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The Iliad (English Edition)
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The Iliad (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Homer , Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley Derby

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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Biographie de l'auteur

Samuel Butler (1835-1902) is best known for his utopian satire Erewhon, his posthumous novel The Way of All Flesh, and his translations of Homer. His family background made a career in the Church inevitable, but, while serving a low-income parish in London, he began to question his faith. He lived in New Zealand for five years, and later in life spent time in Italy.

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147 internautes sur 151 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Unpleasant, old-fashioned translation of a great work 27 août 2012
Par LIBRARIAN - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Homer's "Iliad" is truly a great work of literature, and I certainly agree with all the other reviewers who extol its virtues, but the person who translates this epic poem into English from the archaic Greek is all-important to one's appreciation and enjoyment of it. One needn't suffer through a poor translation when good ones are available. This public domain translation by Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley Derby (or more simply: Lord Derby) is outdated and not particularly good; it is certainly not enjoyable to read. (For that reason, I suspect few of the rave reviewers, though they rightfully love and enjoy the "Iliad," have actually endured THIS particular public domain translation of it.)

Following are 14 (mostly) good translations I've read and can personally vouch for. Several are available as ebooks; others may have to be obtained (new or used) in paperback or hardcover. Some adopt a poetry format; others are straightforward prose. (To distinguish the two, prose versions are specifically identified as such below.)

(1) Robert Fagles' modern translation from Penguin is particularly readable (and the introductory information by Bernard Knox is invaluable). Perhaps due to its having been somewhat over-hyped, some academicians now seem less enthralled by it than they once were, but I still like it and I still think it merits serious consideration as an excellent first choice.
(2) E.V. Rieu 's original prose version (from Penguin) was very understandable but in some specific instances treated Homer a tad too freely. This has been remedied in the present version, expertly updated by Peter Jones. I liked the original very much, but I like the update even better. This is also a very good first choice.
(3) W.H.D. Rouse provided a prose rendering which was long available as a popular, low-priced paperback from NAL/Signet. At one time this was widely used in many public schools because it was inexpensive and easier-to-understand than other versions then available.
(4) Ennis Rees' refreshing free verse translation from Random House/Modern Library is my favorite and not too dissimilar in style from Fagles, though at present, it may not be easy to locate a copy.
(5) Michael Reck's version, from HarperCollins, stresses its adherence to the oral tradition and is an honest, solid, respectful, and understandable translation. Though it seems to be lesser known, it is faithful to the Greek yet with comfortable English syntax.
(6) Alfred Hurd Chase & William G. Perry Jr., wrote a prose version once available in paperback from Bantam and used in schools. I haven't seen this lately, but it is very readable and I treasure my battered old copy.
(7) Richmond Lattimore's VERY accurate translation is published by the University of Chicago. It is much heralded but more scholarly and not as easy to read as other modern versions. While I recognize its true greatness, it is not my favorite, but many regard it (or the one below) as the very best. (I like it better than the one below.)
(8) Robert Fitzgerald's translation from Doubleday is also very highly regarded but scholarly and not an easy read. Accuracy to the Greek results in sometimes awkward English syntax, and names are spelled less familiarly (such that "Achilles" becomes "Akhilleus"). I dutifully read this version ONCE.
(9) Robert Graves made an exciting prose translation titled "The Anger of Achilles" which is literate, respectful of the original, and particularly enjoyable. This lively version is great fun to read--if you can find it.
(10) Stanley Lombardo's well-received translation is one I didn't fully read, because what I did read of it didn't impress me. Both in tone and in linguistic style, I found it to be an odd and inconsistent mix of formal and informal, noble words and deeds juxtaposed with jarring colloquialisms. I am probably in the minority, but I did not like this version.
(11) Alexander Pope's classic version is arguably more Pope than Homer, though some people love his heroic couplets, and it IS truly a poetic masterpiece in its own right. For many Pope fans, no other version of the "Iliad" comes close.
(12) Stephen Mitchell's translation demonstrates that being new and easy isn't necessarily always better. Like Lombardo, he uses too much inappropriate and sometimes jarring colloquial English, but unlike all the others, he expunges some sections of traditional text he feels are post-Homeric additions. (But what if he is wrong?)
(13) Andrew Lang, Walter Leaf, and Ernest Myers rendered the "Iliad" into late 19th century, "modern" English in their 1883 prose version. Although slightly old-fashioned in style, it is quite readable and has a reputation for accuracy. My copy is an old Modern Library Giant, but since this translation is in the public domain, it shouldn't be too difficult to locate a copy somewhere.
(14) Samuel Butler's sturdy prose version, about which I will have more to say below.

