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List of Homeric characters
This is a list of the main characters that appear in
the I liad and the Odyssey by Homer.
Greeks in the Trojan War
Achilles (), the leader of
the Myrmidons (), son
of Peleus and Thetis and the principal Greek champion
whose anger is one of the main elements of the story.
Agamemnon (), King of Mycenae,
supreme commander of the Achaean armies whose
actions provoke the feud with Achilles; elder brother
of KingMenelaus.
Ajax or Aias (), also known as Telamonian Ajax
(he was the son of Telamon) and Greater Ajax, was the
tallest and strongest warrior (after Achilles) to fight for
the Achaeans.
Ajax the Lesser, an Achaean commander, son
of Oileus often fights alongside Great Ajax; the two
together are sometimes called the "Ajaxes"
(, Aiante).
Calchas (), a powerful
Greek prophet and omen reader, who guided the
Greeks through the war with his predictions.
Diomedes (also called "Tydides")() - the
youngest of the Achaean commanders, famous for
wounding two gods, Aphrodite and Ares.
Helen () the wife of Menelaus, the King of
Sparta. Paris visits Menelaus in Sparta. With the
assistance of Aphrodite, Paris and Helen fall in love
and elope back to Troy, but in Sparta her elopement is
considered an abduction.
Idomeneus, () King of Crete and Achaean
commander. Leads a charge against the Trojans in
Book 13.
Menelaus (), King of Sparta and the
abandoned husband of Helen. He is the younger
brother of Agamemnon.
Nestor (), of Gernia and the son of Neleus.
He was said to be the only one of his brothers to
survive an assault from Heracles. Oldest member of
the entire Greek army at Troy.
Odysseus (), another warrior-king, famed
for his cunning, who is the main character of another
(roughly equally ancient) epic, the Odyssey.
Patroclus (), beloved companion to
Phoenix, an old Achaean warrior greatly trusted by
Achilles, acts as mediator between Achilles and
Teucer, Achaean archer, half-brother of Ajax.
Aeneas (), cousin of Hector, iscipal
lieutenant, son of Aphrodite, the only major Trojan
figure to survive the war. Held by later tradition to
be the forefather of the founders of Rome. See
the Aeneid.
Agenor, a Trojan warrior who attempts to fight
Achilles in Book 21.
Antenor, a Trojan nobleman who argues that
Helen should be returned to Menelaus in order to
end the war.
Glaucus, co-leader of the Lycian forces allied to
the Trojan cause with Sarpedon.
Hector (), firstborn son of King Priam,
husband of Andromache, father of Astyanax,
leader of the Trojan and allied armies and heir
apparent to the throne of Troy.
Paris (), Trojan prince and Hector's brother,
also called Alexander; his abduction of Helen is
the casus belli. He was supposed to be killed as a
baby because his sister Cassandra foresaw that he
would cause the destruction of Troy. Raised by a
Polydamas, a young Trojan commander.
Priam (), king of the Trojans, son and
successor of Laomedon, husband of
Queen Hecuba, father of Hector and Paris, too old
to take part in the fighting; many of his fifty sons
are counted among the Trojan commanders.
Sarpedon, co-leader of the Lycian forces allied to
the Trojan cause with Glaucus. Son of Zeus.


Family and Servants of Odysseus
Laertes, father of Odysseus.
Penelope, wife of Odysseus, mother of Telemachus,
she is clever and loyal to Odysseus, she is contrasted
with Clytemnestra.
Telemachus, son of Odysseus and Penelope, matures
during his travels to Sparta and Pylos, fights
Penelope's suitors with Odysseus.
Suitors of Penelope
Briseis, mistress and love interest of Achilles, a
woman captured in the sack of Lyrnessos, a small town
in the territory of Troy, and awarded to Achilles as a
prize; Agamemnon takes her from Achilles in Book 1
and Achilles withdraws from battle as a result.
Chryseis, Chryses daughter, taken as a war prize by
Helen (), daughter of Zeus, former Queen
of Sparta and wife of Menelaus, now espoused
to Paris.
Aphrodite, goddess of love, beauty, and sexual
pleasure. Daughter of Zeus, wife of Hephaestus, and
lover of Ares.
Ares, god of war. Lover of Aphrodite. Driven from the
field of battle by Diomedes (aided by Athena).
Athena, goddess of wisdom.
Hera, queen of the gods.
Hermes, messenger of the gods, leads Priam into
Achilles' camp in book 24.
Iris, messenger of Zeus and Hera.
Poseidon, brother of Zeus, Greek god of the sea and
earthquake, curses Odysseus.
Zeus, king of the Gods, brother of Poseidon and father
of Athena, Aphrodite and Helen

