The Iliad: A New Translation by Peter Green by Homer

975823223071bb9-261x361.jpeg Author Homer
Isbn 9780520281417
File size 2MB
Year 2015
Pages 544
Language English
File format PDF
Category poetry


the iliad The publisher gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Joan Palevsky Literature in Translation Endowment Fund of the University of California Press Foundation. HOMER the ILIAD A NEW TRANSLATION BY peter green University of California Press University of California Press, one of the most distinguished university presses in the United States, enriches lives around the world by advancing scholarship in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Its activities are supported by the UC Press Foundation and by philanthropic contributions from individuals and institutions. For more information, visit University of California Press Oakland, California © 2015 by Peter Green Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Homer, author.   [Iliad. English]   The Iliad / Homer; a new translation by Peter Green.    p.  cm.   Includes bibliographical references.   isbn 978-0-520-28141-7 (cloth, alk. paper) — isbn 978-0-52096132-6 (electronic)   1. Achilles (Greek mythology)—Poetry.  2. Trojan War— Poetry.  3. Epic poetry, Greek.  I. Green, Peter, translator  I. Title. pa4025.a2g75  2015 883′.01—dc23 2014038401 Manufactured in the United States of America 24  23  22  21  20  19  18  17  16  15 10  9  8  7  6  5  4  3  2  1 In keeping with a commitment to support environmentally responsible and sustainable printing practices, UC Press has printed this book on Natures Natural, a fiber that contains 30% post-consumer waste and meets the minimum requirements of ansi/niso z39.48-1992 (r 1997) (Permanence of Paper). Green_9780520281417.indd 4 13/05/15 2:59 PM Τυφλὸς ἀνήρ, οἰκεῖ δὲ Χίῳ ἔνι παιπαλοέσσῃ. τοῦ πᾶσαι μετόπισθεν ἀριστεύσουσιν ἀοιδαί. He is a blind man, and lives on rocky Chios: All his songs will be supreme, now and forever. Homeric Hymn to Delian Apollo, 172–73 Contents ix Preface xv Abbreviations 1 Introduction 25 the iliad 463 Synopsis 505 Glossary 557 Select Bibliography 561 Index Preface This book is the improbable fulfillment of a dream that has haunted me ever since the middle of the twentieth century, when I was one of the team Donald Carne-Ross assembled to produce some new versions of Homer’s Iliad on the (now long defunct) BBC Third Programme. Creative outreach was our watchword; we were targeting a postwar generation, mostly ex-service, that knew no Greek but was hungry for the classics. But in my case the magic went far further back: to Andrew Lang’s marvelous Tales of Troy and Greece read in childhood; to the Greek I began to learn when I was ten years old; to the well-thumbed India-paper red cloth volume of Monro and Allen’s third edition of the Iliad, which I had read from cover to cover by the time I was fifteen, and which went with me through three monsoons in India and Burma during World War II (and sits by me as I write these words, its pages crinkled from oppressive humidity and still smelling of the Arakan). When I finally got to Cambridge in 1947 it was a piece of providential luck that in the year I took Part II of the Classical Tripos, the annual revolving sequence of genres had reached Epic. I still have my ancient, battered copy of Walter Leaf ’s commentary, annotated throughout with my (mostly embarrassing) undergraduate comments. When, a few years later, with a Ph.D. in hand, I joined Carne-Ross’s team, I saw the translations I did then as preparation for a full version of my own. Of course, it didn’t happen. A mass of other work got in the way. I married, had children, was caught up in endless responsibilities. The best part of a decade in Greece saw me productive in many ways, but not regarding Homer. Even when, at long last, I gravitated back by a somewhat circuitous route to teaching at university level, and became a professor of classics, other passions, mostly historical, monopolized what little spare time I had. From time to time—not least when I saw yet another version of the Iliad or the Odyssey collecting tribute in the headlines—a sad twinge of regret, a sense of opportunity lost, would nag at me, to be dismissed as self-indulgent romantic