The Iliad

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Author: Homer
Genre: Epic Poetry (rendered in prose)
The Iliad of Homer: The Iliad; sometimes referred to as the Song of Ilion or Song of Ilium) is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning. Then the epic narrative takes up events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' imminent death and the fall of Troy, although the narrative ends before these events take place. However, as these events are prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly, when it reaches an end the poem has told a more or less complete tale of the war. The works of Homer were more than entertainment for the ancient Greeks. They were nearly scripture. Oddysseus was the Archetypal Homeric ideal, the great example of what a man should be, and how he should live his life. Clever, smart, brave, strong, disciplined, loyal to his family and his country and willing to sacrifice all if required (and only if required) he embodied all the ideals a Greek was supposed to live up to. In fact, it was for repeatedly telling the youth of Athens that their parents were not living up to the Homeric Ideal that Socrates was condemed to death.
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