Study Guide

The Iliad Book 15

By Homer

Book 15

  • The Achaians, making a comeback, drive the Trojans out of their encampment.
  • When Zeus wakes up beside Hera and looks down, what he sees makes him furious.
  • He is especially angry to see Poseidon helping out the Achaians—not to mention the fact that Hektor is barely conscious.
  • Zeus lashes out at Hera, complaining about how she tricked him.
  • Hera makes a solemn oath that she wasn't the one who gave Poseidon the idea. (A technicality.)
  • Zeus says, "Fine. We can patch things up, but you've got to go to Olympos right now and get me Iris and Apollo."
  • Then Zeus announces what will come to pass: the Trojans will keep pressing on as far as the ships of Achilleus, then Achilleus will send Patroklos into battle in his place. Patroklos will kill Zeus's son Sarpedon; then Hektor will kill him. Achilleus will kill Hektor and the tide of the war will turn—ultimately leading to the destruction of Troy. That's a lot of killing.
  • Hera obediently heads for Olympos. When she gets there, she complains about how Zeus is acting, but then says it's not worth fighting with him. For example, she says, Ares will have to put up with the fact that he lost his son, Askalaphos.
  • Unfortunately, this remark only sets off Ares. He rages out of the room and starts to head down to the battle, but Athene catches up to him and stops him.
  • Next, as promised, Hera sends Iris and Apollo to meet Zeus on Ida.
  • When they get there, Zeus first sends Apollo down to revive Hektor. The god finds him awake, but still in a daze. Apollo reveals himself to the Trojan hero, and tells him to return to the battle: the god will clear a path for him.
  • Now, filled with new courage, Hektor drives on against the Achaians.
  • When the Achaian Thoas sees him coming, he encourages the greatest Achaian warriors to stand up in resistance.
  • The Achaians put on a brave front—until Apollo puts the fear of god into them, literally. Then they run in fear.
  • Now the Trojans kill various Achaians and start stripping off their armor.
  • When Hektor sees this though, he urges them to press onward to the true prize: the destruction of the Achaians' ships. He says he'll kill any man who hangs back.
  • The Trojans start racing into the Achaian camp, while Apollo helps tear down their wall and uses the debris to fill up the ditch surrounding it.
  • Soon enough, the Trojans have pushed the Achaians so far back that they are reduced to fighting from the decks of their own beached ships with long spears made for sea-battles.
  • Seeing what is happening, Patroklos leaves the injured Eurypylos, whom he had been helping, and runs off to find Achilleus.
  • Meanwhile, Hektor is leading a group of Trojans in trying to set fire to a ship defended by Aias and some others.
  • At some point, Teukros tries to shoot an arrow at Hektor. He would have hit him, too, except that Zeus snaps the string of his bow and makes the missile shoot erratically away.
  • Hektor, seeing what happened to Teukros, calls out encouragement to the other Trojans.
  • Aias stirs on the Achaians by reminding them that this fight is for life and death.
  • Various soldiers are killed in the furious struggle.
  • Hektor puts the Achaians to flight, but they regroup a ways back, with Nestor encouraging them not to panic.
  • But Hektor presses on at the ships, and the fight there becomes intense at close quarters.
  • The book ends with Aias standing on deck, fighting off all comers with a really big spear.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...