Richmond Lattimore vs Robert Fitzgerald Iliad Translation Comparison

Years: 1951 and 1974

While both Lattimore and Fitzgerald's translations of the Iliad excel in capturing the essence of Homer's original poem, Lattimore's translation is more concerned with staying true to the original language, while Fitzgerald's translation prioritizes readability and conveying Homer's storytelling in a more modern way.

Passage comparison

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.

Robert Fitzgerald

Anger be now your song, immortal one,
Akhilleus' anger, doomed and ruinous,
that caused the Akhaians loss on bitter loss
and crowded brave souls into the undergloom,
leaving so many dead men—carrion
for dogs and birds; and the will of Zeus was done.


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