The Odyssey  -     By: Barry B. Powell
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The Odyssey

Oxford University Press / 2014 / Hardcover

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Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 528
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 9.25 X 6.13 (inches)
ISBN: 0199360316
ISBN-13: 9780199360314

Publisher's Description

Sing to me of the resourceful man, O Muse, who wandered
far after he had sacked the sacred city of Troy. He saw
the cities of many men and he learned their minds.
He suffered many pains on the sea in his spirit, seeking
to save his life and the homecoming of his companions.


Odysseus--soldier, sailor, trickster, and everyman--is one of the most recognizable characters in world literature. His arduous, ten-year journey home after the Trojan War, the subject of Homer's Odyssey, is the most accessible tale to survive from ancient Greece, and its impact is still felt today across many different cultures.

This lively free verse translation, from one of today's leading Homeric scholars, preserves the clarity and simplicity of the original while conveying Odysseus' adventures in a modern style. By avoiding the technical formality of earlier translations, and the colloquial and sometimes exaggerated effects of recent attempts, Barry B. Powell's translation deftly captures the most essential truths of this vital text. Due to his thorough familiarity with the world of Homer and Homeric language, Powell's introduction provides rich historical and literary perspectives on the poem. This volume also includes illustrations from classical artwork, detailed maps, explanatory notes, a timeline, and a glossary. Modern and pleasing to the ear while accurately reflecting the meaning of the original, this Odyssey is a superlative translation for twenty-first-century readers.

Author Bio


Barry B. Powell is Halls-Bascomb Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His translation of The Iliad (2013) was also published by Oxford University Press.

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Barry Powell's translation of The Iliad:


"Magnetically readable." --Booklist, starred review


"[A] clear and energetic translation.... Staying true to Homer's poetic rhythms, Powell avoids the modified iambic lines found in Lattimore's, Fagles's, and Mitchell's works. He also avoids Lombardo's tendency to cast Homer in contemporary language and Fitzgerald's anachronisms. This fine version of The Iliad has a feel for the Greek." --Library Journal


"With swift, transparent language that rings both ancient and modern, Barry Powell gives readers anew all of the rage, pleasure, pathos, and humor that are Homer's Iliad--a reading experience richly illumined by the insightful commentary and plentiful images accompanying the text." --Jane Alison, author of The Love-Artist


"This translation is the complete package. A lucid and accessible introduction gives a general audience what they need to appreciate the nature of this extraordinary poem, and the translation itself is admirably energetic, readable, and direct. Powell's style is individual and self-assured, and his lines cry out to be read aloud. Just as in the original, the pace never lets up and the events of that long-lost past flash by. It is a remarkable achievement, one that fully deserves to rank with any of the current contenders." --Denis Feeney, Princeton University


"Barry Powell's clever translation is simple and energetic: sometimes coarse, sometimes flowing, it is always poetically engaged. He lays bare the semantic background of Homer through felicitous phrasing and delivers us a Dark-Age epic, one more suggestive of Norse sagas than the cultural milieu of archaic Ionia. Fresh and eminently readable, Powell's Iliad is likely to stay." --Margalit Finkelberg, editor of The Homer Encyclopedia


"Barry Powell, the master of classical mythology, has done it again--a powerful translation of the poem that started European literature. His muscular verses are faithful to the original Greek but bring the characters to life. This is a page-turner, bound to become the new standard." --Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules--For Now


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