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The Iliad by Homer

The Iliad

by Homer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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22,26722256 (4.05)7 / 965
  1. 230
    The Aeneid by Virgil (Hollerama)
  2. 242
    The Odyssey by Homer (Voracious_Reader, caflores)
  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 Anonymous (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
    Troy [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)
  12. 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.

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English (207)  Spanish (8)  French (3)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (225)
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What a great translation..... ( )
  viking2917 | Mar 14, 2015 |
War. ( )
  JorgeCarvajal | Feb 13, 2015 |

Also by Homer, but less well known than The Odyssey. I translated this book in my Greek class. But I'm still planning to read the whole book (as a book rather than translating) ( )
  Floratina | Jan 4, 2015 |

The Iliad

Wordsworth Classics, Paperback, [2003].

8vo. xxi+425 pp. Translated by George Chapman, 1598-1611. Introduction [v-xxi] and Notes [413-25] by Adam Roberts, 2003.

This translation first published complete, 1616.
This edition first published, 2003.



The Iliad



This review consists of comments on this particular edition, including comparison of the translations by Chapman, Pope and Fagles.[1] The two stars are for Homer alone. That’s just about all he deserves without help from his translators (he doesn’t get much from Chapman anyway).

In case you’re wondering how the whole thing was squeezed in a little over 400 pages, the reason is twofold. First, Chapman’s lines are really long. Second, Wordsworth are economical fellows. There are no blank lines to relieve your eyes; the “paragraphs” within the books are marked only by discreet displacement of the first line. One fully printed page contains exactly 43 lines. It is hard on the eyes.

For such a budget edition, Adam Roberts has done a fine job with the editorial work. You mustn’t expect too much from the notes, of course. They are few and far between. But they are helpful to understand obscure words and expressions (Chapman’s English is more 400 years old, after all) or mythological and familial references. It certainly helps to know that “Latona’s son” is no other but Apollo or that “Atrides” means (either of) the sons of Atreus, Agamemnon or Menelaus. I wonder why Mr Roberts never mentions “Pelides”. Chapman uses it only from Book IX onwards, but Pope applies it from the very beginning. I thought this was a new character. “Plucky fellow”, I remember thinking, lost in admiration, “talking to Agamemnon like that.” I couldn’t help laughing at myself when I discovered that Pelides is, of course, Achilles, son of Peleus.

The Introduction is a substantial piece that contains several sections and goes into some detail about the lives of Chapman and Homer, so far as they are known, the times they lived in, the lifelong toil Chapman lavished on his translation, and how his work stands against attempts from later centuries.

George Chapman must have been a fascinating fellow. We know hardly more of him than we do of Shakespeare, but the outlines of an adventurous screenplay nevertheless emerge. Chapman was not just a translator, to begin with. He wrote a number of successful comedies and a good deal of obscure poetry besides. He was a professional writer and suffered from the typical, especially for his age, pecuniary troubles. All his life, in spite of his success as a dramatist, he was plagued by poverty and debts. He had the really bad luck to choose patrons with rather high mortality rate: one was executed (aged 34), another (aged 18) died of typhoid fever. At least twice he ended up in prison, once for unpaid debts and once because the play he wrote in collaboration with Ben Jonson had offended the Scottish sensibility of the King. When he died in 1634, at the age of about 75 (born ca. 1559), Chapman probably did so alone and destitute.

It was as a translator of Homer that Chapman was most respected by his contemporaries and has been remembered ever since his death. The inscription on his grave reads “Georgius Chapmanium, poeta Homericus, Philosophus verus etsi Christianus poeta” (George Chapman: Homeric poet, true Philosopher, and Christian poet). It is difficult to ascertain when Chapman started working on his translation of The Iliad and how long it took him to complete the task. What can be verified by primary evidence is that in 1598 he published eight books (1, 2, 7-11, 18), in 1609 added five more (3-6, 12) to complete the first half, and in 1616 published the full texts of both The Iliad and Odyssey, although the former seems to have been finished by 1611. I am not sure how from these data Mr Roberts deduced “Chapman’s thirty-year long labour to translate Homer”, but never mind.

Mr Roberts is more illuminating on Chapman’s age and working methods. Though it was a “Golden Age of Translation”, translations from Greek were rare, almost non-existent in fact, for Latin was considered more important among educated folk. Chapman didn’t translate Homer from the original Greek straight into English. He used the Latin line-to-line translation by Jean de Sponde (Johannes Spondanus), a Greek-to-Latin dictionary, and the Lexicon compiled by Johannes Scapula. There you have it: a fruitful soil for acrimonious scholarly debate. One F. L. Schoell suggested, or rather insisted, that “Chapman did not translate a single line of Greek verse without checking the sense of one or several words in Divus’s Lexicon.” Mr Roberts calls this “rather reductive view of Chapman’s perspective” and counterattacks with the translator’s own words that those who accuse him of translating Homer from the Latin are “envious windfuckers”[2].

