The Iliad and The Odyssey (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

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Overview

Homer's two epics of the ancient world, The Iliad & The Odyssey, tell stories as riveting today as when they were written between the eighth and ninth century B.C. The Iliad, which tells of the siege of Troy by the Greeks, is an unforgettable tale of nations at war and of the courage and compassion heroic soldiers show upon the field of battle. The Odyssey is the story of the Greek hero Odysseus and the many marvels and challenges he encounters during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the end...
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The Iliad and The Odyssey

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Overview

Homer's two epics of the ancient world, The Iliad & The Odyssey, tell stories as riveting today as when they were written between the eighth and ninth century B.C. The Iliad, which tells of the siege of Troy by the Greeks, is an unforgettable tale of nations at war and of the courage and compassion heroic soldiers show upon the field of battle. The Odyssey is the story of the Greek hero Odysseus and the many marvels and challenges he encounters during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the end of the Trojan War. This edition employs Samuel Butler's classic translations of both texts.
 
The Iliad & The Odyssey is part of Barnes & Noble's Collectible Editions series. Each title in the series presents a classic work in an attractively designed edition bound in durable bonded leather. These books make elegant additions to any home library.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781435110434
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 8/18/2008
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions Series
  • Edition description: Bonded Leather Edition
  • Pages: 752
  • Product dimensions: 6.25 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Homer

The poet we know as Homer may have been merely the vague personification of a school of epic poets. If an actual person, he probably lived during the first half of the eighth century B.C. He may have dictated his poems to a literature associate or written them down himself.

Biography

We know very little about the author of The Odyssey and its companion tale, The Iliad. Most scholars agree that Homer was Greek; those who try to identify his origin on the basis of dialect forms in the poems tend to choose as his homeland either Smyrna, now the Turkish city known as Izmir, or Chios, an island in the eastern Aegean Sea.

According to legend, Homer was blind, though scholarly evidence can neither confirm nor contradict the point.

The ongoing debate about who Homer was, when he lived, and even if he wrote The Odyssey and The Iliad is known as the "Homeric question." Classicists do agree that these tales of the fall of the city of Troy (Ilium) in the Trojan War (The Iliad) and the aftermath of that ten-year battle (The Odyssey) coincide with the ending of the Mycenaean period around 1200 BCE (a date that corresponds with the end of the Bronze Age throughout the Eastern Mediterranean). The Mycenaeans were a society of warriors and traders; beginning around 1600 BCE, they became a major power in the Mediterranean. Brilliant potters and architects, they also developed a system of writing known as Linear B, based on a syllabary, writing in which each symbol stands for a syllable.

Scholars disagree on when Homer lived or when he might have written The Odyssey. Some have placed Homer in the late-Mycenaean period, which means he would have written about the Trojan War as recent history. Close study of the texts, however, reveals aspects of political, material, religious, and military life of the Bronze Age and of the so-called Dark Age, as the period of domination by the less-advanced Dorian invaders who usurped the Mycenaeans is known. But how, other scholars argue, could Homer have created works of such magnitude in the Dark Age, when there was no system of writing? Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, placed Homer sometime around the ninth century BCE, at the beginning of the Archaic period, in which the Greeks adopted a system of writing from the Phoenicians and widely colonized the Mediterranean. And modern scholarship shows that the most recent details in the poems are datable to the period between 750 and 700 BCE.

No one, however, disputes the fact that The Odyssey (and The Iliad as well) arose from oral tradition. Stock phrases, types of episodes, and repeated phrases -- such as "early, rose-fingered dawn" -- bear the mark of epic storytelling. Scholars agree, too, that this tale of the Greek hero Odysseus's journey and adventures as he returned home from Troy to Ithaca is a work of the greatest historical significance and, indeed, one of the foundations of Western literature.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of The Odyssey.

Good To Know

The meter (rhythmic pattern of syllables) of Homer's epic poems is dactylic hexameter.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 134 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(87)

4 Star

(18)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(5)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 134 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Pretty fair read - Make sure you know what you're reading.

    First, if you're not familiar with these kinds of texts, you may be rather put off. The writing style is not remotely similar to a book you would purchase today. If you know in advance how these types of books were written and passed down, I think you'll agree this one was well done. I still have some greek literature from college, and while I wasn't bored, I am not a fan of the poetry style of writing which is so prevalent in this era. I like poems; I like novels; I rarely like them mixed.

