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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A readable Iliad in modern idiom
Robert Fagles's translation of Homer's Iliad is spiritually if not literally true to the original. Both versions repeat set speeches and descriptions in precisely the same words, and the translation exhibits a fairly regular rhythmic beat. But Homer's Greek was chanted, and the set passages were like refrains in which listeners could, if they chose, join in as a chorus...
Published on 29 Jun 2002 by Michael Wells Glueck

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great translation. Kindle edition riddled with misprints.
I had not read the Iliad before and I was astonished and delighted at how vivid and action-packed it was. This translation brings it to life almost like a modern thriller. Not being a scholar of Ancient Greek I cannot tell whether this comes from the original text or it has been imposed by the translator.

The Kindle edition is shockingly full of misprints. If...
Published 4 months ago by Mark Browse


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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A readable Iliad in modern idiom, 29 Jun 2002
Robert Fagles's translation of Homer's Iliad is spiritually if not literally true to the original. Both versions repeat set speeches and descriptions in precisely the same words, and the translation exhibits a fairly regular rhythmic beat. But Homer's Greek was chanted, and the set passages were like refrains in which listeners could, if they chose, join in as a chorus. In English, the repetitions sometimes become tedious, especially when the same speech is given three times in two pages, as in the relay of Zeus's orders in Book II. Especially noteworthy is Bernard Knox's long and fascinating Introduction, a masterpiece of literary criticism and scholarship which conveys Homer's grim attitude toward war, the interplay of divine and human will, and the ancient concepts of honor, courage, and virility in the face of the stark finality of death. Knox also includes a succinct explanation of the quantitative, rather than accentual, basis of Greek (and Latin) verse. For easy readability, Fagles's translation is without rival. For elegance and poetry, however, I recommend Richmond Lattimore's older but still gripping and fluent translation.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Vote for Best Translation of this Exciting Epic Tale!, 20 Jun 1998
By A Customer
I highly recommend this translation of the classic Homeric epic. I have read many fine translations of this work, but Robert Fagles' translation is by far the best I've seen. Fagles manages to bring the story to life while still maintaining a sense of the poetic beauty of the original. Far from being a dusty and archaic rendition, this translation is instead very much "alive", and truly captures the excitement and beauty of this classic tale. I discovered many new insights that I had missed in my earlier readings of Homer's Illiad, and Robert Fagles' translation makes it clear why this is such a long-standing literary classic.
Also, the "introduction" by the well-respected classicist, Bernard Knox, is a great source of additional,up-to-date information about both the Illiad and the Homeric period of Ancient Greece.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A readable Iliad in modern idiom, 26 Jun 2002
Robert Fagles's translation of Homer's Iliad is spiritually if not literally true to the original. Both versions repeat set speeches and descriptions in precisely the same words, and the translation exhibits a fairly regular rhythmic beat. But Homer's Greek was chanted, and the set passages were like refrains in which listeners could, if they chose, join in as a chorus. In English, the repetitions sometimes become tedious, especially when the same speech is given three times in two pages, as in the relay of Zeus's orders in Book II. Especially noteworthy is Bernard Knox's long and fascinating Introduction, a masterpiece of literary criticism which conveys Homer's grim attitude toward war, the interplay of divine and human will, and the ancient concepts of honor, courage, and virility in the face of the stark finality of death. Knox also includes a succinct explanation of the quantitative, rather than accentual, basis of Greek (and Latin) verse. For easy readability, Fagles's translation is without rival. For elegance and poetry, however, I recommend Richmond Lattimore's older but still gripping and fluent translation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but maybe not the best, 29 Aug 2012
By 
Mr. Christopher Harris "Chris in Brum" (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The work itself is perhaps the greatest poem ever written and if you don't know the story then you need to read it. This isn't in my opinion the best translation, that accolade goes to Lattimore in my opinion, but this is a perfectly good translation too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great translation. Kindle edition riddled with misprints., 12 April 2014
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This review is from: The Iliad (Penguin Classics) (Kindle Edition)
I had not read the Iliad before and I was astonished and delighted at how vivid and action-packed it was. This translation brings it to life almost like a modern thriller. Not being a scholar of Ancient Greek I cannot tell whether this comes from the original text or it has been imposed by the translator.

