The Odyssey of Homer

The Odyssey of Homer

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by Homer

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Homer's epic chronicle of the Greek hero Odysseus' journey home from the Trojan War has inspired  writers from Virgil to James Joyce. Odysseus  survives storm and shipwreck, the cave of the Cyclops  and the isle of Circe, the lure of the Sirens' song  and a trip to the Underworld, only to find his  most difficult…  See more details below


Homer's epic chronicle of the Greek hero Odysseus' journey home from the Trojan War has inspired  writers from Virgil to James Joyce. Odysseus  survives storm and shipwreck, the cave of the Cyclops  and the isle of Circe, the lure of the Sirens' song  and a trip to the Underworld, only to find his  most difficult challenge at home, where treacherous  suitors seek to steal his kingdom and his loyal  wife, Penelope. Favorite of the gods, Odysseus  embodies the energy, intellect, and resourcefulness  that were of highest value to the ancients and that  remain ideals in out time.

In this  new verse translation, Allen  Mandelbaum--celebrated poet and translator of Virgil's  Aeneid and Dante's Divine Comedy  --realizes the power and beauty of the original  Greek verse and demonstrates why the epic tale of  The Odyssey has captured the human  imagination for nearly three thousand  years.

From the Paperback edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement (London)
A landmark in the history of modern translation....Lattimore has reanimated Homer for this generaiton, and perhaps for other generations to come.
From the Publisher
"A splendid achievement outstripping all  competitors."—Anthony A. Long, author of  Hellenistic Philosophy

"With real poetic power...his book is  one no lover of living poetry should  miss."—The New York Times Book Review

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Random House Publishing Group
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Book One

Tell me, Muse, of the man of many ways, who was driven far journeys, after he had sacked Troy's sacred citadel. Many were they whose cities he saw, whose minds he learned of, many the pains he suffered in his spirit on the wide sea, struggling for his own life and the homecoming of his companions. Even so he could not save his companions, hard though he strove to; they were destroyed by their own wild recklessness, fools, who devoured the oxen of Helios, the Sun God, and he took away the day of their homecoming. From some point here, goddess, daughter of Zeus, speak, and begin our story.

Then all the others, as many as fled sheer destruction, were at home now, having escaped the sea and the fighting. This one alone, longing for his wife and his homecoming, was detained by the queenly nymph Kalypso, bright among goddesses, in her hollowed caverns, desiring that he should be her husband. But when in the circling of the years that very year came in which the gods had spun for him his time of homecoming to Ithaka, not even then was he free of his trials nor among his own people. But all the gods pitied him except Poseidon; he remained relentlessly angry with godlike Odysseus, until his return to his own country.

But Poseidon was gone now to visit the far Aithiopians, Aithiopians, most distant of men, who live divided, some at the setting of Hyperion, some at his rising, to receive a hecatomb of bulls and rams. There he sat at the feast and took his pleasure. Meanwhile the other Olympian gods were gathered together in the halls of Zeus. First among them to speak was the father of gods and mortals, for he was thinking in his heart of statelyAigisthos, whom Orestes, Agamemnon's far-famed son, had murdered. Remembering him he spoke now before the immortals:

'Oh for shame, how the mortals put the blame upon us gods, for they say evils come from us, but it is they, rather, who by their own recklessness win sorrow beyond what is given, as now lately, beyond what was given, Aigisthos married the wife of Atreus' son, and murdered him on his homecoming, though he knew it was sheer destruction, for we ourselves had told him, sending Hermes, the mighty watcher, Argeiphontes, not to kill the man, nor court his lady for marriage; for vengeance would come on him from Orestes, son of Atreides, whenever he came of age and longed for his own country. So Hermes told him, but for all his kind intention he could not persuade the mind of Aigisthos. And now he has paid for everything.'

Then in turn the goddess gray-eyed Athene answered him: 'Son of Kronos, our father, 0 lordliest of the mighty, Aigisthos indeed has been struck down in a death well merited. Let any other man who does thus perish as he did. But the heart in me is torn for the sake of wise Odysseus, unhappy man, who still, far from his friends, is suffering griefs, on the sea-washed island, the navel of all the waters, a wooded island, and there a goddess has made her dwelling place; she is daughter of malignant Atlas, who has discovered all the depths of the sea, and himself sustains the towering columns which bracket earth and sky and hold them together. This is his daughter; she detains the grieving, unhappy man, and ever with soft and flattering words she works to charm him to forget Ithaka; and yet Odysseus, straining to get sight of the very smoke uprising from his own country, longs to die. But you, Olympian, the heart in you is heedless of him. Did not Odysseus do you grace by the ships of the Argives, making sacrifice in wide Troy? Why, Zeus, are you now so harsh with him?'

Then in turn Zeus who gathers the clouds made answer: 'My child, what sort of word escaped your teeth's barrier? How could I forget Odysseus the godlike, he who is beyond all other men in mind, and who beyond others has given sacrifice to the gods, who hold wide heaven? It is the Earth Encircler Poseidon who, ever relentless, nurses a grudge because of the Cyclops, whose eye he blinded; for Polyphemos like a god, whose power is greatest over all the Cyclopes. Thoosa, a nymph, was his mother, and she was daughter of Phorkys, lord of the barren salt water. She in the hollows of the caves had lain with Poseidon. For his sake Poseidon, shaker of the earth, although he does not kill Odysseus, yet drives him back from the land of his fathers. But come, let all of us who are here work out his homecoming and see to it that he returns. Poseidon shall put away his anger; for all alone and against the will of the other immortal gods united he can accomplish nothing.'

