The Odyssey

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The great epic of Western literature, translated by the acclaimed classicist Robert Fagles

A Penguin Classic

 
Robert Fagles, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, presents us with Homer's best-loved and most accessible poem in a stunning modern-verse translation. "Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy." So begins Robert Fagles' magnificent translation of the Odyssey, which Jasper Griffin in the New York Times Book Review hails as "a distinguished achievement."

If the Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, the Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of an everyman's journey through life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance. In the myths and legends  retold here,

Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer's original in a bold, contemporary idiom, and given us an Odyssey to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox's superb introduction and textual commentary provide insightful background information for the general reader and scholar alike, intensifying the strength of Fagles's translation. This is an Odyssey to delight both the classicist and the general reader, to captivate a new generation of Homer's students. This Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Nov 1, 1997
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Pages
560
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ISBN
9781101221846
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Classics
Poetry / Ancient & Classical
Poetry / Epic
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The Homeric Hymns have survived for two and a half millennia because of their captivating stories, beautiful language, and religious significance. Well before the advent of writing in Greece, they were performed by traveling bards at religious events, competitions, banquets, and festivals. These thirty-four poems invoking and celebrating the gods of ancient Greece raise questions that humanity still struggles with—questions about our place among others and in the world.

Known as "Homeric" because they were composed in the same meter, dialect, and style as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, these hymns were created to be sung aloud. In this superb translation by Diane J. Rayor, which deftly combines accuracy and poetry, the ancient music of the hymns comes alive for the modern reader. Here is the birth of Apollo, god of prophecy, healing, and music and founder of Delphi, the most famous oracular shrine in ancient Greece. Here is Zeus, inflicting upon Aphrodite her own mighty power to cause gods to mate with humans, and here is Demeter rescuing her daughter Persephone from the underworld and initiating the rites of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

This updated edition incorporates twenty-eight new lines in the first Hymn to Dionysos, along with expanded notes, a new preface, and an enhanced bibliography. With her introduction and notes, Rayor places the hymns in their historical and aesthetic context, providing the information needed to read, interpret, and fully appreciate these literary windows on an ancient world. As introductions to the Greek gods, entrancing stories, exquisite poetry, and early literary records of key religious rituals and sites, the Homeric Hymns should be read by any student of mythology, classical literature, ancient religion, women in antiquity, or the Greek language.
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