The Iliad is the first and the greatest literary achievement of Greek civilization - an epic poem without rival in the literature of hte world, and the cornerstone of Western culture. The story of the Iliad centres on the critical events in the last year of the Trojan War, which lead to Achilleus' killing of Hektor and determine the fate of Troy. But compassion and humanity, he presents a universal and tragic view of the world, of human life lived under the shadow of suffering and death, set against a vast and largely unpitying divine background. The Iliad is the first of the great tragedies.
An ancient Greek epic which underpins the whole of western literature, Homer's The Iliad is a timeless evocation of the struggle to retain a sense of honour and virtue amidst the horrors of war. This Penguin Classics edition is translated with an introduction by Martin Hammond. The Iliad is the greatest literary achievement of Greek civilization. The story centres on the critical events in four days of the tenth and final year of the war between the Greeks and the Trojans. It describes how the quarrel of Agamemnon and Achilleus sets in motion a tragic sequence of events, which leads to Achilleus' killing of Hektor and determines the ultimate fate of Troy. But Homer's theme is not simply war or heroism. With compassion and humanity he presents a universal and tragic view of the world, of human life lived under the shadow of suffering and death, set against a vast and largely unpitying divine background. The Iliad is the first of the world's great tragedies. Martin Hammond's acclaimed translation is accompanied by a full introduction and a comprehensive index. Seven Greek cities claim the honour of being the birthplace of Homer (c. 8th-7th century BC), the poet to whom the composition of the Iliad and Odyssey are attributed. The Iliad is the oldest surviving work of Western literature, but the identity - or even the existence - of Homer himself is a complete mystery, with no reliable biographical information having survived. If you enjoyed the Iliad, you might like Homer's Odyssey, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Martin Hammond's modern prose version is the best and most accurate there has ever been' Peter Levi, Independent 'A fine Iliad for our times' Philip Howard, The Times
The Greeks attributed both the Iliad and the Odyssey to a single poet whom they named Homer. Nothing is known of his life, though the main ancient tradition made him a native of the island of Chios in east Aegean. His date too is uncertain: most modern scholars place the composition of the Iliad in the second half of the eighth century BC. Martin Hammond has taught in England and in Greece. He has also translated the Odyssey. He is now Headmaster of Tonbridge School
“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.” –Atlantic Monthly
“Fitzgerald’s swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before…This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time.”–Library Journal
“[Fitzgerald’s Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer’s art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase.” –The Yale Review
“What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald’s.” –National Review
With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy
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