So I finally finished the Iliad, two moves after starting it. Part of the fault was misplacing it during the moves, but part of it was also getting bogged down in the middle. Homer requests to sing of the anger of Achilles, and it is his anger that structures the story: his anger at Agamemnon for stealing his girl that takes him out of the fight, and his anger at Hector for killing his best friend that takes him back into it. Frankly, Achilles is not admirable for much except his fighting; but that seems to be the primary qualification for a hero for the Greeks.
It is while Achilles is out sulking that the tale begins to drag. Why so much tedious detail on the mode of death and personal history of every soldier? Did Homer fear that if he left anything out, some outraged and heavily-armed latter-day Greek would rise and say, "How could you leave out how my ancester Peneleos slew Iloneous, son of Phorbas, wealthiest of the Trojans, by spearing him through the eye?"
An odd thing, from a modern perspective, is that there is simply no interest in the justice of one side over the other. It's not just that Homer, as an impartial later observer, helps us see the good and bad on each side; it's that nobody involved cares whether or not they are "in the right" in a cosmic sense. Fighting is just something people do, from personal motives, mostly, and because they apparently have nothing better to do with their time. You don't need a grand moral justification for going out and trying to kill other people; it's all the fault of the gods, anyway, who are finding things dull on Olympus and want to stir up a little trouble.
However, even if there is not a great war of good and evil to side with, there is the matter of whether you fight well or bravely, honorably or dishonorably; whether you stand your ground or act like a coward. Even that is not entirely within the power of mortals to control, but we can at least try.