It is made up of: 15337 hexameters dactylic and, since the hellenistic, divided time of 24 songs.
Iliade tells some of the events of the tenth year of the Trojan War, starting with the anger of Achille following the loss of Briséis and culminating with the duel between Achille and Hector. The first towards summarize as follows:
It should be noted that the first term, μῆνις / mênis , which wants to say “anger”, is always employed to qualify a divine, disastrous anger. Achilles is the only mortal whose anger is called μῆνις in all the Homeric Corpus. It is well this inhuman anger which is it topic-key of the epopee.
See also: Trojan War
The Trojan War has lasted for soon ten years. She opposes the Achaens come from all the Greece, with the Troyens and their allies. Vis-a-vis the strengthened city, the hundreds of ships of besieging rest on the beach and are used to them as camping.
Agamemnon, the chief of the Achaens, retains captive Chryséis, girl of a Trojan priest of Apollon and the god sent a fatal Peste on the army. The soothsayer Calchas revealing the cause of the evil, Achille entreats Agamemnon to return the captive one. The king ends up agreeing to it, but decides to take of compensation Briséis, a beautiful Trojan prisoner of Achilles. Furious and feeling despoiled, this last decides to cease fighting with its Myrmidons at the sides of the Achaens. He calls upon his mother, the Néréide Thétis, which obtains Zeus the promise of a Trojan victory.
Misled in its sleep by a dream sent by Zeus, Agamemnon wakes up certain victory of its troops. With the Agora, he tells his dream with his allies, then to put them to the test, pretends to want to leave the seat of Troy. The warriors prepare their withdrawal, but Ulysses, king of Ithaque manages to dissuade them to leave. The two armies are on the point of fighting: the Achaens come from all the Greece on a great number of vessels will face the troops of the Trojan chiefs and their allies dardaniens, Lycie NS, Phrygie NS and Thrace S.
Trojan the Pâris, wire of the king Priam, is seized by fear to the sight of Ménélas, of which it removed the wife, Helene, causing by là-même the conflict. Following the hard reproaches of his/her brother, valiant the Hector, Pâris proposes to the Achaens a singular combat the opponent with Ménélas, in order to avoid a hecatomb with its people. While, the top of the ramparts of Troy, Helene states the Greek chiefs with Priam, the oath is concluded. The duel begins, turning quickly to the advantage of Ménélas, experienced combatant, with the detriment of the frail one and young Pâris. But this one is saved of an unquestionable death by the divine intervention of Aphrodite, which withdraws it from the combat and deposits it in Troy.
Song IVOn the Olympe, Zeus wishes to make recognize the victory of Ménélas, so that a peace is concluded, thus saving the city. But Héra, which wishes the victory of the Achaens ardently, requires of Athéna to push Troyens to violate their oaths of peace. Athéna then convinces Pandare to strip an arrow with Ménélas in order to break the trève, which occurs indeed.
During the review of its troops, Agamemnon exhorts with the combat largest of its chiefs - Idoménée, both Ajax (Ajax wire of Télamon and Ajax wire of Oïlée), Nestor, Ulysses and Diomède - and the combat begin again.
Song VIn the fury of the battle, the galvanized Achaens massacre a great number of Troyens. Diomède is illustrated in particular, constant by Athéna, killing - between-others - Pandare and wounding Énée and its mother, the Aphrodite goddess, come to help it. The Gods imply themselves in the battle: Apollo saves Énée and exhorts his brother Arès to be engaged at the sides of Troyens. The latter are seized again and Hector, ignited by the words of Sarpédon, leads its troops to the combat. Worry about this reversal of situation, Héra and Athéna arm and assist in their the Achaens demolished per Arès, which is in its turn wounded by Diomède. Lastly, gods and goddesses go back to Olympe to carry their discord in front of Zeus.
The combat continues to make rage, the best warriors of the two camps clashing mortally. However, after having evoked the bonds of hospitality which linked their ancestors at one time, Diomède and Glaucos Lycien cease their duel. Hector withdraws combat and regains the city where he asks Hécube, his/her mother, to request Athéna for the victory of Troyens. The women join the temple of the goddess. Close to the Scées doors, Hector bids its farewell with his wife, Andromaque, and with its very young person sons Astyanax. It finds then his brother Pâris and convinces it to join the battle with him.
Song VIIGuided by the plans of Apollo and Athéna, Hector causes the Greek chiefs in duel. It is Ajax, the son of Télamon which is drawn with the fate to face it. With the favor of the night, the duel must cease without a winner not being able to be indicated, although Hector is wounded. The two men, as a sign of respect and regard, offer themselves many present. A temporary truce is decided by the two camps. It is made profitable to honor many deaths which strew the battle field. The Achaens decide and implement the construction of a ditch and solids ramparts fronts their ships deposited on the beach.
