The Iliad by Homer
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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
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.
For Sarah, and for Ughetta, Benedict, Maria, Michael, Barnaby, and Caterina
MY MOTHER AND FATHER
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)
An angry man--there is my story: The bitter rancour of Achilles, prince of the house of Peleus, which brought a thousand troubles upon the Achaian host.
(Rouse translation, 1938)
Sing, O Goddess, the ruinous wrath of Achilles
Son of Peleus, the terrible curse that brought
Unnumbered woes upon the Achaeans and hurled
To Hades so many heroic souls, leaving
Their bodies the prey of dogs and carrion birds.
(Rees Translation, 2005)
Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
Of woes unnumber'd, heavenly goddess, sing!
That wrath which hurl'd to Pluto's gloomy reign
The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain,
Whose limbs unburied on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore:
(Pope Translation, 1715)
Sing, goddess, the anger of Achilles, Pelleus' son,
the accursed anger which brought the Achaeans countless
agonies and hurled many mighty shades of heroes into Hades
causing them to become the prey of dogs and
all kinds of birds; and the plan of Zeus was fulfilled
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore:
(Verity Translation, 2011)
Achilles sing, O Goddess! Peleus' son;
His wrath pernicious, who ten thousand woes
Caused to Achaia's host, sent many a soul
Illustrious into Ades premature,
And Heroes gave (so stood the will of Jove)
To dogs and to all ravening fowls a prey,
(Cowper Translation, 1791)
The Rage of Achilles - sing it now, goddess, sing through me
the deadly rage that caused the Achaeans such grief
and hurled down to Hades the souls of so many fighters,
leaving their naked flesh to be eaten by dogs
and carrion birds, as the will of Zeus was accomplished.
Begin at the time when bitter words first divided
that king of men, Agamemnon, and godlike Achilles.
(Mitchell Translation, 2011)
Sing now, goddess, the wrath of Achilles the scion of Peleus,
ruinous rage which brought the Achaians uncounted afflictions;
many of the powerful souls it sent to the dwelling of Hades,
those of the heroes, and spoil for the dogs it made it their bodies,
plunder for the birds, and the purpose of Zeus was accomplished
(Merrill Translation, 2007)
It was Apollo, Son of Zeus and Leto, who started the feud, when he punished the King for his discoutesy to Chryses, his priest, by inflicting a deadly plague on his army and destroying his men.
(Rieu Translation, 1950)
"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
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.
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (10)
[Prior description deleted. Note this field applies to the work and should not be used for edition-specific information]
Too many heroes
Too much blood, sex, fighting, war
Gods and goddesses
Pope is scarcely Homeric.
How is it this works?
Helen of Sparta
Elopes with Paris. Name change
To Helen of Troy
All work and no gifts,
I refuse to fight for you
until my friend dies.
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 15 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)
(summary from another edition)
» see all 35 descriptions