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Robert Fitzgerald's is the best and best-loved modern translation of The Odyssey, and the only one admired in its own right as a great poem in English. Fitzgerald's supple verse is ideally suited to the story of Odysseus' long journey back to his wife and home after the Trojan War. Homer's tale of love, adventure, food and drink, sensual pleasure, and mortal danger reaches the English-language reader in all its glory.
Based on Robert Fitzpatrick's translation of "The Odyssey" by Homer.
The Iliad is the story of a few days' fighting in the tenth year of the legendary war between the Greeks and the Trojans, which broke out when Paris, son of King Priam of Troy, abducted the fabulously beautiful Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta. After a quarrel between the Greek commander, Agamemnon, and the greatest of the Greek warriors, Achilles, the gods become more closely involved in the action. Their intervention leads to the tragic death of Hector, the Trojan leader, and to the final defeat of the Trojans. But the Iliad is much more than a series of battle scenes. It is a work of extraordinary pathos and profundity that concerns itself with issues as fundamental as the meaning of life and death. Even the heroic ethic itself - with its emphasis on pride, honour, prowess in battle, and submission to the inexorable will of the gods - is not left unquestioned.
For those of us who know and love the incomparable Odyssey of Homer (and there are many), Dr. Hexter has created a valuable, detailed analysis, taking into account many of Homer's most fascinating subtleties.
The Odyssey (Greek:Odysseia) is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second oldest extant work of Western literature, the Iliad being the oldest. It is believed to have been composed near the end of the 8th century BC, somewhere in Ionia, the Greek coastal region of Anatolia. The poem mainly centers on the Greek hero Odysseus (known as Ulysses in Roman myths) and his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. In his absence, it is assumed he has died, and his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors, the Mnesteres or Proci, who compete for Penelope's hand in marriage. It continues to be read in the Homeric Greek and translated into modern languages around the world. Many scholars believe that the original poem was composed in an oral tradition by an aoidos (epic poet/singer), perhaps a rhapsode (professional performer), and was more likely intended to be heard than read. The details of the ancient oral performance, and the story's conversion to a written work inspire continual debate among scholars. The Odyssey was written in a poetic dialect of Greek—a literary amalgam of Aeolic Greek, Ionic Greek, and other Ancient Greek dialects—and comprises 12,110 lines of dactylic hexameter. Among the most noteworthy elements of the text are its non-linear plot, and the influence on events of choices made by women and serfs, besides the actions of fighting men. In the English language as well as many others, the word odyssey has come to refer to an epic voyage. The Odyssey has a lost sequel, the Telegony, which was not written by Homer. It was usually attributed in Antiquity to Cinaethon of Sparta, but in one source was said to have been stolen from Musaeus by Eugamon or Eugammon of Cyrene (see Cyclic poets). ABOUT AUTHOR: Homeros, In the Western classical tradition, Homer (Ancient Greek: Homeros) is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest of ancient Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature. When he lived is unknown. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 850 BC, while other ancient sources claim that he lived much nearer to the supposed time of the Trojan War, in the early 12th century BC. Most modern researchers place Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC. The formative influence of the Homeric epics in shaping Greek culture was widely recognized, and Homer was described as the teacher of Greece. Homer's works, which are about fifty percent speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds. Fragments of Homer account for nearly half of all identifiable Greek literary papyrus finds. Period For modern scholars "the date of Homer" refers not to an individual, but to the period when the epics were created. The consensus is that "the Iliad and the Odyssey date from around the 8th century BC, the Iliad being composed before the Odyssey, perhaps by some decades," i.e. earlier than Hesiod, the Iliad being the oldest work of Western literature. Over the past few decades, some scholars have argued for a 7th-century BC date. Oliver Taplin believes that the conclusion of modern researchers is that Homer dates to between 750 to 650 BC. Some of those who argue that the Homeric poems developed gradually over a long period of time give an even later date for the composition of the poems; according to Gregory Nagy for example, they only became fixed texts in the 6th century BC. The question of the historicity of Homer the individual is known as the "Homeric question"; there is no reliable biographical information handed down from classical antiquity. The poems are generally seen as the culmination of many generations of oral story-telling, in a tradition with a well-developed formulaic system of poetic composition. Some scholars, such as Martin West, claim that "Homer" is "not the name of a historical poet, but a fictitious or constructed name."
Here is a new Loeb Classical Library edition of the resplendent epic tale of Odysseus's long journey home from the Trojan War and the legendary temptations, delays, and perils he faced at every turn. Homer's classic poem features Odysseus's encounters with the beautiful nymph Calypso; the queenly but wily Circe; the Lotus-eaters, who fed his men their memory-stealing drug; the man-eating, one-eyed Cyclops; the Laestrygonian giants; the souls of the dead in Hades; the beguiling Sirens; the treacherous Scylla and Charybdis. Here, too, is the hero's faithful wife, Penelope, weaving a shroud by day and unraveling it by night, in order to thwart the numerous suitors attempting to take Odysseus's place. The works attributed to Homer include the two oldest and greatest European epic poems, the Odyssey and Iliad. These texts have long stood in the Loeb Classical Library with a faithful and literate prose translation by A. T. Murray. George Dimock now brings the Loeb's Odyssey up to date, with a rendering that retains Murray's admirable style but is worded for today's readers. The two-volume edition includes a new introduction, notes, and index.

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