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The Iliadby Homer
Synopses & Reviews
The rage sing, O goddess, of Achilles, the son of Peleus,
the destructive anger that brought ten-thousand pains to the
Achaeans and sent many brave souls of fighting men to the house
of Hades and made their bodies a feast for dogs
and all kinds of birds. For such was the will of Zeus.
Thus begins one of the oldest and most important works in Western literature. First recorded in the eighth century BC, Homer's Iliad has captivated readers ever since, and its raw and evocative depiction of warfare is as poignant today as it was in Archaic Greece. It is a song about a war fought long ago, whose themes — anger, glory, honor, hate, love, death, terror, violence, and forgiveness — remain timeless.
In this new translation, distinguished Homerist Barry B. Powell provides an original rendition of the epic that is graceful, lucid, and energetic. Powell's tight and balanced rhythms evoke a continuous "stream of sound," approximating Homer's Greek better than any previous English translation. This is an Iliad at its simplest and most direct, though firmly attuned to its astonishing range and complexity.
The translator's accompanying introduction masterfully captures the historical authority of the Iliad as a touchstone of Western culture. Synthesizing a lifetime of inquiry and original scholarship, Powell convincingly shows how the invention of the Greek alphabet made Homer the most studied of ancient poets and placed the Iliad at the core of Western civilization.
Enriched with informative footnotes, illustrations from classical artwork, maps, a Homeric timeline, and a glossary, this new Iliad is sure to become the definitive translation.
The Iliad is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, for which Barry Powell, one of the twenty-first century's leading Homeric scholars, has given us a magnificent new translation. Graceful, lucid, and energetic, Powell's translation renders the Homeric Greek with a simplicity and dignity reminiscent of the original. The text immediately engrosses students with its tight and balanced rhythms, while the incantatory repetitions evoke a continuous "stream of sound" that offers as good an impression of Homer's Greek as one could hope to attain without learning the language.
Accessible, poetic, and accurate, Powell's translation is an excellent fit for today's students. With swift, transparent language that rings both ancient and modern, it exposes them to all of the rage, pleasure, pathos, and humor that are Homer's Iliad. Both the translation and the introduction are informed by the best recent scholarship.
* Uses well-modulated verse and accurate English that is contemporary but never without dignity
* Powell's introduction sets the poem in its philological, mythological, and historical contexts
* Features unique on-page notes, facilitating students' engagement with the poem
* Embedded illustrations accompanied by extensive captions provide Greek and Roman visual sources for key passages in each of the poem's twenty-four books
* Eight maps (the most of any available translation) provide geographic context for the poem's many place names
* Audio recordings (read by Powell) of fifteen important passages are available at www.oup.com/us/powell and indicated in the text margin by an icon
Homer's Iliad is one of the foundational texts of Western Civilization. The timelessness of its story, of men battling fate amidst the horrors of war, still stirs the imaginations of readers year after year. What is offered here is the first translation by someone who is both an eminent scholar and published poet. Based on his thorough familiarity with Homeric language, Powell's free verse translation preserves the clarity and simplicity of the original, while recreating the original feel and sound of the oral-formulaic style. By avoiding the stylistic formality of earlier translations, and the colloquial and sometimes exaggerated effects of recent attempts, he deftly captures and conveys the most essential truths of this vital text. Helpfully included in this edition are a detailed introduction, illustrations, maps, and notes. Modern and pleasing to the ear while accurately reflecting the meaning of the Greek, Powell steers a middle path between the most well-known translations and adds something unique to the canon.
About the Author
Barry B. Powell is the Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
List of Maps
List of Figures
About the Translator
Book 1: The Anger of Achilles
Book 2: False Dream and the Catalog of Ships
Book 3: A Duel to the Death
Book 4: Trojan Treachery, Bitter War
Book 5: The Glory of Diomedes
Book 6: Hector and Andromachê Say Goodbye
Book 7: The Duel Between Hector and Ajax
Book 8: Zeus Fulfills his Promise
Book 9: The Embassy to Achilles
Book 10: The Exploits of Dolon
Book 11: The Glory of Agamemnon and The Wounding of the Captains
Book 12: Attack on the Wall
Book 13: The Battle at the Ships
Book 14: Zeus Deceived
Book 15: Counterattack
Book 16: The Glory of Patroklos
Book 17: Fight Over the Corpse of Patroklos
Book 18: The Shield of Achilles
Book 19: Agamemnon's Apology
Book 20: The Dual Between Hector and Ajax
Book 21: Fight with the River; Battle of the Gods
Book 22: The Killing of Hector
Book 23: The Funeral of Patroklos
Book 24: The Ransom of Hector
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