    The fact that this is written as prose and not poetry was immensely more satisfying that my college books. I have yet to finish The Iliad (have you seen the size of this book?), but The Odyssey was a pleasant read. I was not dramatically thrilled, nor was I on the edge of the seat, but I still wanted to know - Would Odysseus make it home? Would the suitors get theirs? Of course most readers know the outcome before they even open the book, but the read itsself made it worth waiting until the end to find out. I wanted to actually see Odysseus make it home, and I waited impatiently for the suitors to get their comeuppance. It moves at it's own leisurely pace, and isn't for those who like break-neck speed in their novels. I like those too; but this is for a different type of read.

    The leather hardcover edition was excellently priced, making it almost a crime to pass up. It is an excellent addition to a home library, and a great gift for someone whom you know would appreciate this volume in their own.

    All in all, a very good read, a great price, and a great recommendation for your library or a friend's.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2009

    a true classic

    I have bought and read this book a few times. I just love this story. I love the mithology, the gods getting involved with the people, the true and tried characters, so unforgettable. This edition is so gorgeous I could not pass it up. The modern english translation makes it very easy and enjoyable to read.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    I highly recommend this, as well as all the others in this Leatherbound Classics series!

    Rarely do you see these classic pieces of literature rendered with such sophisticated elegance and beauty, faithfully honoring and respecting the equally unique, creative literary material loved by generations of readers. I have been enjoying them all, and eagerly look forward to each new addition to the series.

    Hopefully, the publisher (who appears to be unreachable) will keep releasing more of these fine collected works, including such classic writers as Baum, Milne, Kipling, Twain, London, Melville, Hemingway, Stoker, Shelley, as well as other poets like Virgil, Longfellow, Keats, Eliot, Hawthorne, and Blake.

    Time will tell, but hope is alive. Get on board with these fantastic masterpieces of literature, and be swept away in worlds of imagination!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2009

    Library Worthy

    Of course the story is fantastic.....got it for a gift for my husband as we are creating a library of our favorites. I know there was some reviews about the poor binding....but it looks fabulous!!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2013

    When I saw this edition of Homers Epics I knew I had to have it.

    When I saw this edition of Homers Epics I knew I had to have it. I read The Odyssey & They Iliad in high school & absolutely fell in love. If you like your epics to be left in poetry format, this book is not for you, since it's written as prose. I enjoy them either way, & will continue to re-read my favorite epics. The cover is absolutely beautiful, a rich blue with contrasting gold accents. I look forward to seeing the rest of B&N leatherbound classics on my shelves.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    NO POETRY

    I was so excited upon hearing that B&N had this in their beautiful leather-bound, $20 series. So I put it on hold right away and took it home with me. It is wrapped in plastic, so I couldn't have seen the inside anyways. Upon opening however, I was dismayed to find absolutely no poetry at all, which was what I was so eagerly expecting, especially as addition to the beautiful manner of binding and physical form that it's held in. What's the point of a classic, decked out in beauty and leather-bound, if the insides look and read like a plain, any other book? What if they took the poetry from Shakespeare?! I believe the Iliad is an epic of such that deserves to stay true to the form that preserves it's emotive power. The insides of this version are pretty drab and boring. No stanzas, no exclamation marks, no variation, just blocks of text throughout. The dialogue is indistinguishable from the rest of the text except by the quote marks. And because of the format, (which I'm pretty sure necessitated no work at all) and the translation, no words stand out when I glance at any page. No sentence captures my eye and at once draws me in. What a pity.

    If you are looking for the true to form poetry stanzas and dialogue, you'll have to find another copy.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2012

    Highly recommend this book. Only thing I don't like about this o

    Highly recommend this book. Only thing I don't like about this one is that The Odyssey starts out with the captivity of Odysseus by Calypso. Would have liked it from the start (right after the siege of Troy and the Trojan Horse). Otherwise, a good read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    The Iliad and the Odyssey

    A forever classic. Great morality lots of egos, and how they played out on a world stage. Talk about the "Good the Bad and the Ugly" it is all here. Action, adventure, etc..

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    True classic!

    Terrific modern version of a true classic! Only gripe is the way the cover was done. It is very detailed and quite pretty, but the blue color is a bit intense for my eyes and the contrasting circle picure on the front board is a bit jarring by comparison. Very minor gripe for a very great book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    great books

    i am reading a book just like this but its out of a text book. but it is still a great book. i am when i get more money i might buy this book.<BR/><BR/><BR/>i give five stars.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013

    Unfortunately this version of The Iliad and The Odyssey are not

    Unfortunately this version of The Iliad and The Odyssey are not in verse, they're written in Prose -- Which detracts greatly from how the story flows. 

