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The Iliad (Fitzgerald translation)

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Overview

Anger be now your song, immortal one,

Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous,

that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,

leaving so many dead men-carrion for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.

-Lines 1-6

Since it was first published more than twenty-five years ago, Robert Fitzgerald's prizewinning translation of Homer's...

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The Iliad: The Fitzgerald Translation

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Overview

Anger be now your song, immortal one,

Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous,

that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,

leaving so many dead men-carrion for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.

-Lines 1-6

Since it was first published more than twenty-five years ago, Robert Fitzgerald's prizewinning translation of Homer's battle epic has become a classic in its own right: a standard against which all other versions of The Iliad are compared. Fitzgerald's work is accessible, ironic, faithful, written in a swift vernacular blank verse that "makes Homer live as never before" (Library Journal).

This edition includes a new foreword by Andrew Ford.

Retells the events of the war between Greece and the city of Troy, focusing on Achilles' quarrel with Agamemnon.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mr. 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." —The Atlantic Monthly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374529055
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/3/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 632
  • Sales rank: 152,948
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.29 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Homer

Robert Fitzgerald's versions of The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Aeneid, and the Oedipus plays of Sophocles (with Dudley Fitts) are prized by scholars and general readers alike. An admired poet and teacher of writing, he died in 1988.

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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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One


ILIAD 1

Rage:

Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage, Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls Of heroes into Hades' dark, And left their bodies to rot as feasts For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done. Begin with the clash between Agamemnon— The Greek warlord—and godlike Achilles.

Which of the immortals set these two At each other's throats?

Apollo, Zeus' son and Leto's, offended By the warlord. Agamemnon had dishonored Chryses, Apollo's priest, so the god Struck the Greek camp with plague, And the soldiers were dying of it. Chryses Had come to the Greek beachhead camp Hauling a fortune for his daughter's ransom. Displaying Apollo's sacral ribbons On a golden staff, he made a formal plea To the entire Greek army, but especially The commanders, Atreus' two sons:

"Sons of Atreus and Greek heroes all: May the gods on Olympus grant you plunder Of Priam's city and a safe return home. But give me my daughter back and accept This ransom out of respect for Zeus' son, Lord Apollo, who deals death from afar."

A murmur rippled through the ranks: "Respect the priest and take the ransom." But Agamemnon was not pleased And dismissed Chryses with a rough speech:

"Don't let me ever catch you, old man, by these ships again, Skulking around now or sneaking back later. The god's staff and ribbons won't save you next time. The girl is mine, and she'll be an old woman in Argos Before I let her go, working the loom in my house And coming to my bed, far from her homeland. Now clear outof here before you make me angry!"

The old man was afraid and did as he was told. He walked in silence along the whispering surf line, And when he had gone some distance the priest Prayed to Lord Apollo, son of silken-haired Leto:

"Hear me, Silverbow, Protector of Chryse, Lord of Holy Cilla, Master of Tenedos, And Sminthian God of Plague! If ever I've built a temple that pleased you Or burnt fat thighbones of bulls and goats— Grant me this prayer: Let the Danaans pay for my tears with your arrows!"

Apollo heard his prayer and descended Olympus' crags Pulsing with fury, bow slung over one shoulder, The arrows rattling in their case on his back As the angry god moved like night down the mountain.

He settled near the ships and let loose an arrow. Reverberation from his silver bow hung in the air. He picked off the pack animals first, and the lean hounds, But then aimed his needle-tipped arrows at the men And shot until the death-fires crowded the beach.

Nine days the god's arrows rained death on the camp. On the tenth day Achilles called an assembly. Hera, the white-armed goddess, planted the thought in him Because she cared for the Greeks and it pained her To see them dying. When the troops had all mustered, Up stood the great runner Achilles, and said:

"Well, Agamemnon, it looks as if we'd better give up And sail home—assuming any of us are left alive— If we have to fight both the war and this plague. But why not consult some prophet or priest Or a dream interpreter, since dreams too come from Zeus, Who could tell us why Apollo is so angry, If it's for a vow or a sacrifice he holds us at fault. Maybe he'd be willing to lift this plague from us If he savored the smoke from lambs and prime goats."