The I liad (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' looming death
and the sack of Troy, prefigured and alluded to more and
more vividly, so that when it reaches an end, the poem has
told a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War.
The Iliad is paired with something of a sequel, the Odyssey,
also attributed to Homer. Along with the Odyssey,
the Iliad is among the oldest extant works of Western
literature, and its written version is usually dated to around
the eighth century BC.
Recent statistical modelling based
on language evolution has found it to date to 760710
In the modern vulgate (accepted version),
the Iliad contains 15,693 lines; it is written in Homeric
Greek, a literary amalgam of Ionic Greek and
other dialects.
Note: Book numbers are in parentheses and come before
the synopsis of the book.
(1) After an invocation to the Muses, the story launches in
medias res (in the middle of things) towards the end of the
Trojan War between the Trojans and the
besieging Greeks. Chryses, a Trojan priest of Apollo, offers


the Greeks wealth for the return of his daughter Chryseis, a
captive of Agamemnon, the Greek leader. Although most
of the Greek army is in favour of the offer, Agamemnon
refuses. Chryses prays for Apollo's help, and Apollo causes
a plague throughout the Greek army.
After nine days of plague, Achilles, the leader of
the Myrmidon contingent, calls an assembly to solve the
plague problem. Under pressure, Agamemnon agrees to
return Chryseis to her father, but also decides to take
Achilles's captive, Briseis, as compensation. Angered,
Achilles declares that he and his men will no longer fight
for Agamemnon, but will go home. Odysseus takes a ship
and brings Chryseis to her father, whereupon Apollo ends
the plague.
In the meantime, Agamemnon's messengers take Briseis
away. Achilles then asks his mother, Thetis, to askZeus that
the Greeks be brought to breaking point by the Trojans, so
Agamemnon will realize how much the Greeks need
Achilles. Thetis does so, and Zeus agrees.
(2) Zeus sends a dream to Agamemnon, urging him to
attack the city. Agamemnon heeds the dream but decides to
first test the morale of the Greek army by telling them to go
home. The plan backfires, and only the intervention of
Odysseus, inspired by Athena, stops a rout.
Odysseus confronts and beats Thersites, a common soldier
who voices discontent at fighting Agamemnon's war. After
a meal, the Greeks deploy in companies upon the Trojan
plain. The poet takes the opportunity to describe the
provenance of each Greek contingent. When news of the
Greek deployment reaches king Priam, the Trojans too
sortie upon the plain. In a similar list to that for the Greeks,
the poet describes the Trojans and their allies.
(3) The armies approach each other on the plain, but before
they meet, Paris offers to end the war by fighting a duel
with Menelaus, urged by his brother and head of the Trojan
army, Hector. While Helen tells Priam about the Greek
commanders from the walls of Troy, both sides swear a
truce and promise to abide by the outcome of the duel.
Paris is beaten, but Aphrodite rescues him and leads him to
bed with Helen before Menelaus could kill him.
(4) Pressured by Hera's hatred of Troy, Zeus arranges for
the Trojan Pandaros to break the truce by wounding
Menelaus with an arrow. Agamemnon rouses the Greeks,
and battle is joined.
(5) In the fighting, Diomedes kills many Trojans, including
Pandaros, and defeats Aeneas, whom again Aphrodite
rescues, but Diomedes attacks and wounds the goddess.
Apollo faces Diomedes, and warns him against warring
with gods. Many heroes and commanders join in, including
Hector, and the gods supporting each side try to influence
the battle. Emboldened by Athena, Diomedes
wounds Ares and puts him out of action.
(6) Hector rallies the Trojans and stops a rout; the Greek
Diomedes and the Trojan Glaukos find common ground
and exchange unequal gifts. Hector enters the city, urges
prayers and sacrifices, incites Paris to battle, bids his
wife Andromache and son Astyanax farewell on the city
walls, and rejoins the battle.
(7) Hector duels with Ajax, but nightfall interrupts the fight
and both sides retire. The Greeks agree to burn their dead
and build a wall to protect their ships and camp, while the
Trojans quarrel about returning Helen. Paris offers to return
the treasure he took, and give further wealth as
compensation, but without returning Helen, and the offer is
refused. A day's truce is agreed for burning the dead,
during which the Greeks also build their wall and trench.
(8) The next morning, Zeus prohibits the gods from
interfering, and fighting begins anew. The Trojans prevail
and force the Greeks back to their wall while Hera and
Athena are forbidden from helping. Night falls before the
Trojans can assail the Greek wall. They camp in the field to
attack at first light, and their watchfires light the plain like
(9) Meanwhile, the Greeks are desperate. Agamemnon
admits his error, and sends an embassy composed of
Odysseus, Ajax, Phoenix, and two heralds to offer Briseis
and extensive gifts to Achilles, who has been camped next
to his ships throughout, if only he would return to the
fighting. Achilles and his companion Patroclus receive the
embassy well, but Achilles angrily refuses Agamemnon's


