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Thread: Which translation is this?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Which translation is this?

    Hi, can anyone help me to identify this translation of The Iliad (It has become something of an obsession for me now):

    "Sing the wrath, O Goddess, the baleful wrath of Achilles son of Pelus, that laid on the Achaens ten thousand sorrows, and sent away goodly souls of heroes to Hades, and themselves it gave to dogs and all the birds; and the counsel of Zeus was fulfilled, from the day when first Atreides, king of men, and the divine Achilles quarrelled and stood apart. Who among the gods set them twain to fight?"

    I've taken it from the first chapter of East and West by C. Northcote Parkinson, where the author describes it as "the opening lines of The Iliad".

    In the bibliography at the end of the book, he has "Homer, The Iliad, translated by E.V.Rieu, Penguinn Classics, 1950.

    So I got a copy of that exact book, but this it not it. This book begins "The Wrath of Achilles is my theme....". Really it's a much plainer version of that verse, without that kind of "old-world" sound to it (excuse my lame description of how the text sounds to me!)

    I have googled some phrases from the quote, and the closest I've found is a version by Walter Leaf, Andrew Lang and Ernest Myers, 1873, but it is still significantly different.

    I am beginning to think Parkinson made this up, i.e. paraphrased from several translations he had read, and then just looked up the most "current" translation for his bibliography, which would have been Rieu's. But there is something about the particular language that I really like, and I'd really like to find if it's an existing translation.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    the beloved: Gladys's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    "This particular version of the Iliad, the story of the siege of Troy, is a translation by Samuel Butler, first published in 1898."

    "Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself"

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