Achilles had his say and sat down. Then up rose Calchas, son of Thestor, bird-reader supreme, Who knew what is, what will be, and what has been. He had guided the Greek ships to Troy Through the prophetic power Apollo Had given him, and he spoke out now:

"Achilles, beloved of Zeus, you want me to tell you About the rage of Lord Apollo, the Arch-Destroyer. And I will tell you. But you have to promise me and swear You will support me and protect me in word and deed. I have a feeling I might offend a person of some authority Among the Greeks, and you know how it is when a king Is angry with an underling. He might swallow his temper For a day, but he holds it in his heart until later And it all comes out. Will you guarantee my security?"

Achilles, the great runner, responded: "Don't worry. Prophesy to the best of your knowledge. I swear by Apollo, to whom you pray when you reveal The gods' secrets to the Greeks, Calchas, that while I live And look upon this earth, no one will lay a hand On you here beside these hollow ships, no, not even Agamemnon, who boasts he is the best of the Achaeans."

And Calchas, the, perfect prophet, taking courage:

"The god finds no fault with vow or sacrifice. It is for his priest, whom Agamemnon dishonored And would not allow to ransom his daughter, That Apollo deals and will deal death from afar. He will not lift this foul plague from the Greeks Until we return the dancing-eyed girl to her father Unransomed, unbought, and make formal sacrifice On Chryse. Only then might we appease the god."

He finished speaking and sat down. Then up rose Atreus' son, the warlord Agamemnon, Furious, anger like twin black thunderheads seething In his lungs, and his eyes flickered with fire As he looked Calchas up and down, and said:

"You damn soothsayer! You've never given me a good omen yet. You take some kind of perverse pleasure in prophesying Doom, don't you? Not a single favorable omen ever! Nothing good ever happens! And now you stand here Uttering oracles before the Greeks, telling us That your great ballistic god is giving us all this trouble Because I was unwilling to accept the ransom For Chryses' daughter but preferred instead to keep her In my tent! And why shouldn't I? I like her better than My wife Clytemnestra. She's no worse than her When it comes to looks, body, mind, or ability. Still, I'll give her back, if that's what's best. I don't want to see the army destroyed like this. But I want another prize ready for me right away. I'm not going to be the only Greek without a prize, It wouldn't be right. And you all see where mine is going."

And Achilles, strong, swift, and godlike:

"And where do you think, son of Atreus, You greedy glory-hound, the magnanimous Greeks Are going to get another prize for you? Do you think we have some kind of stockpile in reserve? Every town in the area has been sacked and the stuff all divided. You want the men to count it all back and redistribute it? All right, you give the girl back to the god. The army Will repay you three and four times over—when and if Zeus allows us to rip Troy down to its foundations."

The warlord Agamemnon responded:

"You may be a good man in a fight, Achilles, And look like a god, but don't try to put one over on me— It won't work. So while you have your prize, You want me to sit tight and do without? Give the girl back, just like that? Now maybe If the army, in a generous spirit, voted me Some suitable prize of their own choice, something fair— But if it doesn't, I'll just go take something myself, Your prize perhaps, or Ajax's, or Odysseus', And whoever she belongs to, it'll stick in his throat.

But we can think about that later. Right now we launch A black ship on the bright salt water, get a crew aboard, Load on a hundred bulls, and have Chryseis board her too, My girl with her lovely cheeks. And we'll want a good man For captain, Ajax or Idomeneus or godlike Odysseus— Or maybe you, son of Peleus, our most formidable hero— To offer sacrifice and appease the Arch-Destroyer for us."

Achilles looked him up and down and said:

"You shameless, profiteering excuse for a commander! How are you going to get any Greek warrior To follow you into battle again? You know, I don't have any quarrel with the Trojans, They didn't do anything to me to make me Come over here and fight, didn't run off my cattle or horses Or ruin my farmland back home in Phthia, not with all The shadowy mountains and moaning seas between. It's for you, dogface, for your precious pleasure— And Menelaus' honor—that we came here, A fact you don't have the decency even to mention! And now you're threatening to take away the prize That I sweated for and the Greeks gave me. I never get a prize equal to yours when the army Captures one of the Trojan strongholds. No, I do all the dirty work with my own hands, And when the battle's over and we divide the loot You get the lion's share and I go back to the ships With some pitiful little thing, so worn out from fighting I don't have the strength left even to complain. Well, I'm going back to Phthia now. Far better To head home with my curved ships than stay here, Unhonored myself and piling up a fortune for you."

