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The Iliad & The Odyssey | [Homer]

The Iliad & The Odyssey

Little is known about the Ancient Greek oral poet Homer, the supposed 8th century BC author of the world-read Iliad and his later masterpiece, The Odyssey. These classic epics provided the basis for Greek education and culture throughout the classical age and formed the backbone of humane education through the birth of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity.
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Publisher's Summary

Little is known about the Ancient Greek oral poet Homer, the supposed 8th century BC author of the world-read Iliad and his later masterpiece, The Odyssey. These classic epics provided the basis for Greek education and culture throughout the classical age and formed the backbone of humane education through the birth of the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity. If Homer did in fact exist, this supposedly blind poet was from some region of Greek-controlled Asia-Minor and recited his poems at festivals and political assemblies. In this extraordinary two volume audio set, the glorious saga again unfolds, telling the story of courage and magical adventure in Ancient Greece.

The Iliad, the first of Homer's epic poems, tells of the counsel of Nestor, Achilles's slaying of Hector, and the defeat of the Trojans by the Greeks.

In The Odyssey, in his perilous journey home after the Trojan War, Odysseus must pass through the land of the Cyclopes, encounter Circe the Enchantress, and face the terrible Charybdis and the six headed serpent Scylla.

Both epics are translated here by Samuel Butler.

(P)2002 Commuters Library

What Members Say

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  •  
    Daniel J. Macarro Philadelphia, PA 08-30-12
    Daniel J. Macarro Philadelphia, PA 08-30-12

    Macarro

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dont take a course on Ancient Greece without it!"
    Would you listen to The Iliad & The Odyssey again? Why?

    I had to read the Iliad for Greek History to 336 BC and the Odyssey for Intro to Mythology my first semester as an ancient history major in college and these we're indispensable in terms of saving time of having to read two 1000+ page epics concurrently


    What other book might you compare The Iliad & The Odyssey to and why?

    Metamorphoses by Ovid and (especially) The Golden Ass by Apuleius, because those are my two favorite works of Latin.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Brad Pitt and Sean Bean in Troy


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    W. Sid Vogel Fairhope, AL United States 08-29-12
    W. Sid Vogel Fairhope, AL United States 08-29-12 Member Since 2006
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    "has there ever been a better story...."
    What did you love best about The Iliad & The Odyssey?

    The description of the battle, the purposes of the battle, the values of the people and the idea that the gods played an active role in favoring some and disfavoring others. This is compelling reading and that is why it has had such staying power in books, movies, poems, and thousands of other writings. One can not be considered to be educated without listening to these stories.


    What other book might you compare The Iliad & The Odyssey to and why?

    Only the Bible is comparable. The Bible also describes the values of God and the people, describes how conflict causes strife in the world and provides a world view for how people should live. The Bible of course shows that God is rational, good, and provides redemption to His people, unlike the Greek gods who were simply extensions of people with all the faults and arbitrariness of the human being.


    Which character – as performed by John Lescault – was your favorite?

    Hector was such an honorable figure, and ultimately such a tragic figure since he was killed by an arrogant enemy. We are never sure who the author favors, or who we favor, but clearly Hector was a great man, defending his family and people, but unlike so many of our tales today, this did not have a happy ending.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was extremely interested in the description of the motivations of the soldiers and the methods the leaders of the two sides used to motivate their soldiers. I was also interested in the descriptions of the tactics used by both sides. I was fascinated how the descriptions of the individual battles during the larger conflict reminded me of how American Indians fought, in a large group of individual hand to hand combat.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen to the book, you will find it compelling.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Rochester, MN, United States 06-28-12
    Michael Rochester, MN, United States 06-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Listening is the best way to experience this story"

    I could never get through the Iliad in school! It was simply too thick with unique names and places and colorful description. But to listen to the story told was marvelous! This story was meant to be spoken. Thanks to Audible I finally have had the joy of experiencing Homer.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States 10-17-10
    Joseph Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States 10-17-10
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    "Aviod"

    Parts of this recording are corrupted, so I wasted my credits. I purchased the Illiad and Oddessey individually. This version gives the cliffnotes version of each book at the beginning.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Los Angeles, CA, USA 02-11-07
    Caroline Los Angeles, CA, USA 02-11-07
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    "borning narrator"

    I read the Iliad and the odyssey in college and loved it. Thought I'd get a different perspective and listen to it on audio. Boy, that was a mistake. The narrator speaks in monotone, I now use it when I want to fall asleep!

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon North Bethesda, MD, United States 09-16-13
    Jon North Bethesda, MD, United States 09-16-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Spectacular"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Iliad & The Odyssey to be better than the print version?

    Yes. The story was originally told verbally by bards.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Zeus


    Any additional comments?

    Fantastic book and performance! I enjoyed this book so much that I've started digging into more greek and roman literature.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eltayeb SEWELL, NJ, United States 02-25-13
    Eltayeb SEWELL, NJ, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "great performance"

    This story could only be narrated by some one like Lescault. He was able to bring the character to life and make the story enjoyable and elegant in every sense of the word.
    I only wish to have as many good reader as this man to creat a link between and the glorious past.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    NYC Amazon buyer New York, NY 08-02-12
    NYC Amazon buyer New York, NY 08-02-12
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    "First-class recording of a first-class translation"
    Would you listen to The Iliad & The Odyssey again? Why?

    Lescault does an excellent job of conveying the tonalities of the different characters, with varying menace, resignation to the Fates, and real humor; and the translation - by Samuel Butler, which is not mentioned in the thumbnail though it is in the full-length description - is very, very good indeed. Subtext can come vividly alive, the great moments when the listener thinks, "Homer can't have intended that twenty-first century implication, can he?" (And of course, that is exactly what he did intend, which is what makes the work speak to us as it does.)
    Quality throughout, a wonderful bargain in getting the full work, and lovely to have the unity of recording, translator and performer.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Hobart, IN, United States 07-01-12
    Amazon Customer Hobart, IN, United States 07-01-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Listen to, don't read"

    It was hard enough to listen to some of the words used in the book and I wold never have figured out. This starts with the battle of Troy and ends with his journey home. It talks about all the 'stuff' that happens on the home front while people are at war. Well worth the read.

    There are a lot of very good political and personal lessons in this epic.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Otto Yucaipa, CA, United States 05-20-12
    Otto Yucaipa, CA, United States 05-20-12 Member Since 2007
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    "I really wanted to like this immortal classic"
    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lescault’s performances?

    The narrator's voice was pleasant enough, but I never got the impression he was interested in the story. I would be willing to try another book he narrated, but it would certainly have to be more stimulating.


    Any additional comments?

    Listening to this was akin to reading the subtitles of a movie, but without the movie itself to hold one's interest. If you have problems with insomnia, this might help.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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