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"The Iliad" is the first of the two great Greek epic poems ascribed to Homer, the second being the Odyssey.

Set during the Trojan War, the Iliad sings how Achilles, the greatest Greek warrior, abandons the fight after being offended by king Agamemnon, the Greek commander in chief.

The death of Patroclus, Achilles' dearest friend, at the hands of the Trojan hero Hector, brings Achilles back for revenge, and he slays Hector. Later Hector's father comes to Achilles disguised as a beggar to ransom his son's body back, and Achilles is moved to pity; the funeral of Hector ends the poem.

There is no more poignant description in any world literature of the tragedy and poignance of friendship and family destroyed by battle.