"Best" translation of Iliad & Odyssey?

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"Best" translation of Iliad & Odyssey?

heinäkuu 6, 2011, 4:54 pm

So how about it readers? Do you prefer Pope, Fitzgerald, Fagles, etc.?

heinäkuu 6, 2011, 6:19 pm

Although it has probably been superseded by later prose translations, I like Andrew Lang's translation of the Iliad. I have yet to read his translation of the Odyssey, having read the Fitzgerald translation instead. Personally, comparing the prose from the Lang Iliad to the Fitzgerald Odyssey ( I'll concede somewhat of an apples to oranges comparison ), I prefer the Lang to the Fitzgerald.

I have never read the Pope translation of the Iliad straight through, having just read portions when the mood strikes. It is a good poetic translation, though not as clear as the prose translations; and therefore best read after one of the prose translations IMO.

heinäkuu 6, 2011, 6:23 pm

I think we've gone over this ground before, but since you asked:

1. I think anyone who really loves Homer will not be content with just one translation but will want multiple translations.

2. The two epics are so different in character, I do not find a single translator who has satisfied me equally when he has translated both poems.

3. We have debated lengthily what makes a "faithful" translation, and haven't come up with a definitive answer. I tend to take the approach that the best translation is usually the best recreation of the work in the language into which it is translated, and as in religion, "faithfulness" is a matter of trying to be faithful to the spirit of the original, not to a literal translation of the words (which can sometimes be impossible).

Given that criteria, I like Fagles' translation of The Iliad best of the half-dozen I've read, and have to call a draw between Fitzgerald's verse, and T.E. Lawrence's prose, translation of The Odyssey.

heinäkuu 6, 2011, 7:50 pm

To comment further, especially in light of my third criteria above, I have to say that the version of The Odyssey I find most pleasurable to read is one that is flatly rejected by most scholars and critics today, Herbert Bates' school edition in verse. It is unfortunately abridged; that is one of the reasons it isn't seriously considered today. The other reason is that it is versified in iambic tetrameter (horrors! not even good English iambic pentameter, let alone Homer's "rolling" hexameters). To most, that makes it NOT a "faithful" translation.

But as Bates pointed out in his introduction, Homer's dactylic hexameters make for heavy lines in English. Classical Greek is lighter and the way the accents fall permit great speed of line, whereas in English the initial stress followed by two weak syllables is plodding in comparison. (Think of the opening of Longfellow's Evangeline--and if Longfellow was anything, he was a highly skilled versifier). The English language seems best suited to iambs. To achieve the kind of speed that Bates felt was characteristic of the original, he used a verse form that is not what most think of when they think of long narrative poetry. Judge for yourself if you think it works:




Troy’s sacred citadel. And many

The men whose cities he beheld,

Whose minds he learned to know, and many

The sorrows that his soul endured

Upon the deep the while he strove

To save himself from death and bring

His comrades home.

Of these things now,

Daughter of Zeus, O goddess, tell us,

Even as thou wilt, the tale.

Ere this

Those others who escaped death’s stroke

Had reached their homes at last, delivered

From battle and the sea. But him

And him alone—though still he longed

For home and wife—the nymph Calypso,

A mighty goddess, kept imprisoned

Within her hollow caves, and longed

To make him there her husband. No,

Not when the day came when the gods

Granted, as circling season passed,

That he might once again return

To Ithaca—not even then,

With those that loved him, might he find

A rest from strife. And all the gods

Felt pity for him, all but one—

Poseidon. Still, with wrath unceasing,

He strove against the good Odysseus

Until he reached his home.

(compare with Fagles)

Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns

driven time and again off course, once he had plundered

the hallowed heights of Troy.

Many cities of men he saw and learned their minds,

many pains he suffered, heartsick on the open sea,

fighting to save his life and bring his comrades home.

But he could not save them from disaster, hard as he strove-

the recklessness of their own ways destroyed them all,

the blind fools, they devoured the cattle of the Sun

and the Sungod wiped from sight the day of their return.

Launch out on the story, Muse, daughter of Zeus,

start from where you will – sing for our time too.

(and Fitzgerald)

...Begin when all the rest who left behind them
headlong death in battle or at sea
had long ago returned, while he alone still hungered
for home and wife. Her ladyship Kalypso
clung to him in her sea-hollowed caves--
a nymph, immortal and most beautiful,
who craved him for her own.

And when long years and seasons
wheeling brought around that point of time
ordained for him to make his passage homeward,
trials and dangers, even so, attended him
even in Ithaka, near those he loved.
Yet all the gods had pitied Lord Odysseus,
all but Poseidon, raging cold and rough
against the brave king till he came ashore
at last on his own land.

Not knowing classical Greek, I can't say with any certainty, but it seems to me the translators who used the longer lines have used more words than necessary to fill out the lines. At any rate, I still say that it's pretty hard to say "this is the best translation."

heinäkuu 6, 2011, 11:20 pm

My first thought, oh no, here we go again. Well said Django!

heinäkuu 7, 2011, 2:31 pm

Thanks for the comments everyone. I was merely curious as to your preferences.
I already own the Fitzgerald versions and am thinking of trying Fagles next.

heinäkuu 7, 2011, 4:48 pm

You can always learn Ancient Greek and read the original :)

Seriously though - I am with the majority here - if you want the full experience and not just to read the books because of class/interest/whatever, read a few translations.

heinäkuu 7, 2011, 7:01 pm

Check out the nice new edition by the Chester River Press using the Pope translation:


Available from Oak Knoll for $350. Very impressive in person with the Greek en face.

heinäkuu 7, 2011, 9:26 pm

Looks like a lovely set and I especially like bilingual editions but I personally would never buy another Pope translation.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 8, 2011, 3:59 pm

So far I’ve read only the Fitzgerald translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey, which I enjoyed for the readability and the way he makes the story flow, however I am keen to try some alternative translations.

An extensive list of English translations of both works with links to samples and even full texts can be found here:


Some reflections from an English Professor on the more popular translation by Fagles, Fitzgerald and Lattimore are here:


The article by Prof. Harris includes some interesting thoughts on the lengths of lines in translations compared to the original.

heinäkuu 8, 2011, 4:40 pm

>9 kdweber: I suspect you had mentioned somewhere but which one made you so... unforgiving to Pope?

