Iliad - Public domain English translationAntilochus finds Achilles, who has been fearing the worst. Antilochus confirms that the two sides are fighting over the body of Achilles' beloved comrade Patroclus and that Hector has taken the armor.
Thetis hears her son weeping and comes to find out why he is so sad and to tell him Zeus has done all the punishing of the Greeks he had planned. Achilles tells her about Patroclus' death and the armor. He tells his mother she will never see him again unless he can kill Hector. Thetis tells him he will die very soon after he kills Hector. Achilles doesn't mind very much that he will die, as long as he first gains glory by widowing the enemy. Thetis tells Achilles to wait one day so that she can get him suitable armor crafted by Hephaestus.
Back at the fighting, Hector is winning the battle over the corpse. Iris tells Achilles that he will scare the Trojans and win back the corpse by appearing before the fighting men. He does not need to disobey his mother, since all he need do is show up.
Athena protects Achilles as he enters the field. Achilles gives three war cries that terrify the Trojans. The Greeks put Patroclus on a litter and Achilles joins them.
Hera makes the day end.
Among the Trojans, Polydamas advises the Trojans to retreat behind the sturdy walls of Troy, but Hector will have none of it and the rest of the Trojans support Hector.
The Greeks mourn for Patroclus but the funeral won't happen until Achilles has Hector's corpse.
Thetis visits Hephaestus (and his wife Chares) who counts her responsible for saving his life when he fell from heaven. He is very willing to make the armor she asks for.
The rest of the book describes the fantastic armor that Hephaestus forges. The shield is 5-layers thick with a 3-ply rim and silver strap. It shows sky, sea, sun, moon, constellations, and two cities. In one of the cities are weddings, quarrels with judges, and heralds. In the other city is a group of fighting men divided in two, with wives and children watching as the men march to war, with Ares and Athena leading in burnished gold. When the besieged see two enemy shepherds, they kill them and cut off their flock. The besiegers run to the rescue and the two sides line up along the river banks to fight. There is also a fallow field on the shield, a king's estate, and a vineyard. Hephaestus puts on it a herd of cattle, a meadow with shepherds, a dancing circle, and Ocean on the outermost rim. The blacksmith god also makes a gleaming breastplate and a burnished helmet with a golden crest and tin greaves. Hephaestus gives this to Thetis who flies off with it to give it to Achilles.