The warlord Agamemnon responded:

"Go ahead and desert, if that's what you want! I'm not going to beg you to stay. There are plenty of others Who will honor me, not least of all Zeus the Counselor. To me, you're the most hateful king under heaven, A born troublemaker. You actually like fighting and war. If you're all that strong, it's just a gift from some god. So why don't you go home with your ships and lord it over Your precious Myrmidons. I couldn't care less about you Or your famous temper. But I'll tell you this: Since Phoebus Apollo is taking away my Chryseis, Whom I'm sending back aboard ship with my friends, I'm coming to your hut and taking Briseis, Your own beautiful prize, so that you will see just how much Stronger I am than you, and the next person will wince At the thought of opposing me as an equal."

Achilles' chest was a rough knot of pain Twisting around his heart: should he Draw the sharp sword that hung by his thigh, Scatter the ranks and gut Agamemnon, Or control his temper, repress his rage? He was mulling it over, inching the great sword From its sheath, when out of the blue Athena came, sent by the white-armed goddess Hera, who loved and watched over both men. She stood behind Achilles and grabbed his sandy hair, Visible only to him: not another soul saw her. Awestruck, Achilles turned around, recognizing Pallas Athena at once—it was her eyes— And words flew from his mouth like winging birds:

"Daughter of Zeus! Why have you come here? To see Agamemnon's arrogance, no doubt. I'll tell you where I place my bets, Goddess: Sudden death for this outrageous behavior."

Athena's eyes glared through the sea's salt haze.

"I came to see if I could check this temper of yours, Sent from heaven by the white-armed goddess Hera, who loves and watches over both of you men. Now come on, drop this quarrel, don't draw your sword. Tell him off instead. And I'll tell you, Achilles, how things will be: You're going to get Three times as many magnificent gifts Because of his arrogance. Just listen to us and be patient."

Achilles, the great runner, responded:

"When you two speak, Goddess, a man has to listen No matter how angry. It's better that way. Obey the gods and they hear you when you pray."

With that he ground his heavy hand Onto the silver hilt and pushed the great sword Back into its sheath. Athena's speech Had been well-timed. She was on her way To Olympus by now, to the halls of Zeus And the other immortals, while Achilles Tore into Agamemnon again:

"You bloated drunk, With a dog's eyes and a rabbit's heart! You've never had the guts to buckle on armor in battle Or come out with the best fighting Greeks On any campaign! Afraid to look Death in the eye, Agamemnon? It's far more profitable To hang back in the army's rear—isn't it?— Confiscating prizes from any Greek who talks back And bleeding your people dry. There's not a real man Under your command, or this latest atrocity Would be your last, son of Atreus. Now get this straight. I swear a formal oath: By this scepter, which will never sprout leaf Or branch again since it was cut from its stock In the mountains, which will bloom no more Now that bronze has pared off leaf and bark, And which now the sons of the Greeks hold in their hands At council, upholding Zeus' laws— By this scepter I swear: When every last Greek desperately misses Achilles, Your remorse won't do any good then, When Hector the man-killer swats you down like flies. And you will eat your heart out Because you failed to honor the best Greek of all."

Those were his words, and he slammed the scepter, Studded with gold, to the ground and sat down.

Opposite him, Agamemnon fumed. Then Nestor Stood up, sweet-worded Nestor, the orator from Pylos With a voice high-toned and liquid as honey. He had seen two generations of men pass away In sandy Pylos and was now king in the third. He was full of good will in the speech he made:

"It's a sad day for Greece, a sad day. Priam and Priam's sons would be happy indeed, And the rest of the Trojans too, glad in their hearts, If they learned all this about you two fighting, Our two best men in council and in battle. Now you listen to me, both of you. You are both Younger than I am, and I've associated with men Better than you, and they didn't treat me lightly. I've never seen men like those, and never will, The likes of Peirithous and Dryas, a shepherd to his people, Caineus and Exadius and godlike Polyphemus, And Aegeus' son, Theseus, who could have passed for a god, The strongest men who ever lived on earth, the strongest, And they fought with the strongest, with wild things From the mountains, and beat the daylights out of them. I was their companion, although I came from Pylos, From the ends of the earth—they sent for me themselves. And I held my own fighting with them. You couldn't find A mortal on earth who could fight with them now. And when I talked in council, they took my advice. So should you two now: taking advice is a good thing. Agamemnon, for all your nobility, don't take his girl. Leave her be: the army originally gave her to him as a prize. Nor should you, son of Peleus, want to lock horns with a king. A scepter-holding king has honor beyond the rest of men, Power and glory given by Zeus himself. You are stronger, and it is a goddess who bore you. But he is more powerful, since he rules over more. Son of Atreus, cease your anger. And I appeal Personally to Achilles to control his temper, since he is, For all Greeks, a mighty bulwark in this evil war."