>10 Stephan68:
That's one of the things that sometimes get to me - the English translations don't have the same melody as the Bulgarian translation that I read back in high school. Or the part of the Russian translation that was included in an anthology. Interesting article :)

heinäkuu 9, 2011, 8:12 am

Martin Hammond's. They are almost word for word from the Greek. Which makes them somewhat difficult to read unless you appreciate Homer's technique - a good intro to that is Adam Parry's introduction to the collected papers of his father Milman, £30 or so on abebooks.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 14, 2011, 4:08 pm

Too bad we can't get a little DMP from De Selby and ask Homer ourselves in some underwater cave. Sorry, can't help but interject something from what I'm reading when an opportunity presents itself.

Fagles' Iliad was great. How about Chapman though? Perhaps, we shouldn't think about the best per se, but marvel at the sheer variety and invention.

Studying ancient Greek is an anachronistic activity. Can anyone arrive at a true understanding of it, its meanings, its sounds? Not to mention the process of transcribing the oral technique onto paper x number of years ago.

heinäkuu 16, 2011, 1:22 pm

>13 DanMat: Studying ancient Greek is an anachronistic activity.

What an odd comment! Studying pretty much any literature more than a generation or so old faces us with a comprehension gap because our values and associations are not the same as the author's. Homeric Greek seemed alien to the inhabitants of Periclean Athens - every bit as antiquated as Chaucerian English seems to us. Even the values enshrined in the Homeric epics were alien in classical Greek times - the culture of gift exchanges and the culture of honor. I don't think classical Athens was much better placed than we are to understand the cultural depth of the Homeric epics - but that didn't spoil their enjoyment of them just as great tales.

heinäkuu 16, 2011, 8:27 pm

>14 appaloosaman: "that didn't spoil their enjoyment of them just as great tales"

Precisely. And the translation that permits the greatest enjoyment for the reader today is, for me, the preferred one.

The fact that I can read and understand Beowulf and The Battle of Maldon in the Old English, and Chaucer, Langland and the works of the Pearl Poet in the original doesn't mean I could, if transported back to those days, swap stories, or even make myself understood, to those poets. But I can appreciate the music of their verse with my limited knowledge, and have seen that no translation I've ever read can do justice to that music, and can only substitute music of its own devising.

I think this is the best any translation can hope for, when it comes to poetry, and I wish I had the opportunity when I was young to learn classical Greek and Latin so I would have a better appreciation of Homer's and Virgil's music. But the stories can be just as enjoyable, and just about every published translation of the Homeric epics I've read--over a dozen--seems to tell the same stories.

heinäkuu 17, 2011, 12:06 am

Those seeking enjoyment will very likely find it the work of a fairly recent translator, Stanley Lombardo, and this pleasure is only intensified by listening to Professor Lombardo reciting (and drumming) on an audio version.

heinäkuu 17, 2011, 2:27 am

>13 DanMat: Studying ancient Greek is an anachronistic activity

If you think so. Studying any languages adds a layer to how you view the world - even dead languages. And this one has enough literature to make the layer a thick one:)

>15 Django6924:
It is never too late:)

heinäkuu 18, 2011, 12:37 pm

Those sounds are probably closer to the poetics than an English translation, but…

I believe there's more evidence for the way Latin sounded.



Again, we are also assuming (quite incorrectly) to have an accurate transcription of Homer, who, to complicate things, was part of the oral tradition and as such probably altered or varied his performances. Furthermore, a standardized text of Homer was commissioned in the 2nd century AD carried out by a small group known as the Alexandrine grammarians. There’s no way to know how much was removed, or had been added along the way. So even if there was a Homer, and some of what he’d done was recorded, it’s safe to say the works as we have them now are the combined efforts of a multitude of individuals, for better or worse. I’m not suggesting that it’s not worthwhile to study ancient Greek, but if you want to get closer to an author in their native language, studying French, Russian, etc. is a better bet. Even then, it’s not without issue.




*The bickering commentary is enlightening:


heinäkuu 18, 2011, 3:16 pm

The Iliad is an amazingly coherent work, only the Rhesos episode ostensibly unrelated to the remainder and generally not included in the standard texts. So it is likely that it's the work of one man. I have a vision of someone saying "OK, Homer, we've got this fantastic new-fangled writing invention, give us your best story in its longest exegesis..." After all, performing the Iliad would take a week minimum - who could afford that? I wonder if Rhesos was the equivalent of a bonus track; a bit of Homer that hadn't been included so someone shoehorned it in.

One point to note is that the Iliad's plot is very simple; Achilles goes on strike and gets revenge for his dead friend. That's sustained over 500 pages. Whereas others within the epic cycle go through all sorts - Memnon, Troilos, the wooden horse, the death of Paris, Neoptolemos and so on - in a tenth of the time. Homer knew how to make a little go a long way.

heinäkuu 20, 2011, 9:48 am

I prefer the Fitzgerald translations for clarity and ease of reading. For a prose translation I like the classic Rieu translation in the Penguin Classics. But I also love the Pope translations of the Oddysey and Illiad. These are classics in their own right - but they are not the easiest translations to follow. I like them because I like Pope's poetry generally.

heinäkuu 20, 2011, 10:06 am

>20 Quicksilver66:

Interesting that you like the Rieu translations--my very first comparative literature teacher in college couldn't standD them! She thought they were just too slangy and inappropriate in their diction (I remember she used to snort about the translated passage "'And you, Menelaus, you good old redhead!'"). She was in her 70s then, and a Smith graduate who had a classical education and could read Latin and Greek, so I suspected she had SOME knowledge of what the original was like (although now I realize that because one may have read The Iliad in the original doesn't mean one can catch subtleties of style, which must only come after a deep immersion in all the extant works in ancient Greek).

At any rate, I also like George Palmer's prose translation of The Odyssey, though not as much as T.E. Lawrence's. How much is lost in a prose translation, though, for the sake of clarity and fidelity? From the article Stephan68 cited above by Prof. Harris, one can see that a verse translation usually takes some liberties with the text to meet the requirements of poesy. A prose translation needn't do so, but the music is sacrificed. Still, the music of a translation isn't the same music as the original text anyway, so what's the advantage of a verse translation, if all you are interested in is the story?

heinäkuu 20, 2011, 10:17 am

> 21

I think your teacher had a point. I have a fondness for Rieu because it's the first translation I read (during a holiday to Greece when I was 13). I believe that the philosophy behind Rieu's trsanslation was to produce a Homer for the masses. In fact, it was one of the first Penguin paperbacks to be released.