Song VIIIAt the small day, Zeus requires gods who they remain neutral. Since the tops of the mount Ida overhanging the battle field, it weighs on its gold balance the destinies of the two armies. This one leans in favor of Troyens and in fact, as of the resumption of the engagements, they take the advantage thanks to the ardor of Hector, which pushes its troops towards the shore and the ramparts of the Achaens. Athéna and Héra cannot remain without acting vis-a-vis the fold of the Greeks. They disobey Zeus by helping the latter, but are quickly and sharply recalled to the order. When the night fall, not to lose their advantage, fifty thousand Troyens camp in the plain and their campfires are similar with stars.
In the Achaean camping, concern is large. Agamemnon evokes the possibility of giving up the seat and to join Greece, it with what Ulysses and Nestor are savagely opposite. The solution would be to bring back Achille to the reason and to convince it to join the combat. Agamemnon is ready to excuse, return Briséis and to cover Achille of present. It sends Ulysses, Ajax and to him Phœnix in embassy in order to convince it. Achilles receives with dignity and listens to his companions but remains inflexible: he for regaining his fatherland as of the following day, and proposes in Phœnix to join him. Ulysses and Ajax are turned over from there to announce the bad news with Agamemnon.
Song XIn order to know the intentions of Troyens, the chief of the Achaens, on the councils of the wise Nestor, decides to send Diomède and Ulysses espionner their enemies. In the opposing side, Hector sends Dolon in recognition close to the camping of the Greeks. But Dolon is captured by the two spies Achaean then carried out after having delivered strategic information. During the return of this forwarding, Ulysses and Diomède massacre the thraces chiefs, allied of Troyens, deadened close to fire and bring back their horses near the ships. This exploit revives the hope of a nearest victory among the Achaens.
Song XIIn the morning, the battle begins again, and under the pressure of the exploits of Agamemnon, Troyens move back to the ramparts of their city. But Zeus sends its messenger Iris to ensure Hector of its support and to indicate to him to counter-attack as soon as Agamemnon is wounded, which ends up occurring. Ulysses, Diomède, Swallowtail butterfly and Eurypyle are touched in their turn and the Greeks fold up themselves towards their tents. Patrocle, the faithful friend of Achilles, anxious to see returning so much from hard wounded warlike brave men, worries about the turning which the events take. On the councils of its companion, it runs to be informed near the wise old man Nestor who asks him to go to convince Achille to take again the combat. But Patrocle will carry help in Eurypyle in its tent. The moral one of the Achaens is again with low.
Song XIIHaving continued the runaways in the plain, they are from now on Troyens and their allies which besiege their enemies with a great force. Under the violent ones attacks of Asios, of Sarpédon and Glaucos, the ramparts waver, in spite of the heroic resistance of the best combatants Achaean. Lastly, Zeus grants to Hector to cross the broad ditch with the head of its troops and to crash to pieces the heavy doors of the camping. The Trojan combatants ruent themselves in this breach. Inside the ramparts, Hector makes rage, according to the intentions of Zeus.
Refusing the imminent defeat of the Achaens and the setting with bag of their camp and their ships, Poséidon itself engages in the battle. Thus stimulated, Idoménée and Mérion, in fury, massacre many Troyens, among which Asios and its Aurige Alcathoos. Troyens Énée, Pâris, Hélénos and Déiphobe are also illustrated by their bravery and their devastations.
In spite of these valorous acts, the Trojan combatants fold up themselves temporarily under a counter-attack of the Greeks. But shouldered by Zeus, they take again the top and reinvest the Achaean camping quickly.
Song XIVThe situation is desperate and Agamemnon again proposes to sound the retirement, but Poséidon exhorts the Greeks, giving again confidence to them. Héra, helped of Aphrodite, diverts Zeus of the battle by alluring it and leaves it deadened on the summits of the Gargare. Zeus thus neutralized, Poséidon can from now on effectively help the Achaens, who carry out a rageuse and victorious counter-attack, killing out of many Troyens. Hector itself is wounded and must be evacuated by his/her companions near the river Scamandre.
Song XVIn its alarm clock, Zeus, furious to be misled, intimate in Poséidon the order to keep away from the fight. Worried by the fate of Hector, it sends to its Apollon bedside, which early made cure it and inspire it. Valorous Troyen can then again sow death and panic in the rows of the Greeks. Patrocle, frightened leaves his/her friend Eurypyle to run towards Achille. In spite of a heroic resistance of Ajax near the ships, the exhausted Achaens yield, and Hector finally manages to put fire at the naves.
