The Iliad of Homer 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
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"Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus / and its devastation." For sixty years, that's how Homer has begun the Iliad in English, in Richmond Lattimore's faithful translation—the gold standard for generations of students and general readers.
This long-awaited new edition of Lattimore's Iliad is designed to bring the book into the twenty-first century—while leaving the poem as firmly rooted in ancient Greece as ever. Lattimore's elegant, fluent verses—with their memorably phrased heroic epithets and remarkable fidelity to the Greek—remain unchanged, but classicist Richard Martin has added a wealth of supplementary materials designed to aid new generations of readers. A new introduction sets the poem in the wider context of Greek life, warfare, society, and poetry, while line-by-line notes at the back of the volume offer explanations of unfamiliar terms, information about the Greek gods and heroes, and literary appreciation. A glossary and maps round out the book.
The result is a volume that actively invites readers into Homer's poem, helping them to understand fully the worlds in which he and his heroes lived—and thus enabling them to marvel, as so many have for centuries, at Hektor and Ajax, Paris and Helen, and the devastating rage of Achilleus.
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"Both lucid and learned, Lattimore writes with a certain grace, capturing the combination of nobility and speed which over 100 years ago Matthew Arnold famously heard in Homer’s work. . . . Read Richmond Lattimore's translation for the epic scale and narrative of Homer's poem."― Economist
"Martin's introduction surpasses all rivals. . . . Lattimore's Iliad is best for those who want to feel the epic from the loins up, its rush, its reprieves, and its overwhelming rage." ― Chronicle of Higher Education
About the Author
Richmond Lattimore (1906–1984) was a poet, translator, and longtime professor of Greek at Bryn Mawr College. Richard Martin is the Antony and Isabelle Raubitschek Professor in Classics at Stanford University.
- ASIN : B0069SJMQU
- Publisher : University of Chicago Press; 1st edition (September 19, 2011)
- Publication date : September 19, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 6531 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 608 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #75,106 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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As for the story itself, I suppose it can get tedious with warriors recounting their lineage, and then this one killing that one, and this other killing someone else, over and over. However, some of the kills can be entertaining just by how gory they are described. Spears going through eyeballs, guts pouring out, etc. This book is full of anger and violence. It depicts men at war (with a few women here and there, but mostly in a side role). Gods and goddesses jump in and out of combat, so it is not too historically accurate, but I think it's been decided that the Trojan war was a real event.
is still far inferior to a book.
No links from text to notes at end of book.
At the brink of war, two great nations fought for the sake of glory and honor. One for the rescuing of Helen, the wife of Agamemnon, who was stolen by Paris, and the other for the protection of the fate of Ilium. On the defensive you have the Trojans of Ilium (commonly referred to as Troy), and on the offensive you have the Achaians (commonly referred to as the Greeks). The defenders have Hector as their champion of war, as well as Paris, who is the slimy man who stole Helen from the Greeks. The offenders have Achilles, Patroklus, Agamemnon, Odysseus, and the fuel of indistinguishable rage.
On the one hand this is a battle of mortals, fighting to the death for the honor of an afterlife they aren't even sure is pleasant. On the other hand this is just a microcosm for the chaotic power struggle between the gods of which Zeus is king. Hera, Athena, and Poseidon fight for the Achaians, while Aphrodite, Apollo, and Artemis fight for the Trojans.
Life Is A Battle
One can only wonder what Homer was trying to convey by portraying the entire religious and human constitution as a battle. To be human, according to Homer is to be a warrior, battling through life and death for the ultimate prizes that surpass wealth: honor and glory.
Honor is that human quality that has to do with moral dignity. Best exemplified in Odysseus, it is standing your ground in the face of death in order to fulfill the duty of a soldier to his fellow warriors, to fight for them as well as yourself. To be an honorable warrior is not the same thing as being a glorious warrior.
Glory is that god-like quality of seeking victory and domination for the sake of one's own name. Best exemplified in Achilles, he sought glory in the slaying of Hector, and vengeance in his disgrace. While Achilles was glorious in his victory he was dishonorable in his conduct towards Hector. One can achieve glory without honor just as much as one can achieve honor without glory.
Written in Homeric Greek, this long narrative is actually a poem. Its rhythm exemplifies tension and conflict, rage and warfare. The gore and detail of the battles show that this is a poem about death and mortality more than it is about life and victory. This point cannot be overstressed: the lives of the Achaians and the Trojans were lives of conflict, battle, war, and rage.
A World of Chaos
In the end, the chaotic struggle between men and men, gods and gods, exemplifies the arduous chaos of human life. To be human, according to the Iliad, is to be a fighter. To not fight is to lose, and to not struggle is to be defeated. Whether it be the gods, man, or beast, the good life is the life of constant battle and war.
My one gripe with the Amazon edition is that it is difficult to navigate to chapter beginnings or particular pages. It is helpful to be able to search for particular quotes or words though.
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I'd recomend reading it alongside Wilcock's Companion to the Lattimore Translation (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Companion-Iliad-Translation-Richard-Lattimore/dp/0226898555/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=companion+to+lattimore&qid=1589290368&sr=8-1). This gives line-by-line explanations of the text which can help to clarify lots of questions readers may have about this complex, facinating text.
Note: this review is of the translation of the Iliad by Richmond Lattimore (University of Chicago Press, first published 1951: ISBN 0-226-46940-9)
While nearly everyone may be familiar with parts of the story of the Iliad, it probably comes as a surprise to many that Achilles does not actually die in the poem, but his fate is already set. I've read a lot of novels over the years based on stories around the Iliad and the Odyssey, and am familiar with much that happens in the overall storyline, but it's not until you read a really good transation, such as this one (assuming you cannot read the original Greek which I'm sorry to say I cannot) that you `hear' the beauty and compellingly stunning craft of this epic poem.
The lines of description, of action, of beauty and of horror remain true to colour even at this distance of years and culture. So much of the action in the book is of horrific battle scenes, where those who were wounded, unless it was superficial, had little or no chance of survival given the manner of war in those times. The descriptive battle scenes are, even to our `modern' jaded senses still horrific - for example "Patroklos coming close up to him stabbed with a spear-thrust at the right side of the jaw and drove it on through the teeth, then hooked and dragged him with the spear over the rail ... and as he fell the life left him." (16.404-410).
Lattimore's transation, first published in 1951, remains the translation of choice still for many scholars, and I'm glad I have read the Iliad right through in this translation. It is empathetic and retains much of the rhythm and structure of the original poem, according to other commentaries and works on the Iliad that I am currently studying in conjunction with this work.
15,693 lines of epic poetry, if composed by one man, that mysterious `Homer', and written down perhaps some two and a half thousand or more years ago, is a stunning accomplishment even today; to have been able to compose such a beautiful and astonishingly crafted work such a long time ago, especially if it was originally an orally remembered and transmitted work really does boggle the mind to consider. Brilliant stuff.