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The Iliad by Homer

The Iliad

by Homer, William G. Perry, Jr.

Other authors: Steele Savage (Illustrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Homer's Epic Cycle (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
22,95622651 (4.04)9 / 1034
  1. 262
    The Odyssey by Homer (Voracious_Reader, caflores)
  2. 230
    The Aeneid by Virgil (Hollerama)
  3. 80
    Beowulf by Beowulf Poet (benmartin79)
  4. 30
    Tiger at the Gates by Jean Giraudoux (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Giraudoux imagines the events in Troy when Paris shows up with Helen
  5. 30
    The Tain by Melita Cataldi (inge87)
  6. 41
    Ransom by David Malouf (GCPLreader)
  7. 21
    The Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys by Jan Kochanowski (sirparsifal)
  8. 21
    The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (alalba)
  9. 12
    The Death of King Arthur by Unknown (chrisharpe)
  10. 15
    Paradise Lost by John Milton (Torikton)
  11. 17
    The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (Jitsusama)
    Jitsusama: An ancient classic revolving around Greek Myth. A great help to better understand the mythology of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
  12. 19
    Troy [2004 film] by Wolfgang Petersen (Waldstein)
    Waldstein: Very free interpretation (not adaptation) that in many ways improves on the original. No childish gods, no rambling digressions. Visually spectacular. The dialogue is a bit cringeworthy now and then, but it does have flashes of brilliance. Only for the most broad-minded admirers of Homer - or those who find the Greek bard unsatisfactory. PS Caveat: the Director's Cut is gratuitously gory!… (more)

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English (212)  Spanish (8)  French (3)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (231)
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)
At long last I have finally finished "The Iliad". My reaction in a word… WOW!

This is a ‘manly’ novel. It’s a story of war and power struggle among men who are super-heroes. Many are direct descendants of the Gods. These are men who are fearless and barbaric, with huge egos and bionic strength. "The Iliad" is full of action, violence, intense graphic battles complete with blood, gore and death. It’s not a genre I would typically praise, but "The Iliad" is brilliant.

The entire Trojan war is being fought over a woman… the infamous Helen- wife of the King of Sparta- sister-in-law of the King of Achaean Greece. As "The Iliad" begins, the reader finds war weary Greek Achaeans far from home preparing to attack the city of Troy... hoping to rescue Helen. They have already been fighting the Trojans for 9 years and yearn for the war to be over. With dissension among the ranks, the greatest Greek warrior Akhilleus is refusing to fight because his superior, the Lord Marshall Agamemnon, has taken Akhilleus’s woman. How romantic, yet comical, that the entire plot is based on these two women who rank only a few mere spoken phrases within the epic saga.

The reader finds her way through scenes of compassionate camaraderie, feasts and festive games, and tragic battles with badly maimed war heroes and a maze of dead bodies. But that is only half of the story. While battles rage, the various Gods sit on Mount Olympus as avid spectators. Each God and Goddess bears a vested interest in their own mortal descendants, choosing sides, bickering over personal issues, and occasionally sneaking to earth to offer guidance.

Considering "The Iliad" was written as many as 3000 years ago when mythology was the Greek religion, it is conceivable that Homer wrote the scenes involving immortals with all seriousness. Ironically for todays readers, this adds humor, melodrama, and a sense of magical realism. Homer’s literary contribution is not only the foundation for all western literature but contemporary fiction as well. This is truly a timeless classic. No wonder the 2004 film starring Brad Pitt was such a major success.

