The Gods in the Iliad
The gods take sides in the Iliad.
The gods help their favorite mortals both directly and indirectly. Mortals fight gods and gods fight each other. The world of the Iliad is a world of cosmic conflict. On the side of the Greeks are:
On the side of the Trojans are: Athena
Zeus tries to stay above the fray and stand for justice and fate. He uses the scales of fate and justice to determine his actions, but he can also be persuaded by personal petitions from the gods. Also look for the gods' role in scenes highlighting their functions. For example: Oath or swearing scenes: Zeus
Guest friendship or xenia: Zeus
Message bearing: Iris or Hermes
Homer does not always refer to characters by their names. He can also refer to them via epithets or nicknames. For example: Atreides = Agamemnon and Menelaus
Son of Menoitios = Patroklos
Gerenian horseman = Nestor
The same is true for the gods. See how many gods you can recognize here: Which god is “father of gods and men”?
Which goddess is owl-eyed?
Which goddess is ox-eyed?
Which god is the Lord of Hera?
Which god is Argeiphontes or “the Guide”?
Which god is “lord of the shining bolt”?
Which god is “he who strikes from afar”?
Which god is “lord of the silver bow”?
Which god is “god of the dragging feet”?
Which goddess is “goddess of the white arms”?
Which goddess is Tritongeneia?
Which god is the Son of Kronos?
Which goddess is the Kyprian or the Lady of Kypros?
Which god is “Worker from Afar”?
Which god is the earth-shaker?
Which god is Phoibos?
Which goddess is Pallas?
The Gods in the Plot
Here are some noteworthy scenes in which the gods play a significant role: Book 1
Apollo and the plague
Athena restrains Achilles
Zeus, Thetis, and Hera...
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