Iliad : The Story of Achilles

by Unknown
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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-08-01
  • Publisher: Signet Classics
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Epic masterpiece chronicles last days of Trojan War -- quarrel of Achilles and Agamemnon, siege of Troy, death of Hector, Trojan Horse, many other incidents and events. Celebrated Samuel Butler prose translation.

Author Biography

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.

W.H.D. Rouse was one of the great 20th century experts on Ancient Greece, and headmaster of the Perse School, Cambridge, England, for 26 years. Under his leadership the school became widely known for the successful teaching of Greek and Latin as spoken languages. He derived his knowledge of the Greeks not only from his wide studies of classical literature, but also by travelling extensively in Greece. He died in 1950.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
How Achilles and Agamemnon quarrelled over Briseis, and how Thetis persuaded Zeus to support her sonp. 11
How a Dream came with a message from Zeus, and how the Achaians debated in their camp. The names and numbers of the two hostsp. 23
How Menelaos and Alexandros fought a duel together, and what came of itp. 39
The first battle between Trojans and Achaiansp. 48
How Diomedes did great deeds of valour, and wounded Aphrodite and Ares himselfp. 58
How Paris was brought back into the battle, and how Hector parted from Andromachep. 74
How Aias and Hector fought in single combat, and how the Trojans sent a herald to propose peacep. 84
The battle wavers to and frop. 92
How Agamemnon repented of his violence and sent envoys to Achillesp. 102
How Diomedes and Odysseus went on a night raid and how they faredp. 115
How the battle turned, and the captains were wounded, and Achilles began to take noticep. 126
How the two armies fought before the wall, and how Hector broke down the gatep. 141
The battle among the shipsp. 149
How Hera deluded Zeus and sent him to sleep; and how in consequence the tide of battle turnedp. 164
How Zeus awoke, and what he said to Hera; how Hera took his message to the divine family and what they all said to it; and how the two armies fought among the shipsp. 174
How Patroclos took the field in the armour of Achilles, his great feats of war, and his deathp. 187
How they fought over the body of Patroclosp. 202
How Achilles received the news, and how his mother got him new armour from Hephaistosp. 216
How Achilles made friends with Agamemnon and armed himself for warp. 228
How Achilles swept the battlefield, and how the gods helped on either sidep. 236
The battle by the riverp. 245
Of the last fight and the death of Hectorp. 255
The funeral rites of Patroclos, and how the games were held in his honourp. 265
How Priam and Achilles met, and the funeral of Hectorp. 282
Pronouncing Indexp. 301
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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