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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.
man-maiming Ares. These two were planted in front of the gaping high gate As firmly fixed in their stance as a couple of oaks In the mountains, high-crested giants with ground-gripping roots Great and long, abiding both wind and rain throughout Innumerable days. So now these two, with faith In their powerful arms, awaited, firm and unflinching, The fierce onslaught of mighty Asius. And on He came with his followers straight for the well-built gate, All of them screaming their terrible
closer to the historical experience and communal ethos of his late eighth- or seventh-century audience. The Shield is forged by Hephaestus, the god of craft, at the request of Thetis, Achilles’ mother. This new and immortal shield replaces Achilles’ prior shield, which he had given to his beloved Patroclus, who lost it—along with his life—in combat with Hector, the Trojan prince and defender. In a distillation of pure fury following the death of Patroclus, Achilles has resolved to return to
with their hands. When these had assisted Their master through the door, he limped up to Thetis, Sat down in a gleaming chair, took her hand warmly, And calling her name, spoke thus: “My lovely-gowned Thetis, To what do we owe this visit? You are indeed An honored and welcome guest, but your visits here Have not been frequent. So say what you have in mind, And if it can be done and done by me Then my heart says do it.” And Thetis, weeping, replied: “O Hephaestus, is there any goddess
Was first to see him as on he came toward the city, Brilliantly flashing bright as the star that rises In autumn to outshine all of the myriad others That burn in the blackness of night—the star men call The Dog of Orion, most brilliant of all, but wrought As a sign of bad days, for he is the bringer of much Deadly fever upon wretched mortals. So now the bronze flashed On the chest of charging Achilles. And the old one groaned A great groan and violently beat his gray head with his hands,
Another find any better suggestion than this I have had in my mind for some time, since the day when you, O Zeus-sprung mighty chief, took the girl Briseis From the lodge of angry Achilles and went your own Heedless way completely against our will. I myself Did all I could to change your mind, but you Gave in to your pride and insulted our mightiest man, Whom even the gods do not fail to honor. You took And kept his prize of prestige. But still it is not Too late for us to consider how