The Iliad & 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 & 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 one of Barnes & Noble’s Collectible Editions classics. Each volume features authoritative texts by the world's greatest authors in exquisitely designed bonded-leather bindings, with distinctive gilt edging and a silk-ribbon bookmark. Decorative, durable, and collectible, these books offer hours of pleasure to readers young and old and are an indispensable cornerstone for any home library.

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Product Details

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
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2015

    ?.

    I am twelve years old as of today and have read every good book in my school library. I think I might read this. Should I? Please tell me. BTW, I am more mature than some are inclined to think. I have a twelfth grade reading level. I understand more than people think. Please recommend some exceptional literature for me.

    0 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2014

    Wonderful!

    Hadn't read this since High School and now I have this beautifully bound edition for my shelves. LOVE these collectible editions!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Amberheart

    Put downs Fawnkit

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Alchemykit pst

    SAt here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2014

    The best oral tradition book

    Love it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Good Value

    Great affordable hardcover classic, I would love to see more classics in this format.

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