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This particular version of the Iliad, the story of the siege of Troy, is a translation by Samuel Butler, first published in 1898.
Iliad, (Song of Ilion; Song of Ilium) this epic Homeric poem tells the story of the Trojan War and the battle of Troy (Ilium), one of the most important and well-known events in Greek mythology when the gods still visited mortals. It tells of Achilles, leader of the Achaeans and his great wrath towards King Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks. Narrated by one informed by the Muses, it includes other such important Achaean and Trojan figures as Zeus, Patroclus, Diomed, Ajax, Menelaus, Hector, Hecuba, Helen, Paris, and Aeneas. Iliad is a glorification of war and the bravery of Achilles, demi-god and great military warrior.
A war started over a single fruit. This is where the tale of the Iliad began. It developed over time to become one of the great epics of our society, one that many people all over the world have come to like, sympathizing for each of the characters. Homer's creative use of the Greek language makes it far more interesting, his lengthy descriptions give the mind something to picture. Its as if you were there, standing next to each of the main warriors as these things happened to them. Homeric similes make the picture even more vivid, comparing the Greek and Trojan warriors to everything from deities to boars. Not only is this a tale of war, but the fights that occur between men when their pride gets hurt. How every man has that one thing he will always be mad about. The characters may seem devoid of human emotions, but eventually develop individual personalities. In only a few parts does it seem like only a listing, that the deaths that occur are not actually real people. You can relate to the main characters, sympathize or even hate them as you go through. The Greek gods are an extreme part of this tale. The war started because of gods, and they continued interfering all through the story. Even such things as sleep and ruin are characterized as being actual deities, showing us a side of Greek culture that not many knew of. An overlying theme in this book is based off of the Greek word aritei. This is the one thing every Greek warrior thrived for. It was honor. This honor could be found in battling a more experienced opponent than yourself, even if it did end in your death. Killing a man lower in rank, killing him after promising something to him, or defacing an enemy after his death could all result in the loss of aritei, immediately resulting in the lowering of one's honor. The Iliad is truly entertaining, whether you are reading it for the entertainment or historical value. So please, go, enjoy this amazing story of pride, honor, love, and war.--Submitted by Jessi Kluvich
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