The Iliad is the first work of Western literature: a 15000-line epic poem written circa 700 BC. Its title derives from an incident that took place during the Greek siege of Ilium, a town in the region of Troy.
War is raging between the Greeks and the Trojans. Achilles, the great warrior champion of the Greek army, is angrily brooding in his tent and refusing to fight after an argument with his leader, Agamemnon. But when the Trojan warrior Hector kills Achilles’ treasured friend Patroclus, Achilles rushes back into battle to seek revenge through butchery and slaughter, even though it will certainly bring about his own doom.
“Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans.”
Samuel Butler’s brilliant translations are an extraordinary rendering of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the most accessible and enthralling epic tales of classical Greece. They are considered seminal texts in the Western canon.
HOMER is believed to have lived circa 700 BC in Ionia, and is thought to be the author of the earliest works of Western Literature: The Odyssey and The Iliad.