Before reading "The Iliad" I did a bit of research on various translations. Opinions vary on poetry versus prose, Latin/Roman based names versus the traditional Greek. I seem to have lucked out. I already had on my library shelf "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" translated by Robert Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald’s 20th century translation is smooth, lyrical, poetic but not rhyming, clear and modern without altering the feel of reading a traditional classic. He uses the Greek version in translating names... in case you were wondering about the my spelling... Akhilleus versus Achilles which coincided nicely with my edition of Robert Graves book "The Greek Myths" which is also translated using the traditional Greek names. ( )
  LadyLo | Nov 20, 2015 |
Amazing ( )
  clarkland | Oct 29, 2015 |
The Iliad is one of the cornerstones of Western literature. At first glance this may seem unwarranted. It tells only a fraction of the story of the siege of Troy, it consists largely of gory battle descriptions, the principal character spends most of the book sulking offstage, and it's the capricious gods who will determine the outcome of the whole business anyway. But it's the latter that is the key to the importance of this poem to the ancient Greeks and to us. [return][return]The gods do what they do, favor whom they favor, for petty reasons of their own that have nothing to do with right or wrong, glory or shame, courage or fear. It is only men who have these feelings. The gods have preordained the outcome of the battle, and men know this, but they fight anyway. The gods even appear in person on the battlefield, and men fight them, knowing they cannot win. They fight for honor, glory, comradeship, duty, treasure, or love, each knowing that he is likely to die and take nothing he has gained to the underworld with him. Men, in the Iliad, prove themselves greater than the gods who control them. Man finds a reason to continue his struggle in the face of blind fate he can never overcome. This is why the Iliad is as inspiring as it is entertaining.[return][return]The Fagles translation is so readable that it is actually a little jarring at first. One expects ancient epics to be heavy going, but this Iliad reads like today's fiction. Perhaps this is not the most literal translation of the Greek--I'm not qualified to say--but it surely is in keeping with the author's original intent, which is to present a spellbinding tale about great heroes in their days of glory. The extra materials in the Penguin volume--introduction, maps, glossary and notes--are all top notch as well and very useful. ( )
  Dolmance | Oct 29, 2015 |
{Review of E.V. Rieu's prose translation, Penguin Classics} Reading a prose version of The Iliad is like having your learned friend read the poem silently to himself and occasionally pausing to explain to you what's going on. This is a very thorough translation of the action, but you won't grasp why Homer is called a master bard or find his genius. For all the translator's efforts this reads almost like a comic book version minus the pictures. That makes it simple to breeze through and there's no question you'll know the whole story by the end, but you'll not have been swept up by it as you would if you've any ear for poetry.

Since I don't, I judge little harm was done in my case. Like the Bible and Shakespeare this tale of men and gods permeates Western culture, but if you've no familiarity with it at all then you might want some context. The Iliad only covers two months of the Greeks' decade-long seige of Troy, and is neither the beginning nor the end of that event. The warriors are larger-than-life, there are powerful interferring gods supporting either side, violent combat is graphically described, and every death gets its eulogy. I always sympathize with the Trojans, which is remarkable in light of the Greek author.

A number of the differently spelled names in this edition threw me off. Hera becomes "Here" (leading to many initial misreads of a sentence where I mistook the noun), and Athena is similarly rendered "Athene". Where I expected a Greek named Ajax, here he is "Aias". Prose emphasizes (introduces?) flaws, at least by modern standards: characters bursting into speeches at the most inopportune times, curious repetitions/echoes, lengthy descriptive asides. The battles are mostly an unlikely sequence of staged set pieces that don't transmit the chaos and bewilderment of an actual field of battle. At the conclusion there is a miniature Olympics I wasn't expecting that has some farcical moments. The story is still epic and entertaining no matter how it's told. It's something you'll want familiarity with if you're a student of Western literature, but read a poetic version if you can. ( )
1 vote Cecrow | Oct 2, 2015 |
The Iliad is about a prince, Paris who loves this princess from the Achaean empire. He loved this goddess so much and she him he snuck away with her. Zeus saw this and helped out the Achaeans but not for their sake but for Odysseus’s. Odysseus the son of a goddess met with her a beach and said his plight to her that he needed help to defeat the Trojans. With over a thousand ships sailing at the Trojans known for their walls they defeated all the smaller states along the way to the Trojans just for king Agamemnon’s prize, Helen. Eventually after Paris challenged their best warrior and being saved by a goddess who flew him away from his emanate doom. He recovered just to see that the Trojans have been defeated and he dies along with Odysseus, but Helena makes it away.
I would recommend this book since it is a classic. It has a lot of unneeded information but it still is a great book. Unless you like ancient Greek mythology you will love this. It is, in a way, educational. So overall I would recommend this book. ( )
  claytond.g1 | May 29, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 212 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (142 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Homerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Perry, William G., Jr.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Savage, SteeleIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alberich i Mariné, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baskin, LeonardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bendz, GerhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Björkeson, IngvarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruijn, J.C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Butler, SamuelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ciani, Maria GraziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cullen, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De La Motte, Monsr.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Derby, Edward the Earl ofTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Devecseri GáborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Due, Otto SteenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitzgerald, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flaxman, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammond, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holland, TomAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobi, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knox, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagerlöf, ErlandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lang, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lateur, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lattimore, RichmondTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leaf, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linkomies, EdwinForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lombardo, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manninen, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell. StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Myers, ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perry Jr., William GTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rees, EnnisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, Emile VictorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Roberts, AdamIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rouse, William H. D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segalà i Estalella, LluísTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stawell, F. MelianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stolpe, JanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svenbro, JesperForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmerman, Aegidius W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosmaer, C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voss, Johann HeinrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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There thou shalt hear and learn the secret power
Of harmony, in tones and numbers hit
By voice or hand, and various-measured verse,
Aeolian charms and Dorian lyric odes,
And his who gave them breath, but higher sung,
Blind Melesigenes, thence Homer called,
Whose poem Phoebus challenged for his own.

