Item description for Homer: Iliad I (BCP Greek Texts) (Bk.1) by J. A. Harrison, Homer & J. Harrison...
This edition provides the commentary and student aids lacking in larger volumes on Homer's work. It contains a full Introduction designed to highlight the most important features of the text. There are sections on the Iliad and its qualities, the Homeric question, dating, oriental influences, style, gods, men, the transmission of the text, the scholia, the epic dialect, and metre. The Commentary, as well as containing material addressed to advanced readers, is also designed to be accessible to those who are new to Homer. To this end, Greek quotations in the Introduction and Commentary are translated, and technical discussions are marked off in square brackets (beginners may pass over them if they wish). The Greek text of Iliad I is printed with a facing English translation of a literal kind, primarily intended to help beginners to construe the Greek and there is also a full vocabulary list.
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More About J. A. Harrison, Homer & J. Harrison
Simon Pulleyn was formerly a lecturer in Classics at Merton College, Oxford.
J. A. Harrison was born in 1915.
J. A. Harrison has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Homer: Iliad I (BCP Greek Texts) (Bk.1)?
A fine reader with only a few minor flaws Feb 12, 2005
HOMER: ILIAD I is a reader for the first book of Homer's great war epic with notes and commentary by Simon Pulleyn, former lecturer in Classics at Merton College, Oxford.
Pulleyn begins with a 60-page introduction. He first discusses the question of authorship and the dispute over the Iliad's origin in oral or written poetry. He then talks about Homer's style, and the peculiarities of his syntax which may daunt beginning students. Pulleyn gives an explanation of the worldview of Homer and the Greeks, helping the student understand the difference between Greek religion and our own, and how the Greeks saw Man. His introduction to the Iliad itself concludes with a history of the poem's transmission, and the important of scholia in understanding ancient techniques of scholarship. Finally, Pulleyn gives an overview of the Homeric dialect of Greek and its differences from Attic, as well as the phenomenon of digamma, and a guide to epic metre. I was disappointed to see that Pulleyn does not give a list of words in which digamma should be assumed, and he forces the student to obtain another text that does have this detail.
The Greek text of Book I of the Iliad itself is that of the Oxford Classical Text. Set in the typeface Oxonia, it should be supremely readable, though I found it photocopied a bit too small. Pulleyn provides a facing-page translation into English meant as a crib. It does not, of course, seek to compete with the literary translations of Fagles or Lattimore, but it does balance readability and the need to translate line by line without paraphrase.
Pulleyn the text with abundant notes; nearly every second line is commented on. He clarifies both difficulties of grammar and matters of Greek culture. Instead of given an authoritative explanation in many instances (such as in the question of Athena's attribute "glaukopos"), he speaks of how the matter is viewed by various scholars. A glossary and index end the book. The glossary contains, apparently, all words used in the first book. Irregular principal parts of verbs are given only if they too appear in the text, which may prove vexing to students wishing to prepare flashcards from which all forms can be deduced.
What I especially like about Pulleyn's reader is its incorporation of comparative linguistics and comparative poetics. It is a nice touch to explain the nominative dual osse "eyes" as coming from Proto-Indo-European *okwye (or, with laryngeal, *H1ekwye). In his introduction he compares certain portions of the Iliad to works of both other Indo-European peoples and the Greek's non-IE neighbours in the Near East, showing how the Iliad is a fusion of many sources into one Greek original.
In spite of a few minor drawbacks, ILIAD: BOOK ONE is an excellent reader and will prove quite useful to the student of Homeric Greek. Be sure to get a list of vocabulary with digamma indicated, however.
Excellent all in one resource Aug 29, 2004
This edition of Iliad I contains an introduction, text in Greek, commentary and vocabulary. The introduction discusses style, sources, meter, transmission and other issues. The author's prose is plain and graceful, not scholarly and pedantic. The commentary notes are long, detailed, extensive, fascinating. The Greek font is readable: words and accents are clearly printed. The font is small, but it seems obvious that all publishers of Homer in the original want his readers to share his disability. The 1200 word vocabulary is convenient because it is located in the same volume as the text, it is limited to Homeric usage, and it is restricted to words found in Book I. Also consider the excellent Draper on Book I (0472067923).