Then in turn the goddess gray-eyed Athene answered him: 'Son of Kronos, our father, 0 lordliest of the mighty, if in truth this is pleasing to the blessed immortals that Odysseus of the many designs shall return home, then let us dispatch Hermes, the guide, the slayer of Argos, to the island of Ogygia, so that with all speed he may announce to the lovely-haired nymph our absolute purpose, the homecoming of enduring Odysseus, that he shall come back. But I shall make my way to Ithaka, so that I may stir up his son a little, and put some confidence in him to summon into assembly the flowing-haired Achaians and make a statement to all the suitors, who now forever slaughter his crowding sheep and lumbering horn-curved cattle; and I will convey him into Sparta and to sandy Pylos to ask after his dear father's homecoming, if he can hear something, and so that among people he may win a good reputation.'

Speaking so she bound upon her feet the fair sandals, golden and immortal, that carried her over the water as over the dry boundless earth abreast of the wind's blast. Then she caught up a powerful spear, edged with sharp bronze, heavy, huge, thick, wherewith she beats down the battalions of fighting men, against whom she of the mighty father is angered, and descended in a flash of speed from the peaks of Olympos...

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What People are saying about this

Paul Engle
"Lattimore's translation of Homer'sOdyssey is the most eloquent, persuasive and imaginative I have seen. It reads as if the poem had originally been written in English."
Gilbert Highet
"This is the best Odyssey in modern English."
Rex Warner
"The best translation there is of a great, perhaps, the greatest poet."

Meet the Author

Richmond Lattimore was born in 1906. He was considered one of the leading translators of Greek classical literature. He died in 1984

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Odyssey of Homer 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I originally had to read this book in school. My first thought about this book was 'wow this is gonna be a really boring read'. But as I continued to read the book in class, I realized this book is really interesting and exciting. This version is the best translated on the market and its cheap!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe that the Odyssey is the best written story ever.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DO NOT POST HERE!!!<p> If you have stuff to add, ask seth.<p> List of Roman gods in abc order:<p> A<br> Aesculaplus ~ god of health and medicine<br> Apollo ~ god of poetry and the sun<p> B<br> Bacchus ~ god of wine<p> C<br> Cupid ~ god of love<p> E<br> Epona ~ god of horses<p> F<br> Fabulinus ~ god of children<p> H<br> Hercules ~ god of strength<br> Honos ~ god of military<p> J<br> Janus ~ god of doors and choices<br> Jupiter ~ god of lightning<p> M<br> Mars ~ god of war<br> Mercury ~ god of messages<br> Mithras ~ god of roman soldiers<p> N<br> Neptune ~ god of the sea<p> P<br> Pluto ~ god of death<p> S<br> Sancus ~ god of loyalty<br> Saturn ~ god of harvest<br> Sol Invictus ~ god of the sun<br> Somnus ~ god of sleep<br> Sors ~ god of luck<p> V<br> Volturnus ~ god of water<br> Vulcan ~ god of fire and blacksmiths<p> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~<p> List of Roman goddesses in abc order:<p> A<br> Abundantia ~ goddess of health and medicine<p> B<br> Bubona ~ goddess of cattle<p> C<br> Candelifera ~ goddess of childbirth<br> Carmenta ~ goddess of prophecy<br> Ceres ~ goddess of agriculture<br> Clementia ~ goddess of forgiveness and mercy<br> Cloacina ~ goddess of sewer's<br> Concordia ~ goddess of agreement<br> Cybele ~ goddess of earth<p> D<br> Deverra ~ goddess of women in la<_>bor<br> Diana ~ goddess of hunting<br> Discordia ~ goddess of discord<p> E<br> Edesia ~ goddess of food<p> F<br> Fama ~ goddess of fame and rumor<br> Felicitas ~ goddess of good luck<br> Fides ~ goddess of loyalty<br> Flora ~ goddess of flowers<br> Fortuna ~ goddess of fortune<p> H<br> Hespera ~ goddess of dusk<br> Hippona ~ goddess of horses<p> I<br> Invidia ~ goddess of envy<br> Iris ~ goddess of rainbows<p> J<br> Juno ~ goddess of marriage and women<br> Justitia ~ goddess of justice<br> Juventas ~ goddess of youth<p> L<br> Libertas ~ goddess of freedom<br> Libitina ~ goddess of death ad funerals<br> Luna ~ goddess of the moon<p> M<br> Minerva ~ goddess of wisdom and war strategys<br> Muta ~ goddess of silence<p> N<br> Necessitas ~ goddess of destiny<br> Nemesis ~ goddess of revenge<p> O<br> Opis ~ goddess of fertility<p> P<br> Pax ~ goddess of peace<br> Pietas ~ goddess of duty<br> Pomona ~ goddess of fruit trees<br> Proserpina ~ goddess of grain<p> S<br> Spes ~ goddess of hope<p> T<br> Tempestes ~ goddess of storms<br> Tranquillitas ~ goddess of peace<br> Trivia ~ goddess of magic<p> V<br> Venus ~ goddess of love<br> Veritas ~ goddess of truth<br> Vesta ~ goddess of the hearth<br> Victoria ~ goddess of victory<br> Voluptas ~ goddess of pleasure<p> Thanks! Thats all! If you have some you want to add ask seth.