Thus begins the stirring story of the Trojan War and the rage of Achilles that has gripped listeners and readers for 2,700 years. The Iliad is a timeless poem that still vividly conveys the horror and heroism of men and gods wrestling with towering emotions and battling amidst devastation and destruction, as it moves inexorably to its wrenching, tragic conclusion. Renowned classicist Bernard Knox observes in his superb introduction that although the violence of The Iliad is gripping and relentless, it coexists with both images of civilized life and a poignant yearning for peace. So begins Rober Fagles magnificent translation of The Odyssey, which Jasper Griffin in The New York Review of Books hails as "a distinguished achievement." If The Iliad is the world's greatest war epic, then The Odyssey is literature's grandest evocation of everyman's journey through life. Odysseus' reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces, during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, is at once the timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance.
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