Iliad is the cornerstone of the Western canon. Set in the final days of the Trojan War, Homer’s poem recounts a formative moment in not only Greek culture, but in that of the West as a whole. W.C. Bryant’s verse translation has been acclaimed for over a century, rendering Homer’s hexameter into the epic metre of our own “manly and flexible tongue”. In Bryant’s sublime blank verse, Homer’s winged words take flight, never surpassed but in the Greek for grace and power.
In his foreword, Ricardo Duchesne makes clear that Iliad is something more than an expression of a generic “human condition”—it is an expression of a distinctly and uniquely Indo-European aristocratic warrior ethos. Moreover, as he shows, Homer’s poem represents a watershed moment in the emergence of consciousness itself, laying the foundation for the astonishing cultural efflorescence of classical Greece.
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