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Homer's Iliad Retold

Love and war with Achilles, Hector, and Helen of Troy in a hot new telling of Homer’s epic “The Iliad.”

Scene from Book XXIV of the Iliad: Hector's corpse brought back to Troy (detail). Roman artwork (ca. 180–200 CE), relief from a sarcophagus, marble. (Louvre)

Scene from Book XXIV of the Iliad: Hector's corpse brought back to Troy (detail). Roman artwork (ca. 180–200 CE), relief from a sarcophagus, marble. (Louvre)

In the great tale of ancient Greece, young Paris swiped the beautiful Helen and took her off to Troy. And on came war and heroes. Gods and chariots. Achilles. Hector. Agamemnon. The Trojan horse. It’s an epic that goes to the essential nature of life – its beauty and its tragedy.

The greatest teller of the heart of the tale is Homer in The Iliad. A new translation takes us back to the speed and clarity and grace of Homer’s telling, and makes it new.

This hour, On Point: to sailing ships, sword and shield, and the walls of Troy with Stephen Mitchell’s new translation of Homer’s The Iliad.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Stephen Mitchell, poet and translator. His latest translation is of “The Iliad.” You can find an excerpt here.

James Romm, professor of classics at Bard College and author of “Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire” and “The Edges of the Earth in Ancient Thought.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The New Yorker “For sheer weirdness, it would be hard to find a passage in the Western canon that can compete with the tenth book of Homer’s Iliad—the one classicists call the Doloneia.”

PBS “That’s the first line of Homer’s “The Iliad” in the new translation by Stephen Mitchell, a poet and one of the preeminent translators and interpreters of ancient and modern classics. His works include “Gilgamesh,” “Tao Te Ching,” “The Book of Job,” “The Gospel According to Jesus” and “The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke.””

Playlist

Apollo’s Lyre by Michael Levy
The Trojans Attack by James Horner
Bibasis: Spartan Dance by Petros Tabouris

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