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Iliad and Odyssey boxed set Paperback – 1999


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0147712556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0147712554
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 8.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #272,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 100 REVIEWER on Jan. 16 2008
Format: Paperback
The Iliad

With many books, translations are negligible, with two obvious exceptions, one is the Bible, and surprisingly the other is The Iliad.

For example:

"Rage--Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
Murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many souls,
great fighters' souls. But made their bodies carrion,
feasts for dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles."
-Translated by Robert Fagles

"Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a heroes did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures for so were the counsels of Zeus fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles first fell out with one another."
-Translated by Samuel Butler

Our story takes place in the ninth year of the ongoing war. We get some introduction to the first nine years but they are just a background to this tale of pride, sorrow and revenge. The story will also end abruptly before the end of the war.

We have the wide conflict between the Trojans and Achaeans over a matter of pride; the gods get to take sides and many times direct spears and shields.

Although the more focused conflict is the power struggle between two different types of power. That of Achilles, son of Peleus and the greatest individual warier and that of Agamemnon, lord of men, who's power comes form position.
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Format: Hardcover
It is not perfect, but it is still one of the best books I've ever read. I believe this is a better story than "The Iliad". There are a lot more journey's and adventures. Besides fighting the Egyptians, Odysseus has to battle the goddess Circe, the Cyclopes, a Monster in a cave that he can't defeat, as well as get by the Sirens. He meets merpeople, and visits many foreign lands. He has to avoid lightning bolts, Hurricane's, Crashing rocks, and even go to Hades to consult with the dead. After all of this the prophets foretell that he will lose his ship and all of his men, but that one day he will make it home again. After all of this will he finally reach home only there to be killed?
After the war at Troy, Odysseus is plagued to travel the world for twenty years before returning home because he killed one of Poseidon's sons. While he is away nobody has heard news of Odysseus and can only assume that he has been killed, but since they can not confirm this, they can not give him a proper burial and pass his property on to his son Telemachus. Suitors who believe Odysseus will never return vie for the hand of Odysseus' wife Penelope. They use this as an excuse to use up all of Odysseus' property and to waste away all of Telemachus' inheritance. There are 108 suitors who represent the best young men of Ithaca and they all come from noble family's. These men have no honor however and behave very badly, so the gods are not on their side.
While on his journey home Odysseus visits Hades and there sees Agamemnon, Achilles, Ajax, Heracles, and many of the other Achaean heroes. It is here that he learns the fate of king Agamemnon who's wife plotted his murder upon his return.
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Format: Hardcover
For nearly three thousand years the poems of Homer have thrilled listeners of every culture and epoch. Allusions to The Iliad and The Odyssey are so pervasive in our western culture that they are almost required reading for anyone who wishes to study western literature.
Briefly, The Iliad is the story of the ten year long Trojan War, which climaxes with the destruction of the city of Troy by the Greeks through the deception of the Trojan Horse, and The Odyssey is the telling of the many adventures of the Greek Chieftan Odysseus (also known as Ulysses) during his long journey home. Filled with tales of the heroes and gods of ancient Greece, the poems are noted for the masterful use of wonderfully illustrative similes and metaphors, which become all the more wonderful with the understanding that Homer is believed to have been blind!
Translations of Homer which try to adhere to the original poetic structure and be as literal as possible are immensely difficult to read by all but the most focused scholars. Other translations have completley deviated from any resemblance of poetry in an effort to be more accessible to the average reader. Here Mr. Fagles has achieved a translation which is not only easy to read and understand, but which retains the poetic lyricism of the original.
Homer's works should be on the bookshelf of anyone who is interested in the classics, and with this translation you don't have to be a University Professor to appreciate them.
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Format: Paperback
Robert Fagles's translation of Homer's Iliad is spiritually if not literally true to the original. Both versions repeat set speeches and descriptions in precisely the same words, and the translation exhibits a fairly regular rhythmic beat. But Homer's Greek was chanted, and the set passages were like refrains in which listeners could, if they chose, join in as a chorus. In English, the repetitions sometimes become tedious, especially when the same speech is given three times in two pages, as in the relay of Zeus's orders in Book II. Especially noteworthy is Bernard Knox's long and fascinating Introduction, which conveys Homer's grim attitude toward war, the interplay of divine and human will, and the ancient concepts of honor, courage, and virility in the face of the stark finality of death. Knox also includes a succinct explanation of the quantitative, rather than accentual, basis of Greek (and Latin) verse. For easy readability, Fagles's translation is without rival. For elegance and poetry, however, I recommend Richmond Lattimore's older but still gripping and fluent translation.
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