The Odyssey

by Unknown
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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1999-08-01
  • Publisher: Signet Classics

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The most popular epic of Western culture springs to life in Allen Mandelbaum's magnificent translation. Homer's masterpiece tells the story of Odysseus, the ideal Greek hero, as he travels home to Ithaca after the Trojan War?a journey of ten years and countless thrilling adventures. Rich in Greek folklore and myth, featuring gods and goddesses, monsters and sorceresses, "The Odyssey" has enchanted listeners around the world for thousands of years. Mandelbaum's robust, romantic, lyrical translation has an openness and immediacy unsurpassed by any other. Read aloud, it is a wonderful way to experience this enduring classic.

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

Introductionp. xiii
Note on the Textp. lxiv
Odyssey 1p. 1
Odyssey 2p. 15
Odyssey 3p. 28
Odyssey 4p. 44
Odyssey 5p. 70
Odyssey 6p. 85
Odyssey 7p. 95
Odyssey 8p. 106
Odyssey 9p. 125
Odyssey 10p. 141
Odyssey 11p. 158
Odyssey 12p. 178
Odyssey 13p. 192
Odyssey 14p. 206
Odyssey 15p. 222
Odyssey 16p. 240
Odyssey 17p. 256
Odyssey 18p. 276
Odyssey 19p. 290
Odyssey 20p. 309
Odyssey 21p. 322
Odyssey 22p. 336
Odyssey 23p. 353
Odyssey 24p. 365
Translator's Postscriptp. 382
Glossary of Namesp. 385
Index of Speechesp. 403
Suggestions for Further Readingp. 412
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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