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The Odyssey

Critique • Quotes • Translations

The Whole Works of HomerThe Whole Works of Homer, trans. Chapman, first edition, 1616
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

First publication
c.800 BCE

Literature form

Epic poetry

Writing language
Ancient Greece

Author's country

24 chapters, approx. 12,000 words

Notable lines

Tell me, Muse, of the man of many ways, who was driven
far journeys, after he had sacked Troy's sacred citadel.

— First lines, trans. Lattimore

It is hateful to me
to tell a story over again,
when it has been well told.

— trans. Lattimore

"No winning words about death to me, shining Odysseus!
By god, I'd rather slave on earth for another man—
some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive—
than rule down here over all the breathless dead."

— trans. Fagles

Of all that breathes and crawls across the earth,
our mother earth breeds nothing feebler than a man.

— trans. Fagles

And pledges for the days to come, sworn by both sides,
were settled by Pallas Athena, daughter of Zeus of the aegis,
who had likened herself in appearance and voice to Mentor.

— Last lines, trans. Lattimore


Critique • Quotes • Translations