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Iliad Book I - Who? What? Where?


Menelaus Fights Hector

Menelaus Fights Hector

Question: Iliad Book I - Who? What? Where?
You've decided to read about Troy in a translation of the original version -- the Iliad, by Homer. Perhaps you're reading an online translation of the Iliad from The Internet Classics Archive. Almost immediately, you face a serious problem -- you don't know who, what or where Homer is talking about. Here are a few tips for book I. There is a link at the bottom to notes for the rest of the Iliad.
  • Peleus - Achilles' father and the husband of the nymph Thetis (mother of Achilles).

  • Achaeans - name for the Greeks. Other names for the Greeks: Dorians, Argives (people of Argos), and Danaans.

  • Hades - the Underworld and the name of the god of the Underworld.

  • Atreus - the father of Agamemnon and Menelaus. Son of Atreus generally means Agamemnon.

  • Jove = Jupiter = Zeus

  • Leto - Mother of Artemis (= Diana) and Apollo

  • Chryses - a priest of Apollo whose daughter Chryseis has been taken by Agamemnon as a war prize.

  • Olympus - the home of the gods.

  • Tenes - king of Tenedos, son of Apollo. Tenedos is neutral but Achilles kills Tenes.

  • Sminthe - an epithet of Apollo.

  • Priam - king of the Trojans.

  • Phoebus - another name for Apollo.

  • Calchas - prophet or seer for the Greeks. Tells Agamemnon to return Chryseis. The father of Calchas -- Thestor -- was also a seer.

  • Clytemnestra - wife of Agamemnon, sister of Helen and the Dioscuri.

  • Achilles, Ajax, Ulysses = Odysseus - the 3 top Greek heroes.

  • Idomeneus - leader of the Cretan forces on the Greek side.

  • Phthia - Home of Achilles.

  • Myrmidons - troops of Achilles

  • Briseis - Achilles' war prize.

  • Minerva = Athena. Along with Juno = Hera, she was on the Greeks' side.

  • Pylos - in the Peloponnese, an area ruled by Nestor.

  • Nestor - an old Greek king of Pylos and the oldest warrior.

  • Talthybius - a Greek herald.

  • Eurybates - another Greek herald.

  • Thebe - a city near Troy, where Chyrseis was found.

  • Pallas - a name for Athena (Minerva).

  • Neptune = Poseidon - sea and horse god who later plagued Odysseus on his homeward voyage.

  • Briareus = Aegaeon is a hundred-handed monster.

  • Saturn = Cronus/Cronos - the father of the Olympian gods and goddesses.

  • Cilla - town near Troy.

  • God of the silver bow - another epithet of Apollo.

  • Lemnos - island in the Aegean.

  • Sintians - first inhabitants of Lemnos

  • Vulcan = Hephaestus - blacksmith of the gods.

  • Lord of thunder - an epithet of Zeus.

  • Hecatomb - sacrifice of 100 oxen.

Now that you know the Who What and Where for Book I of the Iliad, see the

The rest of the Iliad

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