Whatever the constraints of the age or his working methods might have been, there is no doubt that Chapman took, at least by modern standards, considerable liberties with Homer’s text. Mr Roberts summarises them thus:

Generally speaking, Chapman does expand some sections of his original Greek text and compress others, adding supererogatory phrases and on occasion whole lines that are not, strictly, in the original text. He sometimes truncates epic similes, and on occasion reduces entire speeches by characters to brief paraphrases. In other cases, he augments the Greek to underscore an interpretation point. One critic has gone so far as to say that ‘Chapman expands and contracts The Iliad like an accordion to play his own tune upon it’[3] […], and Coleridge thought highly of Chapman’s Odysseyas an original poem rather than as a faithful version of Homer’s Odyssey. To put it like that overstates the extent to which Chapman deforms the original, but there is no doubt that passages undergo a degree of hermeneutic reworking.

Then Mr Roberts defends the translator with the rather compelling argument that “Chapman’s concern was a neoplatonic one with the ‘soul’ of the text, rather than with its ‘body’.” I fully agree with this. I would rather take a translator who offers a personal approach and tries to capture the spirit of the original, than one who dully toils word for word and deliberately keeps himself out of the work he translates. Of course, in the first case the translator himself must have a remarkable personality and, if possible, original poetic gift. Note that Chapman and Pope were also creative writers who left considerable poetic legacy, while Fagles, Lattimore and Fitzgerald have left nothing more original than translations. However creative a translation may be, it can never be regarded as an original work. For if it is an original work, it is logically impossible to remain a translation. I’m not sure that our present age is to be praised because most of the translators are not creative writers.

Mr Roberts chose for his comparison of translations the slaying of Thestor by Patroclus in Book XVI. The episode is completely insignificant, but particularly gruesome and entirely characteristic of Homer’s sick relish for such stuff. I hardly need to add that this is the first and last appearance of Thestor. Dispensing with the prose travesty by E. V. Rieu (1950), the three other versions compared by Mr Roberts are as follows:

[Fagles, 1990, XVI.477-89:]
And next he went for Thestor the son of Enops
cowering, crouched in his fine polished chariot,
crazed with fear, and the reins flew from his grip –
Patroclus rising beside him stabbed his right jawbone,
ramming the spearhead square between his teeth so hard
he hooked him by that spearhead over the chariot-rail,
hoisted, dragged the Trojan out as an angler perched
on a jutting rock ledge drags some fish from the sea,
some noble catch, with line and glittering bronze hook.
So with the spear Patroclus gaffed him off his car,
his mouth gaping round the glittering point
and flipped him down facefirst,
dead as he fell, his life breath blown away.

[Pope, 1720, XVI.486-99:]
Thestor was next; who saw the chief appear.
And fell the victim of his coward fear;
Shrunk-up he sat, with wild and haggard eye,
Nor stood to combat, nor had force to fly:
Patroclus mark'd him as he shunn'd the war,
And with unmanly tremblings shook the car,
And dropp'd the flowing reins. Him 'twixt the jaws
The javelin sticks, and from the chariot draws.
As on a rock that over-hangs the main,
An angler, studious of the line and cane,
Some mighty fish draws panting to the shore;
Not with less ease the barbed javelin bore
The gaping dastard: as the spear was shook,
He fell, and life his heartless breast forsook.

[Chapman, 1611, XVI.381-92:]
Then Pronous was first that fell beneath his fiery lance,
Which struck his bare breast, near his shield. The second Thestor's chance
Old Enops' son, did make himself, who shrinking, and set close
In his fair seat, even with th' approach Patroclus made, did lose
All manly courage, in so much that from his hands his reins
Fell flowing down, and his right jaw Patroclus' lance attains,
Struck through his teeth, and there it stuck, and by it to him drew
Dead Thestor to his chariot. It showed, as when you view
An angler from some prominent rock draw with his line and hook
A mighty fish out of the sea; for so the Greek did pluck
The Trojan gaping from his seat, his jaws oped with the dart;
Which when Patroclus drew, he fell; his life and breast did part.

