Spring 2016

On Translating Homer’s Iliad

Caroline Alexander

This reflective essay explores the considerations facing a translator of Homer's work; in particular, the considerations famously detailed by the Victorian poet and critic Matthew Arnold, which remain the gold standard by which any Homeric translation is measured today. I attempt to walk the reader through the process of rendering a modern translation in accordance with Arnold's principles.

CAROLINE ALEXANDER is the author of The War That Killed Achilles: The True Story of Homer's Iliad and the Trojan War (2009), and the international best-sellers The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty (2004) and The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition (1998). She has written for The New Yorker, National Geographic, and Granta. The Iliad: A New Translation by Caroline Alexander was published in 2015 by Ecco Press.

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