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Homer's Iliad: A Commentary on the Translation of Richmond Lattimore (Exeter Studies in History) Hardcover – January 1, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0859896832 ISBN-10: 0859896838

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Product Details

  • Series: Exeter Studies in History
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Liverpool University Press (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0859896838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0859896832
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,064,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


With clarity and dispatch Postlethwaite manages to provide the background knowledge that an ancient audience would have brought to the poem, noting as well significant thematic developments and directing the reader to a wide range of present-day Homeric studies. Teachers and readers for whom Lattimore's stately cadences capture Homer's Greek most directly will find here an indispensable companion to that most literally faithful of modern translations. -- Andrew Ford, Professor of Classics, Princeton University

About the Author

Norman Postlethwaite is Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the School of Classics, Ancient History and Theology, University of Exeter. He is co-editor of Reciprocity in Ancient Greece (Oxford, 1998)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Fowler on March 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my recent re-reading of the Iliad I was determined to get all I could out of it - I read lots of additional materials to aid in my project and this commentary proved very helpful along my path to a more sophisticated understanding of the epic. It is quite thorough in its line by line commentary and also includes a helpful general introduction. It can be used with any translation (not just Lattimore's - in fact, I found using it with Lombardo's translation quite easy). Though there are may commentaries on the market, I found this one very helpful - neither too specialized or lacking details. In short - a very good place to start if you're interested in getting all you can out of this foundational piece of literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Iain on February 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I can understand why Mr. Fowler gave the book five stars. It does cover a lot of ground, though it's not actually a line by line commentary; commentaries don't actually deal with every line. And Postlethwaite often goes into great detail, cross referencing frequently from book to book. However, the latter contains the problem I allude to in the review's title. So concerned is he to prove the unity of the poem, to locate "each of the 24 books within the structure of the poem" and to show "how each is linked to the previous and following books," that he quite often descends into absurdity in his attempt to find unity everywhere. In this respect, perhaps the most notorious section is that on Book Ten, in which he clearly demonstrates that he believes the Doloneia to be an integral part of the whole and part of an original conception, something that very, very few scholars hold to.

True, Postlethwaite pays lip service to most of the well known objections to the idea of the one poet/one composition position, acknowledging that whole sections of the poem are doubted by some scholars, and sometimes by many, but he attempts to dismiss all of them, pretty airily in some cases, and the myriad of lesser known objections, interpolations, contradictions and the like, he tends to ignore completely. Thus his discussion of the text, very dogmatically presented, is designed to create the impression that the whole is a pretty seamless, artfully constructed affair, and that he, Norman Postlethwaite, has to the key to understanding it as such.

I hesitate to recommend this book to anyone new to the Iliad, though I confess I found it oddly fascinating
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