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If you rely on the user-submitted image of the cover attached to this item, you might think that this is the highly-praised modern Richmond Lattimore translation (which would be one of the great bargains of classic literature!). However, the actual version you download will be an 1864 prose translation by "Edward, Earl of Derby." Not bad, if you like older language, don't mind prose instead of poetry, and can't afford any but the free version, but it certainly isn't Lattimore's translation.
As with the Bible, the translation or more specifically the translator is key. Not everyone can move poetry in one language into another. This is true of the Iliad, certainly true the the myriad mistranslations of the Bible. Kindle must include this information on the books being offered. There is no way to assess whether the book is worth downloading if the translator is not advertised. The Iliad and the Bible have suffered greatly at the hands of hacks and those who intentionally want to 'improve' the text. Please include the translator when presenting classic works. If it's just a reprint of someone else's work, (as so many reissues of the Bible are) than please say so. Republishing crap does not improve the smell.
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.
"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
"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
"Rage: 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.Read more ›
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The names of all Gods in this book do not correspond to the ones used in the real story. Jupiter did not live on mount Olympus and Minerva is not a participant in the story. Why the author decided to use Roman equivalents of Greek Gods is beyond me.
I specifically selected this version because it advertized an "Active Table of Contents". It does not! I will keep and read this version but really wanted to have access to the TOC and am very disappointed.
It's a classic book don't get me wrong. I however found myself skipping through large sections of the book (just reading the chapter summaries to get a basic overview for particularly dry parts). I can imagine die hard classical scholars ranting and raving about such mis-treatment of a classical work.
I approached the book as a casual reader with little knowledge of the classics. I found the summaries great...the latin difficult, and the names of people and places extremely confusing. Very difficult to parse through a novel when characters are referred to by three separate names and sometimes the names of their fathers....each of which is indistinguishable as a name of a region, a lesser god, a warrior or a town.
I'm glad that I read it. And it's finally off my list of books I've always wanted to read...but it was rough getting through it.
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