And Agamemnon, the warlord:

"Yes, old man, everything you've said is absolutely right. But this man wants to be ahead of everyone else, He wants to rule everyone, give orders to everyone, Lord it over everyone, and he's not going to get away with it. If the gods eternal made him a spearman, does that mean They gave him permission to be insolent as well?"

And Achilles, breaking in on him:

"Ha, and think of the names people would call me If I bowed and scraped every time you opened your mouth. Try that on somebody else, but not on me. I'll tell you this, and you can stick it in your gut: I'm not going to put up a fight on account of the girl. You, all of you, gave her and you can all take her back. But anything else of mine in my black sailing ship You keep your goddamn hands off, you hear? Try it. Let everybody here see how fast Your black blood boils up around my spear."

So it was a stand-off, their battle of words, And the assembly beside the Greek ships dissolved. Achilles went back to the huts by his ships With Patroclus and his men. Agamemnon had a fast ship Hauled down to the sea, picked twenty oarsmen, Loaded on a hundred bulls due to the god, and had Chryses' daughter, His fair-cheeked girl, go aboard also. Odysseus captained, And when they were all on board, the ship headed out to sea.

Onshore, Agamemnon ordered a purification. The troops scrubbed down and poured the filth Into the sea. Then they sacrificed to Apollo Oxen and goats by the hundreds on the barren shore. The smoky savor swirled up to the sky.

That was the order of the day. But Agamemnon Did not forget his spiteful threat against Achilles. He summoned Talthybius and Eurybates, Faithful retainers who served as his heralds:

"Go to the hut of Achilles, son of Peleus; Bring back the girl, fair-cheeked Briseis. If he won't give her up, I'll come myself With my men and take her—and freeze his heart cold."

It was not the sort of mission a herald would relish. The pair trailed along the barren seashore Until they came to the Myrmidons' ships and encampment. They found Achilles sitting outside his hut Beside his black ship. He was not glad to see them. They stood respectfully silent, in awe of this king, And it was Achilles who was moved to address them first:

"Welcome, heralds, the gods' messengers and men's. Come closer. You're not to blame, Agamemnon is, Who sent you here for the girl, Briseis.

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Table of Contents

Map vi-vii
Translator's Preface ix
Introduction xvii
Iliad 1
Major Characters 493
Catalogue of Combat Deaths 502
Index of Speeches 506
Suggestions for Further Reading 514
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Reading Group Guide

This teacher’s guide is keyed to the Robert Fitzgerald translation of The Iliad. Striking a balance between traditional poetic artistry and immediacy of language, Fitzgerald gives students the full measure of the original epic’s astonishing power.

Little is certain when it comes to the origins of The Iliad or its partner epic and sequel, The Odyssey. Both epics circulated from the dawn of Greek literature under the name of Homer, but who this fabled poet was, and when and where he lived, remain riddles. Already some ancient critics doubted a single poet wrote both epics, and most modern scholars prefer to ascribe the creation and initial shaping

of both stories to oral tradition. As legends about heroes and their exploits were handed down from generation to generation over many centuries, bards developed highly formalized language to chant the stories in public performances. These singers had a large repertoire of tales from which they chose when aiming to satisfy a particular audience’s demand, or more likely the request of the local lord. The material was familiar and the language traditional, indeed formulaic, so that a good singer could always perform a song in proper style and meter to suit the performance situation in theme, episodes, details, scope, and tone. The songs gave audiences a vision of their ancestors, people more glorious and admirable (they believed) than they themselves, whether in victory or in defeat. In their greatness, in their heroic pursuit of glory and undying fame, the epic characters defined the heroic code the listeners, at least initially members of a warrior class, were to follow. What conferred undying fame was epic song itself: listeners of epic would have aspired to become the subject of song for subsequent generations.

