The Iliad Of Homer

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Overview

One of the greatest stories ever told, Iliad has survived for thousands of years because of its insightful portrayal of man and its epic story of war, duty, honor, and revenge.

While Iliad recounts the war between the Trojans and Achaeans, it also is the tragic story of the fiery-tempered Achilles. Insulted by his king, the proud Achilles decides to stand by as his comrades are annihilated, but circumstances finally spur the warrior to wreak ...

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The Iliad of Homer

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Overview

One of the greatest stories ever told, Iliad has survived for thousands of years because of its insightful portrayal of man and its epic story of war, duty, honor, and revenge.

While Iliad recounts the war between the Trojans and Achaeans, it also is the tragic story of the fiery-tempered Achilles. Insulted by his king, the proud Achilles decides to stand by as his comrades are annihilated, but circumstances finally spur the warrior to wreak savage retribution upon Troy.

The battle between the Trojans and Achaeans stirs ancient passions and vendettas among the gods of Olympus. While the two armies of mortals confront each other, the gods fly to earth to aid their allies and confound their enemies. Soon, they too enter the fray alongside the men, which leads to an attempt to betray Zeus himself, the supreme king of Olympus.

Woven among the battle scenes are the stories of the men and women caught in the war: the Trojan prince Hector, who is torn between duty and love for his wife and young son; Helen, who is the most beautiful woman in the world, but who comes to regret being born; and Priam, the king of Troy, who is too old to battle, but has the strength for one final act of courage.

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

School Library Journal
Gr 4-6--Gory battles dominate this rendering of the ancient epic. A thorough prologue provides background details that set the story near the beginning of the Trojan War. Achilles, who is angry with Agamemnon, refuses to fight with the Greek army. After losing his best friend, he rejoins the battle and avenges Patroclus's death by killing Hector. Gods and goddesses join in the willful contests that propel this story. In a brief epilogue, the war ends with the infamous Trojan Horse; a helpful cast of characters is also included. Strachan carefully follows the action of the original story but eschews oral tradition and brings this version, which reads like a made-for-television movie script, into the `90s. The ancient bard relied heavily on epithets, metaphor, simile, and formalized language; Strachan has boiled out all the flavor of Homer. Well-executed, neo-classic illustrations that depict the action are generously spread throughout. Though the human figures look more European than Greek, the battle gear and costumes appear authentic, and Ambrus uses watercolor in striking ways to portray bloody battle scenes. If students are clamoring for the Greek epics, this is an acceptable purchase.--Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews

An illustrated retelling of the events of Homer's tale, focusing primarily on the battles between the Greeks and the Trojans after Achilles stomps off in a huff over Agamemnon's arrogance and insults. In an extremely crowded field, this version from Strachan (The Flawed Glass, 1990, etc.) has several virtues. While explaining everything clearly, it does not condescend to its target audience. The flowing prose makes no attempt to mimic Homer, but is possessed of a rhythm of its own. Its main advantage, however, is found in the vigorous descriptions of the fighting, matched by Ambrus's atmospheric pictures—gory but not too realistic. Strachan, although a bit forward about Hector's private name for his son, Scamandrius (a.k.a. Astyanax), pitches the story toward those who are keen for the "exciting parts," and readers will cheer and moan over the battles. Those who elect to read this aloud may succeed in converting members of the Mortal Kombat generation to fans of Homer's epic story.

From Barnes & Noble
One of the greatest stories ever told, the Iliad recounts the war between the Trojans and Achaeans and the personal and tragic struggle of the fiery-tempered Achilles. A timeless epic of war, duty, honor, and revenge, set in an age when gods battled alongside men.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781143452413
  • Publisher: Nabu Press
  • Publication date: 2/3/2010
  • Pages: 786
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 1.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Homer
Homer
Ancient Greek poet Homer established the gold standard for heroic quests and sweeping journeys with his pair of classic epic poems, The Iliad and The Odyssey.

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
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 3, 2010

    One of the best classics out there.

    This translation of the Iliad is rather simpler than other translations, and is therefore easier to understand. It has a rather interesting beginning, with the priest calling death on the greek camp from Apollo for stealing his daughter.it gives a very thrilling account of the different battles that occur outside Troy's gates, especially the awesome final battle between Achilles and Hector. Also, the various other things that happen, such as Diomedes's rampage, are narrated very well, with Lombardo doing justice to the epic feel of the story. You get to know and love all the characters in the Greek army, such as Odysseus, Diomedes, Telamonian Ajak, O'ilean Ajax, and even Agamemnon. An interesting thing about the liad is the way it portrays death. For instance, whenever Diomedes kills a Trojan, which is quite often, Homer will go back briefly talk about the Trojan's life, and will normally end with saying, 'It is this soul now that Diomedes sends to Hades.' All in all, Lombardo's translation of the Iliad is a great read, and deserves to have a place in any permanent library.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Great Edition

    I am not a fan of epic poetry. When I was assigned the Odyssey in high school, I found it a chore to get through. After much pressure from some friends, I finally gave in and decided to read the Iliad. My friends recommended that I read Lattimore's translation, and I am very glad they did. I found this edition to be very straight forward and readable. It allowed the moving passages of the Iliad to reach me effortlessly. I highly recommend this edition to anyone who has no prior experience with ancient epics, or who like myself had a bad experience in the past. I enjoyed this text so much that I actually am going to try reading Lattimore's translation of the Odyssey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Understandable

    Uses language that actualy makes ense and is still in poetry form

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2007

    troy

    This is epic tale of both love and duty on the war socked plains of Troy. The rivelry inbetween Agomnon and Achillies within the story shows the true meening of humon nature with the gods and goddess of ancient Greece.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2001

    Fantastic book, the epic, earthy translation.

    I have read this book several times, so when I felt the call again I just happened to pick up this translation. I was happily surprised. I would gladly read anything else that he has translated. I like the earthy language, his use of the word 'b' when the goddeses are angry with each other. It fits. The introduction does not give too much away so that as the reader reads, the story unfolds anew. There is a list of the major characters at the end of the book so that if one gets mixed up with the names you just flip to the list and regain your bearing. This makes it user friendly. The story gives the reader a little insight into ancient Greek warfare and more, the struggles for power, the deference paid to heros and the sadness and its expression when facing death. It may have been written by a dead, bald, white man but in many ways it strikes me as anti-war, if the power of the females goddesess indicates anything it is their own power and authority as females. It speaks to modern times is what I am trying to say. Thank you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2000

    THIS is the translation you want.

    Get the LOMBARDO translation. The poetry is just amazing. Here's the opening: 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. Does that capture the original? Who cares? The important thing is that it kicks a*s. If you want to enjoy the excitement of this classic, get this translation. If you want to impress people at cocktail parties, then you probably already know what to do. I've read lots of hyped up books that don't deliver. This one brings the pain. Achilles' psychopathology is so brilliantly rendered that I actually got sick reading about it. His critique of the 'heroic' society that he finds himself in is just stunning. I actually found myself questioning my own society because of it--i.e., here are the sacrifices and rewards that are expected; do they match up? Is it worth it? Besides all of that, this book also provides more massacres per capita than Terminator 2 and Aliens put together. Observe: Oileus at least had the chance to jump down/ And face Agamemnon, but as he charged/ The warlord's spear drove into his forehead/ Oileus' heavy bronze helm had little effect/ On the spears' sharp point, which penetrated/ Not only the helmt's rim but the skull's bone/ Scrambling the grey stuff inside. Top that James Cameron.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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