'In Robert Fagles' beautifully rendered text, the Iliad overwhelms us afresh. The huge themes—godlike, yet utterly human—of savagery and calculation, of destiny defied, of triumph and grief compel our own humanity. Time after time, one pauses and re-reads before continuing. Fagles' voice is always that of a poet and scholar of our own age as he conveys the power of Homer. Robert Fagles and Bernard Knox are to be congratulated and praised on this admirable work.
The story centres on the critical events in four days of the 10th and final year of the war between the Greeks and 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 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
The background to "The Iliad"; the theme of "The Iliad"; a critical summary of "The Iliad"; a note on names. "The Iliad": book 1 - the anger of Achilleus; book 2 - the catalogue of ships; book 3 - Paris, Helen, Aphrodite; book 4 - the breaking of the truce; book 5 - Diomedes triumphant; book 6 - Hektor in Troy; book 7 - duel of Hektor and Aias; book 8 - Trojan success; book 9 - the embassy to Achilleus; book 10 - night operations; book 11 - Achaian retreat; book 12 - the assault on the wall; book 13 - the Achains rally; book 14 - the seduction of Zeus; book 15 - fighting at the ships; book 16 - the death of Patroklos; book 17 - the battle over Patroklos; book 18 - Thetis, Achilleus, and new armour; book 19 - Achilleus and Agamemnon reconciled; book 20 - the return of Achilleus; book 21 - the battle of the Gods; book 22 - the death of Hektor; book 23 - funeral games for Patroklos; book 24 - Achilleus and Priam.
Here is a fine Iliad for our times, to be read with great pleasure -- Philip Howard The Times Surely the best Iliad in quite a few decades Greece & Rome Journal Martin Hammond's new version is the best and most accurate there has ever been, as smooth as cream but as clear as water . . . Hammond's Iliad deserves to become a standard book -- Peter Levi Independent Superbly direct and eloquent . . . by its sensitivity, fluency, and flexibility, it will win a permanent place on the shelves of Homer-lovers -- Martin Fagg Times Educational Supplement This new prose translation of the Iliad is outstandingly good . . . to read it is to be gripped by it Classical Review Much the best modern prose translation of the Iliad -- Robin Lane Fox Financial Times
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