One of the first and greatest literary achievements of Greek civilisation, The Iliad focuses on the pivotal four days towards the end of the ten-year war between the Greeks and the Trojans. In a series of dramatic set pieces, it follows the tragic story of the humiliation of Achilleus at the hands of Agamemnon and his slaying of Hector: a barbarous act with repercussions that ultimately determine the fate of Troy. The Iliad not only paints an intimate picture of individual experience, but also offers a universal perspective in which human loss and suffering are set against a vast and unpitying divine background where fickle, quarrelsome gods decide the fate of men.
Martin Hammond's acclaimed prose translation is accompanied by an introduction which discusses the central themes of The Iliad and provides a lucid synopsis of the work.
About The Author
Homer was probably born around 725BC on the Coast of Asia Minor, now the coast of Turkey, but then really a part of Greece. Homer was the first Greek writer whose work survives.
He was one of a long line of bards, or poets, who worked in the oral tradition. Homer and other bards of the time could recite, or chant, long epic poems. Both works attributed to Homer – The Iliad and The Odyssey – are over ten thousand lines long in the original. Homer must have had an amazing memory but was helped by the formulaic poetry style of the time.
In The Iliad Homer sang of death and glory, of a few days in the struggle between the Greeks and the Trojans. Mortal men played out their fate under the gaze of the gods. The Odyssey is the original collection of tall traveller’s tales. Odysseus, on his way home from the Trojan War, encounters all kinds of marvels from one-eyed giants to witches and beautiful temptresses. His adventures are many and memorable before he gets back to Ithaca and his faithful wife Penelope.
We can never be certain that both these stories belonged to Homer. In fact ‘Homer’ may not be a real name but a kind of nickname meaning perhaps ‘the hostage’ or ‘the blind one’. Whatever the truth of their origin, the two stories, developed around three thousand years ago, may well still be read in three thousand years’ time.
|The background to the Iliad||p. viii|
|The theme of the Iliad||p. xvi|
|A critical summary of the Iliad||p. xviii|
|A Note on Names||p. li|
|A Note on the Greek Text||p. lv|
|The Anger of Achilleus||p. 3|
|The Catalogue of Ships||p. 19|
|Paris, Helen, Aphrodite||p. 41|
|The Breaking of the Truce||p. 53|
|Diomedes Triumphant||p. 67|
|Hektor in Troy||p. 91|
|Duel of Hektor and Aias||p. 105|
|Trojan Success||p. 118|
|The Embassy to Achilleus||p. 133|
|Night Operations||p. 151|
|Achaian Retreat||p. 166|
|The Assault on the Wall||p. 188|
|The Achaians Rally||p. 200|
|The Seduction of Zeus||p. 221|
|Fighting at the Ships||p. 234|
|The Death of Patroklos||p. 253|
|The Battle over Patroklos||p. 275|
|Thetis, Achilleus, and New Armour||p. 295|
|Achilleus and Agamemnon Reconciled||p. 311|
|The Return of Achilleus||p. 322|
|The Battle of the Gods||p. 335|
|The Death of Hektor||p. 351|
|Funeral Games for Patroklos||p. 365|
|Achilleus and Priam||p. 388|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Penguin Classics
For Ages: 18+ years old
Number Of Pages: 528
Published: 1st December 1987
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.36