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PUBLISHED ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS OF HOMER’S ILIAD AND ODYSSEY

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The following page, which has been prepared by Ian Johnston of Vancouver Island University (once known as Malaspina University-College), Nanaimo, Canada,  is a work in progress (periodically updated), a list of publications of complete English translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. The list, for the most part, includes only the first edition of any particular translation and does not include reprints of earlier translations, partial translations, parodies, burlesques, adaptations, or re-workings of the poem (although I have made some exceptions).  

Where possible, I have provided links to samples of particular translations and, in some cases, to the complete text. And in many cases I have added a few review comments of my own. These comments are, for the most part, quick summary evaluations based on an immediate first impression of the translation, except in the case of the more recent versions, where I have usually made a more judicious (although still quite brief) attempt to deal with the English text. The short samples do not include any footnotes present in the original.

The purpose of this list is to permit readers to browse through a selection of English translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey in order to compare the different ways in which translators have rendered Homer’s Greek into an idiom they considered suitable for their contemporary readers.

The list is, I fear, not altogether reliable or complete, mainly because it is very difficult to determine from library records and bibliographies whether a particular book is, in fact, an English translation of the complete poem, rather than a summary, commentary, partial translation, or satire.  Given that such titles are very common, I may well have included titles which do not belong here. I am in the process of tracking down copies of the books so that I can verify the contents. Also, the precise date of the first publication has often been difficult to ascertain, particularly for translations which came out over a period of years.

I welcome comments and suggestions, especially concerning corrections and additions.  Please contact Ian Johnston.

The information here comes from a number of sources, most notably Philip H. Young’s The Printed Homer: A 3000 Year Publishing and Translation History of the Iliad and the Odyssey (Jefferson, North Carolina, 2003), George Steiner, Homer in English (Penguin 1996), Finley Melville Kendall Foster, English Translations from the Greek: A Bibliographical Survey (New York: Columbia University, 1918), and library catalogues for the Bodleian and British Libraries and the Library of Congress.

 