The Loeb prose translations are a reasonable alternative (translated by AG Murray). They are less sensational than Rieu if you prefer a more sedate and dignified Homer. But I can't get over my bias for a verse translation - it somehow seems a more authentic way to read Homer, even if the music is not the same as the original.

If anyone is interested in the Pope translations both are available from EP in gorgeous editions from the 100 Greatest Series.

heinäkuu 20, 2011, 4:43 pm

Rieu is not so much a translation as a paraphrase. Avoid.

heinäkuu 20, 2011, 6:34 pm

>22 Quicksilver66:

I enjoy the Pope translations, too, because I like Pope--but it isn't Homer. I'm not sure why, but for me Dryden's Aeneid in heroic couplets works much better as a translation than Pope's Homer.

heinäkuu 21, 2011, 2:10 am

> 24

You have touched on the central paradox of translation, Django. Which translation is Homer? Probably none of them.

heinäkuu 21, 2011, 9:52 am

>25 Quicksilver66:

And all of them. I've read probaly 6 translations of The Iliad and sampled at least 6 more. I've read even more translations of The Odyssey. The story's the same in all of them.

heinäkuu 21, 2011, 10:23 am

The Quicksilver66 and Django6924 posts above made me think of an evasive answer Bilbo Baggins gave to the trolls in The Hobbit:

(Troll): "Before we throw you in the stew, answer this. Are any of the translations close to Homer?"
(Bilbo): "Yes, lots. No none at all, not one."

Since the stories originated in the oral tradition and were passed along through many "bards" after Homer (if there was a Homer), it makes it even more impossible to know whether one has come close. I'm thankful that we have the stories and epics we do from the oral tradition of different cultures but in a sense a story "dies" once it is written down, in that it stops growing as it did when passed along orally. It's a snapshot of a once living thing. The original Homer might have been a bit perturbed to hear how his epic was being recited at it's last oral performance before it was written down. So in a way, reading the many different translations and versions is like seeing different performances. Some you like, some you don't, and you are surprised when your friends favor the ones you don't.

heinäkuu 21, 2011, 2:42 pm

>27 jveezer: "in a sense a story "dies" once it is written down, in that it stops growing as it did when passed along orally. It's a snapshot of a once living thing"

Very pertinent point, jveezer. How many times have I gone to small venues, listened to one of my favorite traditional jazz bands blow up a storm, have bought one of their CDs that had the particular song I liked best, then been sorely disappointed. The execution may have been flawless (with editing, it probably was), but it missed the mark totally in excitement levels.

elokuu 1, 2011, 2:43 pm

Last weekend I finished The Aeneid in the translation by Fitzgerald. It was my first attempt at this work and I while I did enjoy reading it, I found it at times much harder going than Fitzgerald’s rendering of The Iliad or The Odyssey. I am wondering how the Fagles translation compares to this.

elokuu 4, 2011, 2:27 pm

It's hard to compare Homer to Virgil. On the whole, the Illiad and Odyssey are more satisfying. Not sure if Fagles' translation could make much difference.

elokuu 29, 2011, 5:56 am

I'm no expert, but here is my tuppence worth.

I have read in full the Fitzgerald translation , The Cecil D Lewis translation and I have used the H. Rushton Fairclough translation for assistance in reading Virgil in Latin as a parallel translation.

I find it hellishly difficult to come down firmly on one side or the other. It may just be sentiment (as it was my first read of the Aeneid) but I liked very much the impression Fitzgerald gave me, and similarly so with his translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey.

elokuu 29, 2011, 10:36 am

>1 SaxonWarlord:
Saxon, you can see we all have one or more favorites. If you're wondering whether the Fagles translation is worth searching out the most recent FS editions, I'd say yes. In fact, you can still get shrink-wrapped copies of The Odyssey from barnesandnoble.com.

maaliskuu 9, 2012, 8:18 pm

I have two copies of these books and am wondering which would be better for me to read first, as I've never actually read the story at all. The first I have is the one in the Barnes And Noble Leatherbound collection, which is a translation by a Samuel Butler, and contains no textual notes or anything; the second is in the Wordsworth Classics collection, is translated by George Chapman, and has a fair number of endnotes.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 12, 2012, 4:26 pm

Nothing middle of the road then? Between the two I couldn't say. I detest the Butler translation. And Chapman's is a specialized rendering. A fourteener. Get a Fagles or Lattimore.

maaliskuu 12, 2012, 5:04 pm

What is it about the Butler translation you hate so much and what do you mean by Chapman being a specialised rendering?

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 12, 2012, 7:00 pm

Butler turns it into a regular story, no vitality. I don't mind a prose translation, I have the Loeb Murray ones and they are great. But if you are going with lines Chapman is beholden to a specific English prosody regardless of what the material is doing. Adding here and there to get his 14 syllables. It's stunning to read aloud for an English speaker, but there are charier choices if you want to experience a poem feel and still be true to the material.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 22, 2012, 3:23 pm

I work in the Classics department of a bookshop in Oxford which caters for the needs of Oxford University's Classics faculty (possibly still the strongest in the world). We sell books daily to about 200 undergraduates and tutors/historians such as Robin Lane Fox, Robin Waterfield, Michael Wood, Simon Hornblower, Bettany Hughes etc...

... and I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, Lattimore is considered the best English Iliad and Fitzgerald the best English Odyssey.

maaliskuu 22, 2012, 3:18 am

Bought the aforementioned Chester River Press edition today for $100. I love bilingual editions of works not originally in English. I guess I'll be reading it in the Pope translation.

maaliskuu 25, 2012, 12:40 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

heinäkuu 14, 2012, 5:19 am

I came across this quote from the Iliad not long ago:

"As is the generation of leaves, so too of men:
At one time the wind shakes the leaves to the ground,
but then the flourishing woods
Gives birth, and the season of spring comes into existence
So it is of the generations of men, which alternately
come forth and pass away."

Anyone have any idea what translation it's from? I'm going crazy trying to find it out using Google.

heinäkuu 14, 2012, 6:32 am

> 40
Great quote! Let us know when you find the translator.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 14, 2012, 12:55 pm

The quote is from an article by Laura Nash:



I would guess it's not a full translation, just a partial rendering for the article, even though the citation (in the second link) mentions the specific book making it appear it's from a full translation of the Iliad it very likely isn't. Anyone with Jstor access want to check the footnote in original article? It might provide a definite answer. Sadly I have no access at the moment.