The above list is by no means complete, but it hints at the number and variety of translations that exist. Each of these translations (whether prose or poetry) has particular strengths and weaknesses as well as supporters and detractors, and none is perfect. That, not unexpectedly, creates some robust debate among readers of them. But, in my opinion, most of them are preferable to this public domain version by Lord Derby.

I would certainly encourage you to consider trying some or all of the above, but I might suggest (purely as a practical and inexpensive starting point) the public domain, prose translation by Samuel Butler; several well-formatted editions are available in the Kindle store for only a dollar, and for that low price some even include his translation of "The Odyssey." Although a well-known, late 19th century translator of Homer's two epics and the favorite of many readers, Samuel Butler isn't necessarily the scholar's favorite, and (like virtually every other translator of Homer) he has a few idiosyncrasies [see NOTE below]. Therefore, he may not be considered the "best" translator from an academic perspective, but Samuel Butler's English IS straightforward, comparatively easy-to-read, and appropriately majestic but quite understandable; you will certainly be able to better appreciate and enjoy the drama and sweep of the "Iliad" in HIS version rather than struggle with the awkward English of Lord Derby's.

NOTE: One of Butler's idiosyncracies (which is by no means unique to him) is a preference for using the names of Roman deities rather than the Greek (as in "Jove" rather than "Zeus"). He did so because he felt readers of his time were more familiar with the Roman names; today, the opposite is true. I do, however, own two hardcovered editions of Butler's translation in which all the Greek names have been restored, so presumably there MAY be a similarly treated ebook available (though I haven't yet found it). Not all (nor even, most) Greek names have been so treated by Butler; "Achilles," for example, remains "Achilles" (though "Odysseus" does become "Ulysses"). But for most readers the occasional appearance of a Roman name should prove to be little more than a minor distraction from an otherwise enjoyable text. No translation is perfect; at least this imperfection is quite bearable.

ADDENDUM: Today the distinctions between poetry and prose treatments are fading due to the replacement of old, rigid metrical forms with new, free verse translations that are as direct, pleasant and comfortable-to-read as their prose counterparts. By going with the flow and reading the text as written, adhering to punctuation, pausing at commas and stopping at periods, but NOT slavishly and artificially stopping at the end of lines UNLESS punctuation dictates, readers should find in these free verse translations language as natural and understandable as that contained in prose versions. With so many wonderful translations currently available (whether in prose or in poetry), NOW is truly a great time to find and read an "Iliad" that's just right for you.
55 internautes sur 62 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The ground is dark with blood 12 novembre 2012
Par bernie - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
With many books, translations are negligible, with two obvious exceptions, one is the Bible, and surprisingly the other is The Iliad. Each translation can give a different insight and feel to the story. Everyone will have a favorite. I have several.

For example:

"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 souls,
great fighters' souls. But made their bodies carrion,
feasts for dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end.
Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles."
-Translated by Robert Fagles, 1990

"Sing, O Goddess, the anger of Achilles, son of Peleus, that brought countless ills upon the Achaeans. Many a brave soul did it send hurrying down to Hades, and many a heroes did it yield a prey to dogs and vultures for so were the counsels of Zeus fulfilled from the day on which the son of Atreus, king of men, and great Achilles first fell out with one another."
-Translated by Samuel Butler, 1888

Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
Incalculable pain pitched countless souls
Of heroes into Hades' dark,
And let their bodies rot as feasts
For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done.
Begin with the clash between Agamemnon--
The Greek Warlord--and godlike Achilles."
-Translated by Stanley Lombardo, 1997

"Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss
and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,
leaving so many dead men--carrion
for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.
Begin it when the two men first contending
broke with one another--
the Lord Marshal Agamémnon, Atreus' son, and Prince Akhilleus."
-Translated by Translated by Robert Fitzgerald, 1963

"Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus' son of Achilleus and its devastation, which puts pains thousandfold upon the Achains,
hurled in the multitudes to the house of Hades strong souls of heroes, but gave their bodies to be the delicate feasting of dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished since that time when first there stood the division of conflict Atrecus' son the lord of men and brilliant Achilleus."
-Translated by Richmond Lattimore, 1951

"Sing, goddess, of Peleus' son Achilles' anger, ruinous, that caused the Greeks untold ordeals, consigned to Hades countless valiant souls, heroes, and left their bodies prey for dogs or feast for vultures. Zeus's will was done from when those two first quarreled and split apart, the king, Agamemnon, and matchless Achilles."
-Translated by Herbert Jordan, 2008

"An angry man-there is my story: the bitter rancor of Achillês, prince of the house of Peleus, which brought a thousand troubles upon the Achaian host. Many a strong soul it sent down to Hadês, and left the heroes themselves a prey to the dogs and carrion birds, while the will of God moved on to fulfillment."
-Translated and transliterated by W.H.D. Rouse, 1950

