Reviews for Iliad


Choice Reviews 1997 December
Homer has been well served in recent years by good translators, and many students have learned to appreciate the Iliad through the fine renditions of Richmond Lattimore and Robert Fagles. But this reviewer predicts that the dominant translation for the 21st century will be this masterful version by Stanley Lombardo (Univ. of Kansas). Unlike Lattimore--who crafted his skillful diction to evoke the august, archaic language of the original--Lombardo has adopted the strategy of turning Homer's heroic dactylic hexameters into fluent, crisp, and often brilliantly colloquial English that most readers will find more accessible and more eloquent than other translations. In her extremely useful introduction, Murnaghan lucidly summarizes and makes available for the student and general reader the results of complex scholarship on Homer, and she offers sensitive guidance for reading the Iliad as a work that documents the triumph of the human spirit and not merely as a war poem. Three appendixes listing the names of the principal divine and human characters (with pronunciation guides), providing book and line citations of combat deaths, and noting all of the important speeches in the poem enhance even more the value of this superb edition as the English-speaking reader's best introduction to the Iliad. Academic collections serving undergraduates at all levels and graduate students. Copyright 1999 American Library Association

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Library Journal Reviews 1997 June
With the publication of Robert Fagels's impressive translation of the Odyssey (Viking Penguin, 1996, pap.) and now this equally impressive translation of the Iliad by Lombardo, this year seems to blazon something of a Homeric renaissance. Lombardo concedes from the start that "Homer's musicality cannot be heard in any kind of English," and so he does not compose his Iliad in hexameters or, for that matter, in any standard, regular meter. Instead, based on his experience as an oral performer of Homer's poetry, he writes the lines "based on the cadences of natural speech." The result is a Homer that "is brought to life" for the modern reader with no loss of original integrity?the achievement of a scholar, translator, and performer. Accessible and readable as Lombardo's translation is, it is rendered even more so by the superb, comprehensive introduction by Sheila Murnaghan, which provides a rich but lucid discussion of the classical context of the epic. A helpful appendix provides thumbnail sketches of the major characters, a catalog of combat deaths, and an "Index of Speeches." This handsome, superbly done Iliad will be read and enjoyed by everyone. Highly recommended for all libraries.?Thomas F. Merrill, formerly with Univ. of Delaware Copyright 1997 Cahners Business Information.

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