The Iliad: The Story of Achillęs

Front Cover
Signet Classic, 1938 - Fiction - 309 pages
1159 Reviews
Focusing on the closing days of the Trojan War, this novel incorporates the same epic cast of gods and warriors from The Odyssey. From the kidnapping of Helen from her Greek home to the death of Achilles's companion, the battle rages between two warring nations and the gods who protect both sides. Thrilling in content, but literate and subtle in its meaning, "The Iliad" remains a classic among classics.

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So far the prose is fantastic. - Goodreads
The classic, but it can be boring and hard to read. - Goodreads
Liked everything but the battle scenes. - Goodreads
Introduction is awfully important. - Goodreads
It has a good ending. - Goodreads
Good book but it is slightly difficult to read - Goodreads

Review: The Iliad

User Review  - Dominika Kaníková - Goodreads

Well, what can i say. Maybe im not that into this kind of poems but i didn´t really enjoyed the whole story in fact, i could not even catch the point of it. For me it was hard reading and i couldn´t ... Read full review

Review: The Iliad

User Review  - Mark - Goodreads

No one said that the Iliad would be an easy read, and it's not. The language used is, at times, archaic and the structure of the story itself is not something that modern readers will be accustomed to ... Read full review

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About the author (1938)

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.

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