1-7: Homer calls upon the goddess of poetry and inspiration (the MUSE) to sing of Achilleus' anger. 8-52: Chryses, priest of Apollo , comes to the Greek camp to ransom his daughter, Chryseis , held captive by Agamemnon . He is insulted and sent away, and Apollo sends a plague on the Greeks. 53-305: Inspired by the goddess, Hera , Achilleus calls an assembly to deal with the plague, and the prophet, Kalchas , reveals that Apollo was angered by Agamemnon's refusal to return the daughter of his priest. Agamemnon reluctantly agrees to give her back, but demands compensation. This provokes Achilleus' anger, and, after they exchange threats and angry words, Agamemnon decides to take Achilleus' "prize", the captive woman, Briseis . The goddess, Athene , prevents Achilleus from killing Agamemnon by promising that he will one day be compensated with three times as many prizes. Nestor 's efforts to make peace fail. 306-430: Agamemnon's men take Briseis from Achilleus, and Achilleus prays to his divine mother, Thetis , for help. He says he will not fight, and he asks her to persuade Zeus to make the battle go badly for the Greeks so they will see that they should not have dishonored him. 430-87: Odysseus leads a group of Greeks to Chryse (the place!) to return Chryseis (the daughter!) to Chryses (the priest!). Meanwhile, Achilleus isolates himself from the other Greeks. 488-611: Thetis, begs Zeus to honor her son, Achilleus, by turning the battle against the Greeks so they will see that they need him. Afterwards, Zeus' wife, Hera , bickers with him over his plan, and the lame god, Hephaistos , tries to make peace among them. Book 2
Zeus begins to fulfill his promise to Thetis to bring honor to Achilleus. First, he deceives Agamemnon with a dream that promises victory. Agamemnon calls the Greek leaders together to tell them his dream. He proposes to test the soldiers by saying that they are going home. When he does this, the soldiers run for the ships; only Odysseus is able to rally them and shame them into staying. A common soldier, THERSITES, protests and urges his fellow Greeks to go home, but Odysseus beats him down and reminds the Greeks that they had been promised victory when they set out. The troops assemble and Homer lists all of the contingents in "the CATALOG OF THE SHIPS". The Trojans arm to meet the Greeks, and Homer names their warriors and troops as well. Book 3
Paris challenges Menelaos to a duel; Helen is to be awarded to the winner. Helen joins Priam on the walls of Troy and names the Greek warriors for him. Then, Priam goes to the battlefield to swear an oath with Agamemnon to respect the results of the duel. Menelaos and Paris fight, but Aphrodite snatches Paris away, deposits him in his bedroom, and brings Helen to him. Book 4
At a council of the gods on MOUNT OLYMPOS, Zeus considers bringing the Trojan War to an end and sparing the city of Troy. Hera angrily objects, and Zeus sends Athene to break the truce. Athene persuades PANDAROS, a Trojan, to shoot an arrow at Menelaos. Menelaos is wounded, the truce is broken and, as Agamemnon rallies the troops, fighting breaks out. Book 5
Diomedes ' exploits on the battlefield dominate this section. After he wounds Aphrodite, Ares, the god of war, intervenes to help the Trojans. The goddesses, Hera and Athene, join in on the Greek side. Book 6
Diomedes and GLAUKOS , an ally of the Trojans, meet, but do not fight because they discover they are "GUEST-FRIENDS": their grandfathers had visited each other and exchanged gifts. Hektor returns to Troy to ask the Trojan women to make a sacrifice to Athene to win her pity. He visits Helen and scolds his brother, Paris, for abandoning the battlefield. In a moving scene, Hektor explains his duty to fight, and says an emotional good-bye to his wife, Andromache , and their baby, ASTYANAX, before returning to battle. Book 7
Hektor proposes a duel with one of the Greeks....