Here's a brief bio of Ms. Nash:


And another:


What a talented lady!

heinäkuu 14, 2012, 12:42 pm

> 40, 42

This is a fairly literal (but beautiful) translation. I've looked at the article in JSTORR and the footnote merely gives the reference in the Iliad, i.e., Book 6, lines 145-149. I've checked half a dozen translations and it isn't any of them. Given Ms Nash's credentials and the lack of citation, I would think the translation is her own.

heinäkuu 14, 2012, 6:59 pm

>42 DanMat:, 43
Thanks :)
I'm a bit disappointed that it's probably not a full translation. I actually like the one in this quote better than the same section in any of the other ones I've compared it with.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 15, 2012, 12:55 am

>13 DanMat: Studying ancient Greek is an anachronistic activity

As works of epic poetry, the Iliad and Odyssey can only fully be appreciated in their original language, with the poetic metre and alliterations intact. Translation can only ever communicate the gist of these masterworks.

There is certainly nothing anachronistic about studying the ancient language except that insofar as we ignore doing so, we kill the original art.

I will grant you that any modern performance of the text would no doubt carry a thick modern accent to the ancient ear. But, then, it is written in an Ionian dialect, so would you also then claim that an ancient Syracusan (or Ithican!) greek-speaker would not have access to the original language just because they speak a different dialect? No.

>1 SaxonWarlord: Do you prefer Pope, Fitzgerald, Fagles, etc.?

Pope's works are not translations, but English poetic works inspired by the original. I don't think that Pope's poems can really be on the list of legitimate translations, which is not to say that they don't deserve to be appreciated as works in their own right.

Fagles has been well received.

>37 Alexander_Of_Macedon: ...without a shadow of a doubt, Lattimore is considered the best English Iliad and Fitzgerald the best English Odyssey.

Worth looking into.

heinäkuu 15, 2012, 3:00 pm

> 45. As works of epic poetry, the Iliad and Odyssey can only fully be appreciated in their original language

Agreed, as long as we're talking about "epic Greek poetry."

Do any translations rise to this level of quality? Arguably only Pope, but, as you say, that's a case of "epic English poetry," that shares with the Greek only some details of the plot.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 28, 2012, 3:41 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

marraskuu 16, 2012, 12:46 am

For anyone who's interested....the bookseller Edward R. Hamilton is selling the Iliad and Odyssey set as publishd by Chester River Press for $111.95. Original price was $350.00. A set I own and like, but bear in mind (for the persnickety types) tis a Pope translation. The bookseller is very reliable, but his packaging can lead to rubbed books or slipcases. I've never seen him provide packing material around a book inside the box. The catalog I have calls for free shipping as well through year's end, although it appears that the inserted order form is required for that benefit. If interested, take a look:


marraskuu 16, 2012, 3:29 am

> 48
I bought the very same set from an American dealer via Alibris for £37 with delivery to England. For that price I thought I'd take a punt and it turned out to be brand new and superbly packaged. I should also add that there was a bit of cash back for going through one of those referral sites.

marraskuu 16, 2012, 3:09 pm

I tend to hop on things like this a bit early, I suppose. I bought the book directly from Chester River, but paid about $225 as I recall. It is quite nice even for that price. For the price you paid, tis outright theft!

marraskuu 30, 2012, 3:04 pm

>48 untraveller: My sealed boxed set just arrived today, and I was able to get it for $70 (It was very well packed from Book Outpost). I saw at least one more copy at that price when I ordered it. If anyone one was on the fence on this one, I highly recommend it. Stunning!

joulukuu 15, 2012, 12:45 pm

>48 untraveller:

Hard to resist these at $111.00! The books are massive and beautiful but I guess they are very difficult to sell at $350 in these depressed times.

Despite Samuel Johnson's ravish praise, the Pope translation (the one used in these editions) is probably among the least used or read these days. Chief annoyance is his decision to use Roman-Latin names, so Athena becomes Minerva, Zeus is Jupiter, etc., presumably because the Latin names were more familiar to educated readers in his time.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 21, 2013, 4:42 am

The translation quoted in >40 johni92: is by Ian Johnston


ETA: it's not. Apologies.

I'm reading the Odyssey in the Butler prose, gotten the Fagles paperback because it was in a local store, and also I'm checking Johnston's translation. Because I started with the Butler I prefer that, although the Johnston certainly is a good read. Fagles just doesn't work for me, yet.

It also struck me (like >27 jveezer: mentioned) I'm just 'listening' to different performances of the same song, since Homer is said to be a bard, and each performance must have been different, even by himself.
The differences lend themselves to repeated reading of the story, something I'm normally hesitant about, requiring at least a decade between rereads to make sure the details are sufficiently foggy to be surprised once more.

elokuu 21, 2013, 4:03 am

>53 JerryMmm:

From the link you posted:

"Generations of men are like the leaves.
In winter, winds blow them down to earth,
but then, when spring season comes again,
the budding wood grows more. And so with men—
one generation grows, another dies away."

which is a different translation from the one I posted in >40 johni92:.

elokuu 21, 2013, 4:42 am

Sorry, I obviously read too quickly and didn't refer back to the text. I guess I was distracted by the dedication.

elokuu 27, 2013, 12:45 pm

Iliad: Lattimore ("faithful"). Fagles ("dynamic"). Buttler ("accesible"). Pope ("grandiose")
Greek alongside Lattimore is not that crazy and you get better: http://digital.library.northwestern.edu/homer/
Easiest: Free audiobook. ML Cohen is the man: http://librivox.org/the-iliad-by-homer-translated-by-samuel-butler/

Odyssey: Fiztgerald ("poetic"). Fagles ("balanced"). Buttler ("accesible"). Pope ("grandiose")
Greek alongside Huddleston's is not that crazy and you get better: http://digital.library.northwestern.edu/homer/
Easiest: Fagles audiobook read by Sir Ian McKellen. Worth every penny.

