Homer's Iliad, the oldest and greatest epic poem in our culture, was composed in the eighth century BC. It became the single most important literary resource in ancient Greek culture and has exercised a decisive influence on Western culture an influence which continues to this day. The poem tells the story of a quarrel between Achilles, the greatest of the Achaean warriors in the Greek expedition against Troy, and Agamemnon, the commander of the expedition&an argument which causes Achilles to withdraw from the fighting. The battles continue without him, and the ironic unfolding of events eventually leads him to rejoin the war and to seek out the great Trojan warrior Hector for a climactic single combat. The Iliad is our most important war poem. It constantly forces us to confront what goes on in battle, how men sustain themselves amid the horrors of the killing zone, and how the activity is simultaneously intensely and brutally destructive and also, by one of the strangest of all of life's ironies, intensely creative.Ian Johnston's abridged version of Homer's great poem is based upon his acclaimed translation of the complete epic (also published by Richer Resources Publications). The abridged text is approximately one third of the original and presents a coherent narrative poem in which every line is taken from Homer's text, with occasional short summaries to keep the story coherent. This shortened version is an ideal entry into Homer's vision of the world for those who are not yet ready or do not have the time to tackle the full poem. The text is accompanied by a few explanatory footnotes, a glossary of names, and a map indicating the origin of many of the major characters.