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The Iliad Paperback – 9 Oct 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 602 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (9 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1480048348
  • ISBN-13: 978-1480048348
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 450,388 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

About the Author

Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) was an 18th-century English poet, best known for his satirical verse and for his translation of Homer's Iliad (ISBN 9781480048348) and Odyssey (ISBN 9781490516424). Famous for his use of the heroic couplet, he is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, after Shakespeare and Tennyson.

Pope had been fascinated by Homer since childhood. In 1713, he announced his plans to publish a translation of the Iliad. The work would be available by subscription, with one volume appearing every year over the course of six years. Pope was 25 years old. He secured a revolutionary deal with the publisher Bernard Lintot, which brought him two hundred guineas (£210) a volume, equivalent to about £26,000 as of 2012, a vast sum at the time.

Encouraged by the success of the Iliad, Pope translated the Odyssey. The translation appeared in 1726, but this time, confronted with the arduousness of the task, he enlisted the help of William Broome and Elijah Fenton. Pope attempted to conceal the extent of the collaboration (he himself translated only twelve books, Broome eight and Fenton four), but the secret leaked out. It did some damage to Pope's reputation for a time, but not to his profits.

By the mid-18th century new fashions in poetry emerged. A decade after Pope's death, Joseph Warton claimed that Pope's style of poetry was not the most excellent form of the art. The Romantic movement that rose to prominence in early 19th-century England was more ambivalent towards his work. Though Lord Byron identified Pope as one of his chief influences (believing his scathing satire of contemporary English literature English Bards and Scotch Reviewers to be a continuance of Pope's tradition), William Wordsworth found Pope's style fundamentally too decadent a representation of the human condition.

In the 20th century Pope's reputation was revived. Pope's work was found to be full of references to the people and places of his time, and these aided people's understanding of the past. The postwar period stressed the power of Pope's poetry, recognising that Pope's immersion in Christian and Biblical culture lent depth to his poetry. Maynard Mack thought highly of Pope's poetry, arguing that Pope's moral vision demanded as much respect as his technical excellence. In the years 1953–1967 the production of the definitive Twickenham edition of Pope's poems was published in ten volumes.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Miss Samantha Capes on 11 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This isn't normally the type of book I read. I prefer to read comic books and graphic novels. It probably takes me a year to read only a couple of books. I have a penchant for fantasy, such as Terry Pratchett. But when I started to read this book for my Classical Civilisation course at college, I was swept away by the story. I devoured it by myself in one night even after the first lesson.

Since then I have read it again, and over the years I have found myself analysing every part of it, and not in an English Literature kind of way, where you hope you never see the book again after you've finished it. But by myself just because I was so intrigued by this world. I know this isn't a historical book, and it is supposed to be a telling of legend, but it was written by an ancient man, and you really get the feel of the time in this book. I feel like I'm living in another world, but really it's our world.

The language of books usually bother me. I can't be doing with Jane Austin or Shakespeare, no offence intended, they are simply not to my taste. But in this story I don't mind it. I know it's supposed to be of our world, but when I read it I almost feel like I am reading a fantasy book, which is more to my taste. My favourite aspect of the book is the relationship with Achilles and Patroclus.

I would recommend it highly. I'm not going to lie, it isn't an easy read, but it is more than a worthwhile read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. J. Mccann on 14 Dec. 2014
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The Iliad is a moving story, and the original is a noble poem. It has been said that poetry is what gets lost in translation, so making a poetic translation naturally involves a degree of re-invention. When the scholar Bentley complained "It's a pretty poem, Mr Pope, but you must not call it Homer", he was missing the point: a literal version would have been no poem at all. The other great poetic version is that of Shakespeare's contemporary Chapman:

"This said, he reached to take his son, who (of his arms afraid,
And then the horsehair plume, with which he was so overlaid,
Nodded so horribly) he clinged back to his nurse and cried.
Laughter affected his great sire, who doffed and laid aside
His fearful helm, that on the earth cast around it light." Chapman

"Thus having spoke, the illustrious chief of Troy
Reached his fond arms to clasp the lovely boy.
The babe clung crying to his nurse's breast,
Scared at the dazzling helm and nodding crest.
With secret pleasure each fond parent smiled,
And Hector hastèd to relieve his child,
The glittering terrors from his brow unbound,
And placed the beaming helmet on the ground." Pope

The Impala edition is a handsome volume, in large, clear type with generous margins.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By vicky hewish on 10 April 2013
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Classic that has been read many times. Keeps me enthralled from page one right to the end. Recommended must read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David A. on 22 Sept. 2014
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I am catching up on reading the classics I never had time for when I was younger. I am glad I finally got round to reading this one, although the introduction nearly put me off as it was very heavy going. I did recognize a few lines which have been quoted elsewhere and I had never realized where they came from. Not the sort of book to read at the side of the pool on a lazy afternoon, but more of a something to read when its dark and cold outside, but an education none the less.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By henry lockett on 16 Jan. 2013
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One of the best books from this period a must buy for anyone interested in the Greeks beautifully put together by homer
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cymro on 20 July 2013
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A super book. I read it as a child and again now - the other end of life - and it's still brilliant
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By Matt on 3 Sept. 2014
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This is a good translation of the text, although i did find the formatting for the kindle to at times be a bit of a mess. The story itself is as spectacular as ever, and i will read it every couple of years to keep it fresh in my mind. I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves epic adventure stories or historical fiction.
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By guitarman on 11 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My first book on Kindle, a good read!
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