I don’t quite understand why Mr Roberts accepts as gospel Matthew Arnold’s opinion that “rapid, plain, direct and noble” are Homer’s four most distinct qualities, but so he does. He praises Fagles as “admirably vivid and direct”, more or less the epitome of “direct, plain and rapid” scenes of “visceral power”, but I find him ponderous, verbose and laboured, especially the angling metaphor. Mr Roberts blames Pope for his “bleach[ing] out the vigour of the passage” and his making Thestor a bigger coward. I agree on the latter point, but I don’t see why this is such a great defect. As for Arnold’s quartet of Homeric virtues, for me Pope is just as “direct, plain or rapid” as Fagles – if not more so, for he takes only one line more, but his lines are shorter and the verbiage is stripped away.

Mr Roberts is certainly correct, however, that Chapman makes for the hardest read of the trio, but also that “once the effort is made to engage with the lines and to derive meaning, deeper poetic virtues emerge.” The editor is particularly impressed with Chapman’s choice of word for the deadly blow (“attains”) and his general reluctance to use active verbs; as a result, an ordinary action scene attains (forgive the pun) a timeless quality that otherwise it doesn’t possess. Mr Roberts also notes Chapman’s (no doubt deliberate) piling up of “plosives” in the next line and a half. The broken rhythm is jarring and the sound is anything but euphonious, yet the reader is forced to realise that a human life has just been taken. Obviously this is not “direct, plain and rapid”, but I must disagree with Mr Roberts that it is not “especially noble” either. I think it is at least as noble as Pope and certainly much nobler than Fagles.

Let’s take another example. I am particularly fond of the episode with Simoisius in Book IV. This is another superfluous death of a minor character that is never mentioned later (or earlier), but note the moving personal history adroitly inserted among the gory details.

[Fagles, 1990, IV.547-64:]
And Telamonian Ajax struck Anthemion's son,
the hardy stripling Simoisius, stilI unwed…
His mother had borne him along the Simois' banks
when she trailed her parents down the slopes of Ida
to tend their flocks, and so they called him Simoisius.
But never would he repay his loving parents now
for the gift of rearing – his life cut short so soon,
brought down by the spear of lionhearted Ajax.
At the first charge he slashed his right nipple,
clean through the shoulder went the brazen point
and down in the dust he fell like a lithe black poplar
shot up tall and strong in the spreading marshy flats,
the trunk trimmed but its head a shock of branches.
A chariot-maker fells it with shining iron ax
as timber to bend for handsome chariot wheels
and there it lies, seasoning by the river...
So lay Anthemion's son Simoisius, cut down
by the giant royal Ajax.

[Pope, 1720, IV.542-61:]
In blooming youth fair Simoisius fell,
Sent by great Ajax to the shades of hell:
Fair Simoisius, whom his mother bore.
Amid the flocks on silver Simois' shore
The nymph descending from the hills of Ide,
To seek her parents on his flowery side.
Brought forth the babe, their common care and joy,
And thence from Simois named the lovely boy.
Short was his date! by dreadful Ajax slain,
He falls, and renders all their cares in vain!
So falls a poplar, that in watery ground
Raised high the head, with stately branches crown'd,
(Fell'd by some artist with his shining steel,
To shape the circle of the bending wheel)
Cut down it lies, tall, smooth, and largely spread.
With all its beauteous honors on its head;
There, left a subject to the wind and rain.
And scorch'd by suns, it withers on die plain.
Thus pierc'd by Ajax, Simoisius lies
Stretch'd on the shore, and thus neglected dies.

[Chapman, 1611, IV.502-31:]
The next of name, that serv’d his fate, great Ajax Telamon
Preferr’d so sadly; he was heir to old Anthemion,
And deck’d with all the flow’r of youth, the fruit of which yet fled,
Before the honour’d nuptial torch could light him to his bed;
His name was Symoisius: for some few years before,
His mother walking down the hill of Ida, by the shore
Of silver Simois, to see her parents’ flocks, with them
She feeling suddenly the pains of childbirth by the stream
Of that bright river brought him forth; and so (of Symois)
They call’d him Symoisius. Sweet was that birth of his
To his kind parents, and his growth did all their care employ;
And yet those rites of piety, that should have been his joy
To pay their honour’d years again, in as affectionate sort,
He could not graciously perform, his sweet life was so short,
Cut off with mighty Ajax’ lance. For as his spirit put on,
He struck him at his breast’s right pap, quite through his shoulder-bone;
And in the dust of earth he fell, that was the fruitful soil
Of his friends’ hopes; but where he sow’d he buried all his toil.
And as a poplar shot aloft, set by a river side,
In moist edge of a mighty fen, his head in curls implied,
But all his body plain and smooth; to which a wheelwright puts
The sharp edge of his shining axe, and his soft timber cuts
From his innative root, in hope to hew out of his bole
The fell’ffs, or out-parts of a wheel, that compass in the whole,
To serve some goodly chariot; but being big and sad,
And to be hal’d home through the bogs, the useful hope he had
Sticks there; and there the goodly plant lies withering out his grace;
So lay, by Jove-bred Ajax’ hand Anthemion’s forward race,
Nor could through that vast fen of toils be drawn to serve the ends
Intended by his body’s pow’rs, nor cheer his aged friends.

