American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. The older of the two surviving ancient Greek epic poems, traditionally ascribed to Homer but containing material composed orally over several centuries. It begins with the wrathful withdrawal of the Greek hero Achilles from the fighting in the Trojan War and ends after his return to slay the Trojan hero Hector.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One of the two great Greek epic poems of prehistoric antiquity (the other being the Odyssey), attributed to Homer. These poems are considered by some scholars to represent not the work of any one man, but an elaboration of a series of legends sung by a school of ancient Ionic rhapsodists. The subject of the Iliad is the ten years' siege of Ilium or Troy by the confederated states of Greece under Agamemnon, king of Mycenæ, to redress the injury done to Menelaus, king of Sparta, in the carrying off of his wife, Helen, by the Trojan Paris, to whom Helen was given by Aphrodite as a reward for his decision in favor of Aphrodite in the contest of beauty between her, Athena, and Hera. The direct narrative relates only to a part of the last year, leaving the fall of the city untold. The mighty deeds of the Greek Achilles and of the Trojan Hector, son of King Priam, supply some of the chief episodes of the poem. The Iliad and Odyssey were universally looked upon by the Greeks, in spite of endless variations and differences from legends received later, as an authoritative and inspired record of the early history and the religious beliefs and doctrines of their race. As epics, the first rank in poetry has always been conceded to them.
- n. A famous ancient Greek epic poem about the Trojan War, attributed to Homer.
- n. Any long tragic story.
- n. A specific version, edition, translation, or copy of the above-mentioned Homeric text.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A celebrated Greek epic poem, in twenty-four books, on the destruction of Ilium, the ancient Troy. The Iliad is ascribed to Homer.
- n. a Greek epic poem (attributed to Homer) describing the siege of Troy
- From Ancient Greek Ἰλιάς (Ilias), the poem about Ἴλιον (Ilion), an alternate name for Troy. (Wiktionary)
“But the man in his freedom, who co-operates with the God in the providential order, is often brought before the reader in the Iliad as well as in the Odyssey (see author's _Com. on the Iliad_, pp. 129, 157, 216, etc.).”
“In that case -- the _Odyssey_ being later than the original kernel of the Iliad -- the _Odyssey_ ought to give us gods as undignified and unworthy as those exhibited by the later continuators of the _Iliad_.”
“Assembly, but Achilles appealed to his mother, the fair sea - goddess, as in our Iliad, and she obtained from Zeus, as in the actual _Iliad_, his promise to honour Achilles by giving victory, in his absence, to the Trojans.”
“When you come to see that the Iliad is as great a gift to the race as the doings of Achilles, that the Iliads are more significant than the doings they celebrate, you will cease to classify men into doers and singers.”
“In fact the tension between Weil's revulsion toward and attraction to violence informs, indeed propels, the essay (in her first paragraph she describes the implacable power of force in sexually submissive terms, and avers that for those perceptive enough to place violence at the center of human history, "the Iliad is the purest and the loveliest of mirrors").”
“The "Iliad" is beautful with all the truth, and grace and simplicity of a wonderfully childlike people while the "Æneid" is more stately and reserved.”
“His Iliad is powerful, almost overwhelming, his Odyssey utterly charming, and I recommend them to anyone who wishes to read — or reread — Homer's two great epics.”
“Along with The Odyssey, The Iliad is one of the oldest extant works of Western literature and helped establish the practice of committing oral history and stories to paper, rather than preserving them solely by word of mouth.”
“Thus, the Iliad is merely a long epic poem to those American students who even know anything about it, while it was effectively a “sacred poem” to the Athenians of Greece in the fourth century B.C.”
“Homer first mentioned story of Troy in Iliad and Odyssey.”
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