The Iliad

Front Cover
University of Michigan Press, 2007 - Poetry - 464 pages
2116 Reviews

In 2002, the University of Michigan Press published Rodney Merrill's translation of Homer's Odyssey, an interpretation of the classic that was unique in employing the meter of Homer's original. Praising Merrill's translation of the Odyssey, Gregory Nagy of Harvard wrote, "Merrill's fine ear for the sound of ancient Greek makes the experience of reading his Homer the nearest thing in English to actually hearing Homer. The translator's English renders most faithfully the poet's ancient Greek---not only the words and meaning but even the voice."

Merrill has now produced an edition of Homer's Iliad, following the same approach. This form of rendering is particularly relevant to the Iliad, producing a strong musical setting that many elements of the narrative require to come truly to life. Most notable are the many battle scenes, to which the strong meter gives an impetus embodying and making credible the "war-lust" in the deeds of the combatants.

For many years, until his retirement, Rodney Merrill taught English composition and comparative literature at Stanford and Berkeley. In addition to his translation of Homer's Odyssey, he is the author of "Chaucer's Broche of Thebes."

Jacket photograph © 2007 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

"Other competent translations of Homer exist, but none accomplish what Merrill aims for: to convey to the reader-listener in translation the meaning and the sounds of Homer, coming as close as possible to the poetry of the original. Merrill accomplishes this virtuosic achievement by translating Homer's Greek into English hexameters, a process requiring not only a full understanding of the original Greek, but also an unusual mastery of the sounds, rhythms, and nuances of English."
---Stephen G. Daitz, Professor Emeritus of Classics, City University of New York

"This is a faithful and powerful rendition of the original Greek. With his deep understanding of the language, [Merrill] has succeeded in capturing the heroic essence of the Homeric Iliad."
---Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University, and author of Poetry as Performance: Homer and Beyond


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Review: The Iliad

User Review  - Alejandra :) - Goodreads

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Review: The Iliad

User Review  - Marķa Paulina - Goodreads

I feel like this book is difficult to rate, because, being a classic, it has its own kind of sphere which it's not up to me or any other reader to decide if it's good or not, because it's already ... Read full review

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Singing the Iliad
Book 1
Forced by Apollos punishment to return Chryses daughter Agamemnon takes Achilles prizegirl
After telling a deceptive dream Agatnemnon orders withdrawal Odysseus halts it then scourges
Paris avoids Meneldos response to his challenge then agrees to fight from the wall Helen identifies
The gods confirm Troys ruin Athena makes Pandaros violate the oaths by wounding Meneldos
Athena grants Diomedes glory be kills Pdndaros and wounds Ainefas and Aphrod1te
Battle rages at the wall which gods later will destroy the Trojans keep attacking despite
Poseidon aids the Achaians leaders oj both sides battle at the ships the Ajaxes hold off Hektor
Poseidon encourages the Achaian lords to keep fighting Hera plots to make Zeus sleep aiding
Awakening Zeus sends Iris to stop Poseidon and Apollo to aid the Trojans Hektor fights
Yielding to Patroklosplea Achilles sends him out with the Myrmidons he kills Sarpedon
Achaians and Trojans battle over Patroklos body Hektor dons Achilles armor with gods
Achilles Thetis and seanymphs lament the heroes death Achilles resales Patroklos body
Receiving the arms Achilles renounces his wrath Agamemnon blames Delusion which harms

Without any gods the battle continues Agamemnon kills Adrestos Diomedes and Glankos talk
Hektor challenges the Achaian lords Agamemnon restrains Meneldos Ajax is chosen the fight
Zeus keeps the gods away the Achaians flee the Trojans attack but defend the wall Hera
Book 10
At a night council the Achaians dispatch spies Diomedes and Odysseus echo capture and hill
Agamemnon rampages and is wounded Paris and Sokos wound Diomedes Odysseus Machdon
Zeus sends the gods to aid both sides Achilles speaks and fights with Aineias whom Poseidon
Achilles kills many men in the river who begs him to stop then threatens Hera sends
His parents beg Hektor to come in Hektor refuses Achilles chases him Athena deceives
List of Proper Names in the Iliad

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Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 449 - Trojan hero, son of Priam and Hekabe, husband of Andromache, father of Astyanax; 1.242.

References to this book

About the author (2007)

Homer is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two greatest Greek epic poems. Nothing is known about Homer personally; it is not even known for certain whether there is only one true author of these two works. Homer is thought to have been an Ionian from the 9th or 8th century B.C. While historians argue over the man, his impact on literature, history, and philosophy is so significant as to be almost immeasurable. The Iliad relates the tale of the Trojan War, about the war between Greece and Troy, brought about by the kidnapping of the beautiful Greek princess, Helen, by Paris. It tells of the exploits of such legendary figures as Achilles, Ajax, and Odysseus. The Odyssey recounts the subsequent return of the Greek hero Odysseus after the defeat of the Trojans. On his return trip, Odysseus braves such terrors as the Cyclops, a one-eyed monster; the Sirens, beautiful temptresses; and Scylla and Charybdis, a deadly rock and whirlpool. Waiting for him at home is his wife who has remained faithful during his years in the war. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have had numerous adaptations, including several film versions of each.

Rodney Merrill is retired and an independent scholar. He has taught at Stanford University, the University of San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley.

Bibliographic information