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Reading Homer after completing Pharr

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Reading Homer after completing Pharr

Postby mdaftari » Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:04 pm

Hi all,

I have been working through the Pharr Homeric Greek for the past year and am nearing the end. After completing the Pharr, I would like to continue working through the remaining books of the Iliad; realizing at my pace, this will take several years to complete. Is there a particular edition of the Iliad anyone would recommend using. I know that Cambridge "Yellow/Green" editions have published commentaries for some of the books, but I was hoping to buy a complete edition where I could write marginal notes. I have the Loeb edition, which I have been using to check my translations and as a crib, but the books are small and difficult to make notes.

I was thinking of getting the Oxford Classical Text edition or the the Bristol edition (see link http://www.amazon.com/Homer-Iliad-I-XII ... er+bristol ). I know that M.L West has an edition as well.

The Bristol edition looked interesting because it the entire Iliad is published in two volumes and that a commentary apparatus. I am not sure if the commentary is helpful in terms up clearing up points of grammar, vocabulary, etc.

Does anyone have recommendations for a good edition of the Iliad and other resources to continue reading? Of course I have the Cunliffe Homeric Lexicon.
mdaftari
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Re: Reading Homer after completing Pharr

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:18 pm

Congratulations and good luck for the continuation! It will get easier as you go on.

I think for Iliad, for the purpose of a beginner, the Greek text is very similar in different editions. The differences are mainly in the critical apparatus and whether you get a translation or a commentary in the same volume.

West's edition is the most recent and a great scholarly achievement. It has a very extensive critical apparatus, but probably that's not important for you. Probably this isn't what you're looking for. When you'll be reading the Iliad for the second time, things will be different... :)

I have the Bristol edition by Malcolm Willcock you mention. The commentary is good and concise and not too difficult, and aimed at students. The problem is that this book sold at Amazon is (or at least was a few years ago when I bought it) an extremely low quality reprint. The glued binding came apart immediately, and that's probably the reason I never used it very much. There's no way the book will not fall into pieces long before you reach the end. My advice is to try find an older second hand copy (Amazon seems to have some).

Helmut Van Thiel's Ilias might be a good choice (the second newest edition), as it takes only one volume and the marginals are quite ample, so there's room for your own notes. No commentary or translation there. But I think it's good to have the commentary and the text in different volumes, so you can have both open at the same time.

The Green and Yellows are generally good, but they are aimed at slightly more advanced readers than Willcock. Their notes are much longer. You'll probably find them helpful too though. There are Green and Yellows at least for books VI, XXII and XIV. Then there are Oxford commentaries on books I and IX at least, which I think are about on the same level as the Green and Yellows. Then there's a six part Cambridge commentary on the whole of the Iliad by Kirk et al., which is generally intended for more advanced readers, but you'll learn a lot from there too.

There's really a lot to choose from. I really depends how much time and money you're going to invest in this. Can you use a university library? Anyway, maybe Willcock's commentary is the best to start with. You might want to use some of those other, more in-depth commentaries at least for the books you're most interested in.
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Re: Reading Homer after completing Pharr

Postby Paul Derouda » Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:37 pm

They say Geoffrey Steadman's commentaries are very good. Unfortunately I didn't know about these when I finished Pharr...
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Re: Reading Homer after completing Pharr

Postby mdaftari » Fri Jan 03, 2014 6:47 pm

Thanks for the recommendations. I do have Volume 1 of the Kirk's Cambridge commentaries. It is very good and gives alot of insight on the background and structure of the Iliad. But it offers little in terms of grammar. I will try the Willcock's version first and maybe pick up a Yellow and Green and/or Steadman when I reach those books. Thanks for the insight, this was very helpful.
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