--Milton, Paradise Regained, IV. 245
(Rouse translation, 1938)
These dull notes we sing
Discords neede for helps to grace them

(Lattimore translation)
To the memory of my father and my mother
and for Lynne, Katya and Nina ...

(Fagles translation, 1996)
To all times future this time's mark extend,
Homer no patron found, nor Chapman friend
Ignotus nimis omnibus
Sat notus moritur sibi.
(Chapman translation)
For Sarah, and for Ughetta, Benedict, Maria, Michael, Barnaby, and Caterina
(Fitzgerald translation)
(Lattimore translation)
First words
Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Achilles' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Achaens loss on bitter loss
and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,
leaving so many dead men - carrion
for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.
(Fitzgerald translation, 1974)
Rage - Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaens countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end.
(Fagles translation, 1996)
Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus' son Achilleus
and its devastation, which put pains thousandfold upon the
hurled in their multitudes to the house of Hades strong souls
of heroes, but gave their bodies to be the delicate feasting
of dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished
since that time when first there stood in division of conflict
Atreus' son the lord of men and brilliant Achilleus.
(Lattimore translation, 1951)
Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks

Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls

Of heroes into Hades' dark,

And left their bodies to rot as feasts

For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done
(Lombardo translation, 1997)
Achilles' banefull wrath resound, O Goddess, that impos'd
Infinite sorrows on the Greeks, and many brave souls los'd
From breasts heroique; sent them far to that invisible cave
That no light comforts; and their limbs to dogs and vultures gave:
To all which Jove's will gave effect; from whom first strife begun
Betwixt Atrides, king of men, and Thetis' godlike son.
(Chapman translation, 1598)
"The worst cowards, banded together, have their power but you and I have got the skill to fight their best" -- Poseidon's encounter with Idomeneus at the turn of the battle for the ships
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Disambiguation notice
Due to the "dead language exception" copies of the Iliad in the original Greek should not be combined with modern language translations. Also, individual volumes should not be combined with other individual volumes or with the complete work.
The original Greek title is “Ἰλιάς”
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[Prior description deleted. Note this field applies to the work and should not be used for edition-specific information]
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140275363, Paperback)

This groundbreaking English version by Robert Fagles is the most important recent translation of Homer's great epic poem. The verse translation has been hailed by scholars as the new standard, providing an Iliad that delights modern sensibility and aesthetic without sacrificing the grandeur and particular genius of Homer's own style and language. The Iliad is one of the two great epics of Homer, and is typically described as one of the greatest war stories of all time, but to say the Iliad is a war story does not begin to describe the emotional sweep of its action and characters: Achilles, Helen, Hector, and other heroes of Greek myth and history in the tenth and final year of the Greek siege of Troy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:07 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

The centuries old epic about the wrath of Achilles is rendered into modern English verse by a renowned translator and accompanied by an introduction that reassesses the identity of Homer. In Robert Fagles' beautifully rendered text, the Iliad overwhelms us afresh. The huge themes godlike, yet utterly human of savagery and calculation, of destiny defied, of triumph and grief compel our own humanity. Time after time, one pauses and re-reads before continuing. Fagles' voice is always that of a poet and scholar of our own age as he conveys the power of Homer. Robert Fagles and Bernard Knox are to be congratulated and praised on this admirable work.… (more)

» see all 34 descriptions

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6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140268863, 0140275363, 0140445927, 0140447946, 0140444440, 0451530691


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