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The Essential Homer

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  510 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
Selections from both Iliad and Odyssey, made with an eye for those episodes that figure most prominently in the study of mythology.
Paperback, 532 pages
Published September 15th 2000 by Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (first published 1964)
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Oct 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
In my view, Stanley Lombardo's is the best translation of Homer's epic poetry. Even though the current rage is Robert Fagles' translation, Stanley Lombardo's is active, passionate, and accessible. Lombardo has full translations of both Iliad and Odyssey, though I don't find them listed on goodreads.

The volume pictured here features abridged versions. This is the book I use in my Mythology class. The abridgment is effective -- in fact it improves the narrative pace! Themes like the inevitability
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
In college, I read this book for a Foundations of Western Lit. class. My friends and I took turns reading aloud, doing voices, and generally enjoying the process of reading Homer's work. This translation, in particular, is very accessible to the modern reader (as it would have been to the Greeks at the time of its original telling) while still holding true to Homer's original words (we were assured by our professor, who knows more Greek than we do). It is epic poetry at its best and finest (and ...more
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thought I'd begin my journey of reading the Iliad and Odyssey with this translation. Very satisfying to read for pleasure -- has me eager to read other translations. Prior to Homer, I did read The Trojan War by Olivia Coolidge for historical context, which I also recommend.
Jan 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Now that I'm finally reading the Odyssey in its entirety, I understand that selections just aren't enough.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: classics
I love Homer, and I love reading translations of Homer. This is the first one I think I ever gave so low a rating. I do feel kind of bad about it, and initially changed it to two stars, but then dropped it back to one. It's primarily about the translator's choices. First, he chose to eliminate or spice up the many repetitive items in the original Greek text, things like epithets for people and adjectives for events (e.g. rosy-fingered dawn). I think that the repetition of epithets and phrases wo ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Title: The Essential Homer by Homer
Rating: 5/5 stars

I read this book for my mythology class. It has two stories; The Iliad and The Odyssey and I loved them. It is a compact book with a brief understanding of the stories. So for anyone who is not a heavy reader or wants to basically read the books but not go into a lot of detail this baby is perfect. I, in total honesty have never read the books until now. I had watched the movies and had heard of the heroes Achilles and Odysseus but had never ac
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
Well how can you not give someone like Homer at least a four star review? I had to read this book for an Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology class I took. I didn't think I was going to get that into it but it turned out that I actually really enjoyed reading the Iliad and the Odyssey. This specific translation was well done.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Odysseus can get bent.
Harley Bond
Mar 17, 2017 rated it liked it
It's not an easy read, but that's to be expected for this sort of book. I enjoyed it more than i thought i would. the mythology of it is interesting and I have no regrets reading it, even if it was for school! I found the Iliad more interesting than the odyssey but that's just my opinion.
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it

I actually read "The Essential Iliad" by the same author. But Goodreads doesn't have that book listed. In any case, I believe that Iliad part of this book is essentially the same.

I had of course heard of the Greek epics. But I knew little about them till I read Jaynes' "The origin of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind" in which Jaynes draws heavily upon the two epics to try prove his stunning thesis. In a nutshell, Jaynes claims that the humans had a bicameral mind as recently
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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...
“And for yourself, may the gods grant you your heart's desire, a husband and a home, and the blessing of a harmonious life. For nothing is greater or finer than this, when a man and woman live together with one hear and mind, bringing joy to their friends and grief to their foes.” 10 likes
“[885]   “Brag while you can, Hector. Zeus and Apollo Have given you” 1 likes
More quotes…