Trojans while Athena was away. The Greeks fell back as Ares fought along Hector, as they knew a God was in the fight. At this, Zeus grants permission for Hera and Athena to enter the fight. Hera rallies the Greeks while Athena gives permission to Diomedes to fight against Ares. They advance on each other and Athena/Diomedes deflects Ares’ blow and stabs him in the gut.
He it was who had built for Alexandros the balanced
ships, the beginning of the evil, fatal to the other
Trojans, and to him, since he knew nothing of the gods’ plans.
-Book 5, Lines 62-4
Next he killed two children of Dardanian Priam
who were in a single chariot, Echemmon and Chromios.
As among the cattle a lion leaps on the neck of an ox or
heifer, that grazes among the wooded places, and breaks it,
so the son of Tydeus hurled both from their horses
hatefully, in spite of their struggles, them stripped their armor
and gave the horses to his company to drive to their vessels.
-Book 5, Lines 159-65
‘Take care, give back, son of Tydeus, and strive no longer
to make yourself like the gods in mind, since never the same is
the breed of gods, who are immortal, and men who walk groundling.’
-Book 5, Lines 440-2
‘Be men now, dear friends, and take up the heart of courage,
and have consideration for each other in the strong encounters,
since more come through alive when men consider each other,
and there is no glory when they give way, nor warcraft either.’
-Book 5, Lines 529-32
The women of Troy, at Hector’s command, make a sacrifice to Athena to spare their city from Diomedes, but she turns away. Hector then goes to Paris and scolds him for hanging back from the fight, and Paris agrees to rejoin. Hector visits his wife Andromache, who begs him to fall back since the Achaians are winning, but he refuses.
‘Dear brother, o Menelaos, are you concerned so tenderly
with these people? Did you in your house get the best of treatment
from the Trojans? No, let not one of them go free of sudden
death and our hands; not the young man child that the mother carries
still in her body, not even he, but let all of Ilion’s
people perish, utterly blotted out and unmourned for
-Book 6, Lines 55-60
As is the generation of leaves, so is that of humanity.
The wind scatters the leaves on the ground, but the live timber
burgeons with leaves again in the season of spring returning.
-Book 6, Lines 146-8
‘If only I could see him gone down to the house of the Death God,
then I could say my heart had forgotten its joyless afflication.’
-Book 6, Lines 284-5
Apollo tells Hector to challenge one of the Greeks to decide the war. Aias is decided upon after much deliberation. Aias definitely has the upper hand when one of the Trojans calls for a truce due to darkness. A burial truce is declared and the Greeks build a wall and ditch around their ships.
but all night long Zeus of the counsels was threatening evil
upon them in the terrible thunderstroke.
-Book 7, Lines 478-9
Zeus puts his power behind Hector and he begins to rout the Greeks. Diomedes tries hard to fight him but is hit with lightning again and again. Athena and Hera prepare to help the Greeks, but Zeus threatens Athena and she backs down. He prophesizes that the Greeks will have their chance once Patroclus is killed.
Agamemnon agrees to give Achilles back Briseus, along with many gift if he will return to battle. Aias, Odysseus, Phoenix, and two others go to try to persuade him. Achilles refuses due to his hatred of Agamemnon, citing the prophecy from his mother that he can die in glory on the battlefield or lose his glory and live a long life. He says that he will return to Greece the following day.
Agamemnon tells Menelaos to rouse the main characters. He goes to see Nestor who rouses the rest of the kings and Nestor asks who is brave enough to spy on the Trojans. Diomedes selects Odysseus as his companion and they go. Meanwhile, Hector sends Dolon to spy on the Greeks, but he is captured by Diomedes and Odysseus, who cut off his head. They then ravage the Thracian camp, killing 13 including the king.
The armies clash and Agamemnon breaks through the Trojan lines. Zeus tells Hector to stay away until Agamemnon is injured. A Trojan spears Agamemnon and he turns away from the battle. Hector begins to attack and is confronted by Diomedes and Odysseus. Hector is hit and blacks out, while Paris shoots Diomedes in the foot with an arrow, and goes back to the ships. Odysseus continues to fight but is also wounded and is saved by Menelaus and Aias. Machaon the healer is wounded and Achilles sends Patroclus to ask who has been injured. Nestor asks Patroclus to beg Achilles to fight or let the Myrmidons fight without him.
The Trojans rally around Hector and begin to attack the Greek wall. After much fighting, Hector hurls a giant stone through the gates and the Trojans stream into the Greek camp.
Zeus turns his eyes from the battle and Poseidon enters on the side of the Greeks. He inspires the two Aias’ to rally the Greeks. The battle rages on.
Agamemnon wants to flee but Odysseus calls him a coward. Diomedes tells the wounded captains that they should return to battle and rally their men. Poseidon tells Agamemnon that they are under divine protection. Meanwhile, Hera gets all dolled up to seduce Zeus and put him to sleep. Aphrodite gives her love and she gets Sleep to agree to put Zeus down. Zeus does Hera and then is put to sleep. Poseidon jumps to the front lines and encourages the Greeks. Aias strikes Hector with a rock and he retreats, vomiting blood.
Zeus awakens to find Poseidon in the battle. He order Iris to tell Poseidon to leave the battle. Poseidon is furious as he, Zeus and Hades are three brothers who divided the world equally leaving the land as common ground. He vows to support the Greeks eventually but stops for now. Apollo heals Hector and gives him Zeus’ storm shield. The Greeks make a stand against Hector, led by Aias, right at the ships. Hector is calling for a torch to burn the ships as Aias beats them off one by one.
Achilles allows Patroclus to enter the battle but only to push back the Trojans. He wants to take Troy together. The Trojans flee as the Myrmidons enter the battle as they think Patroclus is Achilles. Sarpedon is killed by Patroclus as Hector flees back to Troy. Patroclus ignores Achilles’ orders and storms the walls, repelled by Apollo each time. Apollo inspires Hector to reenter the battle, and then pushes Patroclus and strips him of his armor. He is then speared by Euphorbus and finished off by Hector.
Hector dons Achilles’ armor and the battle rages over the body of Patroclus. Eventually, Menelaus and Meriones pick up the body and Aias and the Aiantes defends them as they retreat. The Trojans pursue the Greeks as they retreat back to the ships. Antilochus is sent as a messenger to Achilles to tell him of Patroclus’ death.