Recommended editions of the Iliad and Odyssey?

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Manuel
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Recommended editions of the Iliad and Odyssey?

Post by Manuel » Thu Apr 09, 2015 1:57 am

Χαίρετε πάντες,

I'm just about finished with a two-semester college Greek course and am hoping to get more into some real texts soon. I've already read Pamela Ann Draper's annotated edition of Book 1 of the Iliad and would like to continue reading the poem in Greek (picked up some other student editions but none really kept my interest as much as the Iliad,) though I've been having some trouble finding a complete edition. I realize that few versions have annotation as expansive as Draper's, but I'm fine with that.

So far I've come across a few. My library had some from the early 1900s that had clear print and helpful notes, but they all seem to be long out of print. That leaves 1) the Bristol Classical Press editions (I've looked at them in person and really don't like the blurry font), 2) the Oxford Classical Texts editions (an Amazon reviewer criticized the print - can anyone confirm this?), and 3) M.L. West's, which are on Amazon for a fair price though not as cheap as the others.

Could anyone give their thoughts on these? Are there better versions out there that I'm missing?

Qimmik
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Re: Recommended editions of the Iliad and Odyssey?

Post by Qimmik » Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:02 pm

You should get an edition with notes. The Bristol Classical Texts edition in two volumes by Willcock is probably your best bet for this. The Bristol Classical Press edition is a reprint of an edition originally published by MacMillan/St. Martins Press. You might be able to find a good, reasonably priced copy in good condition of at least one volume of the original hardbound publication with clearer type on Abebooks.

The Oxford text and West's Teubner edition are "critical editions": they don't have annotations except for variant readings at the bottom of the page. These are useful at a more advanced level of scholarship. If that's what you're interested in, West's is clearly what you want. The critical annotations in the Oxford edition, now 100 years old give or take, leave much to be desired, but the text is not a bad reading text.

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... liad+i-xii

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... +xiii-xxiv

There are individual editions of various books of the Iliad and the Odyssey in the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics ("Green and Yellow") series by various scholars. These have very good annotations that reflect the current state of scholarship. I think Book 6 is the first (in order of the books of the Iliad).

Also, you should definitely equip yourself with Cunliffe's Lexicon, which is a valuable, not to say essential, tool for reading Homer.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... ic+lexicon

Hope this helps.

Manuel
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Re: Recommended editions of the Iliad and Odyssey?

Post by Manuel » Thu Apr 09, 2015 5:32 pm

Thanks for your suggestions, Qimmik! I had not been aware that Willcock's commentary on I-XII were available for so cheap in an earlier edition. That price combined with a clearer print certainly makes it a deal breaker. This should keep me occupied for a while.

Edit: thank you for the link, Paul
Last edited by Manuel on Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Paul Derouda
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Re: Recommended editions of the Iliad and Odyssey?

Post by Paul Derouda » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:01 pm

I agree with Qimmik's advice. This is discussed here from time to time, so you might find good info in earlier threads. You could check this thread: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=60233.

I can't recommend Bristol classical texts' reprint of Willcock. I have a copy myself which fell apart immediately, as the binding was extremely bad. The book is good in itself, just get an older copy from Abebooks or Amazon or somewhere, not a reprint.

Here you can find Cunliffe's excellent dictionary online: http://www.tlg.uci.edu/cunliffe/.

If you know German, Ameis, Hentze & Cauer's 8-volume commented school edition of the Iliad is very good (It's 100+ years old but still good).

Loeb Classical Library has a nice two-volume edition of the Iliad with a good, very literal English translation facing the Greek text. Just make sure you get the new, revised edition and not the one from about a hundred years ago. The translation follows the Greek very closely, so it's the best option for someone looking for a crib.

letters
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Re: Recommended editions of the Iliad and Odyssey?

Post by letters » Fri Jul 03, 2015 5:19 pm

Geoffrey Steadman has inexpensive editions of Odyssey 6-8 and 9-12, with commentary and vocab help:

http://www.amazon.com/Homers-Odyssey-6- ... 0984306528
http://www.amazon.com/Homers-Odyssey-9- ... 0984306536

I read 6-8 a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely. He has similar editions for a lot of other texts too (Plato, Sophocles, etc).

a reader of Homer
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Boise

Post by a reader of Homer » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:54 am

If you can find it, James Boise's 1879 "The first six books of Homer's Iliad" has excellent notes that are geared toward teaching the intermediate reader of Greek. All of the other editions with notes that I found were not really geared for this, the notes were more oriented toward scholarly issues and less toward helping the inexperienced grasp Homer's turns of phrase and manners of expression so to speak. Boise was writing early on in the history of classical scholarship and had a strong emphasis on practical teaching. He wrote other things, including a "First Lessons in Greek", "Exercises in Greek Syntax","4 books of Xenophon" and other things. Interesting man.

But I found all the other editions with notes, Willcock, Leaf, Leaf and Bayfield, Monro, Stanford, Merry, Merry and Riddell, and Kirk to be occasionally useful but again mostly oriented toward pointing out scholarly issues and less nuts and bolts grammar and syntax. But stick with it. Homer will teach you.

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seneca2008
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Re: Recommended editions of the Iliad and Odyssey?

Post by seneca2008 » Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:46 pm

Its probably too late to suggest something but I am using Heubeck et al. for the Odyssey.(http://www.amazon.co.uk/Commentary-Home ... ed+heubeck

I bought a second hand hard backed edition. I find it extremely helpful.

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