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The Iliad and the Odyssey Paperback – March 23, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Wilder Publications (March 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934451436
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934451434
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,190 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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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Surgery100 on April 13, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
This review is divided into two parts, first a review of the translation itself and then a review of the Kindle edition.

Translation:
Homer's stories are great and in this translation extremely easy to read. They were originally written in dactyllic hexameter. This is a very difficult metric to translate into modern poetry and some translations (Chapman's and Pope's) that attempt a strict conversion suffer from being too difficult to follow (the convolutions necessary to make the story fit make them very difficult to follow).

The Butler translation does away with all attempts at poetry and is written in prose. This makes the story very easy to follow. One glaring problem is that while the Iliad follows the original Greek (and hence the Greek names), the Odyssey suddenly changes to the character's Roman names and Zeus becomes Jove, Poseidon becomes Neptune and so on. This makes the story extremely difficult to follow as every character changes name.

Kindle edition:
In terms of the Kindle conversion, this was not well done. While it does not suffer from broken lines as other Kindle editions do, there are two big problems: 1) a lack of a table of content, and 2) this edition has not been indexed. Not being indexed means that you cannot use the search feature to jump to a specific book or chapter.

As a reference, The Iliad starts in location 24 and the Odyssey at location 6202.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Thorrin Jonsson on July 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
It is unfortunate that the "top-rated" reviews for Chapmans Homer here on Amazon seem somewhat unfair and possibly written by people that make you ask why anyone takes their word for it since it doesn't seem to be their genre in the first place?.. But, this could also be due to the fact that some reviews for other translations have found their way onto the same page, somehow. To clarify if unnoticed in the title of this review, this review is for George Chapman's translation of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, called 'Chapmans Homer'..

If you don't like Shakespeare, or Spenser, or the Romantics at least -- obviously this isn't your book.
But for those of us who ARE into said style of romantic/classical/renaissance verse (whatever niche you'd like to fit it into) and are also interested into understanding better such poets as mentioned above themselves -- Chapman's Homer was the first to be done into English verse, first to be done into English at all, and was an immense inspiration and indispensable book to very many of the poets we admire and love for hundreds of years.
Chapman has a great command of style, and his largest accusation has been that he lets the meaning of his translation slip up every once and a while -- which is an annoying accusation, honestly, because most translations into verse from a very different language should be fairly given some elbow room, especially if you're not looking for a dry and worthless translation that is hardly more than a summary-turned-naptime.
These are legends. Legends are inherently organic. They grow. They take a little pinch of innovation here and there. Big deal. Get over it and enjoy this marvelous piece of poetry.

Now.. for the verse quality itself..
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. J. on March 26, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
While I am sure many will love this translation, I found myself several pages into it with no clue what Homer was trying to say to me. I will try Fagle's translation instead; it costs more but appears more readable (at least for me).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. H. Walters on July 21, 2013
Format: Paperback
John Keats had it right in 1816: he did not look into Homer, but into the translation / rewriting by George Chapman, published between 1611 and 1615 - contemporaneous with the King James version of the Bible and late Shakespeare.

Therefore it is irritating if a publisher is too lax or too lazy to indicate clearly who the translator of a particular version is. A quick squizz through the reviews also does not bring this information to light, despite a vy direct question about the identity of the translator. Therefore my addition here: I am lucky enough to recognise and compare the first sentences to different translations and found a match.

It is a translation from 1883 by Andrew Lang (who famously published a whole series of fairy tale books), Walter Leaf and Ernest Myers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ian M. Slater TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First off, "Chapman's Homer" is probably not a book for those who have not read Homer before. In fact, it is probably not a book for those unfamiliar with Shakespeare's plays; or, perhaps better, Spenser's Elizabethan Epic, "The Faerie Queene". These will introduce one to the high poetic language of the era; and Spenser to the finding of moral and political significations in events and characters.

It is likely to be fascinating to anyone who is interested in the "reception" of Homer over the centuries, and the different guises translators have given him. They will probably welcome this complete, neatly printed, digital edition.

At a rough guess, something like 95% of the people who recognize the term "Chapman's Homer" at all will do so in association with Keats' 1816 sonnet, "On first looking into Chapman's Homer." Some large proportion of them probably would, if asked, further associate the translation with the Romantic Movement. Others, who perhaps have a better memory for such things, will recall that belongs to the seventeenth century, specifically the early Jacobean period, not long after the death of Elizabeth I.

It was in fact the work of the sometime-playwright George Chapman (1560-1634), who was a fairly successful dramatist in a time when William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson were busy producing works of lasting interest. Chapman eventually left the theater, which was not as lucrative for him as for Shakespeare (who was also a partner in his own theater company, and one of its actors).

He became, among other things, a translator from Greek, publishing what are regarded as the first-ever English versions of "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" in installments from 1611-1615.
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