nostalgia. Even when I retired, the old dream still seemed a classic case of the If only syndrome. ix I suspect, though, that my subconscious may have been quietly at work: I was aware, for example, when in 1996 I translated Apollonius Rhodius’s Argonautika, that in tackling the myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece I was responding to a passion first ignited, like that for the Trojan War and the subsequent adventures of Odysseus, by Andrew Lang’s retelling of both: his words had fired my imagination, as a child, in an unforgettable way. What that experience also gave me was a fresh lesson, and an extremely useful one, in how to deal, as a translator, with the unrelentingly tricky problem of the epic hexameter. But it was only a year ago, when I realized that on my next birthday I was going to be ninety, that I asked myself what I had to lose, even now, by tackling the Iliad; and in a curiously relaxed mood sat down and tried my hand at book 1. What, of course, I eventually discovered was the reason I had waited so long. In one way and another, my whole career had been a preparation for this moment. What would work for Homer in translation? Of all that I had done over half a century earlier for the Third Programme, I kept a grand total of three lines. When it came to presenting the Iliad to a modern, Greekless audience confronting ancient epic for the first time, Homer proved a more challenging taskmaster than I could ever have imagined: and yet to meet that challenge was something I found continually enjoyable and exciting. Preserving the strangeness, yet in an acceptable way; finding the mot juste for difficult and often alien concepts; matching the wonderful linear rhetoric, both in speeches and descriptive passages; keeping the simplicity while always acknowledging the emotional subtleties; writing rhythms that could, like the original, be declaimed aloud, and hold the attention of a listening audience; perhaps, above all, resisting the temptation to make nonexistent equations with easily recognizable English patterns—all this tested my skills to the utmost, and too often defeated my best efforts, forced me to settle for a compromise. Perhaps that is the best any translator can hope for. To one nagging minor problem, the spelling of Greek proper names, I have found no altogether satisfactory solution, and probably none exists. The problem itself is one legacy of Rome’s complete cultural domination of the European classical tradition from the Renaissance until well into the nineteenth century, which dictated (among much else), not only that Greek names be Latinized, but that the gods of the Greek pantheon should be replaced in translation by their nearest Roman equivalents. The second practice was reluctantly abandoned only after about 1880; the first is still very much with us. It is not just a matter of replacing –os and –on terminations with –us and –um; k with c; short u with y; and the diphthongs –oi with –oe, – ei with ī, and –ou with ū. The Latin –er termination is also imposed, so that x preface “Aléxandros” becomes “Alexander”, and “Teukros” “Teucer”. For the most part (but not invariably: for example, I use “Achilles” rather than “Akhilleus”), I have gone back to the Greek spelling. In a majority of cases this does not make for a wrenching unfamiliarity. But the shift from Roman “Hecuba” to Greek “Hekabē” or from Roman “Ajax” to Greek “Aias” can be disconcerting, and there are some Hellenisms—for example, “Oidipous” for “Oedipus”, “Mykēnai” for “Mycenae”, “Krētē” for “Crete—that take some getting used to. But one has to start getting rid of this wretched Latin legacy somewhere. Now the work is done, and out of my hands, I suppose I should be relaxing; but the truth is, I find myself getting more and more involved in the not quite identical problems confronting a translator of the Odyssey: I suspect my tussle with doing Homer justice is not over yet. Meanwhile I would like to take this opportunity of thanking my publishers at the University of California Press for their confidence in supporting yet another versio of the Iliad; the students who, over long years, most often without realizing it, sharpened my sense of how to look at Homer; my copy editor and old friend Peter