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The Iliad

by Homer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Homer's Epic Cycle (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
27,885381104 (4.02)10 / 1528
Homer's classical account of the war between the Greeks and the Trojans from Agamemnon's visit by the priest Chryses to the burial of Hektor.
  1. 372
    The Odyssey by Homer (Voracious_Reader, caflores)
  2. 271
    The Aeneid by Virgil (HollyMS)
  3. 101
    Beowulf by Beowulf Poet (benmartin79)
  4. 52
    The Iliad of Homer [The Great Courses] by Elizabeth Vandiver (themulhern)
  5. 31
    The Táin by Táin author (inge87)
  6. 32
    Ransom by David Malouf (GCPLreader)
  7. 21
    Tiger at the Gates by Jean Giraudoux (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Giraudoux imagines the events in Troy when Paris shows up with Helen
  8. 33
    The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (alalba)
  9. 11
    The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War by Caroline Alexander (susanbooks)
    susanbooks: An excellent commentary on the poem.
  10. 12
    The Dismissal of the Grecian Envoys by Jan Kochanowski (sirparsifal)
  11. 12
    Cassandra by Christa Wolf (lewbs)
  12. 04
    The Death of King Arthur: A New Verse Translation by Anonymous (chrisharpe)
  13. 04
    Troy [2004 film] by Wolfgang Petersen (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: 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)
  14. 08
    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.
AP Lit (250)
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English (251)  Spanish (26)  Catalan (9)  Italian (7)  Dutch (5)  Danish (4)  French (4)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  All languages (309)
Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)
The main thing I remembered from having read this a decade ago was that Poseidon was described as having green/blue hair, which I thought was super cool. Imagine my confusion when, this time round, Poseidon was consistently described as having "sable" hair. This raises the question, did I invent a memory, or did I not know what "sable" meant back then??

That aside, I enjoyed the book. I got through it quite slowly, and I wonder if that's a little due to the translation. The original was poetry while the translation is rendered in prose, and there's quite a lot of modern-sounding colloquial phrases which seem kind of out of place. I feel like the translation might drain a little of the personality out of it. I'd be very interested to read a poetic version, although I know that comes with its own challenges. Certainly, when I told people I was going to embark on reading the ancient Greek and Roman literary canon in chronological order, several of them asked quite seriously whether I was going to learn Greek. I'm not sure what it says about me that they thought this would be a genuine possibility.

The mood seems to switch at the drop of a hat between slapstick and serious drama. I wonder if some of that is cultural - the poet attributes fear and bravery as something bestowed by the gods rather than an individual attribute, so when the doomed Hector finally turns to face the rampaging Achilles outside the walls of Ilium, despite the pleading of his parents, and gives a grand speech about how his honour demands that he either die or triumph at this moment - then immediately turns to run when he sees Achilles actually coming toward him - perhaps the ancient Greek listeners might not have imagined Yakkity Sax playing in the background as Hector is chased several times around the city walls.

Despite the distance of millennia, there are moments too that prove our common humanity. Hector's toddler son Astyanax is terrified to see his father approaching in full battle gear, but his fears are allayed when Hector removes his helmet. The parents - besieged, doomed, facing the ruin of their home and legacy - share a moment of private amusement and affection for their child.

Then again, some things are difficult to relate to. The inciting incident of the tale is an argument over who should take possession of a sex slave captured in war. I'm relieved the Briseis at least gets one chance to share her story, but despite this acknowledgement of her humanity, nobody ever questions the practice of abducting and raping women in war. It makes Achilles particularly hard to relate to - not only does he spend half the story sulking in his tent while his allies are massacred, but the very thing he's mad about is not being allowed to keep his slave.

My other surprise is just how gory the action is. We never shy away from graphic descriptions of dismemberment, impalement, and the crushing of bodies beneath chariot wheels. ( )
  weemanda | Jun 28, 2024 |
Fagle’s translation is less poetic than others, some may find it more readable.

