The Iliad: A New Prose Translation

The Iliad: A New Prose Translation

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by Homer, Martin Hammond
     
 

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The  greatest literary achievement of Greek civilization—an epic poem without rival in world literature and a cornerstone of Western culture

The story of the Iliad centers on the critical events in the last year of the Trojan War, which lead to Achilles's killing of Hektor and determine the fate of Troy. But Homer's theme is not simply war or

Overview

The  greatest literary achievement of Greek civilization—an epic poem without rival in world literature and a cornerstone of Western culture

The story of the Iliad centers on the critical events in the last year of the Trojan War, which lead to Achilles's killing of Hektor and determine the fate of Troy. But Homer's theme is not simply war or heroism. With compassion and humanity, he presents a universal and tragic view of the world, of human life lived under the shadow of suffering and death, set against a vast and largely unpitying divine background. The Iliad is the first of the great tragedies. This prose translation features an excellent introduction and textual commentary by the translator, Martin Hammond. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Fitzgerald has solved virtually every problem that has plagued translators of Homer. The narrative runs, the dialogue speaks, the military action is clear, and the repetitive epithets become useful text rather than exotic relics.” –Atlantic Monthly

“Fitzgerald’s swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before…This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time.”–Library Journal

“[Fitzgerald’s Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer’s art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase.” –The Yale Review

“What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald’s.” –National Review

With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140444445
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
02/28/1988
Series:
Penguin Classics Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
528
Sales rank:
342,556
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet 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.

Martin Hammond is headmaster of the Tonbridge School and has translated Homer’s Iliad for Penguin Classics.

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The Iliad: A New Prose Translation 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great version of the classic epic poem, by an excellent translator, and with tremendously helpful additional materials, especially the introduction! I highly recommend all of Fagles translations of classical Greek literature!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for my Literature class and I thought I was gonna die, especially seeing how thick the book was. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down. This book translates the events well and the read was easy. Would definitely advise you to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do not buy this for an english class
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This translation of the Iliad is a great read. Start with the poem ,. Read the forward later, if at all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr. Fagles' translation of the iliad is PERFECT!!! WARNING: May cause severe bewilderment; Has a natural aptitude for adventure!
mamapixi More than 1 year ago
Fagles retains the poetic beauty of Homer's original tale while keeping the grittiness intact.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this last year as a high school freshman and thought it was quite good. This transalation is much less boring than others.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Iliad is a classic poem that takes place in the last year of the Trojan war. The Iliad tells the tale of Achilles' wrath and the events that surround it. It shows the problems of revenge and anger. It is a modern tale that is just as relevant today as it was when it was written with its message of emotional maturity and personal growth. Despite its age of nearly three thousand years it remains accessible and understandable through the work of Martin Hammond, the translator of this edition. One of the flaws of the Iliad is the constant repetition of the battle scenes. Homer rewrites almost word for word some of the scenes. Although most of the story takes place during the combat, the bulk of the plot is in the relationships between the leaders which come through in conversations that take place during the night and during breaks in the battle. However aside from the battle scenes it is a well written book that has lasted almost three thousand years and will last at least a thousand more.