The Iliad of Homer - The Original Classic Edition

Overview

The Iliad is typically described as one of the greatest war stories of all time, but to call it a war story does not begin to describe the emotional sweep of its action and characters: Achilles, Helen, Hector, and other heroes of Greek myth and history in the 10th and final year of the Greek siege of Troy.

This is a high quality book of the original classic edition.

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The Iliad of Homer - The Original Classic Edition

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Overview

The Iliad is typically described as one of the greatest war stories of all time, but to call it a war story does not begin to describe the emotional sweep of its action and characters: Achilles, Helen, Hector, and other heroes of Greek myth and history in the 10th and final year of the Greek siege of Troy.

This is a high quality book of the original classic edition.

This is a freshly published edition of this culturally important work, which is now, at last, again available to you.

Enjoy this classic work. These few paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside:

Those who maintain the Homeric poems to have been written from the beginning, rest their case, not upon positive proofs, nor yet upon the existing habits of society with regard to poetry?for they admit generally that the Iliad and Odyssey were not read, but recited and heard,?but upon the supposed necessity that there must have been manuscripts to ensure the preservation of the poems?the unassisted memory of reciters being neither sufficient nor trustworthy.

... Moreover, there is a strong positive reason for believing that the bard was under no necessity of refreshing his memory by consulting a manuscript; for if such had been the fact, blindness would have been a disqualification for the profession, which we know that it was not, as well from the example of Demodokus, in the Odyssey, as from that of the blind bard of Chios, in the Hymn to the Delian Apollo, whom Thucydides, as well as the general tenor of Grecian legend, identifies with Homer himself.

...There seems, therefore, ground for conjecturing that (for the use of this newly-formed and important, but very narrow class), manuscripts of the Homeric poems and other old epics,?the Thebais and the Cypria, as well as the Iliad and the Odyssey,?began to be compiled towards the middle of the seventh century (B.C. 1); and the opening of Egypt to Grecian commerce, which took place about the same period, would furnish increased facilities for obtaining the requisite papyrus to write upon.

...If, however, the Homeric ballads, as they are sometimes called, which related the wrath of Achilles, with all its direful consequences, were so far superior to the rest of the poetic cycle, as to admit no rivalry,?it is still surprising, that throughout the whole poem the callida junctura should never betray the workmanship of an Athenian hand, and that the national spirit of a race, who have at a later period not inaptly been compared to our self admiring neighbours, the French, should submit with lofty self denial to the almost total exclusion of their own ancestors?or, at least, to the questionable dignity of only having produced a leader tolerably skilled in the military tactics of his age.

...As to this little poem being a youthful prolusion of Homer, it seems sufficient to say that from the beginning to the end it is a plain and palpable parody, not only of the general spirit, but of the numerous passages of the Iliad itself; and even, if no such intention to parody were discernible in it, the objection would still remain, that to suppose a work of mere burlesque to be the primary effort of poetry in a simple age, seems to reverse that order in the development of national taste, which the history of every other people in Europe, and of many in Asia, has almost ascertained to be a law of the human mind; it is in a state of society much more refined and permanent than that described in the Iliad, that any popularity would attend such a ridicule of war and the gods as is contained in this poem; and the fact of there having existed three other poems of the same kind attributed, for aught we can see, with as much reason to Homer, is a strong inducement to believe that none of them were of the Homeric age.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781486144105
  • Publisher: Emereo Pty Ltd
  • Publication date: 6/14/2012
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 402
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.82 (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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