offer, and declares that he would only return to battle if the
Trojans reach his ships and threaten them with fire. The
embassy returns empty-handed.
(10) Later that night, Odysseus and Diomedes venture out
to the Trojan lines, killing the Trojan Dolon and wreaking
havoc in the camps of some Thracian allies of Troy.
(11) In the morning, the fighting is fierce and Agamemnon,
Diomedes, and Odysseus are all wounded. Achilles sends
Patroclus from his camp to inquire about the Greek
casualties, and while there Patroclus is moved to pity by a
speech of Nestor.
(12) The Trojans assault the Greek wall on foot. Hector,
ignoring an omen, leads the terrible fighting. The Greeks
are overwhelmed in rout, the wall's gate is broken, and
Hector charges in.
(13) Many fall on both sides. The Trojan
seer Polydamas urges Hector to fall back and warns him
about Achilles, but is ignored.
(14) Hera seduces Zeus and lures him to sleep,
allowing Poseidon to help the Greeks, and the Trojans are
driven back onto the plain.
(15) Zeus awakes and is enraged by Poseidon's
intervention. Against the mounting discontent of the Greek-
supporting gods, Zeus sends Apollo to aid the Trojans, who
once again breach the wall, and the battle reaches the ships.
(16) Patroclus can stand to watch no longer, and begs
Achilles to be allowed to defend the ships. Achilles relents,
and lends Patroclus his armor, but sends him off with a
stern admonition not to pursue the Trojans, lest he take
Achilles's glory. Patroclus leads the Myrmidons to battle
and arrives as the Trojans set fire to the first ships. The
Trojans are routed by the sudden onslaught, and Patroclus
begins his assault by killing the Trojan hero Sarpedon.
Patroclus, ignoring Achilles's command, pursues and
reaches the gates of Troy, where Apollo himself stops him.
Patroclus is set upon by Apollo and Euphorbos, and is
finally killed by Hector.
(17) Hector takes Achilles's armor from the fallen
Patroclus, but fighting develops around Patroclus' body.
(18) Achilles is mad with grief when he hears of Patroclus's
death, and vows to take vengeance on Hector; his mother
Thetis grieves, too, knowing that Achilles is fated to die
young if he kills Hector. Achilles is urged to help retrieve
Patroclus' body, but has no armour. Made brilliant by
Athena, Achilles stands next to the Greek wall and roars in
rage. The Trojans are dismayed by his appearance and the
Greeks manage to bear Patroclus' body away. Again
Polydamas urges Hector to withdraw into the city, again
Hector refuses, and the Trojans camp in the plain at
nightfall. Patroclus is mourned, and meanwhile, at Thetis'
request, Hephaestusfashions a new set of armor for
Achilles, among which is a magnificently wrought shield.
(19) In the morning, Agamemnon gives Achilles all the
promised gifts, including Briseis, but he is indifferent to
them. Achilles fasts while the Greeks take their meal, and
straps on his new armor, and heaves his great spear. His
horse Xanthos prophesies to Achilles his death. Achilles
drives his chariot into battle.
(20) Zeus lifts the ban on the gods' interference, and the
gods freely intervene on both sides. The onslaught of
Achilles, burning with rage and grief, is terrible, and he
slays many.
(21) Driving the Trojans before him, Achilles cuts off half
in the river Skamandros and proceeds to slaughter them and
fills the river with the dead. The river, angry at the killing,
confronts Achilles, but is beaten back by Hephaestus'
firestorm. The gods fight among themselves. The great
gates of the city are opened to receive the fleeing Trojans,
and Apollo leads Achilles away from the city by pretending
to be a Trojan.
(22) When Apollo reveals himself to Achilles, the Trojans
had retreated into the city, all except for Hector, who,
having twice ignored the counsels of Polydamas, feels the
shame of rout and resolves to face Achilles, in spite of the
pleas of Priam and Hecuba, his parents. When Achilles
approaches, Hector's will fails him, and he is chased around
the city by Achilles. Finally, Athena tricks him to stop
running, and he turns to face his opponent. After a brief
duel, Achilles stabs Hector through the neck. Before dying,