There must have been many signal moments in the history of epic before The Iliad and The Odyssey achieved the forms in which we know them, but two appear, inretrospect, to have been supremely significant. Many towns and settlements were sacked as peoples competed for land and power in what is now Greece and Turkey, but it seems that a city known as Troy or Ilion, on the northwest coast of Asia Minor and near the strait called the Dardanelles—and for that strategic reason a significant power—was the frequent target of marauding attacks and sieges. One of the most devastating destructions it suffered fell shortly before or after 1200 B.C.E. Around this destruction there seem to have coalesced stories of a Greek army on a mammoth campaign to sack the fortified city that sat astride sea and land lanes to the richer east. What was the reason for the expedition? Not greed and power politics—so legend has it—but the drive to recover something yet more precious: Greek honor in the shape of Helen, the beautiful wife of Meneláos, king of Sparta. Helen, the story went, had been abducted by Paris, the handsome if spoiled Trojan prince. And so the tale was spun backwards.

The legendary campaign against Troy took ten years. The Iliad, long though it is, narrates a crucial patch of the tenth year only, when the greatest hero of the Greeks, Akhilleus, fell out with the Greek commander-in-chief, Agamémnon, Meneláos’ brother. By the end of The Iliad, Akhilleus has lost his companion, Patróklos, but has killed the great Trojan hero, Hektor. Troy is doomed, even if its actual fall as well as Akhilleus’ death are narrated in the cycle of songs, now only fragments, that follow The Iliad. The storytelling cycle continued with stories of the homecomings of the various Greek heroes. It is the homecoming of the craftiest of those heroes, Odysseus, that is told in The Odyssey.

The other signal moment in the development of the two Homeric poems was, in fact, a series of moments, for only gradually did poems transmitted orally come to be written. By the middle of the eighth century B.C.E., there emerged singers—one, two, or more—who had so mastered the traditional material and style that they could spin out versions of these episodes of the Trojan cycle that were extraordinary in size, subtlety, and complexity of design, versions that increasingly became the models for performances of The Iliad and The Odyssey. The exact mode in which the Homeric poems were first written down remains obscure, but by the second half of the sixth century B.C.E., the technology of writing in an alphabet adapted from Phoenician letters had advanced to the point that written versions of the Homeric epics became at least thinkable. While we have evidence of considerable variation in written versions of the epics well into the Hellenistic Period—the

era following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.E.—and know of continued “live” performances at public festivals, the range of permissible variation was growing ever more limited. By the third century B.C.E., scholars were working on the epics as written texts, studying and annotating the Homeric poems and comparing different copies. By this date each epic was divided into twenty-four “books.” It is for all intents and purposes this text, after transcription from papyrus rolls to vellum codices and finally printed on paper, that we read, whether in scholarly editions of the Greek original or in translations in many languages like the one you have before you.

However fascinating the history of its transmission, the story The Iliad tells is more compelling still. It is the story of a great military campaign, one that seeks redress for a grievance; when it ends, that redress is all but certain, though already the ultimate victors have paid terrible and unanticipated penalties almost as grievous as those the vanquished will pay.

The Iliad offers another perspective as well. High above the plain of Ilion, and usually invisible, the gods are at work—and play. The story of Paris’ abduction of Helen, the justification for the Greeks’ siege and sack of Troy, turns out to be a secondary effect of wrangling among the gods. This may be the strangest feature of the poem for modern students, for many reasons. For starters, apart from Zeus,

none of the gods seems to be in the least “godlike.” Zeus’ consort Hêra, his daughter Athêna, his brother Poseidon, Aphrodítê, and Apollo, along with other deities, including lesser ones (such as Thetis, Akhilleus’ mother), all jockey for power and standing. They have favorites and enemies among the mortals and openly take sides in the struggle between the Greeks and Trojans. Helen herself was Aphrodítê’s reward to Paris for his having declared her the winner in the heavenly beauty contest

between her, Hêra, and Athêna, in which each blatantly sought to bribe the judge with a promise of a fabulous reward. The gods, then, are hardly models of ideal behavior and values. The gods enjoy a world in which passions can be indulged at will and virtually without check. Virtually, that is, because ultimately, Zeus has the power to bend happenings to his will, even if he, too, must accept the loss of his mortal son Sarpêdôn. He grants Hektor and his Trojans great glory up to a point—at the cost of the lives of many Greeks—honoring his promise to Thetis, but he sets limits on Aphrodítê and Apollo’s support of the Trojans, for its destruction is decreed.

