Robert Fagles vs Richmond Lattimore Iliad Translation Comparison

Years: 1990 and 1951

Both Fagles and Lattimore provide excellent translations of Homer's Iliad, but Fagles' is more accessible and captivating for modern readers while Lattimore's is closer to the original Greek.

Passage comparison

Robert Fagles

Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.

Richmond Lattimore

Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus' son Achilleus
and its devastation, which puts pains thousandfold upon the Achaians,
hurled in their multitudes to the house of Hades strong souls
of heroes, but gave their bodies to be the delicate feasting
of dogs, of all birds, and the will of Zeus was accomplished
since that time when first there stood in division of conflict
Atreus' son the lord of men and brilliant Achilleus.


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