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The Iliad: A New Translation Paperback – 15 Aug 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: W&N (15 Aug. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753827778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753827772
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 3.2 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 318,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.

He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems. Both works attributed to Homer - The Iliad and The Odyssey - are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.

In The Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller's tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.

We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact 'Homer' may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps 'the hostage' or 'the blind one'. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years' time.

Product Description

Review

Well-forged and clean-limbed, the excised epithets will be a loss to some; to others a judicious cut. (THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)

Book Description

A stunning new translation of the classic tale of the fall of Troy from one of the world's finest translators. If you enjoyed THE SONG OF ACHILLES, discover the original and the best...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Halifax Student Account on 28 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
I don't understand Stephen Mitchell! He admits that he doesn't know the original languages he 'translates' from but he goes right ahead and 'translates' anyway. He's like one of those X Factor contestants who think they are a great singer, and super talented, but clearly are not and so they embarrass themselves.

I've just finished Mitchells rendering of the Bhagavad Gita and I'm sad that this huckster has managed to con many sincere people.

His version of the Iliad is plainly dull. Mitchen even admits that he stacked a pile of proper translations, copied the best bits, and wrote it in his version. But you and I can do that! But Mitchell's excuse is that he's a great English poet and so he's allowed. Hmm? But his version of the Iliad is just average journalism standard English. There are better versions out there.

I came across a rhyming genius by the name of James Muirden. Muirden's version of the Iliad is written in a poetic way they only a truly talented poet can do. I recommend James Muirden's Iliad.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Steampunk TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover
Ok, so the translator points out that Book Ten of the Iliad has been recognised 'since ancient times' as a later addition to the Iliad. Fine.

But dropping it out of the translation altogether is a step too far for me. The fact is, for a long, long time there HAS been a Book Ten forming part of the story. For many of us, it's become part of the Iliad. Chopping it out of the book altogether feels petty and almost spiteful - like taking a pair of scissors to the book, just to make a point.

I would have been happy to have it included together with a note about it being a probable later addition.
I would have been happy even to find it tucked away in an appendix.

But no Book Ten? Not at all?

Regardless of any other merits of this translation, that was a step too far for me. I'll be dumping this and going back to my previous translations.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By bernie VINE VOICE on 9 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover
With many books, translations are negligible, with two obvious exceptions, one is the Bible, and surprisingly the other is The Iliad. Each translation can give a different insight and feel to the story. Everyone will have a favorite. I have several.

For example:

"Rage--Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
Murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many souls,
great fighters' souls. But made their bodies carrion,
feasts for dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles."
-Translated by Robert Fagles, 1990

"Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a heroes did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures for so were the counsels of Zeus fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles first fell out with one another."
-Translated by Samuel Butler, 1888

"Rage:
Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
Incalculable pain pitched countless souls
Of heroes into Hades' dark,
And let their bodies rot as feasts
For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done.
Begin with the clash between Agamemnon--
The Greek Warlord--and godlike Achilles.
Read more ›
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By bernie VINE VOICE on 12 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
With many books, translations are negligible, with two obvious exceptions, one is the Bible, and surprisingly the other is The Iliad. Each translation can give a different insight and feel to the story. Everyone will have a favorite. I have several.

For example:

"Rage--Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
Murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many souls,
great fighters' souls. But made their bodies carrion,
feasts for dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles."
-Translated by R-o-b-e-r-t-F-a-g-l-e-s, 1990

"Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a heroes did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures for so were the counsels of Zeus fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles first fell out with one another."
-Translated by Samuel Butler, 1888

"Rage:
Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
Incalculable pain pitched countless souls
Of heroes into Hades' dark,
And let their bodies rot as feasts
For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done.
Begin with the clash between Agamemnon--
The Greek Warlord--and godlike Achilles.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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