A must-read for all but not recommended without some guidance. From the very dawn of civilization, Homer provides us with a manifold source of knowledge to gain in a great variety of fields. They are powerful echoes from a deep past but are easily misinterpreted.
Since it was the first of its kind and cannot be fully understood without historical, social, evolutionary context.

Homer’s work goes beyond the telling of common themes of glory and valor. His epic poems revolutionized storytelling. One gets the distinct feeling that he made a conscious effort to have myth serve literature, not the other way around. The flat if superhuman characters of earlier myths, say the Gilgamesh Epos, the Atra-Hasis, or Enuma Elis, their one-dimensional recalling of events, their lack of sophisticated literary techniques that were considered sufficient to serve a myth of creation are replaced and superseded by Homer’s sophisticated literary structure with its well-developed characters exuding, for the first time, human qualities in such complexity that make them so recognizable.
Homer’s characters have become ambassadors for eternity to come. Just consider Helen’s statement to Hector, “On us two Zeus has set a doom of misery, so that in time to come we can be themes of song for men of future generations”- Book 6. A prophetic statement, indeed.

It is often said that we (the West) are all Greek, well then we (writers and authors) are all Homerians. ( )
  nitrolpost | Mar 19, 2024 |
A must-read for all but not recommended without some guidance. From the very dawn of civilization, Homer provides us with a manifold source of knowledge to gain in a great variety of fields. They are powerful echoes from a deep past but are easily misinterpreted.
Since it was the first of its kind and cannot be fully understood without historical, social, evolutionary context.

Homer’s work goes beyond the telling of common themes of glory and valor. His epic poems revolutionized storytelling. One gets the distinct feeling that he made a conscious effort to have myth serve literature, not the other way around. The flat if superhuman characters of earlier myths, say the Gilgamesh Epos, the Atra-Hasis, or Enuma Elis, their one-dimensional recalling of events, their lack of sophisticated literary techniques that were considered sufficient to serve a myth of creation are replaced and superseded by Homer’s sophisticated literary structure with its well-developed characters exuding, for the first time, human qualities in such complexity that make them so recognizable.
Homer’s characters have become ambassadors for eternity to come. Just consider Helen’s statement to Hector, “On us two Zeus has set a doom of misery, so that in time to come we can be themes of song for men of future generations”- Book 6. A prophetic statement, indeed.

It is often said that we (the West) are all Greek, well then we (writers and authors) are all Homerians. Period ( )
  nitrolpost | Mar 19, 2024 |
Overrated. ( )
  zomgpwnbbq | Mar 4, 2024 |
Five excellent Homeric similes using "As... even so" construction:

1. As a mountain falcon, swiftest of all birds, swoops down upon some cowering dove - the dove flies before him but the falcon with a shrill scream follows close after, resolved to have her - even so did Achilles make straight for Hector with all his might, while Hector fled under the Trojan wall as fast as his limbs could take him.
[Book 22]

2. As a fire raging in some mountain glen after long drought - and the dense forest is in a blaze, while the wind carries great tongues of fire in every direction - even so furiously did Achilles rage, wielding his spear as though he were a superhuman force, and giving chase to those whom he would slay, till the dark earth ran with blood. [Book 20]

3. As two swart oxen both strain their utmost at the plow which they are drawing in a fallow field, and the sweat steams upwards from about the roots of their horns - nothing but the yoke divides them as they break up the ground till they reach the end of the field - even so did the two Ajaxes stand shoulder to shoulder by one another. [Book 13]

4. As when the mighty sea that thunders on the beach when the west wind has lashed it into fury, it has reared its head afar and now comes crashing down on the shore; it bows its arching crest high over the jagged rocks and spews its salt foam in all directions, even so did the serried phalanxes of the Danaans march steadfastly to battle. [Book 4]

