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The Iliad 0th Edition

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0199235483
ISBN-10: 0199235481
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Editorial Reviews


Deeply enjoyable ... Considerable artistic effort and achievement. Adrian Kelly, The Anglo-Hellenic Review No. 47 a fine new translation Edward Luttwak, London Review of Books

About the Author

Anthony Verity is a former Master of Dulwich College. He has also translated Theocritus' The Idylls and Pindar's Odes.

Barbara Graziosi is Professor of Classics at Durham University. She has written extensively on Homer.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199235481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199235483
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.3 x 5.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.

He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems.

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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on February 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review is concerned with the translation of Homer's Iliad by Anthony Verity: it is about the intellectual product, not some essentially irrelevant technical issue regarding the vending of the work.

Anthony Verity set out to faithfully translate the original text (as best we know it) of Homer's great poem. He clearly states that "It does not claim to be poetry: my aim has been to use a straightforward English register and to keep closely to the Greek, allowing Homer to speak for himself -- for example, in the use of repeated epithets and descriptions of recurrent scenes." Verity has carefully preserved the line numeration of the original, yielding a translation which matches the original line by line.

The first-time reader of the Iliad might prefer a more classically poetic rendition, such as those by Lattimore, Fitzgerald, or Fagles, or perhaps a faster moving translation such as those by Lombardo, Reck, and, now, Mitchell. But with the Verity translation, the reader can be assured that he/she is getting something that hews quite closely to the original in structure and language, with style and word choices not artificially forced by some particular metrical scheme or in pursuit of rapidity as an end in itself. And the reader may be assured that the translation is by no means dull and plodding.

Verity's choice to present his translation in what physically looks like poetic verse (in separate lines rather than a solid mass of prose) serves both to remind us of the Iliad's origin as a great poem as well as enhance its value as a classroom tool and reference, with lines of the original text readily located in Verity's rendition.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Iain on February 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with almost everything Bruce Trinque says in his review... with one obvious exception, so I'll concentrate on that.

Given that with Verity the reader is "getting something that hews quite closely to the original" for a variety of reasons, and despite that it's "not the finest English poetic rendition" but "may well be the best way for an Enflish (sic) language reader to best approach the real heart of the Iliad," I would suggest that it is, in fact, close to perfect for the first time reader. In my opinion, it's also impressive for those already familiar with the poem, both in the Greek and in other translations.

Also, I would recommend that first time readers avoid like the plague both Fagles' and Mitchell's versions, the former vastly overwritten and the latter vastly underwritten. That's not to say that Fagles and Michell have produced unreadable versions, but both are very definitely "based on" the Greek text as opposed to being an attempt to faithfully reproduce the Greek text into English, which is what Verity is attempting and largely succeeds in doing. For what it's worth, I admire both the Fagles and Mitchell versions.

Lattimore's translation comes closest to Verity's in form and spirit and is venerated, justly, by many, but I prefer Verity's on the grounds that it's less cumbersome in expression, a fault which Lattimore falls into surprisingly often, and Verity seldom makes straightforward translation errors, which crop up in Lattimore more often than one might expect.

My only serious objection to Verity is that he frequently alters the expression of what are verbatim repetitions in the Greek, almost as if he were trying to disguise the immense volume of such occurences in the original.

However, if I were recommending a translation for first time readers, Verity's would come first with Lattimore's a close second.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By bernie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on July 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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, 1990

"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, 1888

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.
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