Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Iliad” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
The Iliad
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Iliad (The Great Courses #301)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  218,591 ratings  ·  3,609 reviews
Homer's "Iliad" is one of the finest epic stories ever. This ten day account of the Trojan War is magnificent. The characters are heroic as only Homer can make them. Please Note: This book is easy to read in true text, not scanned images that can sometimes be difficult to decipher. The Microsoft eBook has a contents page linked to the chapter headings for easy navigation. ...more
Published February 17th 2004 by NuVision Publications (first published -762)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Iliad, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Hannah Rinald I had to read it again for an undergrad class on Ancient Greece. Definitely a better read as a willing adult (and from a historical/cultural…moreI had to read it again for an undergrad class on Ancient Greece. Definitely a better read as a willing adult (and from a historical/cultural perspective) than a sullen and unwilling teenager (from a lit perspective that I didn't understand yet). The Odyssey seems a better fit for high school.(less)
Andy One must have at least a small liking for poetry to get the best out of this epic story. The Stephen Mitchell edition is one of the greatest books…moreOne must have at least a small liking for poetry to get the best out of this epic story. The Stephen Mitchell edition is one of the greatest books that I have ever read. try it you will not be dissapointed (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Grace Tjan
What I learned from this book (in no particular order):

1. Victory or defeat in ancient Greek wars is primarily the result of marital spats and/or petty sibling rivalry in Zeus and Hera’s dysfunctional divine household.

2. Zeus “the father of gods and men” is a henpecked husband who is also partial to domestic abuse.

3. If you take a pretty girl who is the daughter of a priest of Apollo as war booty and refuse to have her ransomed, Apollo will rain plague on your troops. And he won’t be appeased un
Oct 13, 2012 Sparrow rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grads
Recommended to Sparrow by: Professor Borin
At my college graduation, the speaker was a gruff professor. He was one of those older men whom people somewhat patronizingly describe as a teddy bear to convey the idea that while he looks like Santa Claus, they wouldn’t be surprised to see him arraigned on assault charges at the local courthouse. I liked this professor in general, and his graduation speech was a grand: warm congratulations on a crisp early-summer day. He decided to inform us, however, that anyone who had not read The Iliad and ...more
I’m often kept up at night brooding on my troubles, wishing I could find some solace that would help me sleep. But now I know that the best way to keep insomnia at bay is to get out of bed, hitch up my chariot, tie the corpse of my mortal enemy to the back, and drive around for a few hours, dragging him, until I cheer up and can go back to sleep. The Iliad is unmatched, in my reading, for works that describe the bloody, ridiculous, selfish lengths people will go in order to feel better. The stic ...more
J.G. Keely
Pablo Picasso spent his entire life trying desperately to do something new, something unique. He moved from style to style, mastering and then abandoning both modern and classical methods, even trying to teach his trained artist's hand to paint like a child.

In 1940, four French teens and a dog stumbled upon a cave that had lain hidden for 16,000 years. Inside, they found the walls covered in beautiful drawings of men and animals. When the Lascaux caves were opened to the public, Pablo Picasso vi
Riku Sayuj


“The Classics, it is the Classics!” William Blake is said to have exclaimed, with pointed reference to Homer, “that Desolate Europe with Wars!

Blake's exclamation might not be as atrocious as it sounds at first. There might be some truth to this, a universal truth.

Significantly however, this is not how the ancients understood it. They understood war as the catastrophe that it is.

Strabo, the Roman geographer, talking about the Trojan wars, puts it thus: “For it
I don't know why I read this. It isn't on The List (I guess because it's technically a poem, not a novel), and it wasn't assigned reading or anything. But for whatever reason, reading The Iliad has been on my mental to-do list for a while now, and last week I finally picked it up.