As much as I love and admire the FS Editions, I find the Fagles Paperback Deluxe very practical and satisfying too.
Read it out loud if you can. Even better, create a group and read a Chapter(Book) to each other. In a nice place.

elokuu 27, 2013, 12:55 pm

The Chester River Press edition with Greek and English (Pope) texts side by side is a fantastic enterprise:


Muokkaaja: elokuu 27, 2013, 1:05 pm

>56 Saint-J:

Thanks, your saintliness, for a useful overview!

You might also like to check out Anthony Verity's new translation of the Iliad. It's my current favourite.


The video on the link is worth watching, too.

(I hope he's now working on the Odyssey.)

Edited to add:

>57 drasvola:

Yes, I also love the Chester River Press edition. Fantastic illustrations.

elokuu 27, 2013, 1:25 pm

>57 drasvola: Totally agree. This one was always so tempting... but it was unreasonably big for me. So I went for the tiny grek-english LOEB instead.
But now, after just getting Night Thoughts nothing seems out of question anymore... Oh well...

BTW drasvola... I seem to recall you might be from Spain... If so, you might be interested in this new bilingual edition:
But you probably know about it already... I haven't had time to buy and read this promising new translation yet.

Muokkaaja: elokuu 27, 2013, 1:40 pm

> 59

Yes, I am. That's welcome news. Thanks a lot, Saint-J. Revista de libros used to have a paper edition to which I subscribed. Lack of funding forced them to quit the project, and now there is a digital edition which I unfortunately don't follow regularly. I will have to check it more often. I don't read Greek, but I like bilingual editions just the same...

Muokkaaja: elokuu 28, 2013, 4:31 am

>58 boldface: Cheers. I'm aware it is a bit too ambitious and stereotyped to describe translations with just a word, but wanted to make it brief.
Thanks a lot for the tip. I'll try Verity's as soon as I can (so many books...). I'm always up for an Iliad re-read.
I just went through the video. Very interesting. Thanks again.

Funnily enough, just yesterday I was strolling while listening the "brutal" voice of Cohen that fits Iliad's vibe so well:

60> Also, you probably realised the author of the article is Crespo, the translator of Clasicos Gredos' Iliad. My first.
My Greek is extremely rusty these days, so I usually don't check if this or that word is dative or genitive anymore.
I just read the modern fragment first to get the gist of it and then I clumsily read out loud the greek to see how it sounds.
(many of the words you end spotting after a while, as Homer tends to repeat words and expressions).
If you really want to go down to business with every word instead, then Chicago's Homer tool is a life saver.
But I don't have the time nor the inclination for this nowadays, apart from the odd, occasional, brief fragment.

syyskuu 7, 2013, 5:20 pm

>58 boldface:
Just got the Verity's one. I'm mid-way and I'm loving it. I can't put it down.
It is very clear and modern. And it reads very fast. It feels more like a recent, original work than a translation.
Sometimes I miss more poetic versions but it still manages to retain quite some poetry in such an easy read.

Personally, my favourite Iliad was Lattimore's but I was recommending Fagles or Buttler first to most people.
I might still prefer Lattimore's "spirit" but it looks like I'll be recommending Verity's first to most people now.
Many thanks boldface for the great suggestion. Without it, I would have missed this gripping read.

syyskuu 7, 2013, 8:18 pm

>62 Saint-J:

I'm glad you're enjoying the Verity. Your description of its qualities is very apt, and like you I find it very hard to put down. I always end up reading twice as much as I intended!

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 8, 2013, 8:15 pm

>63 boldface:
I went through it. Very, very good. Thanks again because I would have never read it otherwise.
I knew about it back then but after a couple of initial lukewarm reviews I decided to pass on it.
Big mistake. I also hope he is working on the Odyssey now. "Please, sir, I want some more".

tammikuu 15, 2017, 2:57 pm

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

tammikuu 17, 2017, 4:22 pm

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

tammikuu 18, 2017, 3:07 am

I suppose the anti author vigilantes have more experience, but I thought his contributions were on topic and relevant. Too bad.

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 18, 2017, 4:24 am

>67 JerryMmm:

Agreed - my reading of the Terms and Conditions was admittedly a bit cursory, but the relevant criteria I could find referred to commercial solicitations being unwelcome here, and this chap seems not to have been making any attempt to sell anything. Ah well. I noted his recommendation, though I'm happy with the Homer I know, primarily E. V. Rieu and occasional hours with a Loeb, and I was glad to be able to alert my wife, who herself translated a few books of the Iliad a while back, to his current project.

tammikuu 26, 2017, 6:03 am

>64 Saint-J:

For those who enjoyed Anthony Verity's translation of the Iliad, I've just noticed that his translation of the Odyssey was published last October. It renders the Greek line by line so you can easily compare it with original.

helmikuu 8, 2017, 3:12 pm

I adore Martin Hammond's translation of "The Iliad". I love Dryden's translations of Virgil. I loathe Fagles.

helmikuu 12, 2017, 2:23 am

Guess I'm a bit late to this thread, but the Lattimore translations are by far my favorite among them all. His is the closest to the original Greek version. Fitzgerald is out cause his is barely a translation because he adds too much to it that wasn't in the original text. And Fagles is acceptable, but he tries to simplify things too much by making his own interpretation of certain words that may have meant to be a bit more ambiguous or multi-layered.

Lattimore's version keeps the ambiguity of Homer's wording intact. Like his translation of the beginning of Odyssey where he translates Odysseus as a man of "many ways", which can mean both, goes through many unexpected paths, but also as a man who's resourceful and multi-talented. This is closer to the original meaning. Fagles instead interprets the text by stating that he's a man of many twists and turns, which really only touches upon half of the meaning of the original text.

I'd love to see Folio do a version of Lattimore's Iliad and Odyssey.. but I think it's a long shot.

syyskuu 12, 2017, 9:12 pm

Interesting thread. I picked up Hammond's translation of the Iliad yesterday for $1 and as part of a general review of the books I had just purchased, I read the first chapter of them all, and I was immediately taken by Hammond's prose: very nicely done indeed.

But now on reading this thread I'm inclined to pick up a Lattimore copy of both the Iliad and Odyssey. Duly enabled.

syyskuu 12, 2017, 10:17 pm

Anyone interested in the false problem of translation should read Jorge Luis Borges' essay 'The Homeric Visions.'

syyskuu 12, 2017, 10:49 pm

I don't know if I replied to this thread or not but I would highly recommend Caroline Alexander's new translation of the Iliad. And I believe her other book "The War That Killed Achilles" wouldnmake an excellent compliment if one were planning a read. Also, look at my bookshelf, I've read/assembled quite a collection of Homerica over the years and can recommend a number of good commentaries.

syyskuu 12, 2017, 11:03 pm

>74 jlallred2000: Nice collection!