But the great wonder of The Iliad is the poem itself. Homer—whether we think of him as a single creative power or the name we give to the tradition that evolved this particular combination of episodes from the last year of the Trojan War—is a virtuoso of prolongation, devising ways to extend the basic line of the plot and include within it bravura variations of detail, tempo, and tone. From within the temporal frame of a relatively few days he includes the history of the Trojan War—indeed, the history of Troy and the lineages of dozens of heroes, with episodes from earlier generations—just as he brings into a military setting, via myriad similes, worlds of hunting and farming, fishing and weaving. Though this is an epic of war, peace—or the dream of peace—is never far distant, whether in flashbacks to earlier,

happier times or in scenes on the divinely wrought shield of Akhilleus.

At the beginning of the poem, Homer asked the Muse, guarantor of epic memory,

to sing through him. The Muse still sings in the pages of your book, and she is

eager to begin. Attend her, and wonder.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 310 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 14, 2009

    A classic that's last for over 2000 years

    The Illiad, by Homer, is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. It actually is not necessarily a book; more like a poem. This poem-book tells of the legendary Trojan War between the Greeks and the Trojans. The whole thing kicked off when Hector ran away with the Greek king's daughter, Helen. They then fled to Troy with it's near impassable structured walls. Zeus brought back the news to Mount Olympus, place of the gods, and every god took up arguments for both sides. Half sided with Troy while the other half sided with the Greeks. As the Greeks battled with the Trojans, it became clear that they were losing. So they decided on a trick. A selected few men would hidee inside a great wooden horse, dubbed, the Trojan Horse. The Trojans would wheel the horse in think it was a great prize. When nightfall came, the men jumped out and !opened the gate for the whole Greek army to come in. Troy was defeated soundly and the book ends with the funeral of Hector. A ten out of ten!

    10 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    The Greatest Poem I've ever Read

    I'm only a few chapters into the book, but by far, this is the greatest poem I've ever read. Homer combines drama, action, and mythology into one. This is definately reccomended.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2004

    Anger Be Now Your Song Immortal One...

    The Iliad, as with other Greek poetry, was poetry intended to be recited orally as opposed to being read. Fitzgerald's backgroung in poetry brings out the lyrical passion of the Iliad so prized by the Greeks as no other translation has done. Other translations are also hampered by archaic English language and idioms that make little sense today. I strongly recommend this translation more than any other.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2007

    Don't let this book scare you!

    I bought this with the Sparknotes on The Illiad, which summarizes each 'book' (chapter) in the story. Once you have an idea of what's happening chapter by chapter, the book expands on the summary, and is really becomes an awesome read. Homer can describe in vivid detail the combat sequences. Once you get past the fact that this version is written in it's poetic form, and you read it just like a regular prose version, you will enjoy it. It is very affordable at under 8 bucks, so making notes, underlining parts that really strike you etc... won't make you feel like you are defacing anything. It's a must for any library.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2010

    The amazing story of The Iliad writen by Homer

    The Iliad is the story of the battle of Troy for a women named Helen who was taken captaive from here husband. All of the Greek city states were involved in this war and many famous heroes. The war lasted for 20 years and each side had many deaths. Two of the most famous men who fought at Troy were Achilles and Odyseus these two men made sure that they won the battle and got Helen back. They did not realise what a daunting task they would have infront of them until they arrived at Troy. The walls were said to be 100 feet tall and 50 feet thick at most parts. The battle of Troy is one of the most famous wars in all of history because of two things, it was the first to be over a women and have the gods help them in their victory. Also that it had lasted so long and how strategic each side had fought in the war.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2008

    Well..

    Well, it's funny when you refer to this as a book. It actually is an epic. If lacking the knowledge of poetry, an epic is in fact a branch of poetry. Overall, amazing, far better then the odyssey.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 14, 2010

    Cover a Turn-Off for Children

    Love this book! A must read for anyone who wants to understand where our epic tradition comes from - from the Bible and from Homer and Virgil. As someone who recommends books to kids, this particular edition is a hard sell because of the dull cover.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2008

    Excellent read

    The Iliad is definitely a must-read for anyone. As a student, I was required to read this for my World Literature class. As far as the mythology is concerned, it is absolutely fascinating, but even the historical perspective is amazing. This epic poem is probably still THE standard for Greek mythology.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2006

    Definitely an Epic

    I picked up this book because I figured it would help to better understand the allusions and references in future novels. Not only did The Iliad help with this but it also was a great read. The introduction by King was informative and emphasized the transformation of war into art.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2006

    An wonderful experience

    This book was confussing at first but after I look up some of the plots in the story I remembered seeing a movie about the Iliad. It was an incredible Book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2014

