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From the Publisher
TOLSTOY CALLED THE ILIAD A miracle; Goethe said that it always
thrust him into a state of astonishment. Homer's story is
thrilling, and his Greek is perhaps the most beautiful poetry ever
sung or written. But until now, even the best English translations
haven't been able to re-create the energy and simplicity, the
speed, grace, and pulsing rhythm of the original.
In Stephen Mitchell's Iliad, the epic story resounds again
across 2,700 years, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and
Patroclus, Hector and Priam flows in every word. And we are there
with them, amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a
poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the
realm of the beautiful.
Mitchell's Iliad is the first translation based on the
work of the preeminent Homeric scholar Martin L. West, whose
edition of the original Greek identifies many passages that were
added after the Iliad was first written down, to the
detriment of the music and the story. Omitting these hundreds of
interpolated lines restores a dramatically sharper, leaner text. In
addition, Mitchell's illuminating introduction opens the epic still
further to our understanding and appreciation.
Now, thanks to Stephen Mitchell's scholarship and the power of his
language, the Iliad's ancient story comes to moving, vivid