The Odyssey

The Odyssey

by Homer

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Overview

The Ancient Greek tale of Odysseus, cursed to wander the perilous world on his epic voyage home.

The decade-long Trojan War has come to an end and Odysseus, the King of Ithaca instrumental in securing victory for the Greeks, finally sets sail for home. But his adventures are far from over. Cursed by the god Poseidon to wander the earth for ten years, he must battle monstrous creatures—even facing the land of the dead—before returning to Ithaca, where still more dangers await him. In his long absence, Odysseus’s wife, Penelope, and son, Telemachus, have endured a violent crowd of suitors who occupied the royal palace.
 
Together with The Iliad, Homer’s epic poem of the Trojan War, The Odyssey is one of the oldest surviving works of Western literature. Samuel Butler’s beautiful English prose version, first appearing in 1900, remains one of the most beloved and acclaimed translations of this timeless tale.
 
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467775946
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/01/2014
Series: First Avenue Classics T
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 476
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Homer, a Greek poet best known for The Odyssey and The Iliad, was likely born sometime between 750 BC and 1200 BC. Some historians believe he was an individual man, while others believe he did not exist at all and instead was the combination of multiple Greek poets. It is also surmised that Homer was blind, but this is derived from the character Demodokos in The Odyssey. Although his history remains one of the greatest literary mysteries, Homer is widely considered one of the most profound poets and storytellers of all time.

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"
by .
Copyright © 2010 E. V. Homer.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
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Table of Contents

Introduction by G.S. Kirk
Acknowledgements

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."

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