Stanley Lombardo vs Ian Johnston Iliad Translation Comparison

Years: 1997 and 2010

Lombardo's translation of the Iliad is known for its poetic and accessible language, offering a contemporary feel to the ancient epic, while Johnston's translation captures the essence and spirit of Homer's original text, delivering a faithful and scholarly rendition.

Passage comparison

Stanley Lombardo

Sing, Goddess, Achilles' rage,
Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks
Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls
Of heroes into Hades' dark,
And left their bodies to rot as feasts
For dogs and birds, as Zeus' will was done.

Ian Johnston

Sing, Goddess, sing the rage of Achilles, son of Peleus—
that murderous anger which condemned Achaeans
to countless agonies and threw many warrior souls
deep into Hades, leaving their dead bodies
carrion food for dogs and birds—
all in fulfilment of the will of Zeus.


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