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The Iliad

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  236,281 Ratings  ·  3,901 Reviews
One of the foremost achievements in Western literature, Homer's Iliad tells the story of the darkest episode of the Trojan War. At its center is Achilles, the greatest warrior-champion of the Greeks, and his conflict with his leader Agamemnon. Interwoven in the tragic sequence of events are powerfully moving descriptions of the ebb and flow of battle, the besieged city of ...more
Paperback, 462 pages
Published January 30th 2003 by Penguin Classics (first published -800)
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Andy One must have at least a small liking for poetry to get the best out of this epic story. The Stephen Mitchell edition is one of the greatest books…moreOne must have at least a small liking for poetry to get the best out of this epic story. The Stephen Mitchell edition is one of the greatest books that I have ever read. try it you will not be dissapointed (less)
Hannah Rinald I had to read it again for an undergrad class on Ancient Greece. Definitely a better read as a willing adult (and from a historical/cultural…moreI had to read it again for an undergrad class on Ancient Greece. Definitely a better read as a willing adult (and from a historical/cultural perspective) than a sullen and unwilling teenager (from a lit perspective that I didn't understand yet). The Odyssey seems a better fit for high school.(less)

Community Reviews

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Grace Tjan
Dec 04, 2013 Grace Tjan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What I learned from this book (in no particular order):

1. Victory or defeat in ancient Greek wars is primarily the result of marital spats and/or petty sibling rivalry in Zeus and Hera’s dysfunctional divine household.

2. Zeus “the father of gods and men” is a henpecked husband who is also partial to domestic abuse.

3. If you take a pretty girl who is the daughter of a priest of Apollo as war booty and refuse to have her ransomed, Apollo will rain plague on your troops. And he won’t be appeased un
❁ بــدريــه ❁

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و هكذا صعدت روح الملك إلى سماء طروادة
تتلفَّت حولها! ترى المدينة الخالدة تضطرم
النيران في جنباتها .. وتندكّ صروحها العزيزة
في الرغام .. وتتهاوى أبراجها المنيفة التي
سجدت تحتها آسيا الجبارة .. و الآن !
ها هو ذا على ثرى إليوم لُقًى لا نَفَس فيه
وجثَّة هامدة لا تحمل اسمها بعد
ورأسًا معفرًا .. من غير جسد !

********** ********** **********

في هياج العواطف المحمومة تتصارع الآلهة مع البشر، ويتقاتل
الرجال حتى الموت في حرب الطروادة
و في دجى الليل تنتهي ملحمة الإلياذة باستباحة طروادة بحيلة
ماكرة و أصبحت أطلال
Jan 10, 2016 Sabah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Life with Homer

If you are expecting to read a review about The Iliad then I will urge you to stop reading now.

That was the review I intended to write, then I decided to write the review I wanted to, before reason and embarrassment would be allowed to stay my hand.

To those still reading, well done, I applaud your courage and hope you aren't too disappointed as I progress.

Now you may be questioning, how has it been possible for myself to have had the pleasure of living with Homer? I would love
Oct 13, 2012 Sparrow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: grads
Recommended to Sparrow by: Professor Borin
At my college graduation, the speaker was a gruff professor. He was one of those older men whom people somewhat patronizingly describe as a teddy bear to convey the idea that while he looks like Santa Claus, they wouldn’t be surprised to see him arraigned on assault charges at the local courthouse. I liked this professor in general, and his graduation speech was a grand: warm congratulations on a crisp early-summer day. He decided to inform us, however, that anyone who had not read The Iliad and ...more
J.G. Keely
Jun 30, 2009 J.G. Keely rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pablo Picasso spent his entire life trying desperately to do something new, something unique. He moved from style to style, mastering and then abandoning both modern and classical methods, even trying to teach his trained artist's hand to paint like a child.

In 1940, four French teens and a dog stumbled upon a cave that had lain hidden for 16,000 years. Inside, they found the walls covered in beautiful drawings of men and animals. When the Lascaux caves were opened to the public, Pablo Picasso vi
Riku Sayuj


“The Classics, it is the Classics!” William Blake is said to have exclaimed, with pointed reference to Homer, “that Desolate Europe with Wars!

