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Iliad

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Overview

One of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode in the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his refusal to fight after being humiliated by his leader, Agamemnon. But when the Trojan Hector kills Achilles's close friend Patroclus, Achilles storms back into battle to take revenge—knowing full well that this will ensure his own early death. This tragic series of events is interwoven with powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, of the domestic world inside Troy's besieged city of Ilium, and of the conflicts between the gods on Olympus as they argue over the fate of mortals.

The Iliad is a work of extraordinary pathos and profundity that concerns itself with issues as fundamental as the meaning of life and death. Even the heroic ethic itself—with its emphasis on pride, honor, prowess in battle, and submission to the inexorable will of the gods—is not left unquestioned.

This version of the Iliad is the translation by Alexander Pope.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781592247608
  • Publisher: Alan Rodgers Books
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Homer

Homer is a legendary ancient Greek poet, traditionally said to be the author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Michael Page has been recording audiobooks since 1984 and has over two hundred titles to his credit. He has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The War That Killed Achilles by Caroline Alexander and The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

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 3.5
( 211 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(91)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(22)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(43)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 211 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not bad for $1

    It is strange reading a classical Greek story invoking the Roman names of the Gods. Surely there are better translations.

    12 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2008

    One of the best books I have ever read.

    One of the greatest stories that Homer has ever told is The Iliad. It is a historical fiction that was told by Homer, a blind story tell. He told it more than 2,000 years ago in Greece. Most of the characters in his story come from Greece. This story takes place in Troy. At the time, Sparta and itâ¿¿s allies were fighting Troy and its allies. Homer gives great details on what happens and where a scene is happening and that really helped me read this story. One of the main characters, Achilles, was my favorite because he was brave, strong, and everyone liked him accept King Agamemnon. He took his lover away, which makes Troy almost defeat Sparta because Achilles asked Zeus take make Troy win Intel The king gives back his lover. There is also a lot of Greek Mythology like the gods and many of the creatures of ancient Greece like some of the hell hounds and Medusa . The theme of this story is about how hatred can make you do unbelievable things that can be good and bad. I think think that is the theme because in the story many men become hateful and they do crazy things and eventually get punished. One of the things I didnâ¿¿t like in this story was that it would always tell you to much about the simplest things, and it is a complicated read. I would recommend this book for anyone who is a good reader and someone that likes Greek Mythology. Much more happens in this story but if you want to find out then youâ¿¿ll have to read it.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2012

    Rad this review

    The beginning was a little confusing. But once you got into it it's not that confusing anymore. As long as you know Greek Mythology. I mean I'm in 6th grade and I inow quite a lot of Greek Mythology.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2011

    Didnt read well on reader

    Can not read on reader

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    Great book- highly recomended

    I love this book and the odyssey too. Must read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2012

    Everyone shoukd read this poem

    This work is one of the most influential in the Western corpus, and that we even have a written record of it is a stroke of luck. PLEASE, this is NOT a 'book', it is a POEM that was written in verse, almost certainly by more than one person.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Unreadable

    No words, just garbage. Bad download somewhere

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    I eead this book and just fell in love with it. I totally recommend it.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2008

    This format is easier to read...

    The paragraph format makes the story much more readable. The verse format would do things arbitrarily cut a sentence in the middle for no apparent reason 'in English anyways' and start a new line with the remainder of the sentence. It makes no sense to preserve the verse form when the verse qualities are lost in translation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2014

    Broken

    What are you two doing now?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2014

    Maggy

    Yawn before taking a swig of beer

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2014

    Zeke

    Caught it and threw it back

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2014

    To the cat people

    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!!!!!!!!!!!????????

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2014

    Beck test

    &Xi

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    A cute she cat to Tom

    Please come im dieing for it! Shh result 1 please!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    OK CLASSIC

    ILLIAD IS AWESOMMMMMMEEEEEEEEE

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    Ebony

    She struggled, then fainted.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    Thistlefang

    Ignores the tom.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    The tom

    Impreg<_>nated ebony, then wheeled toward Thistle. He jumped at the cat, tearing at its flesh.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2014

    The she-cat

    Dragged Ebony back to Bloodclan.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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