My first reaction: dude, this epic is epic. (thank you, I'll be here all week) It's full of dudes getting killed in really exquisite detail, dudes talking about killing or not killing dudes, dudes mourning dead dudes i
Am I really going to bother reviewing Homer’s _Iliad_? I mean, what am I going to say that hasn’t been said by generations of scholars, reviewers or readers? Does another drop in the ocean matter? Well, even if it doesn’t I’ll give it a go I guess. Reading the _Iliad_ was mostly done by me as a correction to a perceived gap in my education. I had always known bits and pieces about the poem and its heroes from various sources and the culture in general, but I had never read the poem itself. Given ...more
João Fernandes

“The true hero, the true subject, the center of the Iliad, is force. Force as man’s instrument, force as man’s master, force before which human flesh shrinks back. The human soul, in this poem, is shown always in its relation to force: swept away, blinded by the force it thinks it can direct, bent under the pressure of the force to which it is subjected. Those who had dreamed that force, thanks to progress, now belonged to the past, have seen the poem as a historic document; those who can see th
Sarah (Presto agitato)
When I first read The Iliad, I was way too young to fully appreciate it. I understood, of course, the backstory - a spiteful goddess is left off a wedding invitation list, she retaliates by giving the Trojan prince Paris a golden apple to reward to the best-looking goddess (because that can’t go wrong), he picks Aphrodite because she promises him the incomparably beautiful (and already married) Helen, angering the other goddesses in the process, Paris selfishly steals Helen (and a lot of treasur ...more
Praiz Sophyronja
So, why did I bother with THE FREAKING ILLIAD? Thinking about it now, I can't remember what it was that made me finally pick up my giant copy that has been taking up considerable space on my bookshelf.
Ah, the end of that sentence kinda just answered its own question, so that is one of the reasons.

It is a classic and I think almost everyone knows at least the abridged version of The Illiad, but hey ho, it doesn't compare to original (translated by this Fagles dude) text. But all in all, I can'
Estuve mentalmente metida en la guerra entre aqueos y troyanos de agosto a diciembre. Al menos, no duró tanto como la verdadera (diez años en total). Ilíada es un poema épico extenso y arduo, repleto de descripciones de armas y combates, pero que compensa cada queja con unos pasajes sublimes y una naturalización de personajes que sorprende.

Breve reposición de argumento: Ilíada se concentra en la interminable ira de Aquiles, el mejor guerrero de los aqueos, a causa del robo de su botín, que i
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I read the Odyssey at Uni and really loved it. A romp off to parts unknown with a man who is good company from a distance. As with much of fiction, the people I am delighted to spend lots of time with on the page are not necessarily those I would want to spend anytime with otherwise.

I’ve always meant to get around to reading this. I mean, this Homer guy only wrote two books and I had enjoyed the other one, so … so, a mere twenty years later (how time flies) I got around to reading this one.

The p
Jan 05, 2013 Terence rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
UPDATE JAN 2013: I finished reading Stephen Mitchell's translation soon after the New Year and can't recommend it enough.

And, as with any good literature, I find that upon rereading the Iliad, I got something more out of it. Something that had nothing to do with my first impressions noted below (and that I'll elaborate upon more fully in my review of David Malouf's Ransom: A Novel when I finish that book).

Up to now, I’ve only read fragments of The Ilia
It must be said that Fagles' translation is truly a thing of beauty, measured in full to the epic course of this poem-that-begat-all-poems within the Western canon—expressively and aptly capturing the jarring, bone-splintering, sanguinary shock of men slaughtering men with bronzemongery at close quarters, the descent of the dark, whilst afire with passions personal and/or divinely-stoked; the morphic wiles and chameleon chromatism of the Olympian gods and goddesses—the latter of which strike me ...more
Jim Coughenour
"Sprung out of bitterness, the philosophy of the Iliad excludes resentment." Thus Rachel Bespaloff, stating the seemingly impossible. Years ago I read the Iliad in Fitzgerald's fine translation, but every page had the heavy cadence of a "classic." Now I'm reading Fagles' and Lombardo's translations back to back, and am surprised how much I'm enjoying the poem. I don't dispute those who judge Fagles the superior translator, but for me the Lombardo version is far more stirring.