Song XVIIn front of the urgency of the situation, Achille authorizes Patrocle to lead Myrmidons to the combat provided that it is satisfied to push back the attackers without seeking to take the city of Troy. Having covered the divine weapons that Achille lent to him, Patrocle exhorts Myrmidons. He manages to make move back the Trojan combatants and keep silent Sarpédon that Zeus does not manage to save. Apollo is sent to recover his lifeless body, and to give to Hector heat with the combat. Grayed by its successes, Patrocle disobeys Achille and pushes his counter-attack to the ramparts of Troy still killing the driver of the tank of Hector. It is then wildly killed by the Trojan prince.
Song XVIIThen engage a rough battle around the body of Patrocle: Hector and Énée try to seize some as well as horses Achilles. But Achaens, and Ménélas in particular, heroically defend the skin of their companion. Hector however manages to tear off from it the weapons of Achilles, its helmet and its armor. Inspired by Zeus, it pushes back the combatants Achaean towards the naves, which, supported by Mérion and both Ajax, end up carrying the body of Patrocle in their camping.
It is with Antiloque that returns the heavy task to inform Achille of dead of his companion. Overpowered pain, Achille swears to avenge it and asks his Thétis mother to find Héphaïstos so that it forges new weapons to him. The god puts himself at work. Achilles leaves his tent and leaps out it camp to shout his pain and his rage, and its howls terrify Troyens. On their side, those hold council, and wise the Polydamas spendthrift in Hector of the councils of prudence that this last is unaware of. Its completed labor, Héphaïstos gives to Thétis a shield magnificiently decorated, an armor, a helmet and splendid Cnémide S for Achille.
Song XIXIn front of the Achaean army, Achille reconciles itself with Agamemnon. In exchange of its good will, it as envisaged receives a great number of present, of which beautiful Briséis, that Agamemnon never swears not to have had. In preparation of the battle to come, the warriors are restored, but Achille, wanting to devote itself only to the revenge on his companion, refuses any food. Equipped with its new weapons, it wishes to leave to the combat at once, in spite of the warnings of its horse Xanthos which promises a nearest death to him.
Song XXThe discord reigns in the gods, that Zeus authorizes to intervene in the battle. Each one chooses its camp and furbishes its weapons. In spite of the terror of Troyens to the sight of Achilles, Enée springs valiantly against him, inspired by Apollon. Far from equalizing Achilles with the combat, it is overcome but saved by Poséidon. Hector and Achille, arrived to range of voice, start to clash, but Apollon, anxious for the life of Hector, makes disappear this one from the battle field. Furious, Achille makes a great massacre among Troyens thrown into a panic.
Song XXIUnder the blows of Achilles, many combatants of Troy throw themselves and perish in the river Scamandre, revolted to be thus soiled blood of the warriors. Helped of the river Simoïs, Scamandre fights savagely Achille, lack to drown it. Héra then sends Héphaïstos, which manages to make move back the river of its extreme breath. In the battle, Apollon draws up Agénor against Achille, then ends up taking his place and simulating the escape, the retirement of Troyens authorizes thus towards their city.
Song XXIIHector, in spite of supplications of his/her parents Priam and Hécube, was determined to fight Achille, and only awaits it, in front of the ramparts of Troy. But with the sight of its enemy, it is terrified and escapes. While Achille continues Hector time to make three times it tower of the city, Zeus weighs on its intended gold balance of the two warriors: Hector is condemned. Athéna, disguised, brings back Hector to the reason and convinces it to face its destiny and Achille. The combat hardly lasts but before dying, Hector reveals in Achille that he will perish under the blows of his young Pâris brother. The winner seizes skin of his enemy whom it attaches to his tank and trails to the Greek vessels under the éplorés eyes of the Trojan ones, among which Andromaque, the wife of Hector.
Patrocle appears in dream with his/her companion. All the Achaens devote themselves to mourning: many sacrifices are authorized and strips it of the young man is burned according to the tradition. A tomb is raised, and them ashes and bones of Patrocle are collected while waiting to be joined together with those of Achilles. This last organizes funeral plays which it equips with many prices. Thus the warriors can show their value with the race of tank, the fight or with the race on foot.
Achilles cannot find the sleep. During ten days, he trails each morning, the body of Hector with his tank around the tomb of Patrocle. But the gods, fascinating in pity the family of the Trojan, reject her behavior and by a divine process, preserve at the skin its beautiful aspect. Zeus requires of Thétis that it go to convince her son to return the skin in Priam. Priam, protected by Hermes, crosses in secrecy the enemy lines to be received in the tent of Achilles. There, he begs this last in the name of Pélée to return to him his son in exchange of present. Achilles grants and proposes to it Priam the lodging and cover. Reconciling, Achille also agrees to retain the Achaean troops during ten days, time for the Trojan ones to organize decent funeral with Hector. Of return to Troy, the body of the prince is presented to crowd in tears and of long funeral are organized.
