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The great war epic of Western literature, translated by acclaimed classicist Robert Fagles
Dating to the ninth century B.C., Homer’s timeless poem still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to the wrenching, tragic conclusion of the Trojan War. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of the Iliad is grim and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace.
Combining the skills of a poet and scholar, Robert Fagles, winner of the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation and a 1996 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, brings the energy of contemporary language to this enduring heroic epic. He maintains the drive and metric music of Homer’s poetry, and evokes the impact and nuance of the Iliad’s mesmerizing repeated phrases in what Peter Levi calls “an astonishing performance.”
This Penguin Classics Deluxe edition also features French flaps and deckle-edged paper.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
surely your own Evil tricks have put noble Hector out of the action And driven the host in retreat. Truly I do not Know but that you shall yet be the first to reap The fruits of your miserable malice and plotting—when I Put stripes on you with a whip! Can it be that you’ve really Forgotten when I hung you high with an anvil suspended From each of your ankles and a band of unbreakable gold About your wrists? And you hung far up in the air Among the clouds, and the gods throughout high
regard to parents and lineage, For though neither one of us ever laid eyes on the other’s Dear parents, we’ve both heard the stories which mortal men Have passed down from days gone by. Men say you’re the son Of matchless Peleus and that your mother is Thetis, She of the beautiful braids, a child of the brine. But I claim descent from courageous Anchises, my father, And Aphrodite herself!3 And of these two couples, One or the other shall this day mourn a dear son, For I don’t think we
and the birds!” He spoke, and the Argives roared like a mighty wave That the South Wind drives to break on a craggy high coast, A jutting cliff forever pounded by waves No matter what wind is blowing. And the men got up And moved out in a hurry, lit fires in their shelters and ate. Each of them made an offering to one or another Of the everliving gods and prayed to come out alive From the toil and moil of Ares. The commander-in-chief Agamemnon slew a sleek bull of five years to the high
strong Diomedes, glaring At Sthenelus, said: “Quiet, my friend, and do As I say. I surely don’t blame our commander-in-chief Agamemnon for stirring up fight in the well-greaved Achaeans, For he is the one who stands to win the most glory If we Achaeans destroy the Trojans and sacred Ilium falls, just as he stands to suffer The most if we go down in defeat. Come, man, Concentrate now on nothing but furious fighting!” So saying, he leaped in full armor from his car to the ground, And the
brine. Leave nothing Behind on that wide beach but the covering sand. Thus you may surely demolish the Achaeans’ great wall.” While they were talking, the Achaeans worked on, and the sun Went down on the finished ramparts. Then the weary men Slew oxen and ate by their lodges. And many ships With cargoes of wine were drawn up there from Lemnos, Ships dispatched by Jason’s son Euneus, Borne by Hypsipyle to Jason, the people’s shepherd. For Atreus’ sons, Agamemnon and Menelaus, Euneus Had