Muokkaaja: elokuu 12, 2018, 5:53 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

syyskuu 18, 2017, 5:07 pm

Tämä käyttäjä on poistettu roskaamisen vuoksi.

heinäkuu 16, 2018, 2:37 pm

The website at https://iliad-translations.com compares the leading translations most thoroughly, including those by Lattimore, Fitzgerald, Fagles, Lombardo and six more worthy versions.

heinäkuu 16, 2018, 3:38 pm

>78 LoweRoad:

Your first post, I believe. Welcome to FSD!

I heartily recommend the FSD Wiki as a good place to start:


Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 17, 2018, 7:38 am

I still think its hard to beat the Fitzgerald translations available from the Everyman's Library. Of course I'm no expert, not speaking ancient Greek, but its the version I have found easiest to read. Pope's Homer is magnificent - but it's Pope, not Homer !

heinäkuu 17, 2018, 12:08 pm

I am reading the newly published translation of the Odyssey by Emily Wilson and I think it's wonderful. I also read an extensive interview with her and her thought process behind her translation. It feels very fresh and alive, the words seem to jump off of the page. However, I am (unfortunately) not a student of the classics so I would be interested to hear how other more informed people responded to this translation.

heinäkuu 17, 2018, 1:37 pm

Looks interesting

heinäkuu 17, 2018, 4:38 pm

>81 kristinemoore: Just checked out the first 7 verses and it looks very readable, although maybe a bit loosely translated for me. For example:

πολύτροπον (resourceful, of many plans) becomes 'complicated', which is far more negative than the Greek;
αὐτῶν γὰρ σφετέρῃσιν ἀτασθαλίῃσιν ὄλοντο, (they perished/were destroyed through their own sins/faults) is not translated at all;
τῶν ἁμόθεν γε, θεά, θύγατερ Διός, εἰπὲ καὶ ἡμῖν (From anywhere, goddess, daughter of Zeus, tell us this too) becomes 'tell the old story for our modern times. Find the beginning.' which seems to break the fourth wall way too much, emphasising the amount of time between the story and now.

A good copy to read if you're interested in following the story but do not want to suffer through overly litteral (or poetic) translations. The use of meter in a translation is a nice touch, though it seems somewhat forced and requires serious thought to read properly for me (though that may also be attributed to me not being used to English iambic pentameters).

E.g.: "Find THE beGINning" simply cannot be the intended emphasis. FIND the beGINning would be way more natural.

The pentameter has less space unfortunately: it contains 10 syllables whereas the dactylic hexameter can have anywhere between 12 and 18. This means there is less space to convey the message of the original, meaning the translator has to slash parts to adhere to the original line spacing.

Personally, I still prefer the Dutch translation by H.J. de Roy van Zuydewijn, which has the benefit of using the original meter and being faithful to the original, both in storytelling and in word order. To me, it manages to encapsulate some of Homeros' magic without becoming stuffy or unreadable. For English, I would personally prefer a non-poetic translation so that it does not have the syllable restrictions, or a poetic translation that does not pretend to follow the original line numbers too closely (cf. Golding's translation of Ovidius' Metamorphoses) so that it doesn't require slashing/line filling.

heinäkuu 17, 2018, 10:33 pm

I originally read the Fagles translations when I was 11-12 years old, so those translations are so strongly imprinted on my mind that its hard for me to read other versions. Still, I hope one day to learn enough Ancient Greek to read these properly...

heinäkuu 19, 2018, 9:34 am

Thanks for the insight. I did wonder about the emphasis put on adhering to the original line spacing and why it seemed to be such a big selling point, and how that restriction affected the translation. I have read the Iliad before (don't remember which translation) but this is my first foray into the Odyssey so I am quite enjoying the story for now!

Of course, I hope to read more translations in the future and a lifetime goal I have for myself is to learn both Latin and Ancient Greek. I apparently have high hopes for my self teaching abilities, ha!

heinäkuu 29, 2018, 3:03 am

I very much recommend Peter Green';s translation of the Iliad. It's vastly superior to the Fagles. And of course the Pope is very fine.

I'm reconciled to the idea that I will never read the original :)

heinäkuu 29, 2018, 8:24 am

>85 kristinemoore:
Good luck with the Latin. I studied it at school and have probably forgotten most of it, sadly.

I really like it when translated books are published in the original with the translation alongside. It's a fascinating puzzle to try and work out which words correspond to which. I did French at school so that's not too hard but when it's, say, Finnish or Ancient Greek, then it's a whole new cryptic crossword.

heinäkuu 29, 2018, 9:09 am

>85 kristinemoore: For my studies, I translated parts of the Odyssey and Iliad (roughly 4-5 books from each, ca. 700 lines/book) directly, making a literal translation. That translation, even for a classicist, is very tough reading. A literary/published translation will probably bring you more pleasure.

Not trying to burst your bubble, but: It took me 2 years of university level Greek/Latin to read Homeros at 2 pages/hour and Vergilius at 1.5/hour. I'm a bit quicker now, though not anywhere near to fluent reading level. Few scholars are.

heinäkuu 30, 2018, 3:46 pm

I use the Fitzgerald translation when I teach the Odyssey in my 9th grade English class.

I took three semesters of Greek, but haven’t retained all of it. I can bluff my through a few sentences here and there, if I’m able to recognize enough of the root words. I don’t remember enough Greek to be able to critique the faithfulness or accuracy of a particular translation.

elokuu 2, 2018, 4:05 pm

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

marraskuu 10, 2020, 9:26 am

>7 AnnieMod: And don't forget the Loeb editions. Not artistic translations, but as 'literal' translations of the surviving Greek, the best one will find. After that, one can read the more 'artistic' translations...

marraskuu 10, 2020, 9:46 am

I'm partial to the Stephen Mitchell translation of the Iliad. Most readable that I've found in English. I own the Pope translation as well. https://stephenmitchellbooks.com/translations-adaptations/the-iliad/#

marraskuu 11, 2020, 1:46 pm

>92 ntenBroek: The Pope is more Pope than Homer though ;-)

marraskuu 11, 2020, 2:31 pm

The amount of money I've wasted for finding the 'best' translation on so many authors is astounding. I had to get the new Proust Penguin editions (and even ordered from the UK to get the last few due to copyright issues,) only to find I vastly preferred the Moncrieff version. For famous Russian literature it seems one either loves or hates the Pevear and Volokhonsky translations but they were the first translations I've read on Dostoevsky, who is probably my favorite author, and I've tried other translations but just can't get into them. All of it is so subjective and my advice is read a few paragraphs of each and find the one you like the best. I've read the Iliad at least three times and I enjoyed all three translations: Green, Fitzgerald and Fagles. In five years some publisher will find THE BEST translation and the critics will go wild, only for the same thing to happen again and again and again.

marraskuu 12, 2020, 6:04 pm

Havng been to the pub, and listened to a story teller tell Greek and Norse tales - the best translation is not a written one. The best translation is in front of a rumbunctious audience in a pub.

