Real Audio in ancient
For nine full years the Greeks lay siege to Troy, until finally, in the tenth year of the war, the city was captured and destroyed. But in telling the story in the Iliad, Homer focuses not on the famous strategem of the Wooden Horse and the final battle but instead on the outbreak of a personal quarrel within the Greek ranks, and discovers in this unlikely source the seed of a tragedy which will overwhelm victors and vanquished alike. Writes Sheila Murnaghan (in her introduction to Stanley Lombardo's translation of the Iliad [Hackett Publishing Co., Inc, 1997], pp. xvii-xix):
"The Iliad is the story of a raging anger and its human toll. The poem recounts 'the rage of Achilles,' the greatest of the Greek heroes fighting in the war against Troy.... This far-reaching fury has its origins, not in the enmity of the Greeks and Trojans, but in the day-to-day tensions of the Greek camp, where a long-standing rivalry between Achilles and his commander Agamemnon flares up in a bitter quarrel. As it opens with this episode of internecine strife, the Iliad draws us into a world of warrior aristocrats for whom honor, gained and regained in the front lines of battle, is paramount. Under conditions of extreme pressure, their carefully cultivated distinctions of status give way to contention and hostility.... The rest of the Iliad works out (the) consequences, charting the course of Achilles' rage as it intensifies, changes directions, and finally subsides. Achilles' self-willed estrangement from his former companions places him in unexpected situations that open up new and often painful perspectives on his role as a supremely great warrior."
Stanley Lombardo is Professor of Classics at the University of Kansas. A native of New Orleans, Professor Lombardo holds his Ph.D. from the University of Texas (1976). At the University of Kansas, he teaches Greek and Latin at all levels, as well as general courses on Greek literature and culture. He was recently awarded a Kemper Teaching Fellowship by the university.
Professor Lombardo's publications are primarily literary translations of Greek poetry, including Homer's Iliad (Hackett, 1997; reviewed in the New York Times, 7/20/97; recipient of the Byron Caldwell Book Award; performed by Aquila Theatre Company at Lincoln Center, 1999); Homer's Odyssey (Hackett, 2000; reviewed in the New York Times, 7/09/00); and translations of Plato, Hesiod, Callimachus and others. He is currently working on a translation of Sappho.
Professor Lombardo has given dramatic readings of his translations on campuses throughout the country, as well as at such venues as the Smithsonian Institution and the Chicago Poetry Center and on National Public Radio. He is presently at work on an audio book of his translations of Iliad and Odyssey.
James A. Andrews
Department of Classics
Stanley Lombardo reads the Monro-Allen Greek text of The Iliad by permission of the Oxford University Press.
© Ohio University