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The Iliad by Homer
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The Iliad

by Homer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Homer's Epic Cycle (01)

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21,260None63 (4.05)6 / 804
Achilles (136) ancient (208) Ancient Greece (477) Ancient Greek (149) ancient literature (135) antiquity (136) classic (814) classical (155) classical literature (233) classics (1,652) epic (766) epic poetry (435) fiction (1,285) Greece (559) Greek (914) Greek literature (505) greek mythology (233) history (269) Homer (649) Iliad (162) literature (906) mythology (1,130) poetry (2,029) read (211) to-read (188) translation (227) Trojan War (299) Troy (223) unread (158) war (287)
  1. 211
    The Odyssey by Homer (Voracious_Reader, caflores)
  2. 190
    The Aeneid by Virgil (Hollerama)
  3. 70
    Beowulf by Anonymous (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 Anonymous (inge87)
  6. 41
    Ransom by David Malouf (GCPLreader)
  7. 21
    The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (alalba)
  8. 11
    The Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys by Jan Kochanowski (sirparsifal)
  9. 12
    The Death of King Arthur by Simon Armitage (chrisharpe)
  10. 16
    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.
  11. 05
    Paradise Lost by John Milton (Torikton)
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English (190)  Spanish (8)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (208)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
06-19-2003
I am not the first person who, coming to this late in life, and reading no Greek, have been amazed. I searched for and found Keats' response to it: "On first looking into Chapman's Homer," which eloquently describes a reader's experience and the awe that it produces.
This is the first of 'the great books' - first on everyone's list, first written. Now I understand why it is the first book in the western canon. Full of human characters, detailed and evocative description of nature and common life, heart-rending fates meted out by the gods and gruesome battle. I was deeply impressed and wish two things: 1) that I had time to read it again and 2) that I could read it in Greek. ( )
  Kathleen828 | Apr 12, 2014 |
It was awesome!
  crossr1984 | Mar 4, 2014 |
read
1 vote | Turrean | Feb 15, 2014 |
Read while backpacking through the Lycia portion of Turkey. Amazing book about an amazing people. ( )
1 vote untraveller | Jan 13, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received a review copy of The Illiad, a new translation by Bary P. Powell (Oxford University Press) through NetGalley.com.

Critiquing a new translation of a noted book is done on three levels. The first two are scholarly: the comparison of the translation with the original and the comparison of the new translation with those that have gone before. The third is the aesthetic evaluation of the work itself. My knowledge of The Illiad is non-professional. I have been fascinated by myths and mythology since I was a child reading Bullfinch at my grandmother's house. So the chance to read a new translation of The Illiad is appealing. My reading, though, is from a lay perspective.

Powell's Introduction is wonderfully informative and worth reading if you ever come across the book. In it he discusses the oral tradition of the Greeks and how poetry worked, which is similar to the blues and folk music traditions of our era. Poets (and musicians) draw on mental libraries of set pieces to tailor the performance to the tastes of the audience. But while music historians can trace the evolution and repetition of forms, phrases, and motifs for hundreds of years, not much Greek poetry exists for scholarly analysis. Adhering to modern academic standards, Powell is clear about his knowledge gaps and the liberties he has taken when fashioning this translation. All very good.

I am a bit unhappy, though, about the text, although I'll say again, I am speaking as a reader, not a scholar. Powell, in choosing an updated idiom, has, in some cases, chosen awkward sentences, weak locutions and jarring words that made my reading experience less pleasant than I wanted it to be. Rather in the way that new editions of the Christian Bible or Book of Common Prayer sound rough compared with their well known predecessors, Powell's translation sometimes seems too modern. It isn't that I require a classic to sound "classical" but sometimes an older form is more comfortable. Two examples in the text:

1. The Argives gathered. The place of assembly was in turmoil. The earth groaned beneath the people as they took their seats. The din was terrific. Seven heralds, hollering, held them back – "if you stop the hullabaloo, you can hear the god-nourished chieftains."

Here Powell makes three word choices with strong aesthetic value: hollering, hullabaloo, and god-nourished. "God-nourished" is likely to be directly from the Greek, there is no modern equivalent and, as explained in the Introduction, these kinds of descriptions flattered the audience who were themselves chieftains who would probably like to consider themselves "god-nourished." A very modern translation would possibly be "god blessed," but "god-nourished" is an excellent image.

"Holler" and "hullabaloo," though, I find odd and too informal. There was a 1965 TV show called Hullabaloo, but not until I looked it up that I realized that I had confused Hullabaloo with 1969's idiotic country comedy HeeHaw. (Hullabaloo was also a 1940 musical comedy film.) In my mind "hullabaloo" is a low class word, as is "holler," especially as a homonym of the Appalachian dialect word "holler." I find it curious that Powell, an American of similar age with a somewhat similar set of mental links, chose these dicey words over "shouted" and "clamor."

2. Another word choice I do not care for is "shivery," which Powell uses many times as "shivery", "shivers", "shivered." One online dictionary defines "shivery" as "shaking or trembling as a result of cold, illness, fear, or excitement." Well, which is it? Context does not help because fear and excitement are antonyms. Thus we can put some form of "frightening" or "exhilarating" in every instance of "shiver" and come up with a coherent sentence, but choosing the same face for each occurrence does not work out well. I am unhappy with this ambiguity.

One other point: Ian Morris does Powell no favor by using the "riddle, mystery, enigma" cliché in his introduction.

Although I have reservations about the text, these are personal and aesthetic. Overall, I think this book is a required addition to the scholar's shelf. The Introduction provides very welcome information for the lay reader and the use of a more modern idiom will perhaps make this edition more accessible to a contemporary reader or student. ( )
2 vote Dokfintong | Jan 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (154 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Homerprimary authorall 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
Cullen, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De La Motte, Monsr.Translatorsecondary 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
Monti, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary 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
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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Epigraph
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)
Dedication
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)
TO
MY MOTHER AND FATHER
(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
Achaians,
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, 1951)
Rage:
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)
Quotations
"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
Last words
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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”
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Book description
The power and the beauty of The Iliad resound again across 2,700 years in Stephen Mitchell's exciting new translation, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flowed 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.

Based on the recent, superb M.L. West edition of the Greek, this Iliad is more accessible and moving than any previous version. Whether it is his exciting recent version of Gilgamesh, with more than 150,000 copies sold, or his unmatched translation of the poet Rilke, still the standard after 29 years, or his Tao Te Ching, which has sold more than 900,000 copies and has itself been translated into six languages, Stephen Mitchell's books are international sensations. Now, thanks to his scholarship and poetic power, which re-creates the energy and simplicity, the speed, grace, and continual thrust and pull of the original, The Iliad's ancient story bursts vividly into new life and will reach an even larger audience of listeners.

Please note: Book 10, recognized since ancient times as a later addition to the Iliad, has been omitted in this translation.

Haiku summary

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:23 -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 28 descriptions

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Audible.com

23 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Six editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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

HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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