The greeks were fascinating ye
BRISEIS Captive girl originally awarded to Achilleus but
taken by Agamemnon, precipitating the wrath of Achilleus.
CATALOG OF SHIPS Long descriptive passage in Book II
outlining all the battle contingents at Troy.
CHRYSEIS Captive girl taken by Agamemnon. Apollo forces him
to return her by sending a plague on the Greek forces.
CHRYSES Father of Chryseis, priest of Apollo.
DACTYLIC HEXAMETER The metrical form used by Homer in his
epic poems, consisting of six feet of variable quantity.
DANAANS One of three interchangeable terms for the Greeks
(also Argives, Achaians).
DARDANIANS Trojan contingent headed by Aineias.
DECEPTION OF ZEUS Passage in Book XIV in which Hera seduces
DEIPHOBOS Brother of Hektor.
DIOMEDES Great Greek warrior, son of Tydeus (sometimes
referred to as Tydeides). Book V is often called the Diomedeia
because of his powerful exploits.
DOLON Trojan spy caught by Diomedes and Odysseus in Book X,
which is called the Doloneia after him.
EPIC CYCLE Group of poems by various authors that make up the
entire story of the Trojan War.
EPITHET Short descriptive term used by Homer to describe a
character, frequently repeated throughout the poem.
ERIS Goddess of strife.
EROS Love-power governed by Aphrodite.
EUPHORBOS Trojan warrior, killed by Menelaos. His death in
Book XVII is described in a famous simile.
EURYPYLOS Greek warrior, wounded in battle.
GLAUKOS Trojan warrior, ancestral friend of Diomedes, who
spares his life.
HADES Ruler of the underworld, brother of Zeus and
HEKABE Wife of Priam, mother of Hektor.
HEKTOR Greatest and most beloved Trojan warrior, arch enemy
of Achilleus, son of Priam and Hekabe, husband of Andromache.
HELEN Beautiful woman; wife of Menelaos but mistress of
Paris. The Trojan War is fought on her behalf.
HELENOS Trojan warrior, brother of Hektor.
HEPHAISTOS Lame god of the blacksmith’s art, creator of
divine armor for Achilleus.
HERA Ever-scheming and powerful goddess; wife of Zeus, major
defender of the Greek cause.
HERMES Also called Argeiphontes, god who protects Priam.
HOMERIC HYMNS Group of narrative poems sometimes attributed
ICHOR Divine substance that runs through the immortals’ veins
instead of blood.
IDA Large mountain near Troy.
IDAIOS A herald of Priam.
IDOMENEUS Kretan commander, a great Greek fighter.
ILION Another name for Troy, from which the Iliad gets its
IRIS Messenger of Zeus.
KALCHAS Soothsayer for the Greeks.
KEBRIONES Trojan warrior killed by Patroklos, sparking a
fierce battle over his body.
KRETE Largest of the Greek islands, whose forces are led by
KRONOS One of the ancient Greek gods, overthrown by Zeus, his
LEDA Mother of Helen, perhaps by mating with Zeus in the form
of a swan.
LYKAON Trojan warrior, killed by Achilleus.
MACHAON Physician for the Greeks.
MEDUSA The Gorgon: snake-haired creature whose severed
head stared from the aegis.
MEGARON Large Greek room.
MELEAGROS Legendary hero whose story is used by Phoinix to
persuade Achilleus to fight.
MENELAOS Ruler of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon, cuckolded
husband of Helen.
MENOITIOS Father of Patroklos.
MERIONES Greek fighter, companion of Idomeneus.
MUSE One of the nine goddesses who inspire the various arts,
invoked by Homer to begin the Iliad.
MYKENAI Powerful Greek city, ruled by Agamemnon.
MYRMIDONS Greek contingent led by Achilleus.
NEREIDS Sea nymphs, companions of Thetis, daughters of
NESTOR Elder statesman of the Greeks, a great talker.
ODYSSEUS Brilliant Greek warrior and counselor. His travels
home from the war are the subject of Homer’s epic, the
OILEUS Father of one of the fighters called Aias.
OKEANOS Primal waters surrounding the world, depicted on the
divine shield of Achilleus.
OLYMPOS Mountainous abode of the immortals.
PANDAROS Trojan warrior who breaks the truce in Book IV.
PARIS Another name for Alexandros, Trojan prince.
PATROKLOS Greek commander, comrade of Achilleus, whose death
causes Achilleus to reenter the war.
PELEUS Father of Achilleus.
PHOINIX An elder of the Greeks, old friend of Achilleus.
POLYDOROS Son of Priam, killed by Achilleus.
POSEIDON Fierce god of the sea and of earthquakes, brother of
Zeus and Hades, defender of the Greeks.
POULYDAMAS Trojan warrior and friend of Hektor.
PRIAM King of Troy, father of Hektor and many others.
PYLOS Greek city, domain of Nestor.
RHAPSODE Ancient Greek singer who recited epics.
RHESOS Trojan ally, killed by Diomedes; possessor of great
SARPEDON Son of Zeus, a Trojan fighter whose death almost
causes Zeus to intervene.
SKAIAN GATES Landmark gates before the walls of Troy.
SKAMANDROS River that crosses the plain of Troy (also called
the plain of Skamandros). Also referred to as Xanthos.
SPARTA Greek city, home of Menelaos.
TEICHOSCOPEIA View from the wall: referring to Helen’s
description of the Greek forces as seen from the Trojan walls.
TELEMON Father of one of the Greek fighters called Aias.
TEUKROS Younger brother of Telemonian Aias, a great archer.
THEOMACHIA Battle of the gods: referring to the immortals’
fight in Book XXI.
THERSITES Offensive Greek fighter; a buffoon and a whiner.
THETIS Sea goddess, mother of Achilleus.
TROY Walled city on the coast of Turkey; also called Ilion.
TYDEUS Father of Diomedes; sometimes referred to as
TYNDAREUS Father, perhaps, of Helen.
XANTHOS Another name for the river Skamandros.
ZEUS Most powerful of the immortals, a thunder-and-lightning
sky god. His plan outlines the plot of the Iliad.