Blake's exclamation might not be as atrocious as it sounds at first. There might be some truth to this, a universal truth.

Significantly however, this is not how the ancients understood it. They understood war as the catastrophe that it is.

Strabo, the Roman geographer, talking about the Trojan wars, puts it thus: “For it
Aug 30, 2015 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m often kept up at night brooding on my troubles, wishing I could find some solace that would help me sleep. But now I know that the best way to keep insomnia at bay is to get out of bed, hitch up my chariot, tie the corpse of my mortal enemy to the back, and drive around for a few hours, dragging him, until I cheer up and can go back to sleep. The Iliad is unmatched, in my reading, for works that describe the bloody, ridiculous, selfish lengths people will go in order to feel better. The stic ...more
Apr 21, 2016 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
La Ilíada, este inmortal poema épico griego que la historia de la literatura le atribuye a Homero (comentaré esto más adelante), es un libro sobre la guerra, pero que también habla de una época, en la que Troya o Ilión es el campo de batalla donde se pone de manifiesto la perfecta conjunción de dioses, héroes y hombres, quienes luchan a la par y en distintos planos, como el terrenal y en el Olimpo.
Este es un libro que habla sobre la cólera de Aquiles y la bravura de Héctor y nos involucra rápid
Jun 13, 2011 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I don't know why I read this. It isn't on The List (I guess because it's technically a poem, not a novel), and it wasn't assigned reading or anything. But for whatever reason, reading The Iliad has been on my mental to-do list for a while now, and last week I finally picked it up.

My first reaction: dude, this epic is epic. (thank you, I'll be here all week) It's full of dudes getting killed in really exquisite detail, dudes talking about killing or not killing dudes, dudes mourning dead dudes i
Nov 13, 2012 Terry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Am I really going to bother reviewing Homer’s _Iliad_? I mean, what am I going to say that hasn’t been said by generations of scholars, reviewers or readers? Does another drop in the ocean matter? Well, even if it doesn’t I’ll give it a go I guess. Reading the _Iliad_ was mostly done by me as a correction to a perceived gap in my education. I had always known bits and pieces about the poem and its heroes from various sources and the culture in general, but I had never read the poem itself. Given ...more
May 03, 2016 Ritwik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
They lived in a house where a narrow enfilade made up for a pitch to make up for an amateurish game of cricket with one opening to the hall room and the other two to a bedroom and kitchen facing opposite to each other. As any elder sibling is wont to do, he sneaked into the younger sibling’s bedroom and passed taunts in an attempt to slake his vengeance for the previous match lost. The challenge of a re-game to settle the dust on who is the better player would finally lead to a recollection of ...more
João Fernandes

“The true hero, the true subject, the center of the Iliad, is force. Force as man’s instrument, force as man’s master, force before which human flesh shrinks back. The human soul, in this poem, is shown always in its relation to force: swept away, blinded by the force it thinks it can direct, bent under the pressure of the force to which it is subjected. Those who had dreamed that force, thanks to progress, now belonged to the past, have seen the poem as a historic document; those who can see th
Praiz Sophyronja
So, why did I bother with THE FREAKING ILLIAD? Thinking about it now, I can't remember what it was that made me finally pick up my giant copy that has been taking up considerable space on my bookshelf.
Ah, the end of that sentence kinda just answered its own question, so that is one of the reasons.

It is a classic and I think almost everyone knows at least the abridged version of The Illiad, but hey ho, it doesn't compare to original (translated by this Fagles dude) text. But all in all, I can'
Aug 12, 2015 Yani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Estuve mentalmente metida en la guerra entre aqueos y troyanos de agosto a diciembre. Al menos, no duró tanto como la verdadera (diez años en total). Ilíada es un poema épico extenso y arduo, repleto de descripciones de armas y combates, pero que compensa cada queja con unos pasajes sublimes y una naturalización de personajes que sorprende.

