"The Iliad" is the first and the greatest literary achievement of Greek
civilization - an epic poem without rival in the literature of the world, and
the cornerstone of Western culture. The story of the Iliad centres on the
critical events in the last year of the Trojan War, which lead to Achilleus'
killing of Hektor and determine the fate of Troy. But Homer's theme is not
simply war or heroism. With compassion and humanity, he presents a universal and
tragic view of the world, of human life lived under the shadow of suffering and
death, set against a vast and largely unpitying divine background." The