If Homer's Odyssey is, as many have maintained, "the world's greatest adventure story," then the Iliad can justly be called "the world's greatest war novel." The terrible and long-drawn-out siege of Troy remains one of the classic campaigns, and the heroism and treachery of the combatants have been unmatched in song and story.
W.H.D. Rouse, whose "plain English" translation of The Odyssey is available in a companion Signet Classic edition, has applied the same principles of translation to the Iliad. It is colloquial as Homer was colloquial, never pedantic, high-flown, or cliché-ridden. It is the nearest contemporary English equivalent to the epic Homer's audience heard at their banquets.
"Dr. Rouse's admirable Odyssey is now followed by his Iliad, which has the same qualities of a swiftly moving novel in which the language is essentially that of the present day. . .This is certainly the version for those who want to know what Homer is about."
—The London Times Literary Supplement
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