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

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

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Tito Azula

    Name: Azula Gender: She Age: 16 moons. Looks: slender black she with a notch taken out of her left ear. She has one white spot underneath her right foreleg. History: ask. Personality: see for yourself. Mate/kits: not allowed.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2014

    Horizon

    Name Horizon<br>
    Age 15 moons<br>
    Gender she cat. <br>
    Rank Tito <br>
    Looks has dark almost black fur that helps her blend in more. Blue eyes. On the back of her paw theres a white streak going across <br>
    Personality. Meet me<br>
    Matecrushkits. Im a tito. I cant have kits.<br>
    Otjer. Just ask.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Tito Aspenlight

    Name: Raphael Aspenlight.<br>Age: Two years, four months.<br>Gender: Tom.<br>Rank: Tito.<br>Mate/Crush: None.<br>Kits: Cassiel, Hadraniel, Sandalphon, Moroni, and Raziel.<br>Looks: Raph is ablack tom with reddish eyes and a long, fluffy tail.<br>History: Raphael was born in lreland, to a family that was rumored to be descended from Angels. This, however true is may seem, was false. Although, as if to live up to these rumors, it was tradition to name offsprings after different Angels. As a kit, Raphael was sent to a sort of school along with his brother, Eremiel. There, he was taught elaborate skills and combat techniques. After a while, Raphael fell in love with a she named Penemue. They had five kits. They raised these kits to be ultimate fighters, but Raziel, the stringest of the kitter, turned. Raziel slaughter Penemue and Moroni before Raphael woke up and managed to get Cassiel, Hadraniel, and Sandalphon away. Now alone with Raziel, Raphael was forced to murder his own son. Afterwards, Raphael was left with an overwhelming feeling of grief and dismay that was soon turned into hatred and murderous traits. Ever since then, Raph has been wadering and killing iff as many of his family members as possible, along with others that got into the way.<br>Other: Just ask.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    &beta<_>&mu<_>&iota<_>&iota<_>&epsilon<_>&tau<_>'s &beta<_>&iota<_>&sigma

    Name: Bullet <br> Gender: &male <br> Age: *sigh* <p> Current Rank: &tau<_>&iota<_>&tau<_>&omicron <p> Appearance: A dark, coal-ish, silver tom with deep blue eyes. He has a nick in his left ear, and a hole at the tip. He has a slight Austrailian accent, and says, 'Yeah, Buddeh!' when he's pretending to be excited. <p> Mate: No <br> Crush: He's a foxeh fox. I don't think there's anoter fox around here... <br> Pups/Kits: Most likely pups for him, but no. <p> Personality: Funny, lively, talkative, weird and sarcastic, etc. <p> Other: You're a potato.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    Tito ferns bio

    Name fern
    <p>
    Gender she
    <p>
    Age nine moons
    <p>rank tito
    <p>
    Description torishell
    <p>
    Personality warm friendly, evil

    <p>
    Kin none
    <p>
    Crush mate kits none none none
    <p>
    Other none.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2014

    &tau&iota&tau&sigma &real&alpha&nu&epsilon&eta'&delta &beta&iota&sigma

    Name: Raven<p>
    Rank: Tito<p>
    Age: 24 moons<p>
    Gender: Female ( &female )<p>
    Apperence: A sleek black pelt with peircing green eyes.<p>
    Personality: Lets just say this. You don't want to get on my bad side.<p>
    History: Born in Bloodclan. Don't try to find me. I went by a different name.<p>
    Siggy: &real&alpha&nu&epsilon&eta &infin

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Tito Briar ~{BIO}~

    Name• Briar. Rank• tito. looks• a very light shade of golden brown and green eyes. Personality• she is strong willed, mildly stubborn but other then that she is normal. Previous clan•Snowclan. History• she was a kit known as Fawnkitfrom Snowclan until 4/6 when she was brought here, she was shuned by Icestar and she will never go back

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Extus Nightshade

    Name Nightshade(poison plant)
    Age 10 moons
    Looks gray with specks of black,amber eyes,slender
    Personality manipulative,sly,intelligent,cruel at need,vicious in battle,strong,kind
    History raised in a ridulous clan before she came here
    Gender female
    Mate cant have one at time
    Crush same as mate
    Pups none
    Rank Extus

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2014

    Berry's Bio

    Im a TITO not EXTUS1

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 310 Customer Reviews

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