Iliade in the Greek culture
With the Odyssey , Iliade is the major text of the Greek literature, as important if not more as are to it works of Shakespeare for the Anglo-Saxons, or of Dante for the Italy NS. In the Antiquité, he was learned by heart, in extenso , by young people of good family, which made Homère, according to the word of Plato (which deplored it), the “teacher of Greece” ( τὴν Ἑλλάδα πεπαίδευκεν / tḕn Helláda pepaídeuken , Republic , X, 606e).
Poem of the war or “poem of the force” (Simone Weil), it summarizes perfectly, according to the old Greeks, their aristocratic model in the figure of Achille, ready to sacrifice a long life to an imperishable glory. Henri-Irenee Marrou, in his History of education in Antiquity (1948), explains as follows:
“Much more than the Ulysses of the Return , it is the noble one and pure figure of Achilles who incarnates the moral ideal of the perfect Homeric knight; he is defined of a word: a heroic morals of the honor. It is in Homère that each ancient generation found what is the fundamental axis of this aristocratic ethics: love of glory. ”
Two types of glories, honors ( τιμή / timḗ ) is shown in Iliade :
- honor of the chief, that of Agamemnon, the social status;
- honor of the warrior, personal glory, that which research Achilles.
Later, this love of personal glory will be transformed. Tyrtée, the poet Spartan, sings immortal glory thus that' L has there to defend its fatherland: for the warrior died thus, “never its noble glory does not perish, nor its name, but although it remains under ground, it is immortal” (9 D, 27 sq., transl. C. Patro). In Iliade , Achille is not a patriotic warrior. When it takes again the weapons, it is not for the Greeks only it fights. Its departure for Troy, its combat, its anger and its decision to take again the weapons are deeply individual, even egoistic. And when it decides to face Hector, knowing that it will die then if it does it, it is not for the Greeks but to avenge Patrocle.
At the same time, Iliade represents a slow decomposition of the values and heroic and chivalrous codes, the cosmos ( κόσμος , universe ordered) to rock in brutality, the chaos . Thus, according to Jean-Pierre Vernant ( Between myth and political , Threshold, 1984), the Greek heroes as Trojan gradually cease regarding the adversary as the partner of a honest combat to transform it into prey - witness the wild mutilation by Achille of the body of Hector. This brutality is rédimée only at the end of the epopee, when Priam comes to claim the body of his/her son and that Achille, according to Vernant, includes/understands the limits of the heroic world in which it is driven.
Translations in French
Leconte de Lisle in 1850 (available on line)
- Various translations in French since Salel (1570) with Meunier (1943)
- Paul Mazon for the Humanities, 1938 - 1939
- Robert Flacelière for the collection of the Pleiad (ED. Gallimard) in 1955
- Philippe Jaccottet for the ED. The Discovery in 1955
- Mario Miller for the ED. Albin Michel in 1956
- Eugene Lasserre for the ED. Garnier in 1960
- Louis Bardollet for the collection “Books” (ED. Robert Laffont) in 1995
- Frederic Mugler for the ED. The Difference in 1995
Hero of IliadeIn its account, Homère quotes a great number of heroes of each camp, but the Gods and other divinities are also present and influential.
- Achilles, wire of Shovelful, king of the Myrmidons
- Patrocle, friend of Achilles
- Agamemnon, king of Mycènes, chief of Greek forwarding
- Ménélas, king of Sparte and brother of Agamemnon
- Helene, wife of Ménélas
- Ulysses, king of Ithaque
- Nestor, king of Pylos
- Ajax wire of Oïlée, king of Locride
- Ajax wire of Télamon, king of Salamine
- Calchas, soothsayer
- Diomède, wire of Tydée, king of Argos
- Idoménée, king of Crete
- Priam, king de Troie
- Hector, oldest son of Priam
- Pâris, wire of Priam, seducer of Helene
- Andromaque, woman of Hector
- Hécube, woman of Priam, queen of Troy
- Cassandre, girl of Priam, priestess
- Énée, wire of Anchise
- Sarpédon, chief of the Lycie NS
- Laocoon, priest of Poséidon
- Zeus, king of the Gods
- Poséidon, brother of Zeus
- Héra, sister and wife of Zeus
- Ocean, wire of Ouranos and Gaïa
- Apollo, wire of Zeus and Léto
- Héphaïstos, wire of Héra
- Athéna, girl of Zeus
- Aphrodite, girl of Zeus and Dioné
- Thétis, mother of Achilles
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