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The Iliad

The Iliad


The Iliad of Homer

A Southern African Translation
by Richard Whitaker

Homer’s great epic, The Iliad, tells the tale of warriors who fight and die for the sake of the beautiful Helen of Troy. As the immortal gods look on, the Akhaians (Greeks) besiege Troy, while the Trojan warriors fight desperately to save their town, women and children.

Works quite brilliantly
~ Stephen Watson

This fresh, wholly new translation of the Iliad uses a local idiom and language to present Homer’s classic poem to a Southern African readership.

ISBN 978-1-920411-97-8

Richard Whitaker studied Classics (Greek and Latin) at the Universities of the Witwatersrand, Oxford and St Andrews. He is now Emeritus Professor of Classics at the University of Cape Town. He has published extensively on Roman love poetry, oral poetry, and the influence of the Classics on twentieth-century literature, and has translated books from Latin and French. He has also published travel books on South Africa with AA Travel (UK) and National Geographic, and is currently a Contributing Editor of the poetry quarterly Stanzas.

Additional information

Weight 610 g
Dimensions 20.9 × 14.7 × 0.37 cm


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“Works quite brilliantly.”

~ Stephen Watson

“This is a great translation, finish and klaar!”

~ Simon Barber, Wall Street Journal

“This Iliad translation may replicate the early Homeric Bronze/Iron [Age] Greek better than any other living modern language. I hope it grows to a gain wide appeal.”

~ James Devaney, comment in online Wall Street Journal

“Whitaker’s…translation of the Iliad…could…be read as an adaptation of Homer’s poem in the tradition of previous adaptations of Homeric epic by such writers as Christopher Logue and Derek Walcott…his choice to render Homer into Southern African English might…evoke the Iliad’s atmosphere more than a Standard English translation could.”

~ Jeffrey Murray, English Today

“Matthew Arnold…would surely have warmed to the vitality and directness of the narrative, speech and imagery [of Whitaker’s Iliad translation]. This is no leaden prose work that removes challenge and ambivalence in the interests of accessibility…the language never becomes bogged down in an attempt to ‘elevate’ the subject matter or to mimic archaism…It is, quite simply, a good read.”

~ Lorna Hardwick, Acta Classica

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