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The Iliad: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
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The Iliad: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback - 1998

by Homer; Robert Fagles (Translator); Introduction by Bernard Knox

Fagles presents his universally acclaimed modern verse translation of the world's greatest war story in an exquisite edition with French flaps, designed as a companion volume to "The Odyssey".

Summary

Dating to the ninth century BC, Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to  the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb Introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace.
 
Combining the skills of a poet and scholar, Robert Fagles brings the energy of contemporary language to this enduring heroic epic. He maintains the drive and metric music of Homer’s poetry, and evokes the impact and nuance of the Iliad’s mesmerizing repeated phrases in what Peter Levi calls “an astonishing performance.”

First line

"Iliad" is a word that means "a poem about Ilium" (i.e., Troy), and Homer's great epic poem has been known as "The Iliad" ever since the Greek historian Herodotus so referred to it in the fifth century B.C.

Details

  • Title The Iliad: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
  • Author Homer; Robert Fagles (Translator); Introduction by Bernard Knox
  • Binding Paperback
  • Edition [ Edition: Repri
  • Pages 704
  • Volumes 1
  • Language ENG
  • Publisher Penguin Group, New York
  • Date 1998-11-01
  • Features Bibliography, Glossary, Maps
  • ISBN 9780140275360 / 0140275363
  • Weight 1.65 lbs (0.75 kg)
  • Dimensions 8.4 x 5.7 x 1.9 in (21.34 x 14.48 x 4.83 cm)
  • Ages 18 to UP years
  • Grade levels 13 - UP
  • Reading level 1330
  • Themes
    • Chronological Period: Ancient (To 499 A.D.)
    • Theometrics: Secular
  • Library of Congress subjects Trojan War, Achilles (Greek mythology)
  • Library of Congress Catalog Number 89070695
  • Dewey Decimal Code 883.01

Media reviews

Citations

  • New York Times, 11/15/1998, Page 68

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. 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.

Robert Fagles (1933-2008) was Arthur W. Marks '19 Professor of Comparative Literature, Emeritus, at Princeton University. He was the recipient of the 1997 PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. His translations include Sophocles's Three Theban Plays, Aeschylus's Oresteia (nominated for a National Book Award), Homer's Iliad (winner of the 1991 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award by The Academy of American Poets), Homer's Odyssey, and Virgil's Aeneid.

Bernard Knox (1914-2010) was Director Emeritus of Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. He taught at Yale University for many years. Among his numerous honors are awards from the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the National Endowment for the Humanities. His works include The Heroic Temper: Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy, Oedipus at Thebes: Sophocles' Tragic Hero and His Time and Essays Ancient and Modern (awarded the 1989 PEN/Spielvogel-Diamonstein Award).

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The Iliad: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

The Iliad: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

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The Iliad: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

The Iliad: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

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