Hector reminds Achilles that he is fated to die in the war as
well. Achilles takes Hector's body and dishonours it.
(23) The ghost of Patroclus comes to Achilles in a dream
and urges the burial of his body. The Greeks hold a day of
funeral games, and Achilles gives out the prizes.
(24) Dismayed by Achilles' continued abuse of Hector's
body, Zeus decides that it must be returned to Priam. Led
by Hermes, Priam takes a wagon out of Troy, across the
plains, and enters the Greek camp unnoticed. He grasps
Achilles by the knees and begs to have his son's body.
Achilles is moved to tears, and the two lament their losses
in the war. After a meal, Priam carries Hector's body back
into Troy. Hector is buried, and the city mourns.

A Detailed explanation of the gods role in the Iliad

During the Trojan War the Greek gods favour and help one
side or another side. Here is a detailed description of what
side each god is on and their reasons for being on that
particular side.
In the beginning, Zeus, chief of the Olympian Gods, turns
to the Trojan side because Thetis wants Achilles honoured.
After this, he seems to tend to favor the Trojan side,
because he likes Hektor and has a son of his on the Trojan
Side. Other gods who favor the Trojan side include Ares
who told Hera he was on the Greek side but turns out to be
on the Trojan side, because he did not want to be with his
mother. Apollo tends to favour the Trojan side because he
likes Hektor. Aphrodite, goddess favored by Paris with the
Golden Apple, is on the Trojan side and will not give up
her cause, just as Hera is with the Greeks. She is on the
Trojan side because Paris favoured her.
There are other gods who help out the Greeks. Hera, wife
of Zeus, is on the Greek side because she likes the Greeks.
Athena is on the Greek side, too. She likes Diomedes and
Odysseus. She helps Diomedes to fight with great strength
and makes Hektor turn back and get killed.
There are a few gods who do not favor any side. Iris is a
neutral goddess. She is the one who sends messages to
some of the Greeks and Trojans in the book. Hephaestus,
god of smith work and a blacksmith, is respectively neutral,
but does aid the Greeks during a point in the fighting by
making Achilles armour.
In conclusion, many gods choose a side to help win the
war. Theses gods and goddesses have many different
reasons for favoring one side or the other as I have
discussed above.

Is Achilles responsible for Patrokloss death? Defend your

Why is Achilles associated with Patrokloss death in the
first place? Achilles and Agamemnon had a fight. In the
end Achilles would not join in battle. Eventually the Greeks
were by their ships losing the battle. Patroklos saw the
ships burning so he ran to Achilles begging to lead the
Myrmidons into battle. Achilles consented but said that
Patroklos must come back after making the Trojans retreat.
So Patroklos, in Achilles armour, comes down on the
Trojans and defeats them sending them in a rout back to the
city. There Patroklos had his helmet thrown off by Apollo.
And then Euphorbus knocked out the armour. While this
happened Hector, seeing his chance, threw a spear and hit
Patroklos in the stomach. That is how Achilles is related to
Patrokloss death.
In my opinion, Achilles is not responsible for his death.
First of all, the Iliad says that the gods interfere with human
affairs and often take away free will from them. Achilles
also said that Patroklos would have to come back to
Achilles after driving the Trojans from the ships. When
you have driven them from the ships, come back; although
later the thunderous Lord of Hera might grant you the
winning glory, you must not set your mind on fighting the
Trojans, whose delight is in battle, without meYou must
turn back once you bring the light of salvation to the ships
and let the others go fighting in the flat lands. So Achilles
says to Patroklos. But the glory and honour that might have
awaited him drove him on and on to his death.