"Achilles' wrath, to Greece the direful spring
Of woes unnumber'd, heavenly goddess, sing!
That wrath which hurl'd to Pluto's gloomy reign
The souls of mighty chiefs untimely slain;
Whose limbs unburied on the naked shore,
Devouring dogs and hungry vultures tore.
Since great Achilles and Atrides strove,
Such was the sovereign doom,
and such the will of Jove!"
-Translated by Alexander Pope, 1720

"Achilles sing, O Goddess! Peleus' son;
His wrath pernicious, who ten thousand woes
Caused to Achaia's host, sent many a soul
Illustrious into Ades premature,
And Heroes gave (so stood the will of Jove)
To dogs and to all ravening fowls a prey,
When fierce dispute had separated once
The noble Chief Achilles from the son
Of Atreus, Agamemnon, King of men."
-Translated by William Cowper, London 1791

"Achilles' baneful wrath - resound, O goddess - that impos'd
Infinite sorrow on the Greeks, and the brave souls loos'd
From beasts heroic; sent them far, to that invisible cave*
That no light comforts; and their limbs to dogs and vultures gave:
To all which Jove's will give effect; from whom the first strife begun
Betwixt Atrides, king of men, and Thetis' godlike son*"
-Translated by George Chapman, 1616

"The Rage of Achilles--sing it now, goddess, sing through me
the deadly rage that caused the Achaeans such grief
and hurled down to Hades the souls of so many fighters,
leaving their naked flesh to be eaten by dogs
and carrion birds, as the will of Zeus was accomplished.
Begin at the time when bitter words first divided
that king of men, Agamemnon, and godlike Achilles."
-Translated by Stephen Mitchell

"Sing now, goddess, the wrath of Achilles the scion of Peleus,
ruinous rage which brought the Achaians uncounted afflictions;
many of the powerful souls it sent to the dwelling of Hades,
those of the heroes, and spoil for the dogs it made it their bodies,
plunder for the birds, and the purpose of Zeus was accomplished__"
-Translated by Rodney Merrill

"Sing, goddess, the anger of Achilles, Peleus' son,
the accused anger which brought the Achaeans countless
agonies and hurled many mighty shades of heroes into Hades,
causing them to become the prey of dogs
and all kinds of birds; and the plan of Zeus was fulfilled."
-Translated by Anthony Verity

"Of Peleus' son, Achilles, sing, O Muse,
The vengeance, deep and deadly; whence to Greece
Unnumbered ills arose; which many a soul
Of mighty warriors to the viewless shades
Ultimately sent; they on the battle plain
Unburied lay, to rav'ning dogs,
And carrion birds; but had Jove decreed,"
-Translated by Edward Smith-Stanly 1862

"Sing, Goddess of the rage of Achilles, son of Peleus-
that murderous anger witch condemned Achaeans
to countless agonies and threw many warrior souls
deep into Hades, leaving their dead bodies
carrion food for dogs and birds-
all in the fulfillment of the will of Zeus"
- Translated by Professor Ian Johnston, British Columbia 2006

"The rage, sing O goddess, of Achilles, son of Peleus,
The destructive anger that brought ten-thousand pains to the
Achaeans and sent many brave souls of fighting men to the house
of Hades and made their bodies a feast for dogs
and all kinds of birds. For such was the will of Zeus."
- Translated by Barry B. Powell

"Sing, goddess, the wrath of Achilles Peleus' son, the ruinous wrath that brought on the Achaians woes innumerable, and hurled down into Hades many strong souls of heroes, and gave their bodies to be a prey to dogs and all winged fowls; and so the counsel of Zeus wrought out its accomplishment from the day when first strife parted Atreides king of men and noble Achilles."
- Translated by Andrew Lang, M.A., Walter Leaf, Litt.D., And Ernest Myers, M.A.
Books I. - IX. . . . . W. Leaf.
" X. - XVI. . . . . A. Lang.
" XVII. - XXIV. . . . . E. Myers.

Another translation is by Ennis Samuel Rees, Jr. (March 17, 1925 - March 24, 2009)

Greek Latin
----- -----
Zeus. Jupiter.
Hera. Juno.
(Pallas) Athene. Minerva.
Aphrodite. Venus.
Poseidon. Neptune.
Ares. Mars.
Hephaestus. Vulcan.

You will find that some translations are easier to read but others are easier to listen to on recordings, lectures, Kindle, and the like. If you do not see information on specific translators, it is still worth the speculation and purchase. Right after the translation readability and understanding, do not overlook the introduction which gives an inset to what you are about to read.