The Kindle edition is shockingly full of misprints. If it had been a free download I might have been tolerant, but it wasn't. There are careless mis-spellings of words, including some hilarious ones such as 'tum' instead of 'turn'. The punctuation is bizarre: in particular, quotation marks are regularly printed the wrong way up. All of this is a disappointing distraction from the excellence of the translation.

Five stars for the text, only one star for the editing.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ground is dark with blood, 23 Oct 2007
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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

"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

"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."
-Translated by Stanley Lombardo

"Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Akhaians 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.
Begin it when the two men first contending
broke with one another--
the Lord Marshal Agamémnon, Atreus' son, and Prince Akhilleus."
-Translated by Translated by Robert Fitzgerald

"Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus' son of Achilleus and its devastation, which puts pains thousandfold upon the Achains,
hurled in the 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 the division of conflict Atrecus' son the lord of men and brilliant Achilleus."
-Translated by Richmond Lattimore

"Sing, goddess, of Peleus' son Achilles' anger, ruinous, that caused the Greeks untold ordeals, consigned to Hades countless valiant souls, heroes, and left their bodies prey for dogs or feast for vultures. Zeus's will was done from when those two first quarreled and split apart, the king, Agamemnon, and matchless Achilles."
-Translated by Herbert Jordan

"An angry man-there is my story: the bitter rancor of AchillÍs, prince of the house of Peleus, which brought a thousand troubles upon the Achaian host. Many a strong soul it sent down to HadÍs, and left the heroes themselves a prey to the dogs and carrion birds, while the will of God moved on to fulfillment."
-Translated an transliterated by W.H.D. Rouse

You will find that some translations are easier to read but others are easier to listen to on recordings, lectures, Kindle, and the like. If you do not see information on specific translators, it is still worth the speculation and purchase.

Our story takes place in the ninth year of the ongoing war. We get some introduction to the first nine years but they are just a background to this tale of pride, sorrow and revenge. The story will also end abruptly before the end of the war.

We have the wide conflict between the Trojans and Achaeans over a matter of pride; the gods get to take sides and many times direct spears and shields.

Although the more focused conflict is the power struggle between two different types of power. That of Achilles, son of Peleus and the greatest individual warrior and that of Agamemnon, lord of men, whose power comes form position.

We are treated to a blow by blow inside story as to what each is thinking and an unvarnished description of the perils of war and the search for ArÍte (to be more like Aries, God of War.)

Troy - The Director's Cut [Blu-ray]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic, 1 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Iliad (Penguin Classics) (Kindle Edition)
I've been wanting to read this for quite a while. this is a great translation if this is your first reading of the story, its written largely in modern idiom making it easy to understand. this is a story every western child grows up knowing and i was even visting the very ruins of troy when i was reading this. Homer's account of the epic siege of Troy is a story we all know yet still it takes you away as you read through it. it does drag a bit at times yet in others its simply epic. Definitely give it a try and persist with it, my advice would be to read it as if you were reading it out to a group of people just as it was originally written to be read, it seems to flow better and feel even more epic this way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 15 May 2014
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As good as it gets. If you want to read Homer, this is definitely the version to go for. What an achievement by mr. Fagles! Pick up his translation of the Oddyssey as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flowing translation, 17 Jun 2013
By 
Tony Ross - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Iliad (Penguin Classics) (Kindle Edition)
Maybe the translation isn't always correct line-for-line - I don't know, I don't read ancient Greek - all I can tell you is that this version feels fast-flowing and epic, draws you into the action and really lets you engage with the heroes. I'd take less word-for-word correctness if it means replicating the true feel and flow of the poem, which I imagine it must do well. Only 4 stars because of the occasional typo and seemingly misplaced apostrophe.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good writing rarely found today, 22 Dec 1996
By A Customer
Homer's Iliad, written well over 2500 years ago, still
delights the educated reader today. It's theme is Achilleus'
anger, and the results of his selfish pride on his own army
and closest friends. Homer deals with issues still around
today-"there is nothing new under the sun", and his writing
is like a gourmet meal compared to the macaroni and cheese
literature of modern times. His characters are complex, his
descriptions vivid, and his similes striking. This is required
reading for anyone who calls himself educated.
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