I really want to read Homer’s masterpieces in english. Which translation do you recommend? I have a translation based on greek poetry writing style in my native language. My level is C1
I really liked the Robert Fagles translations of both, very poetic, beautiful and yet gripping and excitingly modern.
Alexander Pope’s translation is considered a classic translation, but it’s English might be a little too antiquated for you. It does have the advantage of being freely available, however, whereas more modern translations you’ll have to buy.
The wrath of Peleus’ son, the direful spring
Of all the Grecian woes, O Goddess, sing!
That wrath which hurled 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!
Declare, O Muse! in what ill-fated hour
Sprung the fierce strife, from what offended Power?
Pope’s version even rhymes!
To compare, here are the first few lines of Fagles’ translation:
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 sturdy souls,
great fighters’ souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feast for the 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.
What god drove them to fight with such a fury?
Thank you so much greg. You give me a great reference Fagle’s translation is so clear. I do not even need to check footnotes. i checked some others as well in amazon (their first pages). Pope’s are so appealing looks like the translation i have in my native language. But i need to look up every three words in a line, and checking the translation. it would probably make me overwhelmed. Beyond all of them Fagles translation has an amazing feature: an audiobook read by Ian McKellen