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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.
Patroclus, He heaved a deep sigh and said: “Ah how very well, O my unlucky, most precious friend, how very well You would set forth a fine meal for us in this lodge And with what dispatch, whenever the Argives were hastening To hurl a tear-fraught attack on the horse-taming Trojans! But now you lie here, gashed and torn, and I, so much Do I miss you, have no wish at all to eat or to drink, Though there is plenty right here at hand. Nothing That I could suffer could be more painful than
deep consternation, then shouted to him Of the dazzling white shield, Deïphobus, asking a long spear Of him. But he was nowhere around, and Hector, Aware now of just what had happened, spoke thus: “So be it. Surely the gods have summoned me deathward. For I Thought sure that the hero Deïphobus stood right behind me, Whereas he is safe on the other side of the wall, And Athena has tricked me. Now evil death is at hand For me, not far off at all, nor is there any Way out. Such, I believe,
Hereafter. But go as your guide I most surely will, Even all the way to world-famous Argos, if such Is your wish, very carefully guiding and guarding you always, Whether on land or aboard a swift ship. Nor would Any man attack you for want of respect for your escort!” So saying, help-bringing Hermes sprang up behind The car-drawing horses, caught up the whip and the reins And breathed fresh spirit into the horses and mules. When they came to the trench and the wall round the ships, the
“Old sire, To sleep this way in the midst of your foes, it must be You have no idea of possible harm, now that Achilles has spared you. True, you have ransomed your son, And great was the ransom you paid. Just think what the sons You left in the city would have to pay for your life— Three times as much at least—if Atreus’ son Agamemnon should find that you’re here and the other Achaeans Get word!” At this the old King was afraid and awakened His herald. And Hermes harnessed the horses
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