DescriptionThis is Volume Five of the major six-volume Commentary on Homer's Iliad now being prepared under the general editorship of Professor G.S. Kirk. Volumes I and II, published in 1985 and 1990 respectively, were edited by Professor Kirk himself. Like its predecessors, the present volume (the first to be edited by one of Professor Kirk's four collaborators) consists of four introductory essays (including discussions of similes and other features of narrative style) followed by the commentary. The Greek text is not included. This project is the first large-scale commentary on the Iliad for nearly one hundred years, and takes special account of language, style, and thematic structure as well as of the complex social and cultural background to the work.
Cambridge University Press
July 11, 1991
6.06 X 0.8 X 8.98 inches | 1.2 pounds
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About the Author
Homer is the presumed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary. The Homeric Question - concerning by whom, when, where and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed - continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Iliad and (according to some) the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius. The other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and reworking by many contributors, and that Homer is best seen as a label for an entire tradition. It is generally accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC. The poems are in Homeric Greek, also known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries; the predominant influence is Eastern Ionic.Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally. From antiquity until the present day, the influence of Homeric epic on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music, art and film. The Homeric epics were the greatest influence on ancient Greek culture and education; to Plato, Homer was simply the one who has taught Greece - ten Hellada pepaideuken.
"Edwards' model commentary, well-informed, sensible, lucidly expressed, consistently furnishes judicious and discerning appreciations of Homer's poetic methods and materials. All students of the Iliad will do well to use the Cambridge commentary, and particularly this component of it." Classical World