Complete English Translations of Homer’s Iliad

[Arthur Hall. Ten books of Homers Iliades, translated out of French. London 1581]
George Chapman 
(London, 1603-1614), fourteen syllable verse. (Sample and link to complete text)
John Ogilby (London, 1656), heroic couplets.
Thomas Hobbes (London, 1675).  Verse translation. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Oldsworth, Broom, Ozell (London, 1712). “Done from the French . . . and compar’d with the Greek.”
Alexander Pope (London, 1715-1720).  Rhymed verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
James MacPherson (London, 1773), prose (Sample and Link to Volume I of the Complete Text).
William Cowper (London, 1791). Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
James Morrice 
(London, 1809) (blank verse) (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Graduate of the University of Oxford 
(Oxford 1821) Literal Prose. (Sample and Comment)
William Sotheby (London, 1831) Heroic couplets.
 (Sample and Link to Volume I)
T. S. Brandreth (London, 1846) “Drumming decasyllables.” (Sample and Link to Volume II)
William Munford (Boston, Mass., 1846) (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
A Graduate of the University (Dublin, 1847), A Literal Translation of . . . Homer’s Iliad
Hamilton Bryce (1847). Prose.
Theodore Alois Buckley (London, 1851) Prose. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
William George Thomas Barter (London, 1854) Spenserian stanzas. (Sample and link to complete text)
Thomas Clark (Philadelphia, 1855-8).  English-Greek interlinear text. (Link to Complete Text)
F. W. Newman (London, 1856) “Unrhymed English metre” (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Ichabod Charles Wright 
(London 1859-64).  Blank verse. (Link to Volume I, Books I-XII)
Dr. Giles 
(London 1861-82) Word for word prose (with Greek)
J. C. Wright 
(Cambridge, 1858-65). Blank verse.
Anonymous 1862.
Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby 
(London, 1864) Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Thomas Starling Norgate (London, 1864). 
Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
J. H. Dart 
(London, 1865). Hexameter verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Philip S. Worsely
in Spenserian stanzas (Edinburgh, 1865-8) (Link to Volume I)
Edwin W. Simcox 
(London, 1865). Hexameter verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
J. F. W. Herschel. 1866. English accented hexameters. (London 1866) (Complete Text)
John Stuart Blackie 
(Edinburgh 1866)In fourteen syllable verse.  (Sample and Link to Preview)
Charles William Bateman (Dublin, 1862). “Literally translated.” (Link to Volume I)
James Inglis Cochrane (Edinburgh, 1867). Hexameter verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Charles Merivale (London 1869). Rhymed verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
J. G. CorderyBlank verse with Greek facing. (London, 1870) Sample and Link to Volume I
William Cullen Bryant (Boston, Mass., 1870).  Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
W. G. Caldcleugh (Philadelphia, 1870). Verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
John Benson Rose (London, 1874). Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Charles Bagot Cayley
 (London, 1876). “Homometrically translated” (Sample and Link to Full Text)
Mordaunt Barnard (Edinburgh 1876).  Blank verse.
Herbert Hailstone (Cambridge, 1881). Literal prose translation (Sample and Link to Book XXI)
C.W. Bateman and Roscoe MonganLiterally translated. (London: 1881)
Andrew Lang, Walter Leaf, Ernest Myers (Boston, 1882). (Sample and Link to Complete text)
W. C. Green, verse translation (London, 1884) (Sample and Link to Volume I)
Arthur Sanders Way (London, 1886). English verse. (Sample and Link to Volume I)
Samuel Butler (London, 1888). Prose. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
G. HowlandMetrical translation. (Boston, 1889)
John Purves (London, 1891). Prose. (Link to Complete Text)
Edgar Alfred Tibbetts (Boston, 1907) (Link to Complete Text)
Edward Henry Blakeney (London, 1910-13).  Prose.
Arthur Gardner Lewis (New York, 1912). Blank Verse.  (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
George Ernle (London 1922).  Quantitative Hexameters. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Augustus Taber Murray (London, 1924). Prose. (Sample with Link to Complete Text)
Alexander Falconer Murison (London, 1933). Hexameter verse. (Sample)
William Sinclair Marris (London, 1934) 
Robinson Smith (Nice, 1937).
  “The Original Iliad.”
William Henry Denham Rouse (New York, 1938).  Prose. (Sample and Link to Lengthy Preview)
William Benjamin Smith and Walter Miller (New York, 1944). Line for line dactylic hexameter.
Alston Hurd Chase, William Graves Perry, Jr. (Boston, 1950).  Prose
Emile Victor Rieu (Harmondsworth, 1950). Prose. (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
Richmond Lattimore (Chicago, 1951). Hexameter “isometric” verse. (Comment and Link)
Robert Graves (New York, 1959) (Sample)
Samuel Ogden Andrew, Michael Oakley (London, 1955). Verse 
Ennis Rees (New York, 1963). Verse.
Robert Fitzgerald (New York, 1963). Verse. (Sample and Link to Preview)
J. P. Kirton (Lowestoft, 1977)
Denison Bingham Hull (Athens, Ohio, 1982). Blank verse.
Martin Hammond (London, 1987). Prose. (Preview)
Robert Fagles (New York, 1990).  Verse. (Preview)
Michael Reck (New York, 1994).Verse.
Stanley Lombardo (Indianapolis, 1997). Verse. (Preview)
Ian Johnston (e-text, 2002), Arlington, Va (2006) Verse. (Comment and Link to Complete Text)
John Jackson (e-text, 2005). Interlinear Greek-English. (Preview)
Rodney Merrill (2007): English hexameters (Preview)
Tony Kline (2008?) (hyperlinked e-text). Prose (Link to full text)
Herbert Jordan (Norman, Oklahoma, 2008): line-for-line blank verse. (Sample and Link to Preview)
Frederick Light (New York, 2009). In a sequence of 1823 sonnets.  (Sample
Anthony Verity (New York, 2011). (Sample, Review Comment, and Link to Preview)
Stephen Mitchell (New York 2011). (Sample, Review Comment, and Link to Preview)
James Muirden (Rewe, Devon, 2012). A new rendering in heroic verse. (Sample and Review Comment)
Richard Whitaker (2012). A Southern African Translation. (Sample)

 