Dreyer for, once again, his lynx-eyed common sense; and another good friend, Barbara Hird, for not only so generously agreeing at very short notice to execute a most complex index for me but also for spotting a number of errors that had got past all the rest of us. I am likewise extremely grateful to my in-house editors, Eric Schmidt and Cindy Fulton, whose professional aplomb when dealing with a challenging manuscript has been beyond all praise. Finally and above all, I thank my wife Carin, who put up so patiently with being a sounding board for my ideas as the translation progressed, and invariably came up with perceptive comments and shrewd professional ideas of her own. My translation is dedicated to her, and never was a dedication more richly deserved. μάλιστα δέ τ’ ἔκλυον αὐτοί. preface xi MACEDONIA THESSALY Achilles Myrmidons PHTHIŌTIS EUBOIA Odysseus Thēbē (Thebes) BOIŌTIA ITHÁKĒ (ITHACA) Aias(1) Mycenae SALAMIS Athens Argos Tiryns PELOPONNESE IONIAN SEA Nestōr Sparta Pylos Gerēnia Agamemnōn LAKŌNIA Diomēdēs Menelaös 0 30 60 mi 0 50 100 km THRACE HELLESPONT LEMNOS Hektōr Troy Priam TROAD Aineias Mt. Ida N LESBOS A EGE A N S E A CHIOS LY D I A SAMOS DELOS IONIA Miletos Glaukos Sarpēdōn LYCIA RHODES CRETA N S E A Idomeneus Knossos C R ET E Abbreviations Ael. NA Apollod. Epit. arg. Athen. BA Diod. Sic. fr. Hdt. Hes. Cat. Th. WD HHAphr. HE Il. JHS Claudius Aelianus (c. 170–c. 230 c.e.), a Roman freedman from Praeneste, writer (in Greek) of miscellanies. Ael., On the Nature of Animals. Apollodorus of Athens, grammarian (c. 180–c. 120 c.e.). Certainly not the author of the Bibliothēkē (library), a manual of mythology attributed to him by a (probably) near-contemporary forger. Epitome to Apollod., Bibliothēkē. argumentum, i.e., argument (in the sense of précis or synopsis). Athenaeus of Naukratis in Egypt (fl. c. 200 c.e.), author of the Deipnosophistae, or Learned Banqueters, his sole surviving work, a fifteen-book account of a symposium, mostly notable for its excerpts from classical works now otherwise lost. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Edited by R. J. A. Talbot. Princeton, NJ, 2000. Diodorus Siculus, of Agyrium in Sicily (c. 100–c. 30 b.c.e.), universal historian, author of a Bibliothēkē (library). fragment. Herodotus, of Halicarnassus and Thurii (c. 485–c. 420), historian of the Persian Wars Hesiod, epic/didactic poet (fl. c. 700 b.c.e.). Hes., Catalogue of Women. Hes., Theogony, Hes., Works and Days. Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. The Homer Encyclopedia. Edited by M. Finkelberg. 3 vols. Oxford (Wiley-Blackwell), 2011. Homer, Iliad. Journal of Hellenic Studies. xv OCD 3 OCD 4 Od. Pliny HN Thuc. xvi The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 3rd ed. rev. Edited by S. Hornblower and A. Spawforth. Oxford, 2003. The Oxford Classical Dictionary. 4th ed. Edited by S. Hornblower, A. Spawforth, and E. Eidinow. Oxford, 2012. Homer, Odyssey Pliny the Elder, Gaius Plinius Secundus (23/4–79 c.e.), equestrian procurator and literary scholar. Pliny, Historia Naturalis, a thirty-seven-book encyclopedic Natural History. Thucydides of Athens (c. 460–c. 395 b.c.e.), author of an (unfinished) history of the Peloponnesian War. abbreviations Introduction Approaching the Problem From both the literary and the sociohistorical viewpoints, the situation of anyone embarking on Homer for the first time—and in many ways this applies as much to the classical student as to anyone else—is a unique one. To begin with, in the sense that we normally consider a written work, there is no anterior background: we are at the beginning. To make matters worse, our ignorance concerning both work and author is abysmal. We do not know for certain who Homer was, or where he lived, or when he wrote. We cannot be absolutely confident that the same man (if it was a man) wrote both the Iliad and the Odyssey, or even that “wrote” is a correct description of the method of composition involved. Indeed, there is much doubt still as to whether we can talk in terms of a single poet at all, rather than of a traditional sequence of bards fashioning an oral poème vivant, a living poem subject to constant modification; though (to complicate matters still further) there is the likelihood (West 