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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
23,63923647 (4.04)9 / 1099
  1. 272
    The Odyssey by Homer (Voracious_Reader, caflores)
  2. 240
    The Aeneid by Virgil (Hollerama)
  3. 90
    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 Tain Author (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 (220)  Spanish (8)  French (3)  Italian (3)  Dutch (3)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (240)
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
Modern Library College Edition 1950
  CPI | Apr 30, 2016 |
The first time I read this, as a student, I identified with Helen and Paris. The second time, as an adult, I realized that Hector was the true hero and his wife's speech to him is unforgettable. ( )
  sydsavvy | Apr 8, 2016 |
January 2010: Listened to the Iliad again. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
That was epic.
  wandrew | Feb 20, 2016 |
2. The Iliad by Homer, translated by Robert Fagles
with an introduction and notes by Bernard Knox
composition: arguable, but let's say ~750 bce
format: 689 page Kindle e-book
read: Jan 1-23
acquired: Nov 2013, when I thought I might finish the Old Testament soonish
Rating: 5 stars sort of

It's remarkably difficult for me to formulate a response to this classic, Homer's Iliad. It's a foundational text. But it's very unfoundational in feeling.

A valid question is, is the Iliad great or just very old? And a typical answer will be that it has the whole essence of humanity within. But does it? And, if so, does Fagles' translation provide it?

It's a bit early in my thinking process to be asking these unanswerable questions. But really my question is how to approach it. I can come at it from the angle of history and the migrations of and clashing of peoples, from heroic imagery (or if you like, hot muscular long-haired blond men in shining golden-ish colored bronze armor and weaponry), at the style (and it's clash with the biblical style), at it's construction (which I'm reading about in Adam Nicolson's Why Homer Matters). And there is the translation issues. And eventually my response. What is my response anyway? I can think separately of all these (overwhelming) different things, but I'm having a lot of trouble tying it together into something coherent. It's like the different parts of my brain not only refuse to align, which is normal, but refuse to concede. Each aspect is holding its ground, and a mental stalemate conjures up, uselessly.

Adam Nicolson might like me to see this way. The Asian hordes rushed to the ends of the steppes an converted their nomadic culture to one that sea raiders with a home base. The combat hardened and ruthless pirates clash into the settled ancient cultures of the eastern Mediterranean, and made a living feeding off them. But the ancient cultures and their cities, with all their wealth and allies and mercenaries, with all their procured beauty, are at heart susceptible. At some point you can't buy off unreasonable and heroic passion. The bronze barbaric hordes will come even if we like to image them quite beautiful.

"As ravening fire rips through big stands of timber high on a mountain ridge and the blaze flares miles away, so from the marching troops the blaze of bronze armor, splendid and superhuman, flared across the earth, flashing into the air to hit the skies."

Through time, as these cultures clashed, stories evolved in song, and they later began to standardize, acquired an author and authority, and become our Homeric epics. Or maybe there was a Homer.

So, what is in these stories? Their origins date to one side of the Greek dark ages, the height of bronze age Mycenae culture circa 1250 bce. But their composition is dated to the other side, well into the iron age, to the dawn of the classical Greek world, around 750 bce. They preserve within what were otherwise long lost aspects of culture and warfare, including the bronze itself, as well as associations with an assortment of other largely lost stories. They create an oddly comedic mythology of quarreling gods who can charm, strengthen and lure humans, but also be hurt by them. And they create a heroic myth that is ultimately a tragedy, but also a blood and gore soaked work of entertainment. And that is one of the oddest things about the Iliad to me, that it is ultimately entertainment. And you can build it up as much as you like, but, well, doesn't that limit it? I mean is it ultimately an amusement, a distraction?

I've probably lingered on long enough, and I still haven't mentioned Achilles, Hector, the woman who launched those thousand ships, or even a single god by name. There is plenty to into read in how Achilles, in slaying Hector who wears his armor, is symbolically killing himself, and at the same time suicidally walking into his prophesied doom. Really I haven't touched on the story. Achilles rage, Agamemnon's foolish bravado, Odysseus's practical cruelty, Hector's limitations, the women in Troy who are on the verge of become subhuman possessions of the barbarian conquerors. In book one Athena seizes Achilles by the hair to “to check your rage, if only you will yield". Of course, he won't really do that. The battles must be fought and civilization must fall to reality. ( )
1 vote dchaikin | Jan 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 220 (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
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
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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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
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.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
[Prior description deleted. Note this field applies to the work and should not be used for edition-specific information]
Haiku summary
Too many heroes
Too much blood, sex, fighting, war
Gods and goddesses
Helen of Sparta
Elopes with Paris. Name change
To Helen of Troy

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 13 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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24 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

6 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

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


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