Again, Fagles is turgid and full of unnecessary details; and the metaphor is overdone, again. In contrast, Pope eliminates the fluff (who cares that Simoisius is Anthemion’s son?) and cuts down the botanical details, thus creating faster paced and easier to understand, yet less gory and more stirring, verse. Chapman, again and predictably, is by far the longest and the freest translation. He takes full 30 lines to tell the story! But note some lovely turns of phrase (“the honour’d nuptial torch”, “vast fen of toils”) and the more affecting descriptions. Symoisius is not just “Anthemion’s son”: he is “Anthemion’s forward race”; his birth and life were “sweet”, his parents affectionate, and his friends full of hopes for him. In the last lines, in case we have forgotten them, his youth (“nor cheer his aged friends”) and the waste of life (he could never “serve the ends / Intended by his body’s pow’rs”) are masterfully recalled. Fagles and even Pope sound mundane by comparison.

Chapman’s translation remains a classic. But it’s a classic for purely historical reasons. It is fascinating to see how a contemporary of Shakespeare understood and translated Homer, but unless you are an Elizabethan scholar, this Iliad will hardly be your first choice. It is worth reading – and even worth having, at a budget price – for its historical importance. That said, if you are willing to persevere, Chapman can be rewarding. He is much harder than Pope, but once you get used to his odd ideas of meter and meaning, he does invest The Iliad with compassion that later translations seem to miss. It is not for nothing that Chapman’s Homer has been the subject of least two poetic tributes. The sonnet by John Keats is too well known to be quoted yet again, but I don’t think this is the case with “Mr Chapman’s Incomparable Translation of Homers Workes” (1656) by one Samuel Sheppard:

What none before durst even venture on,
Unto our wonder is by Chapman done,
Who by his skill hath made great Homers song,
To vaile its Bonnet in our English tongue,
So that the Learned well may question it,
Whether in Greek or English Homer writ.


[1] Line references to Chapman refer to this edition which does contain line numbers, Pope is sourced from the Collins Classics edition (2011) which does not, and Fagles is taken from the Penguin Classics edition (1990).

[2] Mr Roberts sources this as p. 17 in Chapman’s Homer, vol. 1: The Iliad, ed. Allardyce Nicoll, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 2nd edn., 1967. It comes from Chapman’s “Preface to the Reader” and the full passage (lines 158-71) is a ruthless tirade against his critics:

But there is a certaine envious
windfucker, that hovers up and downe, laboriously engrossing all the
aire with his luxurious ambition and buzzing into every eare
my detraction – affirming I turn Homer out of the Latine only, &c –
that sets all his associates and the whole rabble of my maligners on
their wings with him to beare about my empaire and poyson my
reputation. One that, as he thinkes, whatsoever he gives to others he
takes from himselfe, so whatsoever he takes from others he addes to
himselfe. One that in this kinde of robberie doth like Mercurie, that
stole good and supplied it with counterfeit bad still. One like the
two gluttons, Philoxenus and Gnatho, that would still emptie their
noses in the dishes they loved that no man might eate but themselves.
For so this Castrill, with too hote a liver and lust after his owne
glorie, and to devoure all himselfe, discourageth all appetites to the
fame of another.

The word “windfucker”, Mr Nicoll informs us in his Glossary, means a kind of kestrel and was apparently considered offensive at the time. In some old editions (e.g. 1888, ed. Rev. Richard Hooper), Chapman’s “Preface to the Reader” is given in prose, without line numbers, with modernised spelling and modified punctuation, and the tricky word is “windsucker”. Censorship, typo or alternative version? I don’t know, but I certainly think it’s a pity that Wordsworth didn’t include this preface. It’s a fascinating piece of confessional autobiography.

[3] Muriel Bradbrook, George Chapman, “Writers and Their Work”, British Council, Longman, 1977, p. 28. ( )
2 vote Waldstein | Dec 29, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
It's the Iliad; it is what you make of it. If you compare it to modern story telling, I think a lot of readers will find it lacking, especially with the constant battle scenes. We're used to getting petty drama in our petty dramas, tragic deaths in our tragedies, gory action in our gory action thrillers. This oral tradition has it all mashed up together. ( )
  Andibook | Dec 29, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (151 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
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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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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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)

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