Homer's Iliad is the greatest and most influential epic poem ever written, telling of the tragic and bloody climax to the ten-year siege of Troy. This Penguin Classics edition was originally translated by E.V. Rieu, revised and updated with an introduction and notes by Peter Jones and D.C.H. Rieu.
One of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode in the Trojan War. At its centre is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his refusal to fight after being humiliated by his leader Agamemnon. But when the Trojan Hector kills Achilles' close friend Patroclus, he storms back into battle to take revenge - even though he knows this will ensure his own untimely death. Interwoven with this tragic sequence of events are powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, of the domestic world inside Troy's besieged city of Ilium, and of the conflicts between the Gods on Olympus as they argue over the fate of mortals.
E.V. Rieu's acclaimed translation of The Iliad was one of the first titles published in Penguin Classics, and now has classic status itself. For this edition, Rieu's text has been revised, and now a new introduction and notes by Peter Jones complement the original introduction.
Seven Greek cities claim the honour of being the birthplace of Homer (c. 8th-7th century BC), the poet to whom the composition of the Iliad and Odyssey are attributed. The Iliad is the oldest surviving work of Western literature, but the identity - or even the existence - of Homer himself is a complete mystery, with no reliable biographical information having survived.
If you enjoyed the Iliad, you might like Homer's Odyssey, also available in Penguin Classics.
"Fitzgerald's swift rhythms, bright images, and superb English make Homer live as never before...This is for every reader in our time and possibly for all time."-Library Journal
"[Fitzgerald's Odyssey and Iliad] open up once more the unique greatness of Homer's art at the level above the formula; yet at the same time they do not neglect the brilliant texture of Homeric verse at the level of the line and the phrase." -The Yale Review
"What an age can read in Homer, what its translators can manage to say in his presence, is one gauge of its morale, one index to its system of exultations and reticences. The supple, the iridescent, the ironic, these modes are among our strengths, and among Mr. Fitzgerald's." -National Review
With an Introduction by Gregory Nagy