Top Ten Quotes From The Illiad by Homer

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#10 – “We men are wretched things.”

#9 – “Sing, O muse, of the rage of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans.”

#8 – “Why so much grief for me? No man will hurl me down to Death, against my fate. And fate? No one alive has ever escaped it, neither brave man nor coward, I tell you – it’s born with us the day that we are born.”

#7 – “No one can hurry me down to Hades before my time, but if a man’s hour is come, be he brave or be he coward, there is no escape for him when he has once been born.”

#6 – “Come, Friend, you too must die. Why moan about it so?
Even Patroclus died, a far, far better man than you.
And look, you see how handsome and powerful I am?
The son of a great man, the mother who gave me life–
A deathless goddess. But even for me, I tell you,
Death and the strong force of fate are waiting.
There will come a dawn or sunset or high noon
When a man will take my life in battle too–
flinging a spear perhaps
Or whipping a deadly arrow off his bow.”

#5 – “Ruin, eldest daughter of Zeus, she blinds us all, that fatal madness—she with those delicate feet of hers, never touching the earth, gliding over the heads of men to trap us all. She entangles one man, now another.”

#4 – “I say no wealth is worth my life! Not all they claim
was stored in the depths of Troy, that city built on riches,
in the old days of peace before the sons of Achaea came-
not all the gold held fast in the Archer’s rocky vaults,
in Phoebus Apollo’s house on Pytho’s sheer cliffs!
Cattle and fat sheep can all be had for the raiding,
tripods all for the trading, and tawny-headed stallions.
But a man’s life breath cannot come back again-
no raiders in force, no trading brings it back,
once it slips through a man’s clenched teeth.
Mother tells me,
the immortal goddess Thetis with her glistening feet,
that two fates bear me on to the day of death.
If I hold out here and I lay siege to Troy,
my journey home is gone, but my glory never dies.
If I voyage back to the fatherland I love,
my pride, my glory dies…
true, but the life that’s left me will be long,
the stroke of death will not come on me quickly.”

#3 – “And so their spirits soared
as they took positions own the passageways of battle
all night long, and the watchfires blazed among them.
Hundreds strong, as stars in the night sky glittering
round the moon’s brilliance blaze in all their glory
when the air falls to a sudden, windless calm…
all the lookout peaks stand out and the jutting cliffs
and the steep ravines and down from the high heavens bursts
the boundless bright air and all the stars shine clear
and the shepherd’s heart exults – so many fires burned
between the ships and the Xanthus’ whirling rapids
set by the men of Troy, bright against their walls.
A thousand fires were burning there on the plain
and beside each fire sat fifty fighting men
poised in the leaping blaze, and champing oats
and glistening barley, stationed by their chariots,
stallions waited for Dawn to mount her glowing throne.”

#2 – “Skepticism is as much the result of knowledge, as knowledge is of skepticism. To be content with what we at present know, is, for the most part, to shut our ears against conviction; since, from the very gradual character of our education, we must continually forget, and emancipate ourselves from, knowledge previously acquired; we must set aside old notions and embrace fresh ones; and, as we learn, we must be daily unlearning something which it has cost us no small labor and anxiety to acquire.”

#1 – “Let him submit to me! Only the god of death is so relentless, Death submits to no one—so mortals hate him most of all the gods. Let him bow down to me! I am the greater king, I am the elder-born, I claim—the greater man.”

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