    If Barnes and Noble decided to reprint the book with in Verse (or using a Fagle's translation) I would give it 6/5 stars. 

    It's a real shame, because the book is absolutely gorgeous, but if you want to read these works, I'd highly recommend reading it in Verse. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2013

    I'm glad I hit the 'preview' button; I expected the version of T

    I'm glad I hit the 'preview' button; I expected the version of The Iliad and The Odyssey in the Barnes &amp; Noble Classics collection to be in verse, not prose. I prefer my epics in verse, thank you. And finding out that the Odyssey isn't the full version while reading the reviews disappoints me greatly as well. I would have expected better from one of the top book stores in the country.

    On the other hand, the book is gorgeous, and the stories themselves are always worth a read. What I dislike is the poor choice of translations that Barnes &amp; Noble made.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    mythology

    homer was a well versed writer. His book comes to life. If you like stories and greek myths this is where to start. It is poetry style writing and he is one of the oldest writers of greek myths. THis is where others get their stories, so i prefer to read these before other stories. the book is beautifully bound and the font is a decent size. its worth the buy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    This is easily one of the best books I've ever bought. I was inc

    This is easily one of the best books I've ever bought. I was incredibly sad when I saw that they don't print this one any more. This edition has a beautiful illustrated map in the front cover, giving the reader a great idea of where the action happens. Nice, easy to read font, and a beautiful outside cover. Much more beautiful that the new one that Barnes and Noble is selling. I hope they start printing this one again! *wink, wink, Barnes and Noble*

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  • Posted November 30, 2012

    This was one of two of my first leatherbound books. I am just si

    This was one of two of my first leatherbound books. I am just simply hooked on them (I think I was before I even saw what I'd ordered.... and now I'm hopelessly so) They are so beautiful - they look really good on a shelf. In fact, they are so pretty, I almost afraid to read them lol They also make great gifts - I bought another 2 of them to give to my best friend for Christmas. I will definitely be buying many more.

    On the Iliad/Odyssey, they are among my fave stories. I am a huge fan of Greek Mythology, so this was a logical first choice to purchase, for me. While on many occasions, I have, in some form, read them both, Ive never read the actual translated stories.... so I think this will be a nice addition to my library.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2012

    Beautifully Bound

    I have never read Homer and I couldn't put this book down. As as an avid fan of Greek mythology, I wasn't disappointed. This book is great value and for those collecting the Leatherbound Classics, this book is sure to please. This edition would make a great gift.

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  • Posted October 12, 2011

    I had no idea what I was getting into!

    Well first off, I have to say that this book is very well made and looks really awesome. It's leather bound, has its own book mark and has amazingly detailed designs. Obviously this is one of the best, if not THE best, piece of literature. Ever. This version happens to be in prose form, which doesn't say so anywhere on the book, which is wrapped in plastic when new. Anyway, it's translated by Samuel Butler, who translated it in the 1800's. And it's still unbelievable. I barely started reading, but I can tell this is going to be tale of war, death, epicness, and human nature. As I read somewhere else, it's perennially refreshing. After 2500+ years, it's still very significant to our world. P.S. I like prose more because it's much easier to understand. I want to know loosely what happened, not how it is said, which it is still said very, very well.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    Perfect in Every Way

    It is impossible to say too many nice things about this book. From the quality of the cover and binding to the written work itself. The book is much easier to read than you might think. You do not have to be familiar with the writing style of Homer to keep up and understand precisely what is going on. The book keeps your interest peaked at all times and even if you think you know these stories already, unless you have actually read them cover to cover you will always be wanting to know what happens next.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    Beautiful addition to any library

    This leather bound edition of The Iliad and The Odyssey is a beautiful version of these classics and a fantastic addition to any library. Anyone looking to add permanent quality books to their collection should check it out.
    The Iliad and The Odyssey are two must haves in any literary or historical library collection. Homer's sweeping epics give us insight into the ethical, religious, and sociological views of Ancient society. I doubt it is possible to get through high school and college without having read these and this edition is an excellent volume for a serious student. Finally, at this price how can you not pick it up as a gift or for your own library. I could not recommend the Barnes and Noble leather bound classics any more. Bravissima!

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  • Posted January 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    classic

    A part of history forever

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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