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The Iliad (Penguin Clothbound Classics) Hardcover – 6 Nov 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 165 customer reviews

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  • The Iliad (Penguin Clothbound Classics)
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  • The Odyssey (Penguin Clothbound Classics)
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  • Metamorphoses (Penguin Clothbound Classics)
Total price: £49.71
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Rev Upd edition (6 Nov. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014139465X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141394657
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 3.5 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (165 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Fitzgerald has solved virtually every problem that has plagued translators of Homer. The narrative runs, the dialogue speaks, the military action is clear, and the repetitive epithets become useful text rather than exotic relics. Atlantic Monthly
Fitzgerald s swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time. Library Journal
[Fitzgerald s Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer s art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase. The Yale Review

What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald s. National Review
With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy"

"Fitzgerald has solved virtually every problem that has plagued translators of Homer. The narrative runs, the dialogue speaks, the military action is clear, and the repetitive epithets become useful text rather than exotic relics." -Atlantic Monthly
"Fitzgerald's swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before...This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time."-Library Journal
"[Fitzgerald's Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer's art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase." -The Yale Review

"What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald's." -National Review
With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy

About the Author

Seven Greek cities claim the honour of being the birthplace of Homer (c. 8th-7th century BC), the poet to whom the composition of the Iliad and Odyssey are attributed. The Iliad is the oldest surviving work of Western literature, but the identity - or even the existence - of Homer himself is a complete mystery, with no reliable biographical information having survived. E. V. Rieu initiated Penguin Classics with Allen Lane and his famous translation of the Odyssey was the first book published in the series in 1947. The Iliad followed in 1950.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Obviously reading the Iliad is no joke, it takes commitment, some knowledge of Greek mythology and a willingness/desire to read it. However, when buying the Iliad, what you don't want is confusion/obfuscation or more obfuscation than there should be. I did a lot of research before buying the Iliad and pondered over buying Robert Fagle's translation, Stephen Mitchell's, Alexander Pope's and finally Richmond Lattimore's version. I read a few extracts from all of the four most popular translations and I decided to go with the translation that 1. Elicited the biggest emotional response and 2. Focused on clarity as opposed to poetic charm. So I chose Richmond Lattimores version. It is very good, very clear.

Happy with it as my first copy of the Iliad. I will check out Alexander Pope's version after as I can see it too, is very well written.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a good read
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
ok
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a must have
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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 Verified Purchase
Elizabethan English is to our language what Attic Greek is to modern Greek. This is why Chapman's Homer is so hard.

Also, the way the ancient Greeks had finer minds than the modern Greeks, well Chapman has a finer mind than modern poets. William Shakespeare is not the anomaly they tell us in school. Its seems that they were all at in in those days!

Another resonance with ancient Greece. Only the Hellenic elite could read in the ancient world and in Elizabethan England, if you could read then you are also part of the intellectual elite. So this is another reason why this book is so hard to read, it was aimed at a small group of intellects. Chapman was not writing for hoi polloi.

So check it out and the price is bargain!
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Format: Library Binding
I first read The Iliad almost twenty years ago and what a turgid hard read that was. I couldn't wait to put it down. It was my first contact with Greek literature and everything about it was unfamiliar and frustrating: the style, the characters, the length. Fast forward to today during which time I have spent a considerable time reading Greek literature and history and I thought, "Hmm let's tackle The Iliad again but let's get a new translation." So I got this one by Robert Fagles. The Introduction is massively important and I'm glad I read it first. Then I jumped right in and the story hits you right out the gate: the power, the electricity, the passion. It felt like I had turned the corner from a street enveloped by darkness into one illuminated by the blinding razzle-dazzle lights of an amusement park.

The story is set in the final year of the great Trojan War between the Greeks and the rich, proud city of Troy. The war was started when Paris, the handsome godlike prince of Troy stole or eloped with Helen, wife of Menelaus, King of Lacedaemon. She refused to go back to her wedded husband who, as far as he was concerned, believed she had been kidnapped. So ensued ten years of bitter bloody war that involved some of the greatest and most illustrious names in pre-writing Grecian history (or myth): Odysseus, Agamemnon, Ajax and the two central heroes, Achilles (on the Greek side) and Hector (on the Trojan side).

This book is, if anything, an incredible rush. Homer will make your hair stand on its roots and his pace and rhythm (as translated by Fagles) will make your heart race. Also captivating are the sideline schemes of the Gods - Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Poseidon etc - all supporting different sides and torn with grief when a favourite is doomed to hit the dust.
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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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