Breve reposición de argumento: Ilíada se concentra en la interminable ira de Aquiles, el mejor guerrero de los aqueos, a causa del robo de su botín, que i
Feb 17, 2008 Stevelvis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah (Presto agitato)
When I first read The Iliad, I was way too young to fully appreciate it. I understood, of course, the backstory - a spiteful goddess is left off a wedding invitation list, she retaliates by giving the Trojan prince Paris a golden apple to reward to the best-looking goddess (because that can’t go wrong), he picks Aphrodite because she promises him the incomparably beautiful (and already married) Helen, angering the other goddesses in the process, Paris selfishly steals Helen (and a lot of treasur ...more
Debbie Zapata
Mar 22, 2016 Debbie Zapata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pg
In November 2015 I read The Trojan Women, a play by Euripides about the fate of the women of Troy after the city's fall. This play made me wonder why I had never managed to read The Iliad. Of course I knew the basic story, who doesn't? Long long war, gods and
goddesses, a wooden horse, no more Troy. But the details? I had no idea of them. So I decided I needed to read this classic at last. There are 42 gazillion translations around but the one I chose at Gutenberg was this one by Alexander Pope.
Mar 07, 2009 Trevor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, literature
I read the Odyssey at Uni and really loved it. A romp off to parts unknown with a man who is good company from a distance. As with much of fiction, the people I am delighted to spend lots of time with on the page are not necessarily those I would want to spend anytime with otherwise.

I’ve always meant to get around to reading this. I mean, this Homer guy only wrote two books and I had enjoyed the other one, so … so, a mere twenty years later (how time flies) I got around to reading this one.

The p
Jan 05, 2013 Terence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
UPDATE JAN 2013: I finished reading Stephen Mitchell's translation soon after the New Year and can't recommend it enough.

And, as with any good literature, I find that upon rereading the Iliad, I got something more out of it. Something that had nothing to do with my first impressions noted below (and that I'll elaborate upon more fully in my review of David Malouf's Ransom: A Novel when I finish that book).

Up to now, I’ve only read fragments of The Ilia
Oct 28, 2010 Ian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How could one so humble as I and so disfavored by the gods as to have the poetic ability of a blind cosmetics-testing monkey rate a work so great as The Iliad, a poetic masterpiece that has astounded and inspired for over 3,000 years, anything less than five stars? The answer to that question, which you seek with the zealous lust of tigress in heat, is, of course, that I could not. I dare not, lest I risk the wrath of Olympus. As a cow stands lowing over her first calf, so will I jealously guard ...more
Jim Coughenour
Jan 01, 2008 Jim Coughenour rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: greekmythology
"Sprung out of bitterness, the philosophy of the Iliad excludes resentment." Thus Rachel Bespaloff, stating the seemingly impossible. Years ago I read the Iliad in Fitzgerald's fine translation, but every page had the heavy cadence of a "classic." Now I'm reading Fagles' and Lombardo's translations back to back, and am surprised how much I'm enjoying the poem. I don't dispute those who judge Fagles the superior translator, but for me the Lombardo version is far more stirring.

Consider the opening
Nov 27, 2013 Szplug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It must be said that Fagles' translation is truly a thing of beauty, measured in full to the epic course of this poem-that-begat-all-poems within the Western canon—expressively and aptly capturing the jarring, bone-splintering, sanguinary shock of men slaughtering men with bronzemongery at close quarters, the descent of the dark, whilst afire with passions personal and/or divinely-stoked; the morphic wiles and chameleon chromatism of the Olympian gods and goddesses—the latter of which strike me ...more
Sidharth Vardhan

I first met Greek gods in ‘Hercules’ the animated cartoon series, which I loved watching as a kid. Then there was Wikipedia and then Ovid’s Metamorphosis. My point being I really had high expectations when I started reading Iliad. I expected it to be a more complete account – beginning with ‘Apple of Discord’; may be even before; then Paris’ judgment that Venus was fairest of three goddesses, then oath taken at Helen’s father’s place and then Helen’s seduction or rape (whichever version you pref

