> Skip to content

A stunning new translation of Homer's great war epic, the legendary tale of honour, love, loss and revenge during the fall of the city of Troy.

High on Olympus, Zeus and the assembled deities look down on the world of men, to the city of Troy where a bitter and bloody war has dragged into its tenth year, and a quarrel rages between a legendary warrior and his commander. Greek ships decay, men languish, exhausted, and behind the walls of Troy a desperate people await the next turn of fate.

This is the Iliad: an ancient story of enduring power; magnetic characters defined by stirring and momentous speeches; a panorama of human lives locked in a heroic struggle beneath a mischievous or indifferent heaven. Above all, this is a tale of the devastation, waste and pity of war.

Caroline Alexander's virtuoso translation captures the rhythms and energy of Homer's original Greek while making the text as accessible as possible to a modern reader, accompanied by extensive extra material to provide a background to the poem.

The result of 3,000 years of story-telling, Homer’s epic tale of the fall of Troy has resonated with every age and every human conflict: this is the Iliad at its most electrifying and vital.

Reviews

Virtuoso

New York Review of Books

Caroline Alexander's Iliad is miraculous. It has the rhythms and even the lineation of the original Homeric text. Its language conveys the precise meaning of the Greek in a sinewy yet propulsive style that drives the reader inexorably forward. In my judgement, this new translation is far superior to the familiar and admired work of Lattimore, Fitzgerald and Fagles

G.W. Bowersock, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

Of the many new translations of Homer’s poem that have come out in the past two or three years, perhaps the most highly readable is Caroline Alexander’s. Thought to be the first woman to have Englished the poem, Alexander embraces Matthew Arnold’s four essential Homeric qualities: rapidity, plainness of style, simplicity of ideas and nobility of manner, in lines that ebb and flow with the tide of battle. The book wears its learning lightly, the introduction pitching the Iliad as the ultimate anti-war poem.

Times Literary Supplement

The Homeric Iliad originates from a rich tradition of performing song. It was meant to be heard. True to the living word of the original Greek, Caroline Alexander’s new translation invites us to engage directly with this tradition. When I read her verses I can almost hear the music of Homeric performance.

Professor Gregory Nagy, Professor of Classical Greek Literarture, Harvard University

Caroline Alexander has done admirably in rendering the meaning of the Homeric text faithfully and suitably dignified language. The format gives a genuine sense of reading a verse epic. Her line-numbers match the Greek, which will make this version convenient for use by college teachers and students

Martin West, Emeritus Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford

This powerful and readable version of the Iliad is modern without sacrificing the accuracy, energy, or the seriousness of the original. It is a toss-up between Alexander’s translation and Lattimore’s version

Library Journal

This powerful and readable version of the Iliad is modern without sacrificing the accuracy, energy, or the seriousness of the original. It is a toss-up between Alexander’s translation and Lattimore’s version

Library Journal

There is an epic poise to this new translation, whose varied line lengths ebb and flow with the tides of battle… Translucent, readable and recitable.

A.E. Stallings, Spectator

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784870577

    October 16, 2017

    Vintage Classics

    576 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Hardback

    9781784870560

    February 15, 2016

    Vintage Classics

    608 pages

    RRP $55.00

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473522749

    February 4, 2016

    Vintage Digital

    608 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Homer Homer

The Odyssey: Signet Classics
The Iliad: Signet Classics
Odyssey
Odyssey Of Homer
The Iliad
The Odyssey
The Odyssey

Recommendations

Bacchae
Greetings to Our Friends in Brazil
Introducing George The Poet
Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves
Night Sky with Exit Wounds
The Bone Flowers
Falling Awake
No Map Could Show Them
The Ancient Greeks
Song of Myself
Physical
The Stairwell
Speak, Old Parrot
Wild
Helen Of Troy
Poems
In the Flesh
Blood of Honour
The Lords Of Avaris
New Poems Book Four