Consider the opening
How could one so humble as I and so disfavored by the gods as to have the poetic ability of a blind cosmetics-testing monkey rate a work so great as The Iliad, a poetic masterpiece that has astounded and inspired for over 3,000 years, anything less than five stars? The answer to that question, which you seek with the zealous lust of tigress in heat, is, of course, that I could not. I dare not, lest I risk the wrath of Olympus. As a cow stands lowing over her first calf, so will I jealously guard ...more
Sidharth Vardhan

I first met Greek gods in ‘Hercules’ the animated cartoon series, which I loved watching as a kid. Then there was Wikipedia and then Ovid’s Metamorphosis. My point being I really had high expectations when I started reading Iliad. I expected it to be a more complete account – beginning with ‘Apple of Discord’; may be even before; then Paris’ judgment that Venus was fairest of three goddesses, then oath taken at Helen’s father’s place and then Helen’s seduction or rape (whichever version you pref

نبرد معروف آخیلس و هکتور منقوش بر کوزه ای قدیمی؛ در زیر پای جنگجویان، جسد پتروکلس دوست آخیلس افتاده است

ایلیاد، سروده ی هومر، معروف ترین حماسه سرای یونانه که ماجرای جنگی ده ساله بین یونانیان و ایلیون (یا همون تروی) رو بازگو میکنه. بسیاری از اسطوره های یونانی (خدایان ساکن کوه المپ، قهرمانان بزرگ، مثل آخیلس و هکتور و...) رو ما امروزه فقط از طریق این کتاب میشناسیم.

اما چیزی که این حماسه رو برای من که اسطوره شناس یا متخصص ادبیات یونان باستان نیستم، خیلی خیلی درخشان میکنه، سه چیزه: یکی داستان پردازی
Evan Leach
"Rage – Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls…"

img: Achilles

Before I start gushing praise all over this book, I can think of three things that might discourage readers from tackling The Iliad:

1. It is a very long (nearly 15,700 lines) poem. If you really don’t have a taste for poetry at all, then this may not be the book for you.

2. It is fairly violent. Lots and lots of people get spear

The Iliad, a daunting work of fiction so genius that it has survived for thousands of years. To this day there is no modern epic which stands anywhere near it except perhaps Les Misérables or Paradise Lost. Perhaps those who are informed could add The Divine Comedy to this list, however I have not read Dante's work as of yet.

Before I continue I'd like to point out that the translation I read was Robert Fitzgerald's translation. Which seemed solid if nothing particularly special. I do think that
Me ha costado varios meses leer este libro y soy incapaz de ponerle nota a una obra de este calibre xD así que vamos a dejarlo como "leído" y ya.
En general no ha sido una mala lectura pero me he sentido un poco perdida en más de una ocasión, no estoy muy acostumbrada a este tipo de lecturas. Ha estado razonablemente bien y es una experiencia más que me llevo.
David Lentz
Those whom the gods would destroy, first they anger. Achilles was born as the most highly skilled warrior of the ancient world and kings want him to fight their wars for them. The Greek gods ever intervene, playing favorites and citing specifics of class and birth and past affronts to determine on whose behalf to tip the scales episodically. Zeus is ever contravened by his wife, Hera. Apollo and Poseidon, Athene and Aphrodite have all chosen sides and seek to foil each other. The god of war, Are ...more
Adam Floridia
Fair warning, this review probably contains spoilers. I'm not hiding it, though, because, seriously, who doesn't know what happens in The Iliad? You've got to be some kind of moron not to know this story.

So...I must be some kind of moron. I could swear I read this back in high school and/or college. I also would have bet you that I could tell you what it's about pretty dang accurately. Well here's where I would have lost that bet.

1) Achilles is the greatest, noblest hero E-V-E-R... Now I would c
Christopher H.
This review of The Iliad is associated with the translation by Robert Fagles (1990)--

"Homer makes us Hearers, and Virgil leaves us Readers." So wrote Alexander Pope, in 1715, in the preface to his translation of The Iliad.

I have just completed reading a magnificent translation of Homer's The Iliad, and couldn't have enjoyed the experience more. I had read bits and pieces of The Iliad over the course of my life, but I had never read the entire poem from start to finish. I recently purchased the P
Sing to me, O Muse, of a long damn poem,
which saddled the backs of many a Freshman English Major before me
and brought the mist of term papers down around our eyes

Can you tell me, O Muse, of the deeds done in this book
in less time than it takes to fight the actual war
in which the blood of many a legendary, some say mythical, figure
was spilt and lost, fed into the hungry earth of Troy?
Sing to me of feasting and fighting and the filching of treasure
of Dawn and her Rosy Fingers as they greet the ten
Apr 16, 2015 Miriam marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Dear Goodreads,

Just because I want to read Butler's translation of the Iliad does not mean you need to recommend other translations to me. Note that I have already read two other editions of the Iliad. And please stop suggesting that I might want to delete one of those "duplicate" entries.

