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Comment: Published 1977, cloth hardcover with dust jacket, 374 pages. Shelf/use wears. Stamped on the one page. All text pages are clean.
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The Odyssey of Homer Hardcover – January 1, 1968


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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 (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #360,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

The Kindle version of this text is easy to read.
John Chulick
For those who desire the most accurate translation of this great work, I would highly recommend the Lattimore translation of "The Odyssey of Homer."
An Attorney
Fagles Fitzgerald's translations are often the most enjoyable.
Mark Wilson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

149 of 155 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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42 of 44 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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20 of 20 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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77 of 89 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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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I was a younger lad, I bought Richard Lattimore's translation, which is a grandiose bore. Then I had the good fortune to read Mandelbaum's Aeneid, which shines. This brought me to Mandelbaum's Odyssey. And it is the ideal Odyssey for scholarship and pleasure:
-The language is simple and strong. Mandelbaum knows his job--he tells the story simply and brings the ancient genius of Homer through with vigor and clarity. Occasionally Mandelbaum goes on a stint of rhyme and that's distracting, but overall the translation is beautiful.
-There's a well-drawn map of Ancient Greece in the beginning that really sets the scene for the wild sea adventures.
-One of the complaints I often hear about epics is that the many characters are difficult to keep straight. Mandelbaum solves this by giving us a comprehensive glossary in the back of the book that explains who everyone is and lists the page numbers of where they occur in the book.
-Another thing makes this a swift read is that, at the beginning of each book, Mandelbaum gives a quick summary of what's about to happen (a fantastic feature for reference and review).
Thus, with the book summaries, the glossary, and the map, you always know where you are in the epic--so while Odysseus wanders, you are never lost.
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