Where Does The Iliad Take Place?

The Iliad is set in Troy and its outskirts. It was a real city not far from modern Canakkale (Turkey) at the mouth of the Dardanelles. Greeks wiped it away at the end of the Trojan War. Some scenes related to gods take place on Olympus and Mount Ida, where Zeus weighed human destinies on the scales.

The Achaeans sieged Troy for ten years and would have stayed at its walls for longer if they had not invented a stratagem. This fact points to the perfect location the city founders had chosen. Troy lies on the Dardanelles Strait on the west coast of Turkey by the Aegean Sea. Unfortunately, the city location provided the Greeks with a base of operations, where they kept their ships and set their camp.   

Homer sets all the events inside the city inside Priam’s palace or on the city walls. There all the strategic decisions are made. The Trojan walls play the role of an ancient theater as the tragedy unfolds under them. The spectators are the comrades and relatives of the warriors mutilated in battle. Little information is provided about the city as a whole.  

The Olympus is “a box at the theatre.” Gods sit there, looking at human misfortunes and conflicts. They chose who they will help or detain. Sometimes the deities descend to the battlefield to prevent or cause someone’s death. From time to time, Zeus visits Mount Ida to check the destiny of the key heroes. He puts their fate on the scales: the one that sinks is going to end soon.

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