2011) of a master poet having used a mass of centuries-old oral lays as material from which to create the masterpieces we possess today. Even the time at which the texts we know were actually written down, and what stage of composition they represent, are equally uncertain. This uncertainty extends to the subject matter. We can no more state for a fact whether a Trojan War actually ever took place, let alone whether it bore any relation to the conflict described in the Iliad, than we can form a confident picture of “Homer”. All we have, as T. S. Eliot said in a different poetic context, are “hints and guesses, hints followed by guesses.” The plot of the Iliad is a good place to begin, since at least we know a reasonable amount about the early myth (itself an ambiguous term) concerning the origin and events of the Trojan War. The first striking fact for any newcomer to the scene is how little of the myth actually takes place within the Iliad itself, which covers less than two months—fifty-one days, to be precise—of a war that lasted ten long years, and of which the antecedents looked back almost as far, just as the consequences stretched out a good decade into the future. All that the narrative of the Iliad covers are the events precipitated, in the ninth year of the war, by a quarrel between Agamemnōn, commander in chief of the invading Achaian forces, and Achilles, his most brilliant warrior. A Trojan priest of Apollo, Chrysēs, comes to their camp 1 offering ransom for his daughter Chryseïs, currently a prisoner allotted as booty to Agamemnōn. At first Agamemnōn brusquely—and against general feeling—rejects his offer. Chrysēs prays to Apollo, who visits the Achaian camp with a devastating plague. The Achaian priest Kalchas explains the plague, correctly, as a direct result of Agamemnōn’s rejection of Chrysēs’ offer. Faced with this, Agamemnōn agrees to return Chryseïs, but insists on being given a replacement by the Achaians: honor and status are involved. A contemptuous speech by Achilles sharpens Agamemnōn’s resolve: he threatens to take Achilles’ own captive woman, Briseïs, in lieu of the one he is giving up, and in due course does so. This provokes the almost superhuman wrath (mēnis) in Achilles that leads him to withdraw himself and his troops from the war effort, with alarming results for the Achaians. His rage persists, defying all efforts to change his mind (including an offer by Agamemnōn to return Briseïs with additional placatory gifts) until the death in battle, at the hands of the Trojan Hektōr, of Achilles’ dear comrade Patroklos, who has borrowed Achilles’ own armor for the purpose. This finally brings Achilles back into action, with the sole aim of killing Hektōr—which he duly does, and then savagely maltreats his victim’s corpse. Outraged, the gods on Olympos, led by Zeus, compel Achilles to accept ransom from Hektōr’s father, the aged king Priam, and to return his body for burial. The sight of Priam stirs unexpected feelings of compassion in Achilles; the Iliad ends with Hektōr’s funeral rites. This epic tragedy forms a small part only of a general narrative that was, clearly, familiar in detail to all who heard or, later, read it: casual, and unexplained, references to what follows occur at intervals throughout the text of the Iliad that we have today, showing that knowledge of the basic plot line was taken as a given from a very early period during the oral transmission of lays concerning the Trojan War. That plot line, in brief, is as follows. It begins with the Judgment of Paris, an ahistorical legendary scenario if ever there was one. At the marriage of the Thessalian warrior Pēleus to the sea-nymph Thetis, attended by gods as well as mortals, Eris (Strife personified) mischievously makes trouble between three powerful goddesses, Hērē, Athēnē, and Aphrodītē, by provoking them1 to quarrel over which of the three has the best claim to beauty. Zeus (who has long coveted Thetis, but is marrying her off to a mortal because of a prophecy that she’ll give birth to a man greater than his father) has Hermēs send the contentious trio to Mt. 1. By throwing down before them the famous golden Apple of Discord, inscribed “To the Fairest”. 