Cover image for The Odyssey
The Odyssey
Homer, author.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Physical Description:
582 pages : maps ; 25 cm
"The first great adventure story in the Western canon, The Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty, and power; about marriage and family; about travelers, hospitality, and the yearning for home. In this ... version--the first English translation ... by a woman--this stirring tale of shipwrecks, monsters, and magic comes alive in an entirely new way. Written in iambic pentameter verse and a vivid, contemporary idiom, this ... translation matches the number of lines in the Greek original, thus striding at Homer's sprightly pace and singing with a voice that echoes Homer's music"--Dust jacket flap.


Call Number
Material Type
Corning - Southeast Steuben County Library 1 883.01 HOM Adult NonFiction Book

On Order



A lean, fleet-footed translation that recaptures Homer's "nimble gallop" and brings an ancient epic to new life.

The first great adventure story in the Western canon, the Odyssey is a poem about violence and the aftermath of war; about wealth, poverty, and power; about marriage, family, and identity; and about travelers, hospitality, and the changing meanings of home in a strange world.

This vivid new poetic translation--the first ever by a woman--matches the number of lines in the Greek original, thus striding at Homer's sprightly pace. Eschewing showy poeticisms and high-flown rhetoric, Emily Wilson employs elemental, resonant language and a five-beat line to produce a translation with an enchanting "rhythm and rumble" that avoids proclaiming its own grandeur or importance.

An engrossing tale told in a compelling new voice that allows contemporary readers to luxuriate in Homer's magical descriptions and similes and to thrill at the tension and excitement of its hero's fantastical adventures, Wilson's Odyssey recaptures what is "epic" about this wellspring of world literature.
3 maps

Author Notes

Homer is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey, the two greatest Greek epic poems. Nothing is known about Homer personally; it is not even known for certain whether there is only one true author of these two works. Homer is thought to have been an Ionian from the 9th or 8th century B.C. While historians argue over the man, his impact on literature, history, and philosophy is so significant as to be almost immeasurable.

The Iliad relates the tale of the Trojan War, about the war between Greece and Troy, brought about by the kidnapping of the beautiful Greek princess, Helen, by Paris. It tells of the exploits of such legendary figures as Achilles, Ajax, and Odysseus. The Odyssey recounts the subsequent return of the Greek hero Odysseus after the defeat of the Trojans. On his return trip, Odysseus braves such terrors as the Cyclops, a one-eyed monster; the Sirens, beautiful temptresses; and Scylla and Charybdis, a deadly rock and whirlpool. Waiting for him at home is his wife who has remained faithful during his years in the war. Both the Iliad and the Odyssey have had numerous adaptations, including several film versions of each.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Library Journal Review

Green (Dougherty Centennial Professor Emeritus of Classics, Univ. of Texas at Austin), classical historian, translator, and poet, whose many books include a noted biography of Alexander the Great, a history of the Persian War, and translations of the Argonautika and Ovid's Tristia, offers a new verse translation of the Odyssey, the product of many years of reading and thinking. As with his earlier translation of the Iliad, Green aspires to a "declaimable" style, inspired by C. Day Lewis's Aeneid and Richmond Lattimore's Iliad. He avoids the anarchizing tendencies of Stanley Lombardo, following an approach closer to that of Anthony Verity and Robert Fagles. Comparisons to Emily Wilson's recent translation are inevitable. While Wilson seeks a modern, readable version Green wishes to capture the strangeness of Homer's oral language, preserving the repetitive epithets and phraseology, using the transliteration of the Greek names rather than their Latinate forms, and following the linear rhetoric and syntax of the original. VERDICT Both Wilson and Green capture the spirit of the Odyssey, but word-for-word, Green also captures a feel for the Homeric language, an experience closer to the original.-Thomas L. Cooksey, formerly with Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-Concise and briskly paced, this dynamic comic-book version streamlines Homer's plot and zooms in on the all-out monster-trouncing, enchantress-encountering, death-defying action. The exploits of the square-jawed Odysseus are resplendent in bold lines and jewel tones while the fickle gods and goddesses shimmer in translucent hues. A reader-grabbing intro to the epic. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Seeking modern adventure demanding frequent suspension of disbelief? Vivid vision? Realistic dialogue? Recognizable characters and situations? Occasional implausibility? Here, writes Green (Univ. of Texas, Austin), is a "semi-heroic adventure story ... [embellished] by folktale and fantasy." Thus, he identifies a few irresistible Homeric features in this new Odyssey translation, out just four years after his acclaimed version of the Iliad (CH, Sep'15, 53-0093). Homer's epic tale of survival, temptation, betrayal, and vengeance loses none of its verve and pathos in Green's experienced hands. Previous translators into English have taken the poet's elusive sentence structure and "chopped and changed" it to normalize it. Along with a few surprises in his interpretation, Green offers a flexible, colloquial reading of the tripartite work, making this an amazingly accessible translation for experienced or novice readers, a translation that conveys both the feeling and the sense of the original lyrical Greek. Green does this by drawing on the classical and admirable example of C. Day Lewis's "declaimable" (i.e., easily recited) and mainly dactylo-spondaic rendering (in 1952) of Virgil's Aeneid. The extensive introduction, maps of ancient Greece and Asia Minor, detailed chapter summaries, and explanatory notes make the volume eminently suitable for classroom use. Summing Up: Essential. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers. --Raymond J. Cormier, emeritus, Longwood University



