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The Odyssey of Homer Hardcover – January, 1968

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The best...translator of Greek poetry into English is Richmond

Lattimore...This is the best Odyssey in modern English."

-- -- Gilbert Highet

"[Lattimore's] Odyssey is his masterpiece."

-- -- Walter Kaufmann

"In this Odyssey Professor Lattimore has achieved his chef d'oeuvre as a translator...[A] dazzling and well-nigh flawless performance...Here is a master in perfect control of his medium...A landmark in the history of modern translation...It would be a crime to underestimate the miraculous and self-effacing artistry with which Professor Lattimore has reanimated Homer for this generation, and perhaps for other generations to come." -- Times Literary Supplement (London)

"Lattimore's translation of Homer's Odyssey is the most eloquent, persuasive, and imaginative I have seen. It reads as if the poem had originally been written in English." -- Paul Engle

"The best...translator of Greek poetry into English is Richmond Lattimore...This is the best Odyssey in modern English." -- Gilbert Highet

"[Lattimore's] Odyssey is his masterpiece." -- Walter Kaufmann

"[Lattimore's] complete Homer is indeed a splendid achievement, and I shall be very far from being alone in regarding it...as the best translation there is of a great, perhaps the greatest, poet." -- Rex Warner, New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Richmond Lattimore was born in 1906. He was considered one of the leading translators of Greek classical literature. He died in 1984 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 374 pages
  • Publisher: Harper & Row, Publishers (January 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060125314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060125318
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (120 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,334 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

159 of 166 people found the following review helpful By An Attorney on November 7, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review will focus upon the translation of "The Odyssey" more than the work itself. Having withstood the test of time and considered the first great work of the Western tradition, "The Odyssey" can do well enough without my two cents.

This translation is among the most accurate on the market. Though I speak no Greek myself, classics professors have urged me to read this translation, the best English source available. Despite the usual popularity of the Fitzgerald translation, the Lattimore version provides a more literal translation with consistent themes of word choice running throughout. "They put their hands to the good things that lay ready before them," for example, will come up over and over again because, quite simply, the phrase comes up over and over again. And we have the same adjectives consistently before each of the major players: resourceful Odysseus, thoughtful Telemachos, and circumspect Penelope, along with the gray-eyed Athene. Lattimore explains how he chooses to translate the work, and his translation is a literal work of a genius. He retains the lyric style in form throughout the work, aligning this translation even more closely with the original text.

For those who desire the most accurate translation of this great work, I would highly recommend the Lattimore translation of "The Odyssey of Homer."
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Mark Wilson on November 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
I own and have read translations of The Iliad & The Odyssey by Fagles, Fitzgerald, and Lattimore. I rate them as follows:
1. Lattimore
2. Fitzgerald
3. Fagles
Fitzgerald's translations are often the most enjoyable. However, I feel that Lattimore's clarity facilitates greater understanding of the story by the reader.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. E on November 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
I teach both the Iliad and the Odyssey at the high-school level, and I use the Lattimore translations for both. No one preserves the stately dactylic hexameter verse as he does. Lattimore also preserves the (yes, formulaic) xenia scenes and epithets.
Now let me say why I prefer this translation to all others. It's just mind-bendingly beautiful. Homer should NOT be trivialized or "vernacularized" - the reader should be able to immerse himself in the culture, to hear the voice of the singer, and to know the workings of the mind of "the man of many ways." This translation allows that.
I read another review concerning the reader's discovery that Odysseus was a horrible rapist and war-monger. Well, such were the times - he was a soldier returning from 10 years of rape, pillage, and plunder of the Trojans and their allies. Hence, the seemingly-random attack on the Kikonians. But it wasn't random - they were Trojan allies and fair game. Odysseus doesn't always behave well, according to our standards, but he is the perfect product of a superlative storyteller.
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83 of 96 people found the following review helpful By sid1gen on January 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This Lattimore translation of "The Odyssey" was the first book I read last quarter for my Comparative Literature class, and it became a preview of coming wonders. I had neglected the old classics out of ignorance and prejudice (these two tend to go together) and "The Odyssey" was one of those books that forced me to look at an entire collection of genres and literary epochs in a different, far more positive way. I do not know Greek, therefore I cannot say whether the translation is absolutely faithful to the original, but it flows well when read silently and it sounds even better when I read it aloud, alone at night. This is the story of Odysseus, King of Ithaka, Captain of the Greeks, who must return to his homeland and his family after helping defeat the Trojans. Amazingly enough, many people seem to have bought entirely into the idea of Odysseus as a noble, courageous, and honorable leader of men who gets sidetracked solely because of the wrath of Poseidon. I finished this poem with an entirely different view of its protagonist. To me, Odysseus was an arrogant liar, a murderer and a rapist who did not hesitate to attack people who were not his enemies (the Kikonians on his way back after sacking Troy and killing and/or enslaving most of its people, as reads in Book IX, page 138), and who did not hesitate to endanger the lives of his men just to boast of his deeds (same Book, page 150). This "hero" eventually makes it to Ithaka and ends up drenched in the blood of the suitors of his wife, ordering the torture and death of the serving women who had become lovers of the suitors. His son Telemachos becomes a murderer as well: he kills a man by stabbing him on the back with a javelin.Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By RonAnnArbor on March 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Overall, the best translation available -- here presented in a new approach with Reading Group questions at the end. I am not sure how many reading groups are going to read The Odyssey, and most of those reading, either for solitary pleasure or in a classroom setting where better questions are going to be discussed make the past few pages really somewhat worthless -- but overall, this is the finest translation you can get. If you read this in High School and haven't picked it up in 20 years, take the leap -- and enjoy reading it in a way you never recalled while in HS....complement this with the authors translation of The Illiad and you have a summer of reading ahead of you.
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