نبرد معروف آخیلس و هکتور منقوش بر کوزه ای قدیمی؛ در زیر پای جنگجویان، جسد پتروکلس دوست آخیلس افتاده است

ایلیاد، سروده ی هومر، معروف ترین حماسه سرای یونانه که ماجرای جنگی ده ساله بین یونانیان و ایلیون (یا همون تروی) رو بازگو میکنه. بسیاری از اسطوره های یونانی (خدایان ساکن کوه المپ، قهرمانان بزرگ، مثل آخیلس و هکتور و...) رو ما امروزه فقط از طریق این کتاب میشناسیم.

اما چیزی که این حماسه رو برای من که اسطوره شناس یا متخصص ادبیات یونان باستان نیستم، خیلی خیلی درخشان میکنه، سه چیزه: یکی داستان پردازی
Dec 12, 2015 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, aere-perennius

I would love to write like a blast of a sudden squall
whose strong five-beat rhythm can with light and thunder, churning
the dark page into a fury, and countless words
surge and toss on its pages, high-arched and white-capped,
and crash down onto the Internets in endless ranks:
just so did the translators charge in their ranks, each simile
packed close together.
May 24, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sing to me, O Muse, of a long damn poem,
which saddled the backs of many a Freshman English Major before me
and brought the mist of term papers down around our eyes

Can you tell me, O Muse, of the deeds done in this book
in less time than it takes to fight the actual war
in which the blood of many a legendary, some say mythical, figure
was spilt and lost, fed into the hungry earth of Troy?
Sing to me of feasting and fighting and the filching of treasure
of Dawn and her Rosy Fingers as they greet the ten
Evan Leach
"Rage – Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls…"

img: Achilles

Before I start gushing praise all over this book, I can think of three things that might discourage readers from tackling The Iliad:

1. It is a very long (nearly 15,700 line) poem. If you really don’t have a taste for poetry at all, then this may not be the book for you.

2. It is fairly violent. Lots and lots of people get speare

The Iliad, a daunting work of fiction so genius that it has survived for thousands of years. To this day there is no modern epic which stands anywhere near it except perhaps Les Misérables or Paradise Lost. Perhaps those who are informed could add The Divine Comedy to this list, however I have not read Dante's work as of yet.

Before I continue I'd like to point out that the translation I read was Robert Fitzgerald's translation. Which seemed solid if nothing particularly special. I do think that
Miquel Reina
The Iliad (along with the Odyssey) is certainly one of those books that everyone should read someday to understand the pillars of the western civilization. And also, if you're a writer, it's a good exercise to understand where most literary structures come from. Homer was a great storyteller and The Iliad remains as a universal and timeless work. For me, it's undoubtedly the first "best seller" of history.

Spanish version:
La Ilíada (junto con la Odisea) es sin duda uno de esos libros que todo el
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
I was pretty intimidated by this epic poem before I read this. I'm really glad I got over that, because this poem was just amazing. It lived up to all my expectations. This poem was one of those books that I wanted to read since I was a small lass, so another check off my bucket list. :D

Now to find The Odyssey. :D

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  • The Aeneid
  • The Oresteia  (Ορέστεια, #1-3)
  • Euripides V: Electra / The Phoenician Women / The Bacchae
  • Catullus: The Complete Poems
  • Sophocles II: Ajax/Women of Trachis/Electra/Philoctetes (Complete Greek Tragedies 4)
  • Hesiod: The Works and Days/Theogony/The Shield of Herakles
  • Greek Tragedies, Vol. 1: Aeschylus: Agamemnon, Prometheus Bound; Sophocles: Oedipus the King, Antigone; Euripides: Hippolytus
  • Frogs and Other Plays
  • The Greek Myths: Vol. 1
  • Metamorphoses
  • Sappho: A New Translation
  • Paradiso (The Divine Comedy, #3)
  • The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives
In the Western classical tradition, Homer (Greek: Όμηρος) is considered 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,
More about Homer...

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