The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

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Overview

This excellent prose translation of Homer's epic poem of the 9th century BC recounts one of Western civilization's most glorious tales, a treasury of Greek folklore and myth that maintains an ageless appeal for modern readers. A cornerstone of Western literature, The Odyssey narrates the path of a fascinatingly complex hero through a world of wonders and danger-filled adventure.
After ten bloody years of fighting in the Trojan War, the intrepid Odysseus heads homeward, little imagining that it will take another ten years of desperate struggle to reclaim his kingdom and family. The wily hero circumvents the wrath of the sea god Poseidon and triumphs over an incredible array of obstacles, assisted by his patron goddess Athene and his own prodigious guile. From a literal descent into Hell to interrogate a dead prophet to a sojourn in the earthly paradise of the Lotus-eaters, the gripping narrative traverses the mythological world of ancient Greece to introduce an unforgettable cast of characters: one-eyed giants known as Cyclopses, the enchantress Circe, cannibals, sirens, the twin perils of Scylla and Charybdis, and a fantastic assortment of other creatures.
Remarkably modern in its skillful use of flashbacks and parallel line of action, Homer's monumental work is now available in this inexpensive, high-quality edition sure to be prized by students, teachers, and all who love the great myths and legends of the ancient world.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780486111056
Publisher: Dover Publications
Publication date: 02/02/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 32,702
File size: 833 KB
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Homer (Ancient Greek) is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.

Read an Excerpt

I

Athene Visits Telemachus

Tell me, Muse, the story of that resourceful man who was driven to wander far and wide after he had sacked the holy citadel of Troy. He saw the cities of many people and he learnt their ways. He suffered great anguish on the high seas in his struggles to preserve his life and bring his comrades home. But he failed to save those comrades, in spite of all his efforts. It was their own transgression that brought them to their doom, for in their folly they devoured the oxen of Hyperion the Sun-god and he saw to it that they would never return. Tell us this story, goddess daughter of Zeus, beginning at whatever point you will.

All the survivors of the war had reached their homes by now and so put the perils of battle and the sea behind them. Odysseus alone was prevented from returning to the home and wife he yearned for by that powerful goddess, the Nymph Calypso, who longed for him to marry her, and kept him in her vaulted cave. Not even when the rolling seasons brought in the year which the gods had chosen for his homecoming to Ithaca was he clear of his troubles and safe among his friends. Yet all the gods pitied him, except Poseidon, who pursued the heroic Odysseus with relentless malice till the day when he reached his own country.

Poseidon, however, was now gone on a visit to the distant Ethiopians, in the most remote part of the world, half of whom live where the Sun goes down, and half where he rises. He had gone to accept a sacrifice of bulls and rams, and there he sat and enjoyed the pleasures of the feast. Meanwhile the rest of the gods had assembled in the palace of Olympian Zeus, and the Father of men and gods opened a discussion among them. He had been thinking of the handsome Aegisthus, whom Agamemnon’s far-famed son Orestes killed; and it was with Aegisthus in his mind that Zeus now addressed the immortals:

‘What a lamentable thing it is that men should blame the gods and regard us as the source of their troubles, when it is their own transgressions which bring them suffering that was not their destiny. Consider Aegisthus: it was not his destiny to steal Agamemnon’s wife and murder her husband when he came home. He knew the result would be utter disaster, since we ourselves had sent Hermes, the keen-eyed Giant-slayer, to warn him neither to kill the man nor to court his wife. For Orestes, as Hermes told him, was bound to avenge Agamemnon as soon as he grew up and thought with longing of his home. Yet with all his friendly counsel Hermes failed to dissuade him. And now Aegisthus has paid the final price for all his sins.’

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Odyssey"
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Copyright © 2010 E. V. Homer.
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Table of Contents

This excellent prose translation of Homer's epic poem of the 9th century BC recounts one of Western civilization's most glorious tales, a treasury of Greek folklore and myth that maintains an ageless appeal for modern readers. A cornerstone of Western literature, The Odyssey narrates the path of a fascinatingly complex hero through a world of wonders and danger-filled adventure.
After ten bloody years of fighting in the Trojan War, the intrepid Odysseus heads homeward, little imagining that it will take another ten years of desperate struggle to reclaim his kingdom and family.
From a literal descent into Hell to interrogate a dead prophet to a sojourn in the earthly paradise of the Lotus-eaters, the gripping narrative traverses the mythological world of ancient Greece to introduce an unforgettable cast of characters: one-eyed giants known as Cyclopses, the enchantress Circe, cannibals, sirens, the twin perils of Scylla and Charybdis, and a fantastic assortment of other creatures.

What People are Saying About This

"Edward McCrorie's translation of the Odyssey answers the demands of movement and accuracy in a rendition of the poem. His verse line is brisk and efficient, often captures the rhythm and the sound of the Greek, and functions well as an English equivalent of the Greek hexameter. Unlike most translators, he wishes to preserve at least some of the sound of the Greek, and his rendition of the formula glaukôpis Athene as glow-eyed Athene is inspired. He remains true to the formulae of Homeric verse, and several of his choices—such as rose-fingered daylight or words had a feathery swiftness—delight. Homer, Zeus-like, would have nodded his approval."

William F. Wyatt

"Edward McCrorie's translation of the Odyssey answers the demands of movement and accuracy in a rendition of the poem. His verse line is brisk and efficient, often captures the rhythm and the sound of the Greek, and functions well as an English equivalent of the Greek hexameter. Unlike most translators, he wishes to preserve at least some of the sound of the Greek, and his rendition of the formula glaukôpis Athene as glow-eyed Athene is inspired. He remains true to the formulae of Homeric verse, and several of his choices—such as rose-fingered daylight or words had a feathery swiftness—delight. Homer, Zeus-like, would have nodded his approval."

Keith Stanley

"This is a fine, fast-moving version of the liveliest epic of classical antiquity. With a bracing economy, accuracy, and poetic control, Edward McCrorie conveys the freshness and challenge of the original in clear, sensitive, and direct language. Instead of the uncertain solemnity of some previous translations or the free re-creation of others, McCrorie has managed a version that will have immediate appeal to this generation of students and general readers alike."

Customer Reviews