2 introduction Ida, where Paris Aléxandros—son of King Priam of Troy, but exposed at birth because of a prophecy that he would bring disaster on his city, and brought up by a shepherd family—is tending his flocks. He is to settle their quarrel, and duly does so. Hērē promises him kingship, Athēnē will ensure that he becomes a great warrior, Aphrodītē guarantees his conquest of the world’s most beautiful woman. (Why, apart from pure egotism, goddesses should not only accept the verdict of an admittedly good-looking shepherd boy, but offer him bribes for it, is never made entirely clear.) Inevitably, his vote goes to Aphrodītē. By so doing, he makes enemies of two great goddesses. He also, in the long run, provides a casus belli for the Trojan War (as Zeus has planned all along, with a view to shrinking the world’s excessively large population through slaughter), since when he meets, and falls for, the world’s most beautiful woman, Helen, she is already married to King Menelaös of Sparta. Years pass. Paris Aléxandros is recognized and restored as a prince of Troy. As such, he makes a state visit to the Spartan ménage of Helen and Menelaös, and, aided by Aphrodītē (who has not forgotten her promise), not only bedazzles and sails off with an all-too-willing Helen while Menelaös’s guest, but also compounds his alienation of marital affection by removing a sizable haul of family property in addition to the lady, though her nine-year-old daughter Hermionē, a potential embarrassment on the honeymoon, is left behind. They have a following wind, a calm sea, and reach Troy in three days: clearly Aphrodītē, like Artemis, can control the weather for the benefit of her favorites. (An alternative version has a spiteful Hērē, who clearly hasn’t forgotten or forgiven the Judgment, hit them with a storm that takes them to Sidon, which Paris Aléxandros duly captures en route to Troy.) When embassies fail to have Menelaös’s wife, and her property, returned, his brother Agamemnōn, “lord of men” (anax andrōn), assembles a huge expeditionary force from the various Mycenean kingdoms of Hellas—Argos, Pylos, Tiryns, Orchomenos, and Ithákē among them, in addition to Menelaös’s Sparta and Agamemnōn’s own stronghold of Mykēnai (Mycenae)—to recover Helen by force, and sack and destroy Troy into the bargain. (These warriors are known in the Iliad not as Hellenes, but, more locally, as Achaians, or Danaäns, or Argives.) An omen is interpreted to mean that the war will last ten years. As though to hint that the length of this campaign will be in large part caused by inefficiency, a first expedition fizzles out embarrassingly after the Achaians make landfall at Teuthrania, mistake it for Troy, sack it, and, on discovering their error, sail back home. When assembled a second time, at the port of Aulis, the fleet is initially held up by contrary winds due (as Kalchas introduction 3

Author Homer Isbn 9780520281417 File size 2MB Year 2015 Pages 544 Language English File format PDF Category Poetry Book Description: FacebookTwitterGoogle+TumblrDiggMySpaceShare One of the oldest extant works of Western literature, the Iliad is a timeless epic poem of great warriors trapped between their own heroic pride and the arbitrary, often vicious decisions of fate and the gods. Renowned scholar and acclaimed translator Peter Green captures the Iliad in all its surging thunder for a new generation of readers. Featuring an enticingly personal introduction, a detailed synopsis of each book, a wide-ranging glossary, and explanatory notes for the few puzzling in-text items, the book also includes a select bibliography for those who want to learn more about Homer and the Greek epic. This landmark translation—specifically designed, like the oral original, to be read aloud—will soon be required reading for every student of Greek antiquity, and the great traditions of history and literature to which it gave birth.       Download (2MB) Ancient Epic Poetry: Homer, Apollonius, Virgil with a Chapter on the Gilgamesh Poems by Charles Rowan Beye Relative Chronology In Early Greek Epic Poetry Digenes Akrites: New Approaches to Byzantine Heroic Poetry Darkness Visible: A Study of Vergil’s “Aeneid” Interactions of Thought and Language in Old English Poetry Load more posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *