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The Iliad Paperback – 1 Jul 1961

4.4 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Paperback, 1 Jul 1961
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Product details

  • Paperback: 520 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Underlining/Margin Notes/Cover edition (1 July 1961)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226469409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226469409
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 83,611 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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 an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Homer is a legendary ancient Greek poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


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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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
" `... insignificant / mortals, who are as leaves are, and now flourish and grow warm / with life, and feed on what the ground gives, but then again / fade away and are dead.' "

Note: this review is of the translation of the Iliad by Richmond Lattimore (University of Chicago Press, first published 1951: ISBN 0-226-46940-9)

While nearly everyone may be familiar with parts of the story of the Iliad, it probably comes as a surprise to many that Achilles does not actually die in the poem, but his fate is already set. I've read a lot of novels over the years based on stories around the Iliad and the Odyssey, and am familiar with much that happens in the overall storyline, but it's not until you read a really good transation, such as this one (assuming you cannot read the original Greek which I'm sorry to say I cannot) that you `hear' the beauty and compellingly stunning craft of this epic poem.

The lines of description, of action, of beauty and of horror remain true to colour even at this distance of years and culture. So much of the action in the book is of horrific battle scenes, where those who were wounded, unless it was superficial, had little or no chance of survival given the manner of war in those times. The descriptive battle scenes are, even to our `modern' jaded senses still horrific - for example "Patroklos coming close up to him stabbed with a spear-thrust at the right side of the jaw and drove it on through the teeth, then hooked and dragged him with the spear over the rail ... and as he fell the life left him." (16.404-410).

Lattimore's transation, first published in 1951, remains the translation of choice still for many scholars, and I'm glad I have read the Iliad right through in this translation.
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