5. As when a man gives a great ox-hide all drenched in fat to his men, and bids them stretch it; whereon they stand round it in a ring and tug till the moisture leaves it, and the fat soaks in for the many that pull at it, and it is well stretched - even so did the two sides tug the dead body hither and thither within the compass of but a little space - the Trojans steadfastly set on dragging it into Ilion, while the Achaeans were no less so on taking it to their ships; and fierce was the fight between them. [Book 17] ( )
  lelandleslie | Feb 24, 2024 |
Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (189 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Homerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alberich i Mariné, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alexander, CarolineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alsina Clota, JoséIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ģiezens, AugustsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Østergaard, Carl V.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baker-Smith, GrahameIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baskin, LeonardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Belenson, GailCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bendz, GerhardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Björkeson, IngvarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bond, William HenryEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boysen, RolfNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Broome, WilliamContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brower, Reuben ArthurEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bruijn, J.C.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bryant, William CullenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buckley, Theodore AloisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buckley, Theodore AloisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cerri, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, GeorgeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chase, Alston HurdTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ciani, Maria GraziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crespo Güemes, EmilioEd. lit.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cullen, PatrickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Devecseri, GáborTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Due, Otto SteenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Erni, HansIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fagles, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fitzgerald, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flaxman, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fridrihsons, KurtsIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gertz, Martin ClarentiusEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gostoli, AntoniettaContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Graves, RobertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gutiérrez, FernandoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammond, MartinIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holland, TomAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobi, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnston, Ian C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kelfkens, C.J.Cover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kirk, G. S.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knox, BernardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koolschijn, GerardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lagerlöf, ErlandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lateur, PatrickTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lattimore, RichmondTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Leaf, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesser, AntonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Linkomies, EdwinForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lombardo, StanleyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Loomis, Louise RopesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manninen, OttoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martínez García, OscarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McDonald, AudraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, StephenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Molina, AlfredNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monti, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, Herbert J.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murnaghan, SheilaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Myers, ErnestTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Newman, Francis W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Orléans de La Motte, Louis François Gabriel d'Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parnell, ThomasContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Perry, William G. Jr.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pollestad, Kjell ArildTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pope, AlexanderTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rees, EnnisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhodes, Charles ElbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rieu, Emile VictorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rouse, William H. D.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savage, SteeleIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schadewaldt, WolfgangTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schadewaldt, WolfgangIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schrott, RaoulTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Segalà i Estalella, LluísTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shankman, StevenEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shorey, PaulEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stawell, F. MelianIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stevens, DanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stolpe, JanEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svenbro, JesperForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Timmerman, Aegidius W.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voß, Johann HeinrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vosmaer, C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voss, Johann HeinrichTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wakefield, GilbertEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wills, GarryPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, Emily R.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος
οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,
πολλὰς δ᾽ ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν
ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν
οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι, Διὸς δ᾽ ἐτελείετο βουλή,
ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα διαστήτην ἐρίσαντε
Ἀτρεΐδης τε ἄναξ ἀνδρῶν καὶ δῖος Ἀχιλλεύς.
Achilles' baneful wrath resound, O Goddess, that impos'd
Infinite sorrows on the Greeks, and many brave souls los'd. [George Chapman]
Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
Of woes unnumber'd, heavenly goddess, sing! [Alexander Pope]
Sing, O goddess, the anger of Achilles son of Peleus, that brought
countless ills upon the Achaeans. [Samuel Butler]
An angry man—there is my story: the bitter rancour of Achillês, prince of the house of Peleus, which brought a thousand troubles upon the Achaian host. [W.H.D. Rouse]
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Homer's classical account of the war between the Greeks and the Trojans from Agamemnon's visit by the priest Chryses to the burial of Hektor.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
Too many heroes
Too much blood, sex, fighting, war
Gods and goddesses
(pickupsticks)
Mannered, ironic,
Pope is scarcely Homeric.
How is it this works?
(bertilak)
Helen of Sparta
Elopes with Paris. Name change
To Helen of Troy
(pickupsticks)
All work and no gifts,
I refuse to fight for you
until my friend dies.
(LeBoeuf)

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