a new translation
Vancouver Island University
Revised Edition 2010
This translation is dedicated to my son Geoffrey (1974-1997) and to my grandson Fabian (b. 1992)
of men are like the leaves.
In winter, winds blow them down to earth,
but then, when spring season comes again,
budding wood grows more. And so with men--
one generation grows, another dies away. (Iliad 6.181-5)
[Translation by Ian Johnston, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. For information about copyright, use the following link: Copyright. This translation is available in the form of a published book from Richer Resources Publications. And a complete recording of this translation is available at Naxos Audiobooks.
Note that an abridged text of this translation of the Iliad, about one third the length of the original, is available through the following link: Iliad Abridged.
Book 1: The Quarrel
by the Ships
Book 2: Agamemnon's Dream and The Catalogue of Ships
Book 3: Paris, Menelaus, and Helen
Book 4: The Armies Clash
Book 5: Diomedes Goes to Battle
Book 6: Hector and Andromache
Book 7: Hector and Ajax
Book 8: The Trojans Have Success
Book 9: Peace Offerings to Achilles
Book 10: A Night Raid
Book 11: The Achaeans Face Disaster
Book 12: The Fight at the Barricade
Book 13: The Trojans Attack the Ships
Book 14: Zeus Deceived
Book 15: Battle at the Ships
Book 16: Patroclus Fights and Dies
Book 17: The Fight Over Patroclus
Book 18: The Arms of Achilles
Book 19: Achilles and Agamemnon
Book 20: Achilles Returns to Battle
Book 21: Achilles Fights the River
Book 22: The Death of Hector
Book 23: The Funeral Games for Patroclus
Book 24: Achilles and Priam
This translation aims to provide an accurate text of The Iliad in a modern English poetic idiom. It is designed, first and foremost, for those who are reading Homer's poem for the first time. I welcome any suggestions for improvements in the accuracy and fluency.
This text uses the traditional Latinate spellings and common English equivalents for the Greek names, e.g., Achilles, Clytaemnestra, Achaeans, Menelaus, Hecuba, rather than modern renditions which strive to stay more closely to the Greek: Akhilleus, Klytaimnestra, Akhaians, Menelaos, Hekabe, and so on, with the exception of a very few names of gods—Cronos, Ouranos—and a few others (e.g., Idaios). And where there is a common English rendition of the name (e.g., Ajax, Troy, Teucer), I have used that. A dieresis over a vowel indicates that it is pronounced by itself (e.g., Coön rhymes with “go on” not with “goon,” Deïphobus is pronounced “Day-ee-phobus” not “Day-phobus” or “Dee-phobus”).