Translated by
Ian Johnston
Vancouver Island University
Nanaimo, BC

Revised Edition 2010

This translation is dedicated to my son Geoffrey (1974-1997) and to my grandson Fabian (b. 1992)



Generations of men are like the leaves.  
In winter, winds blow them down to earth, 
but then, when spring season comes again, 
budding wood grows more. And so with men--
one generation grows, another dies away.  
(Iliad 6.181-5) 


For information about copyright, use the following link: Copyright.  This translation is available in the form of a published book from Richer Resources Publications. And a complete recording of this translation is available at Naxos Audiobooks. To download a Rich Text Format (Word) or PDF version of this translation, please use the following links: Iliad [RTF] and Iliad [PDF]

Note that an abridged text of this translation of the Iliad, about one third the length of the original, is available through the following link: Iliad Abridged.  


Book 1: The Quarrel by the Ships   
Book 2: Agamemnon's Dream and The Catalogue of Ships   
Book 3: Paris, Menelaus, and Helen    
Book 4: The Armies Clash   
Book 5: Diomedes Goes to Battle   
Book 6: Hector and Andromache   
Book 7: Hector and Ajax   
Book 8: The Trojans Have Success   
Book 9: Peace Offerings to Achilles   
Book 10: A Night Raid   
Book 11: The Achaeans Face Disaster   
Book 12: The Fight at the Barricade   
Book 13: The Trojans Attack the Ships   
Book 14: Zeus Deceived   
Book 15: Battle at the Ships   
Book 16: Patroclus Fights and Dies   
Book 17: The Fight Over Patroclus   
Book 18: The Arms of Achilles   
Book 19: Achilles and Agamemnon
Book 20: Achilles Returns to Battle
Book 21: Achilles Fights the River  
Book 22: The Death of Hector
Book 23: The Funeral Games for Patroclus
Book 24: Achilles and Priam


[August 11, 2000, Revised Text 2019]


This translation aims to provide an accurate text of the Iliad in a modern English poetic idiom. It is designed, first and foremost, for those who are reading Homer's poem for the first time. I welcome any suggestions for improvements in the accuracy and fluency.

This text uses the traditional Latinate spellings and common English equivalents for the Greek names, e.g., Achilles, Clytaemnestra, Achaeans, Menelaus, Hecuba, rather than modern renditions which strive to stay more closely to the Greek: Akhilleus, Klytaimnestra, Akhaians, Menelaos, Hekabe, and so on, with the exception of a very few names of gods—Cronos, Ouranos—and a few others (e.g., Idaios). And where there is a common English rendition of the name (e.g., Ajax, Troy, Teucer), I have used that.  A dieresis over a vowel indicates that it is pronounced by itself (e.g., Coön rhymes with “go on” not with “goon,” Deïphobus is pronounced “Day-ee-phobus” not “Day-phobus” or “Dee-phobus”).


In this English text, the possessive of names ending in -s is usually indicated in the customary way by adding s (e.g., Zeus, Zeuss; Atreus, Atreuss, and so on). This convention has the effect of adding a syllable to the word (the sound -iz). It also sometimes produces a rather odd-sounding result. Thus, for metrical and euphonic reasons, the possessive of a name is in places indicated by a simple apostophe, without the s (an alternative fairly common in written English): e.g., Achilles anger instead of Achilless anger. This latter procedure does not add an extra syllable to the word. In the above example, Achilles has three syllables, unlike Achilless, which has four.

If you would like the entire text of the Iliad sent to you in a single Word file, please contact Ian Johnston




Full Glossary and Index for the Iliad  
List of the Deaths in the Iliad  
List of English Translations of the Iliad and Odyssey   
Index of Speeches in the Iliad
Essays on the Iliad
Homeric Similes in the Iliad and Odyssey (a Numbered List)
Life of Homer (attributed to Herodotus, trans. Mackenzie, PDF)




Ian Johnston is an Emeritus Professor at Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, British Columbia. He is the author of The Ironies of War: An Introduction to Homer’s Iliad and of Essays and Arguments: A Handbook for Writing Student Essays. He has also translated a number of works, including the following:

Aeschylus, Oresteia (Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, Eumenides)
Aeschylus, Persians
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound
Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes
Aeschylus, Suppliant Women
Aristophanes, Birds
Aristophanes, Clouds
Aristophanes, Frogs
Aristophanes, Knights
Aristophanes, Lysistrata
Aristophanes, Peace
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (Abridged)
Cuvier, Discourse on the Revolutionary Upheavals on the Surface of the Earth
Descartes, Discourse on Method
Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy
Diderot, A Conversation Between D’Alembert and Diderot
Diderot, D’Alembert’s Dream
Diderot, Rameau’s Nephew
Euripides, Bacchae
Euripides, Electra
Euripides, Hippolytus
Euripides, Medea
Euripides, Orestes
Homer, Iliad (Complete and Abridged)
Homer, Odyssey (Complete and Abridged)
Kafka, Metamorphosis
Kafka, Selected Shorter Writings
Kant, Universal History of Nature and Theory of Heaven
Kant, On Perpetual Peace
Lamarck, Zoological Philosophy, Volume I
Lucretius, On the Nature of Things
Nietzsche, Birth of Tragedy
Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil
Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals
Nietzsche, On the Uses and Abuses of History for Life
Ovid, Metamorphoses
Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men
Rousseau, Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts
Rousseau, Social Contract
Sophocles, Antigone
Sophocles, Ajax
Sophocles, Electra
Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus
Sophocles, Oedipus the King
Sophocles, Philoctetes
Wedekind, Castle Wetterstein
Wedekind, Marquis of Keith.

Most of these translations have been published as books or audiobooks (or both) by Richer Resources Publications, Broadview Press, Naxos, Audible, and others.

Ian Johnston maintains a web site where texts of these translations are freely available to students, teachers, artists, and the general public (johnstoniatexts). The site includes a number of Johnston's lectures on these and other words, all freely available.