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The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer
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The Iliad and the Odyssey

by Homer

Other authors: Robert Fagles (Translator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (19)  German (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
Germany is a country without access to the Mediterranean Sea. The longing for the cradle of the Ancient World grew out of German Classicism and Romanticism, which would have been very poor without Homer’s epics.
  hbergander | Feb 11, 2014 |
Birthday gift from my Sis-in-law!
  capriciousreader | Dec 20, 2013 |
read both in HS mythology class, I enjoyed the books ( )
  mike.stephenson | May 24, 2013 |
What better way to understand 12th century Troy than Homer's epic poem the Iliad. Homer's epic poems are some of the oldest surviving works of Western Literature. They are extremely important to learning about the Western civilization. I read both of these poems in my A.P. English class and I would use these in my curriculum. Students learn about violence and the effects of war. It's important to learn about these topics because we can learn from their mistakes. ( )
  AlexaRay | Mar 18, 2013 |
Together these two works attributed to Homer are considered among the oldest surviving works of Western literature, dating to probably the eighth century BCE, and are certainly among the most influential. I can't believe I once found Homer boring. In my defense, I was a callow teen, and having a book assigned in school often tends to perversely make you hate it. But then I had a "Keats conversion experience." Keats famously wrote a poem in tribute to a translation of Homer by Chapman who, Keats wrote, opened to him "realms of gold." My Chapman was Fitzgerald, although on a reread of The Odyssey I tried the Fagles translation and really enjoyed it. Obviously, the translation is key if you're not reading in the original Greek, and I recommend looking at several side by side to see which one best suits.

A friend of mine who is a classicist says she prefers The Illiad--that she thinks it the more mature book. The Illiad deals with just a few weeks in the last year of the decade-long Trojan War. As the opening lines state, it deals with how the quarrel between the Greek's great hero Achilles and their leader Agamemnon "caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss and crowded brave souls into the undergloom." So, essentially, The Illiad is a war story. One close to three thousand years old with a mindset very alien to ours. One where unending glory was seen as a great good over personal survival or family. One where all felt that their ends were fated. And one with curiously human, or at least petty, gods. Some see the work as jingoistic, even pro-war, and I suppose it can be read that way, but what struck me was the compassion with which Homer wrote of both sides. We certainly care for the Trojan Hector as much as or more (in my case much more) than for the sulky and explosive Achilles. For the Trojan King Priam as much or more (in my case much more) than King Agamemnon. Homer certainly doesn't obscure the pity, the waste, and the grief war brings. And there are plenty of scenes in the work that I found unforgettable: The humorous scene where Aphrodite is wounded and driven from the field. The moving scene between Hector and his wife and child. The grief Helen feels in losing a friend. The confrontation between Priam and Achilles.

I do love The Illiad, but I'd give The Odyssey a slight edge. Even just reading general Greek mythology, Odysseus was always a favorite, because unlike figures such as Achilles or Heracles he succeeded on his wits, not muscle. It's true, on this reread, especially in contrast to say The Illiad's Hector, I do see Odysseus' dark side. The man is a pirate and at times rash, hot-tempered, even vicious. But I do feel for his pining for home and The Odyssey is filled with such a wealth of incident--the Cyclops, Circe, Scylla and Charybdis, the Sirens--and especially Hades, the forerunner of Dante's Hell. And though my friend is right that the misogynist ancient Greek culture isn't where you go for strong heroines, I love Penelope; described as the "matchless queen of cunning," she's a worthy match for the crafty Odysseus. The series of recognition scenes on Ithaca are especially moving and memorable--I think my favorite and the most poignant being that of Odysseus' dog Argos.

Epic poems about 2,700 years old, in the right translation both works can nevertheless speak to me more eloquently than many a contemporary novel. ( )
  LisaMaria_C | Nov 19, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (90 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Homerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Butcher, S.H.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butler, SamuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cullen, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Friedrich, Wolf HartmutAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knox, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lang, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lattimore, RichmondTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pope, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voß, Johann HeinrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This work contains both (and only) The Iliad and The Odyssey. It should not be combined with either work separately or with Greek versions of the same texts (due to the "dead languages" exception).
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0147712556, Paperback)


Gripping listeners and readers for more than 2,700 years, The Iliad is the story of the Trojan War and the rage of Achilles. Combining the skills of a poet and scholar, Robert Fagles brings the energy of contemporary language to this enduring heroic epic. If The Iliad is the world's greatest war story, then The Odyssey is literature's greatest evocation of every man's journey through life. Here again, Fagles has performed the translator's task magnificently, giving us an Odyssey to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery. Each volume contains a superb introduction with textual and critical commentary by renowned classicist Bernard Knox.


@RageAgainstTheAchaean Pissed. I am so, so very pissed.

First I have to go to this beach. Then I have to kill all these dudes. And NOW – now! This prick stole my biscuit. Who does that? Am I right?

Can’t resolve this problem on my own – calling Mom!

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less about The Iliad


@IthacaStateOfMind Uh oh. This cave is a giant’s lair. He has a taste for cheese, and my companions. He also has only one eye. Trying to keep from laughing.

Got him drunk. Put a hot poker in his ONE EYE when he blacked out. That will show him – if he could see. LOL. Time to leave.

Damn. Poseidon pissed. How was I supposed to know One-Eye was his son? What Olympian whore did he sleep with to get an issue like that?

From Twitterature: The World's Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less about The Odyssey

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:59:03 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Retells these classic Greek Myths in a comic strip format characterized by irreverent humour. Suggested level: junior, primary.

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