The Stephen Mitchell translation goes though each of the major characters so well that you think you know them before you starts reading. Other introductions explain the struggle between different types of power. Rodney Merrill's 28 page introduction focuses on singing.

The Oxford University Press Barry B. Powell has an extensive introduction with real "MAPS". Also there is information of the finder Schliemann. We even get annotation on the meaning being conveyed.

Our story takes place in the ninth year of the ongoing war. We get some introduction to the first nine years but they are just a background to this tale of pride, sorrow and revenge. The story will also end abruptly before the end of the war.

We have the wide conflict between the Trojans and Achaeans over a matter of pride; the gods get to take sides and many times direct spears and shields.

Although the more focused conflict is the power struggle between two different types of power. That of Achilles, son of Peleus and the greatest individual warrior and that of Agamemnon, lord of men, whose power comes form position.

We are treated to a blow by blow inside story as to what each is thinking and an unvarnished description of the perils of war and the search for Arête (to be more like Aries, God of War.)

Troy - The Director's Cut [Blu-ray]
24 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Sing, goddess, sing of the rage of Peleus's son... 14 mars 2003
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
I long ago determined that the world of those interested in the Classical Literature of the Ancient Greeks that when it comes to Homer's epic poems there are those who prefer the "Iliad" and those who prefer the "Odyssey." My choice is for the story of the rage of Achilles. From Achilles's fateful confrontation with Agamemnon over Briseis of the lovely arms to the magnificently emotional ending where King Priam comes to beg for the body of his slain son, Hector, from the man who killed him, I find this story has greater resonance than the tale of Odysseus. The epic story also seems to me to be more classically Greek, with the great hero who acts out of anger, comes to regret his folly, and seeks to make amends with a great deed. Achilles is similar to Hercules in this regard, and although they are both strictly considered demi-gods, the Achaean hero ultimately seems more human. Plus, Achilles stature is enhanced by his opposition to the noble Hector; acknowledging the better warrior does not take away from recognizing the greater hero. Add to this the fact that all the gods and goddesses of Olympus are actively involved in the proceedings and I am convinced the "Iliad" is the more worthy book for inclusion into most classes dealing with Classical Mythology or the Ancient Greeks.
The main question with using the "Iliad" is class is picking a worthy version in English. The Lattimore translation is certainly above average, but I think the Fagles translation is far and away the best available (hence the one star deduction for this translation, which I have been compelled to use in the past) and I would not really consider using anything else in my Classical Greek and Roman Mythology course. I also like to use the "Iliad" as part of a larger epic involving the plays of Euripides, specifically "Iphigenia at Aulis" and "Trojan Women," as well as relevant sections from the "Aeneid" and other sources on the Fall of Troy. But the "Iliad" remains the centerpiece of any such larger tale, mainly because of the final dramatic confrontation when King Priam goes to weep over the bloody hands of Achilles. Not until Steinbeck writes "The Grapes of Wrath" is there anything in Western Literature offering as stunning an end piece.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Great story - bad translation 11 janvier 2004
Par Frikle - Publié sur
I dunno about other people reading this but it was a struggle. The book itself is a deserved world classic which relates the story of the siege of Troy. However, most people associate that battle with the wooden horse incident so be aware that the book does not cover that period! It ends before it. The incident is referred to in Homer's Odyssey and fully told in Virgil's Aenid.
The story itself is one of powerful archtypes in the characters of Achilles, Agamemnon, Hector, Priam etc. The war itself is supplemented by the gods taking part and the premises of this epic poem are psychological, philosophical as well as the kick-butt action scenes.
However, I found this translation quite bad. The text is very dense. I know the original is dense as well - but at least the Greek has poetry. When a classic is translated, much of the poetic beauty is lost so as a result, it should at least be made readable. But this one isn't. The text is set out as prose but with very long paragraphs. The language is archaic - one can't follow an already complex piece of text with "spake" occuring every second. Also, at least in my copy, there were heaps of mistakes. I mean books have typos but in the bad parts a page might have 6 or 7 which is bound to get annoying.
So definitely read the Iliad but look for a better translation.
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Spellbinding Classic 22 octobre 2000
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
A question ritually asked in literary circles is, "Which do you like better, The ILLIAD or The ODYSSEY?" Without hesitation, my response is The Illiad. Brimming with war, revenge, hatred, love, and beautifully translated prose, the Wordsworth Classics' version offers a first time reader or a scholarly sage a definitive copy for their collection. Homer's work has been spoken of for more than two milleniums and the Trojan/Greek war is recounted with such power and engagement, it still remains a heavily cited and easily reurnable story. Hours of enjoyment and antiquated adventure await.
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