If you are listening and find yourself craving mead, steak and embracing your best mate in a bear hug - then you are truly listening to a great interpretation.

Translations are fine - but the trick is not in the reading, but in the speaking and listening - which 20th and 21st century society seems to have forgotten.

marraskuu 13, 2020, 7:41 am

>95 SandyF14: Lucky you. May one ask where this pub is?

marraskuu 13, 2020, 8:17 am

marraskuu 16, 2020, 5:13 pm

Depending on which approach one wants - either Fagles or Lattimore. And I'm not going to stick my neck out on that one.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 15, 2021, 3:27 pm

It depends what you're looking to get out of it. I personally consider Odyssey and Iliad great because they open a window to the mindset of people back then - but maybe the first read should be more light and focused on the story itself. In Greek translations, more often than not, there's 2 people working on it - the scholar who translates and the poet who sets the prose (Kakrides/N. Kazantzakis translation to modern Greek for example).

Iliad shows how people thought they were tied to destiny and external factors. If you read the original it's striking to notice that no action is because of man's doing - Gods pull the strings and men are the helpless actors. Iliad is essentially about the μήνις (anger) of the Gods. The voices in our head we so naturally call "thought" today were in essence considered external (on a similar note, if one goes further back, early Sumerians each had a personal God idol, who could "talk in their head"). We consider "thinking" so natural that it's difficult to conceive there was an evolution to get where we are today (the relation of thinker and "me" is also part of this evolution).

Odyssey on other hand is about the craftiness and mindfulness of man (or μήτις, a word that disappeared even from ancient Greek, but important enough for books to be written about it - referring especially to the amazing work by Vernant Jean-pierre and Detienne Marcel).

I personally hold both works in high regard because they reveal a lot about the progress of human consciousness - a translation that focuses on the actual story can obscure that. But that's my take and I'm confident there's very clever people here that found other angles to appreciate.

heinäkuu 15, 2021, 3:28 pm

>100 bacchus.: that was very interesting, thank you. I am enjoying this thread a lot.

Muokkaaja: heinäkuu 15, 2021, 3:30 pm

>100 bacchus.: 'early Sumerians each had a personal God idol, who could "talk in their head").'

Must have got that from Philip Pullman.

heinäkuu 15, 2021, 3:47 pm

>102 boldface: Not sure if that was meant to be belittling but I'll be an optimist and take it as a compliment because I do appreciate Dark Materials for various reasons :) However my blueprint book is "The Origin of Consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind" by Julian Jaynes - not as popular or inviting to read.

heinäkuu 15, 2021, 6:12 pm

>103 bacchus.:

Not belittling at all. I was just struck by the similarity of ideas.

heinäkuu 15, 2021, 7:32 pm

>104 boldface: I apologize! You've triggered my interest and now looking forward for a fresh-angle re-read.

heinäkuu 22, 2021, 2:46 pm

>99 JacobKirckman: I loved Lattimore and very much disliked Fagles. Lattimore was simultaneously sonorous and utterly human. Fagles was dull and prosaic. No contest in my book.

heinäkuu 22, 2021, 2:50 pm

>94 Joshbooks1: Thank you, Joshbooks1. I have been swayed by reviews and critiques and was about to track down the new Prousts. I already own the Moncrieffs and so will just read them. Same with Garnett vs. Pevear/Volokhonsky.
I can read Proust in the original, so I only need a translation for help. I don't read Russian, so I'm stuck with someone else's vision/renderings into English.

heinäkuu 25, 2021, 6:53 pm

>21 Django6924: I enjoyed Palmer’s translation. I have a good library of the Barnes and Nobles Classic so that is my first read of Iliad and Odyssey. Reading Fitzgerald’s Odyssey now, will read Lattimore’s Iliad next. Gotta start somewhere.

heinäkuu 28, 2021, 5:16 pm

I read The Odyssey in high school, but I couldn't tell you who the translator was. I enjoyed it. I read parts of it again in college in various translations, along with parts of The Iliad. When I decided I wanted a nice copy I compared all the currently available translations (skipping anything that was abridged) and decided I really liked Fagles. In fact, I liked him enough to buy The Odyssey, The Iliad, and The Aeneid all in hardcover. No regrets.

syyskuu 3, 2021, 4:58 pm

>81 kristinemoore: I just stumbled upon that interview with Emily Wilson on her Odyssey translation - below for reference.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 5, 7:07 pm

Emily Wilson's translation of The Iliad is expected in September 2023:


kesäkuu 5, 8:41 pm

>111 Charles959: This is in bookshops here in the states.
She opens with: "Tell me about a complicated man"

I'll stick with Fagles: "Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns driven time and again off course, once he had plundered the hallowed heights of Troy."

kesäkuu 6, 12:40 am

>112 L.Bloom: That’s the Odyssey.

kesäkuu 6, 2:22 am

Odyssey is more forgiving than the Iliad. No wonder most people prefer Odyssey. When you are left with the obvious themes Iliad might seem dry in comparison.

The portrayal of consciousness in Iliad is relatively collective and bound by societal norms and expectations of heroism. This requires a careful and sensitive translation that maintains these subtle nuances, hence making it more challenging. Individual words are important. The body parts that buzz and steer reveal a gap in self-consciousness as compared to what we are used to today.

On the other hand, Odysseus represents a more individualistic consciousness - which we can directly compare with.

kesäkuu 6, 6:23 am

>112 L.Bloom: I’m all for new translations of works, the more the better. Even if they are not very good, new versions don’t cause old ones to disappear.

