Public Domain Materials
THE ILIAD OF HOMER
The execution of this version of the ILIAD has been entrusted to the
three Translators in the following three parts:
Books I. - IX. . . . . W. Leaf.
Books X. - XVI. . . . . A. Lang.
Books XVII. - XXIV. . . . . E. Myers.
Each Translator is therefore responsible for his own portion; but the
whole has been revised by all three Translators, and the rendering of
passages or phrases recurring in more than one portion has been
determined after deliberation in common. Even in these, however, a
certain elasticity has been deemed desirable.
On a few doubtful points, though very rarely, the opinion of two of the
translators has had to be adopted to the suppression of that held by
the third. Thus, for instance, the Translator of Books X. - XVI. Would
have preferred "c" and "us" to "k" and "os" in the spelling of all
The text followed has been that of La Roche (Leipzig, 1873), except
where the adoption of a different reading has been specified in a
footnote. Where the balance of evidence, external and internal, has
seemed to the Translator to be against the genuineness of the passage,
such passage has been enclosed in brackets .
The Translator of Books X. - XVI. Has to thank Mr. R.W. Raper, Fellow
of Trinity College, Oxford, for his valuable aid in revising the
proof-sheets of these Books.
NOTE TO REVISED EDITION
In the present Edition the translation has been carefully revised
throughout, and numerous minor corrections have been made. The Notes at
the end of the volume have been, with a few exceptions, omitted; one of
the Translators hopes to publish very shortly a Companion to the Iliad
for English readers, which will deal fully with most of the points
therein referred to.
The use of square brackets has in this edition been restricted to
passages where there is external evidence, such as absence from the
best MSS., for believing in interpolation. One or two departures from
this Rule are noticed in footnotes.
The reader will perhaps also be helped by the following list of the
Greek and Latin names of the gods and goddesses who play important
parts in the narrative. When the Greek names and new to him, there
corresponding Latin names may be more familiar.
(Pallas) Athene. Minerva.
The sacred soil of Ilios is rent
With shaft and pit; foiled waters wander slow Through plains where
Simois and Scamander went To war with gods and heroes long ago.
Not yet to dark Cassandra lying low
In rich Mycenae do the Fates relent;
The bones of Agamemnon are a show,
And ruined is his royal monument.
The dust and awful treasures of the dead
Hath learning scattered wide; but vainly thee, Homer, she meteth with
her Lesbian lead,
And strives to rend thy songs, too blind is she To know the crown on
thine immortal head
Of indivisible supremacy. A.I.
Athwart the sunrise of our western day
The form of great Achilles, high and clear, Stands forth in arms,
wielding the Pelian spear. The sanguine tides of that immortal fray,
Swept on by gods, around him surge and sway, Wherethrough the helms
of many a warrior peer, Strong men and swift, their tossing plumes
uprear. But stronger, swifter, goodlier he than they, More awful, more
divine. Yet mark anigh;
Some fiery pang hath rent his soul within, Some hovering shade his
brows encompasseth. What gifts hath Fate for all his chivalry?
Even such as hearts heroic oftenest win;
Honour, a friend, anguish, untimely death. E.M.