TOLSTOY CALLED THE ILIAD A miracle; Goethe said that it always thrust him into a state of astonishment. Homer’s story is thrilling, and his Greek is perhaps the most beautiful poetry ever sung or written. But until now, even the best English translations haven’t been able to re-create the energy and simplicity, the speed, grace, and pulsing rhythm of the original.
In Stephen Mitchell’s Iliad, the epic story resounds again across 2,700 years, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flows in every word. And we are there with them, amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the realm of the beautiful.
Mitchell’s Iliad is the first translation based on the work of the preeminent Homeric scholar Martin L. West, whose edition of the original Greek identifies many passages that were added after the Iliad was first written down, to the detriment of the music and the story. Omitting these hundreds of interpolated lines restores a dramatically sharper, leaner text. In addition, Mitchell’s illuminating introduction opens the epic still further to our understanding and appreciation.
Now, thanks to Stephen Mitchell’s scholarship and the power of his language, the Iliad’s ancient story comes to moving, vivid new life.
The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege, the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war and similar, tending to appear near the beginning, and the events prophesied for the future, such as Achilles' looming death and the sack of Troy, prefigured and alluded to more and more vividly approaching the end of the poem, making the poem tell a more or less complete tale of the Trojan War.
Probably composed in the eighth century B.C. and based on an actual historical event of the thirteenth century B.C., Homer's Iliad is one of the great epics of the Western world. The poem unfolds near the end of the ten-year-long Trojan War, detailing the quarrel between the great warrior-hero Achilles and King Agamemnon, the battle between Paris and Menelaus for Helen of Troy, the Greek assault on the city and the Trojan counterattacks, the intervention of the gods on the part of their favorites, and numerous other incidents and events. Vast in scope, possessing extraordinary lyricism and poignancy, this time-honored masterpiece brilliantly conveys the inconsistencies of gods and men, the tumultuous intensity of conflict, and the devastation that results from war. This inexpensive edition reproduces the celebrated Samuel Butler prose translation, admired for its simple, unadorned style, clarity, and readability.
Homer's Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem. This edition has been translated into prose by Samuel Butler to tell the story of the Trojan War. The Iliad mentions many Greek legends and is a prequel to the Odyssey.
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Alexander Pope’s beautiful verse translation of the Ancient Greek epic of the Trojan War.
One of the oldest surviving works in Western literature, Homer’s epic poem has captivated readers for millennia. Set at the end of the Greeks’ decade-long siege of Troy, it centers on a quarrel between the Greek King Agamemnon and his greatest asset in battle, the warrior Achilles. From this conflict between two great men, The Iliad weaves a tale of warring nations, vengeful gods, plagues, betrayals, and the terrible consequences of prideful rage.
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“Many consider [Pope’s translation] the greatest English Iliad. . . . It manages to convey not only the stateliness and grandeur of Homer’s lines, but their speed and wit and vividness.” —The New Yorker
“Pope worked miracles. . . ,This is a poem you can live your way into, over the years, since it yields more at every encounter.” —TheNew York Times
The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.
"Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus / and its devastation." For sixty years, that's how Homer has begun the Iliad in English, in Richmond Lattimore's faithful translation—the gold standard for generations of students and general readers.
This long-awaited new edition of Lattimore's Iliad is designed to bring the book into the twenty-first century—while leaving the poem as firmly rooted in ancient Greece as ever. Lattimore's elegant, fluent verses—with their memorably phrased heroic epithets and remarkable fidelity to the Greek—remain unchanged, but classicist Richard Martin has added a wealth of supplementary materials designed to aid new generations of readers. A new introduction sets the poem in the wider context of Greek life, warfare, society, and poetry, while line-by-line notes at the back of the volume offer explanations of unfamiliar terms, information about the Greek gods and heroes, and literary appreciation. A glossary and maps round out the book.
The result is a volume that actively invites readers into Homer's poem, helping them to understand fully the worlds in which he and his heroes lived—and thus enabling them to marvel, as so many have for centuries, at Hektor and Ajax, Paris and Helen, and the devastating rage of Achilleus.
This translation of The Iliad equals Fitzgerald's earlier Odyssey in power and imagination. It recreates the original action as conceived by Homer, using fresh and flexible blank verse that is both lyrical and dramatic.
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