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parsed(2024-11-26) - pubdate: 08/24
pub date: 1732600800
today: 1718600400, pubdate > today = true

nyp: 1;

Homer and His Iliad

November 26, 2024 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9780141997797
Reader Reward Price: $28.79 info
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This title will be released on Nov 26, 2024. Pre-order now.


A thrilling study of the greatest of all epic poems, by one of the world's leading classicists

Homer's Iliad is the famous epic poem set among the tales of Troy. Its subject is the anger of the hero Achilles and its dreadful consequences for the warring Greeks and Trojans. It was composed more than 2,600 years ago, but still transfixes us with its tale of loss and battle, love and revenge, guided throughout by the active presence of the gods. Its beauty and profound bleakness are intensely moving but great questions remain: where, how and when it was composed and why it has such enduring power?

In this compelling book Robin Lane Fox addresses these questions, drawing on a life-long love and engagement with the poem. He argues for a place, a date and a method for its composition, giving us a sense of alternative approaches and grounding his own in discoveries about long heroic poems composed elsewhere in the world, and the ever-growing evidence of archaeology.

Unlike other books on the Iliad, this one combines the detailed expertise of a historian with the sensitivity of a teacher of it as poetry. Lane Fox goes on to consider hallmarks of the poem, its values, implicit and explicit, its characters, its women, its gods and even its horses. He argues repeatedly for its beautiful observation and addresses its parallel use of what is, to us, the natural world. Thousands of readers turn to the Iliad every year. In this superbly written and conceived tribute, Lane Fox expresses and amplifies what old and new readers can find in it. It is pervaded, he argues, by a poignant hardness which is not just a poetic trick. It is a deeply held view of the world.

About this Author

Robin Lane Fox is Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford, and taught Ancient History at Oxford University from 1977 to 2014. He is the author of Pagans and Christians (1986), The Unauthorized Version (1992) and many books on classical history, all of which have been widely translated, including Alexander the Great (1973), The Classical World (2005), Travelling Heroes (2008) and Augustine: Conversions to Confessions (2015), which won the Wolfson Prize for History. He has been the gardening correspondent of the Financial Times since 1970.

ISBN: 9780141997797
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 368
Publisher: Penguin UK
Published: 2024-11-26


Robin Lane Fox has been teaching the epics for 50 years and studying them for many more. His lifelong fascination with the texts has bred a sort of feverish passion .... the book feels less like a wilful provocation than a throwing down of the gauntlet by a 76-year-old with nothing to lose. Lane Fox writes less with hope than bardic omniscience that his book will become a landmark in Homeric studies. --Daisy Dunn, Spectator

"Homer's Iliad is the world's greatest epic poem," writes the peerless classicist Robin Lane Fox ... Lane Fox has had a 60-year relationship with the poem ... he teases out from infinite small details hidden in the Iliad's 15,000 lines something of the antique mindset.--Michael Prodger, New Statesman

Robin Lane Fox - ancient historian, travelling enthusiast, gardening correspondent for the Financial Times and cavalry commander in Oliver Stone's Alexander - is the latest to turn his hand to this form of philological necromancy. The Iliad is a poem he has known and loved since his schooldays at Eton, and it shows: there is barely a page without some personal insight or hypothesis, often accompanied by laudatory adjectives ... He knows the poem in enviable detail and has a lover's eye both for the poem's sublime beauty and for anything out of place ... his confidence and deep learning can be thrilling .... Homer and His Iliad is rich, imaginative, perceptive and gorgeously written.--Tim Whitmarsh, Literary Review

A comprehensive delight for amateurs and academics alike, as the author soars through the canon of Homeric scholarship with a magisterial deftness worthy of any Olympian. A captivating tribute to a lifelong love of the original epic.--Lisa Hilton, Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year

This book is the result of a lifetime spent teaching the Iliad ... The approach is scholarly and based on a walker's deep knowledge of Homer's landscapes, but also entertainingly idiosyncratic, with much use of the personal voice ... a fine personal account of the impact of the poem as a profound meditation on our human condition in what remains a dangerous world'--Richard Janko, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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