                       Complete English Translations of Homer’s Odyssey

George Chapman (London, 1612?). Rhyming couplets.  (Sample and Link to Complete text)
John Ogilby (London, 1656).  Heroic couplets.
Thomas Hobbes (London, 1675). Rhyming pentameters. (Sample and Link to Complete text)
Alexander Pope (London, 1725-26). Heroic couplets. (Sample and Link to Complete text)
William Cowper (London, 1791). Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Complete text)
A Member of the University of Oxford [Henry Cary?] (Oxford 1823).  Prose.
William Sotheby (Cambridge, 1834). Rhyming Pentameters. (Second Half of the Poem)
Theodore Alois Buckley (London, 1851). Prose. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Dr. Giles (London 1861) Literally and word for word.  Prose. (Sample and Link to Books I to VI)
Henry Alford (London, 1861). Hendecasyllable verse. (Sample and Link to Volume One)
Philip Stanope Worsely (Edinburgh, 1861) Spenserian stanzas. (Sample and Link to Volume II)
Thomas Starling Norgate (London, 1862).  Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
George Musgrave (London, 1865).  Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Volume II)
Lovelace Bigge-Wither (Oxford, 1869).  (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
G. W. Edgington (New York, 1869). Blank verse.
William Cullen Bryant (Boston, 1871).  Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Kelly (London, 1872-80) Literal prose. [This title comes from Young; it is not in library records]
Mordaunt Barnard (London, 1876). Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Samuel Henry Butcher, Andrew Lang (New York, 1879). (Sample and Link to Complete text)
Roscoe Mongan (London, 1879-80). Literally translated.
George Augustus Schomberg (London 1879-82).  Verse. (Sample and Link to Volume I)
Arthur Sanders Way (London, 1880).  English verse. (Sample)
Charles du CaneRhyming fourteeners. (London, 1880) (Link to Volume I)
George Herbert Palmer (Boston, 1886). English “rhythmic prose” (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
William Morris (London, 1887). Rhyming verse of irregular line length. (Sample and Link to Full Text)
Thomas Clark (London, 1888).  Interlinear Greek-English
J. G. Cordery.
 Iambic pentameter. (London, 1897).
Samuel Butler (New York, 1900). Prose.  (Complete text)
John William Mackail (London, 1903).  In quatrains. (Sample and Links to Complete Text)
Henry Bernard Cotterill (London, 1911).  Line for line isometric translation. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Arthur Gardner Lewis (New York, 1911).  Blank verse.
Augustus Taber Murray (London, 1919). Prose. (Sample and Link to Complete Text)
Francis Caulfeild (London, 1921). Isometric verse. (Link to Complete Text)
William Sinclair Marris (London, 1925).  Blank verse.
Robert Henry Hiller (Philadelphia, 1927). Prose.
Herbert Bates (New York, 1929) Tetrameter verse. (Sample)
Thomas Edward Lawrence (London, 1932). Prose. (Sample and Link to Preview)
William Henry Denham Rouse (New York, 1937).  Prose.  (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
Emile Victor Rieu (London, 1945). Prose. (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
Samuel Ogden Andrew (London, 1948). Verse.
Ennis Rees (New York, 1960).  Verse.
Robert Fitzgerald (New York, 1961) (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
Preston Herschel Epps (New York, 1965). Unabridged school edition.
Albert Spaulding Cook (New York, 1967). Line by line verse. (Preview)
Richmond Alexander Lattimore (New York, 1965)  (Preview)
Denison Bingham Hull (Greenwich, Conn., 1978)
Walter Shewring (Oxford, 1980). Prose. (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
Memas Kolaitis (Santa Barbara, 1983)
Allen Mandelbaum (Berkeley, 1990). Blank verse. (Sample and Link to Preview)
Roger David Dawe (Lewes, 1993) (Sample)
Brian Kemball-Cook (Hitchin, 1993).  English hexameter verse.
Michael Reck (New York, 1994)
Robert Fagles (New York, 1996). (Preview)
Martin Hammond (London, 2000).  Prose. (Preview)
Stanley Lombardo (Indianapolis, 2000). Verse (Link to Preview)
Tony Kline (e-text hyperlinked). Prose (Sample and Link to Complete text
Ian Johnston (e-text) (Arlington, Va, 2006) Verse. (Complete text)
Rodney Merrill, English hexameters (2002). (Preview)
Edward McCrorie (Baltimore 2004) Verse (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
Randy Lee Eickhoff, modern prose vernacular (2005) (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
James Huddleston, line for line, online interlinear English-Greek (Complete text)
Charles Stein (Berkeley, 2008). Free verse. (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
Stephen Mitchell (NY, Atria Books, 2013). Verse. (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
Norbert Albertson (New Book Partners 2013). Pentameter verse. (Link to preview)
Herbert Jordan (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014) (Review Comment and Link to Preview)
Brian Dawkins (Steele Roberts, Wellington, NZ, 2014) Verse, with illustrations by the translator.

 

If you would like to test which translation of the Odyssey you prefer, try the following tool (which covers only a few of the options at the moment): Odyssey test.

 

 


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