But my God, that opening line from Emily Wilson is terrible!

kesäkuu 6, 8:19 am

>113 kermaier: Oops, I saw her Odyssey this weekend. Based on what I saw I expect her Iliad to open with: "Tell me about an angry guy."

kesäkuu 6, 8:28 am

kesäkuu 6, 11:43 am

>116 L.Bloom: Could be worse - soon we'll have "Wait for it - you won't believe what happens in Book 16!"

kesäkuu 6, 12:08 pm

Now you choose! Engage Hector in mortal combat? Turn to of 72. Bunk off with Patroclos? Turn to pg. 30.

kesäkuu 6, 1:02 pm

>114 bacchus.: Which translations do you think capture these nuances in consciousness best?

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 6, 3:40 pm

>120 Inceptic:
While I've only read the Iliad in modern Greek translations, and not in English, I can try and illustrate the importance of dealing with these nuances.

In Iliad, thoughts and emotions are ascribed to a range of quasi-independent agents: thumos, menos, phrenes, noos, psyche, etc. These agents don't fit into a unified structure (what today we perceive as the individual); rather, they serve as distinct components responsible for specific functions that in many translations are mostly attributed to the mind.

The nuances usually extend beyond this however. Consider the use of the word "menes", which is usually translated as "anger" or "rage".

In many translations I found that "menes" and "thumos" are treated as synonyms (rage-anger). In Ancient Greek, "thumos" is what steers someone from idleness to action - could be anger or something as mundane as getting hungry.

"Menes" on the other hand signifies a specific kind of rage, a divine rage, the intensity of which is always associated with the gods (like when Apollo shoots his arrows), but never with humans; ie a word reserved for Gods.

So when the very first verse in Iliad starts with,

"μῆνιν (god-rage) ἄειδε (sing) θεὰ (goddess ~ muse) Πηληϊάδεω (Peleas') Ἀχιλῆος (Achilles)",

which, in my own words, comes out like,

"Sing to me, muse, the god-rage of Peleas' son, Achilles",

the bard is setting the tone for Achilles' hubris - a primary theme of the epic. Translating it as "anger" or "rage" dilutes the meaning. And even if one argues that Achilles is a semi-god, he's still "the son of a mortal, Peleas".

I'd love to discuss this deeper but the post can quickly get boringly long.

If interested in delving deeper into these complexities, I highly recommend the brilliant Iliad chapter in Julian Jaynes's 'The Origin of Consciousness', though his theories overall can be quite overwhelming to fully embrace (but they are brilliant nevertheless).

A more recent take is 'Greek Models of Mind and Self' by A.A. Long (2015) which I found very insightful.

kesäkuu 6, 3:55 pm

My experience is only with Fagles (Iliad and Odyssey) and Caroline Alexander's Iliad, which I loved. Wilson's Odyssey has been on my TBR pile these four years; like Odysseus its journey has had its delays...

kesäkuu 7, 4:37 am

"So when the very first verse in Iliad starts with,

"μῆνιν (god-rage) ἄειδε (sing) θεὰ (goddess ~ muse) Πηληϊάδεω (Peleas') Ἀχιλῆος (Achilles)",

which, in my own words, comes out like,

"Sing to me, muse, the god-rage of Peleas' son, Achilles","

And even that cannot capture the decision to put μηνιν FIRST. The initial word in the poem and the most important one.

And the second line of the poem? Just when you think the sentence is over, it's an adjective, describing μηνιν. ουλομένην, with a sense of murderous destruction.

"Godfury, goddess sing, of Achilles Peleades...
Genocidal, which made agony in ten thousand of Achaia..."

kesäkuu 7, 4:51 am

>121 bacchus.:

Thank you very much for these explanations. This is fascinating. I do wish I could read the original.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 7, 12:05 pm

>124 SF-72:
Appreciate it! Takes time to get the thoughts down but I admit I enjoy it.

>123 InVitrio: “Godfury, goddess sing, of Achilles Peleades”

This is much better indeed :)

>123 InVitrio: The initial word in the poem and the most important one.

Agreed! The emotion is above Achilles’ station. His aberrant “menes” disrupts the established order.

The first rhapsody repeatedly explores the theme of boundary overstepping while oscillating from order to disorder. The poet meticulously details the sequence of hierarchy - even Apollo, in his “menes”, targets dogs and mules before humans.

With this in mind, I can't help but suspect that there's a deliberate parallel between the epic and the sudden collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, along with all the Achaean kingdoms.

I find it plausible that a significant enough shift in consciousness had by then occurred, which the long-standing status quo could no longer contain - if there was ever an apt moment for the term "woke", this could be it.

Perhaps Achilles marks the first true egoist, and the poet’s scapegoat, who by breaking the established order inflicted “unending sufferings”, which understandably might have followed the end of the God-King epoch.

The Greeks disperse for reasons unknown and gradually create city-states, personal poetry like Sappho’s, democracy, tragedy, and other components necessary to facilitate and further nurture the emerging individual.

Viewed from this perspective, the Iliad, the Odyssey, lyric poetry, and classical philosophy encapsulate milestones of our cognitive evolution. They reflect an accelerated transition from the collective-mythological to the personal-logical understanding of our world.

kesäkuu 11, 8:26 pm

>123 InVitrio: I would love to read your full translation. That's a masterful opening.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 13, 2:45 am

My book club, which reads aloud the book we’re doing (so no homework—-it’s great), just finished Robert Fagles’ translation of The Odyssey. Everyone agreed that it was an excellent translation for our purpose: lively and approachable, but preserving the sense that one was reading a poem, not a prose account. When I discovered that the FS editions of Homer’s epics used Fagles’ translations I decided to treat myself to them. They arrived today and I am quite delighted.

kesäkuu 13, 3:31 am

>126 abysswalker: tbf that's down to Homer - I was trying to get as literal as possible there.

kesäkuu 13, 8:04 am

>121 bacchus.: >123 InVitrio: >125 bacchus.: Very interesting thoughts & discussion, thank you both.

kesäkuu 13, 9:58 am

Reminds me of the discussion of the first word of Beowulf which got much attention apropos of Seamus Heaney’s recent translation https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/listen-beowulf-openi...

kesäkuu 13, 11:03 am

>130 booksaplenty1949:

That's interesting. Thank you.