However, if anyone HASN'T read the Iliad, there is a giveaway going on for a new translation by Peter Green:

Ahmad Sharabiani
عنوان: ایلیاد؛ شاعر: هومر؛ مترجم: سعید نفیسی؛ تهران، بنگاه ترجمه و نشر کتاب، 1334؛ در 720 ص؛ موضوع: داستان جنگ تروا
Characters: Ajax, Odysseus, Helen of Troy, Menelaus, Paris, Hector, Achilles, Agamemnon, Aeneas, Sarpedon, Priam, Cassandra, Patroclus, Diomedes, Ajax Oileus, Andromache, Briseis, Hecuba, Nestor, Akhilleus
James Murphy
I'd read The Iliad before in the Robert Fagles translation and one by Stanley Lombardo, a classics professor from the University of Kansas. But I'd always heard about the earlier Richmond Lattimore translation. It seems that whenever you read a critical work on Homer the Lattimore is quoted rather than other editions. I've frequently come across books quoting Lattimore, and recently I became interested in a critical study of Homer called The War That Killed Achilles by Caroline Alexander. But re ...more
Peycho Kanev
The Iliad ranks as one of the most important and most influential works in world literature in that it established literary standards and conventions that writers have imitated over the centuries, down to the present day. The Iliad is a brutal, dynamic, psychologically complex narrative. It has a forward motion that can lead the reader on page after page. The Iliad is certainly a piece of literature that has stood the test of time - and with good reason. War has constantly been a feature of huma ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Novel Books & Rea...: Homer - The Iliad - Informal Buddy Read; Start November 7, 2015 63 171 Nov 22, 2015 11:18PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Iliad by Homero 3 17 Jun 08, 2015 07:44AM  
Favorite character? 62 195 May 31, 2015 03:41PM  
My boy Homer 3 33 Apr 27, 2015 06:23PM  
What caused the Trojan War? 18 453 Jan 01, 2015 09:09PM  
Fact or Fiction? 15 192 Aug 31, 2014 12:35PM  
Goodreads Librari...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Wrong Page Number 6 17 Jun 27, 2014 04:59PM  
  • The Oresteia
  • The Aeneid
  • Metamorphoses
  • Les Misérables
  • The Complete Plays
  • Jason and the Golden Fleece (The Argonautica)
  • The Poetic Edda
  • Theogony (Classical Library)
  • Euripides V: Electra / The Phoenician Women / The Bacchae
  • Poems and Fragments
  • The Way Things Are: The De Rerum Natura
  • The Greek Myths: Vol. 1
  • Greek Tragedies, Vol. 1: Aeschylus: Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound; Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Antigone; Euripides: Hippolytus
  • Purgatorio (The Divine Comedy, #2)
In the Western classical tradition, Homer (Greek: Όμηρος) is considered the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest of ancient Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.
When he lived is unknown. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before his own time,
More about Homer...

Other Books in the Series

The Great Courses (1 - 10 of 293 books)
  • My Favorite Universe (Great Courses, #158)
  • Understanding Literature and Life: Drama, Poetry and Narrative (Great Courses, #210)
  • King Arthur and Chivalry (Great Courses, #245)
  • Shakespeare: The Word and the Action (The Great Courses, #273)
  • From Plato to Post-modernism: Understanding the Essence of Literature and the Role of the Author (Great Courses, #295)
  • The Odyssey of Homer (Great Courses #302)
  • Ancient Greek Civilization (Great Courses, #323)
  • Neolithic Europe (Great Courses, #329)
  • The History of Ancient Rome (Great Courses, #340)
  • The History Of Ancient Egypt (Great Courses, #350)

Share This Book

57 trivia questions
4 quizzes
More quizzes & trivia...
“…There is the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible—magic to make the sanest man go mad.” 445 likes
“Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.” 357 likes
More quotes…