Translated by
Ian Johnston
Vancouver Island University
Nanaimo, BC

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) 



This translation, based on the Greek text in Homer. Homeri Opera, Oxford University Press, 1920, was first published on the internet in 2002 and by Richer Resources Publications in 2006, ISBN 978-0-9776269-8; LCCN 2006924334. It has undergone minor revisions since. A recording of this text was produced by Naxos audiobooks in 2006.

This document is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution CC by 4.0 and thus, provided the source is acknowledged, it may be (a) downloaded and distributed, in whole or in part, without permission and without charge and (b) freely edited and adapted to suit the particular needs of the person using it.


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)