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The Iliad of Homer Paperback – 11 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (11 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226470490
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226470498
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Perhaps closer to Homer in every way than any other version made in English." -Peter Green, New Republic "The feat is so decisive that it is reasonable to foresee a century or so in which nobody will try again to put the Iliad in English verse." -Robert Fitzgerald "Each new generation is bound to produce new translations. [Lattimore] has done better with nobility, as well as with accuracy, than any other modern verse translator. In our age we do not often find a fine scholar who is also a genuine poet and who takes the greatest pains over the work of translation." -Hugh Lloyd-Jones, New York Review of Books" --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Richmond Lattimore (1906 1984) was a poet, translator, and longtime professor of Greek at Bryn Mawr College. Richard Martin is the Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Professor in Classics at Stanford University."

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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Oct. 2004
Format: Paperback
Richmond Lattimore's translation of the Iliad is easily the best I have ever read. The language and construction of the verses are probably as close as you can get to the original greek and still have reasonable readability in modern english. An excellent companion to the original greek too. The only let down is that there isn't a good critcal essay collection attached, but maybe I am being greedy asking for that too!
I would instantly recommend this to any reader whether for study or pleasure, an excellent translation of a stupendue epic.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER on 19 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
I know some people prefer the Fagles translation but Lattimore is my favourite for his sheer ability to convey the full majesty and weight of Homer's phrases without ever making the text unreadable or confused. I read this for the first time as a callow 18-year old student and still go back to it repeatedly for the pure humanity that shines out of Homer's words. In some ways the heroic code of Homer's warriors is alien to us, and yet infinitely understandable still. But what Homer does so supremely is to make his characters live in all their glory and stride off the page from the first words: from glorious Achilles who has to face his own humanity and mortality, to Hector who struggles to maintain his heroic persona in the face of the pleas of his women; from beautiful, self-blaming Helen, to virtuous Andromache, these people really live and suffer and we suffer with them. There is still no moment so supreme in European literature as when Achilles and Priam weep together over Hector's dead body and are reconciled before the end knowing that Achilles own death is fated to follow...

If you haven't read this before then I envy you!
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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Aug. 1998
Format: Paperback
I found Latimore's language so powerful and evocative of Homer's world that I decided to study Ancient Greek. His insights were so keenly borne out in my experience of studying Greek that I became a college Classics Major the following year. He is meticulous in translating the same phrase the same way each time he meets it in the text and so the haunting echoes of previous uses resound in your ear like music.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By thegoldensnitch@hotmail.com on 8 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is not only an excellent literary translation, but a brilliant aid when studying the Iliad in the original Greek. Lattimore's idioms are brilliant, and he manages to beautifully render tortuous passages of Greek both faithfully and dramatically into english.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Simon Esposito on 5 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Physically the hardback is a beautifully produced book, with excellent paper and sewn binding, and also great for reading - not too bulky or heavy. The typeface is clear, and the pages are a little wider than previously, giving more thumb-room and fewer broken lines (and more space in the gutters). The original edition had Lattimore's very helpful introduction, but it cried out for detailed notes as well, to give the reader a few more signposts to the action. So the idea of adding notes to this new edition is a good one.

However, I continue to find these notes disappointing (expertly written though they are), a bit distracting and unilluminating for a basic understanding of the poem as a whole. The key I think is in the author's stated intention to minimize overlap with other separately available companions to Lattimore's 'Iliad', especially Willcock's brilliant A Companion to the "Iliad": Based on the Translation by Richard Lattimore (Phoenix Books). The result is a commentary that does not feel like it is self-contained, and too often reads like a supplement to Willcock, over-emphasising recent advances in knowledge while neglecting some of the most basic requirements of a first-time reader - like beginning the notes to each book with a summary of the action. To me the opportunity of in-book notes is more precious than that, and the prime consideration should have been for readers who (the majority, I'm sure) will not want a separate commentary.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 5 Mar. 2003
Format: Paperback
I long ago determined that the world of those interested in the Classical Literature of the Ancient Greeks that when it comes to Homer's epic poems there are those who prefer the "Iliad" and those who prefer the "Odyssey." My choice is for the story of the rage of Achilles. From Achilles's fateful confrontation with Agamemnon over Briseis of the lovely arms to the magnificently emotional ending where King Priam comes to beg for the body of his slain son, Hector, from the man who killed him, I find this story has greater resonance than the tale of Odysseus. The epic story also seems to me to be more classically Greek, with the great hero who acts out of anger, comes to regret his folly, and seeks to make amends with a great deed. Achilles is similar to Hercules in this regard, and although they are both strictly considered demi-gods, the Achaean hero ultimately seems more human. Plus, Achilles stature is enhanced by his opposition to the noble Hector; acknowledging the better warrior does not take away from recognizing the greater hero. Add to this the fact that all the gods and goddesses of Olympus are actively involved in the proceedings and I am convinced the "Iliad" is the more worthy book for inclusion into most classes dealing with Classical Mythology or the Ancient Greeks.
The main question with using the "Iliad" is class is picking a worthy version in English. The Lattimore translation is certainly above average, but I think the Fagles translation is far and away the best available and I would not really consider using anything else in my Classical Greek and Roman Mythology course.
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