I Athene Visits Telemachus Tell me, Muse, the story of that resourceful man who was driven to wander far and wide after he had sacked the holy citadel of Troy. He saw the cities of many people and he learnt their ways. He suffered great anguish on the high seas in his struggles to preserve his life and bring his comrades home. But he failed to save those comrades, in spite of all his efforts. It was their own transgression that brought them to their doom, for in their folly they devoured the oxen of Hyperion the Sun-god and he saw to it that they would never return. Tell us this story, goddess daughter of Zeus, beginning at whatever point you will. All the survivors of the war had reached their homes by now and so put the perils of battle and the sea behind them. Odysseus alone was prevented from returning to the home and wife he yearned for by that powerful goddess, the Nymph Calypso, who longed for him to marry her, and kept him in her vaulted cave. Not even when the rolling seasons brought in the year which the gods had chosen for his homecoming to Ithaca was he clear of his troubles and safe among his friends. Yet all the gods pitied him, except Poseidon, who pursued the heroic Odysseus with relentless malice till the day when he reached his own country. Poseidon, however, was now gone on a visit to the distant Ethiopians, in the most remote part of the world, half of whom live where the Sun goes down, and half where he rises. He had gone to accept a sacrifice of bulls and rams, and there he sat and enjoyed the pleasures of the feast. Meanwhile the rest of the gods had assembled in the palace of Olympian Zeus, and the Father of men and gods opened a discussion among them. He had been thinking of the handsome Aegisthus, whom Agamemnon's far-famed son Orestes killed; and it was with Aegisthus in his mind that Zeus now addressed the immortals: 'What a lamentable thing it is that men should blame the gods and regard us as the source of their troubles, when it is their own transgressions which bring them suffering that was not their destiny. Consider Aegisthus: it was not his destiny to steal Agamemnon's wife and murder her husband when he came home. He knew the result would be utter disaster, since we ourselves had sent Hermes, the keen-eyed Giant-slayer, to warn him neither to kill the man nor to court his wife. For Orestes, as Hermes told him, was bound to avenge Agamemnon as soon as he grew up and thought with longing of his home. Yet with all his friendly counsel Hermes failed to dissuade him. And now Aegisthus has paid the final price for all his sins.' Excerpted from The Odyssey by Homer All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Translator's Notep. 81
Mapsp. 93
1 The World of The Odysseyp. 94
2 The Aegean and Asia Minorp. 96
3 Mainland Greecep. 98
4 The Peloponnesep. 100
The Odyssey
Book 1 The Boy and the Goddessp. 105
Book 2 A Dangerous Journeyp. 120
Book 3 An Old King Remembersp. 135
Book 4 What the Sea God Saidp. 152
Book 5 From the Goddess to the Stormp. 180
Book 6 A Princess and Her Laundryp. 197
Book 7 A Magical Kingdomp. 208
Book 8 The Songs of a Poetp. 220
Book 9 A Pirate in a Shepherd's Cavep. 240
Book 10 The Winds and the Witchp. 259
Book 11 The Deadp. 279
Book 12 Difficult Choicesp. 301
Book 13 Two Trickstersp. 316
Book 14 A Loyal Slavep. 332
Book 15 The Prince Returnsp. 350
Book 16 Father and Sonp. 369
Book 17 Insults and Abusep. 386
Book 18 Two Beggarsp. 408
Book 19 The Queen and the Beggarp. 424
Book 20 The Last Banquetp. 445
Book 21 An Archery Contestp. 460
Book 22 Bloodshedp. 476
Book 23 The Olive Tree Bedp. 494
Book 24 Restless Spiritsp. 507
Notesp. 527
Glossaryp. 553
Acknowledgmentsp. 579

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