Iliad - Public domain English translation
Zeus calls a council of the gods and goddesses to warn them against helping either side. Athena says she pities the Greeks, will refrain from fighting, but will persist in making suggestions. Zeus then drives off to Mt. Ida.
Next morning, Trojans and Greeks (NB: Homer refers to them mostly as Achaeans, and sometimes Argives or Danaans; Greek is our term) dressed in their armor come together to fight. They fight equitably until noon when Zeus weighs the sides. The Greek side of the balance sinks, so Zeus thunders at the Greeks, who grow fearful. Idomeneus, Agamemnon, Odysseus, and the two Ajaxes leave, but Nestor stays because his horse has been injured by Paris. Hector would have assaulted Nestor had not Diomedes helped. Diomedes asks Nestor to join him on his chariot. Nestor takes the reins and Diomedes shoots and kills Hector's charioteer. Zeus launches a thunderbolt in front of Diomedes' chariot to stop him. Nestor correctly reads the warning from Zeus and advises Diomedes to turn. Diomedes fears appearing a coward, but Nestor assures him no one but Hector will call him a coward, so Diomedes and Nestor turn towards the Greeks while Hector mocks Diomedes.
Hera asks her brother Poseidon to join her in causing trouble for the Trojans while Zeus is away on Ida. Poseidon is too afraid of Zeus to agree. Hera inspires Agamemnon to stir the men to prevent Hector from setting their ships ablaze. Agamemnon also prays to Zeus that his men might escape with their lives. Zeus responds with a favorable omen. The Greeks return to fight the Trojans, Diomedes first, followed by Agamemnon and Menelaus, the Ajaxes, Idomeneus, and others, including Teucer, who creates havoc among the Trojans with his bow. He can't hit Hector, because Apollo turns his arrows aside, but kills a brother of Hector and a charioteer. Hector dismounts his chariot to attack Teucer, whom he seriously injure and puts out of commission.
Zeus re-inspires the Trojans, allowing Hector to press the Greeks back.
Hera and Athena conspire, and with Athena in battle armor and Hera driving a chariot, they prepare to re-enter the human fray. Zeus sees what they're up to and sends a messenger (Iris) to warn them off. The goddesses turn back around and return to Olympus. Presently Zeus, too, returns to Olympus. He tells his wife that the next day he will destroy Greeks because Hector won't stop until he has fought Achilles and since Achilles won't fight, there will have to be something special to impel him. This will be when Hector kills Achilles' beloved Patroclus. Zeus finishes by telling Hera he doesn't remotely care what she thinks.
Back among the mortals, the sun has gone down, so the Greeks are safe for the night. Hector, however, is afraid they may slink away, so he has the Trojans burn watchfires throughout the night. In the morning, they should all go down to the water and injure as many Greeks as possible. Hector himself will seek out Diomedes.
The Greeks take care of their nightly business, which includes offerings to the gods (which are not accepted), tending the animals, and creating a watchfire.Iliad Book I - Who? What? Where?
Read a public domain translation of Homer's Iliad Book VIII.