Show the role of the characters in the Odyssey in detail.

The characters in the Odyssey behave all in different ways
in reference to faithfulness. There are differences between
them and differences between their fates in the story.
Penelope is the person who is married to Odysseus.
Throughout the story she is always trying to think of ways
to escape the marriage of any of the suitors. She is here
trying to be faithful to Odysseus by not marrying another
man. Even though Odysseus was not dead she should have
waited a few years before marrying and it happened to be
that he came back in time.
Odysseus on the other hand, was faithful to his wife
Penelope. When Circe and Calypso wanted him to stay
with them forever and marry them he declined the offer and
tried to set sail home. Odysseuss men all were faithful to
him until they ate the cattle of Helios when he told them
not to. That is when they were killed by Zeus for not


listening and eating the sacred cattle.
The maids and servants of Odysseus were for the most part
faithful. The maids that were not faithful and had loved the
suitors were in the end slain by Telemachus for their not
being faithful. The Goatherd of Odysseus was unfaithful as
was proved when he always helped the suitors and mocked
the people that wanted Odysseus back. The singer and
herald of Odysseus at his house were faithful and had hated
the suitors. Telemachus had confirmed this and they were
then saved from the slaughter of the Suitors, and those who
liked the suitors, by Odysseus. The Swineherd and the
Cattle herd of Odysseus were both faithful and saved by
always repeating the words, How I which Odysseus would
come back and throughout the house the suitors would
scatter and marriage would be a painful matter. This is
proof of their hatred for the suitors and love for their master
In conclusion the people that were unfaithful to Odysseus
in the book were all slain for their bad ways. The men of
Odysseus were killed for their unfaithfulness with the cattle
of Helios. But the people that were faithful were all saved
and kept alive and became once again the servants to a
good master.
Similarities: (between iliad & odyssey)

- Both are attributed to Homer.

- Both begin with an evocation of the Muse.

- They both take place over the course of 10 years.

- They both begin in medias res, or in the middle of things.
The Iliad opens up in the last couple weeks of the final year
of the war ; the Odyssey opens up with Telemachus
searching for news of his father, and then we first learn of
Odysseus through flashbacks while he is being held captive
by Calypso--which was actually around the middle of his

- They both use dactylic hexameter.

- Many of the same characters can be found in both poems.


- The Iliad is about a 10-year war fought between the
Achaeans (Greeks) and the Trojans; the Odyssey is about
the 10-year journey home of the hero Odysseus after the
Trojan War.

- Achilles is one of the leading characters in the Iliad;
Odysseus is the leading character in the Odyssey.

- The Iliad is a poem telling the tale of many (Achilles,
Hector, the gods, etc.), while the Odyssey is primarily the
tale of Odysseus.

- Menis, or the wrath of Achilles, is the main focal point
and one of several themes in the Iliad; Nostos, or
homecoming, is the main focal point and one of several
themes in the Odyssey.

- In the Iliad, the gods are portrayed as pretty deceptive,
temperamental, backstabbing gods; there's a lot of sneaking
around behind each other's backs to aid one side over the
other (Hera wanted the Achaeans to be triumphant, but
Zeus tried to remain neutral), several of the gods conspired
to put Zeus to sleep so they could help the Achaeans win,
and the battlefield is essentially one giant chess board for
them, with mortals as their pawns. In the Odyssey, the gods
seem a little more benevolent (Athena supports Odysseus
and tries to assist him whenever she can, and they all --
except Poseidon--would like to see Odysseus return to
Ithaca) and they seem more unified and civil in their views
on how things (particularly Odysseus making it home)
should be handled. Even though Athena was Odysseus
staunchest supporter, she did not try to retaliate against
Poseidon when he made Odysseus' journey all the harder
and even longer.

- In the Iliad, the gods were more actively involved in the
affairs of mortals than they were in the Odyssey. In fact,
there were numerous occasions where they actually took
human form so they could go out onto the battlefield. In the
Odyssey, there was little intervention, and usually only
when it was asked for.

- The Iliad takes place in one location: Troy; in the
Odyssey, Odysseus visits numerous places in his journey