The adventures of Odysseus have stood in the center of classical literature for centuries. Although countless scholars have studied and translated Homer's epic poem, each person who encounters The Odyssey for the first time is unfailingly startled by the excitement, drama, and contemporary nature of its remarkable hero. The Odyssey is the sweeping story of a great warrior who must wander the world for years after the Trojan War. But it is also an intensely domestic tale of the loving husband who returns after a long absence, joining forces with his faithful wife to defeat those who would destroy their enduring union. Little is known of Homer's life, but this much is certain: he sang for a living. Long before The Odyssey appeared on the page, it was recited over and over to listeners eager to be entertained. Prepare now to be drawn into a vivid ancient world where the voyages of Odysseus and his fight to regain his rightful place at home stand out with stunning clarity in this lyrical narration by Norman Dietz.
|Publisher:||Recorded Books, LLC|
|Edition description:||Unabridged, 11 CDs|
|Product dimensions:||5.66(w) x 5.94(h) x 1.54(d)|
About the Author
The identity of the writer of the Odyssey is a matter of some speculation. The ancients were convinced it was Homer, although they tended to disagree as to biographical details. The best supported evidence suggests he lived in Chios, an island off the west coast of Turkey, some time between 1100 and 700BC, probably closer to the latter. Traditionally portrayed as revered, old and blind, he composed the Iliad and Odyssey and possibly the Homeric Hymns, a series of choral addresses to the gods.
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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.’
Excerpted from "The Odyssey"
Copyright © 2010 E. V. Homer.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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Table of Contents
Introduction, by Richard P. Martin
1. Trouble at Home
2. A Gathering and a Parting
3. In the Great Hall of Nestor
4. With Menelaos and Helen
5. A Raft on the High Seas
6. Laundry Friends
7. The Warmest Welcome
8. Songs, Challenges, Dances, and Gifts
9. A Battle, the Lotos, and a Savage's Cave
10. Mad Winds, Laistrugonians, and an Enchantress
11. The Land of the Dead
12. Evil Song, a Deadly Strait, and Forbidden Herds
13. A Strange Arrival Home
14. The House of the Swineherd
15. Son and Father Converging
16. Father and Son Reunite
17. Unknown in His Own House
18. Fights in the Great Hall
19. Memory and Dream in the Palace
20. Dawn of the Death-Day
21. The Stringing of the Bow
22. Revenge in the Great Hall
23. Husband and Wife at Last
24. Last Tensions and Peace
Notes, by Richard P. Martin
Names in the Odyssey
Bibliography, by Richard P. Martin
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 choicessuch as rose-fingered daylight or words had a feathery swiftnessdelight. Homer, Zeus-like, would have nodded his approval."
"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."