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The Iliad
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Table of Contents

The background to "The Iliad"; the theme of "The Iliad"; a critical summary of "The Iliad"; a note on names. "The Iliad": book 1 - the anger of Achilleus; book 2 - the catalogue of ships; book 3 - Paris, Helen, Aphrodite; book 4 - the breaking of the truce; book 5 - Diomedes triumphant; book 6 - Hektor in Troy; book 7 - duel of Hektor and Aias; book 8 - Trojan success; book 9 - the embassy to Achilleus; book 10 - night operations; book 11 - Achaian retreat; book 12 - the assault on the wall; book 13 - the Achains rally; book 14 - the seduction of Zeus; book 15 - fighting at the ships; book 16 - the death of Patroklos; book 17 - the battle over Patroklos; book 18 - Thetis, Achilleus, and new armour; book 19 - Achilleus and Agamemnon reconciled; book 20 - the return of Achilleus; book 21 - the battle of the Gods; book 22 - the death of Hektor; book 23 - funeral games for Patroklos; book 24 - Achilleus and Priam.

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.

Reviews

Much the best modern prose translation of the Iliad -- Robin Lane Fox * Financial Times *
This new prose translation of the Iliad is outstandingly good . . . to read it is to be gripped by it * Classical Review *
Superbly direct and eloquent . . . by its sensitivity, fluency, and flexibility, it will win a permanent place on the shelves of Homer-lovers -- Martin Fagg * Times Educational Supplement *
Martin Hammond's new version is the best and most accurate there has ever been, as smooth as cream but as clear as water . . . Hammond's Iliad deserves to become a standard book -- Peter Levi * Independent *
Surely the best Iliad in quite a few decades * Greece & Rome Journal *
Here is a fine Iliad for our times, to be read with great pleasure -- Philip Howard * The Times *

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