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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. Both works attributed to Homer – the Iliad and the Odyssey – are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.
In the Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller’s tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.
We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact ‘Homer’ may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps ‘the hostage’ or ‘the blind one’. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years’ time.
This is a fresh easy to read version modern in its language but capturing anchient themes of Homer.
For high schoolers, though, I would recommend reading one of the other translators first, as the first time one reads Homer, it should be for the story.
I have read several versions of the Iliad (both poetic and prose) and this version translated by Robert Fagles is the best I've read.
Good translation. If you're familiar with the Iliad, then use this to get the essence of Homer. This translation portrays Homer's similes in a greater fashion than other... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Brandon Aitken
They abridged the Fagles translation, why I will never know. True Homer fans want to hear the whole poem, Catalogue of Ships and all. Some of us are Mycenaean scholars. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Duane R. Wirdel
Amazon, you idiots, you are putting reviews of all the different translations together! They are different books. This one, by Richmond Lattimore, is excellent.Published 10 days ago by David Casseres
Homer's Iliad is a book I read excerpts from in my undergrad Humanities course in college, but I eventually got enough leisure time to read it in its entirety. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Billie Pritchett
I was expecting to dislike this story after hearing many of my peers throughout high school and college constantly complaining about this piece of Greek literature. Read morePublished 27 days ago by ABookLover
Don't let your students get the Kindle Edition. There are no line numbers! Some editor somewhere should be shot.Published 1 month ago by Mary A. Prevo
IliadPurchased as used the book was in good condition and received in a timely manner. Only some occasional highlights and a few notes. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eugene J. Brady
Fine book and was interesting to see life from two thousand years ago. The storyteller is riveting and the perspective of counting dead bodies and listing all their relatives... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sharon H. Miller