Homer Vol. I. Iliad (Books I-XII) 3/e: Iliad v. 1 (Oxford Classical Texts) (Greek) Hardcover – 26 Mar 1963
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Excellent standard text. (Jeanne G. Kurtz, University of New Hampshire)
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Homer is celebrated as the greatest of ancient Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.
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This is the first volume of the Monro-Allen edition of Homer's "Iliad", still the unsurpassed modern edition of the greatest poem by Western literature's greatest poet. Yes, it's in classical Greek, and no, there is no translation. David Monro and Thomas Allen published their four-volume edition of the works of the possibly mythical poet known to us as "Homer" back in 1902. They brought out a second edition in 1908, and a third in 1920. Homer scholarship has not unearthed anything in the meantime which might lead us to make serious changes to Monro and Allen's text.
Most of us first read Homer in translation, of course, and it may interest the common reader to know that this was the edition that both Richmond Lattimore and Robert Fagles used for their very different translations of the poem - Lattimore, grander and closer to the original, in 1951; Fagles, more colloquial and more accessible, in the late 1980s. These translations are still in print, and Fagles at least is a bit of a bestseller.
Still, there is something very exciting about learning enough classical Greek to make one's way into the first lines of this majestic poem: "Menin áeide, thea, Peleïádeo Akhilaos/ouloménin, hè muri Akhaios alge etheke..." - Sing, goddess, the rage of Peleus' son Achilles, and its devastation, which caused such agony to the Greeks...
I am not a cultural snob, in that I do not think that being able to read the Greek and Latin classics in the original makes you into a "better person".Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Iliad centers around the anger of the warrior Achilles when Agammenon unjustly takes his concubine. Achilles subsequently refuses to fight, and, because his divine strength makes him indispensible to the Greek war effort, the Greeks are nearly driven from the Trojan shores.
Reading this book in the original language makes a big difference. Homer is a master of both sound and sense and to read him in translation deprives the reader of the former.
The lack of commentary and vocabulary in this edition does not make it the best choice for beginners in Greek.
The fullness of the apparatus is self-evident. For the text, I recommend the review by Richard Janko in Classical Review 2000 (new series 50, 1) pages 1-4.
Physically, all the OCTs are pasted together with what must be the cheapest glue obtainable. Pages began to come out of this OCT on my third reading. (It took only two readings for pages to come unglued from my OCT Vergil.) The Teubner texts are genuine, hardcover books: the pages are sown to the binding.