The Iliad - Homer & Stephen Mitchell

The Iliad

By Homer & Stephen Mitchell

  • Release Date: 2011-10-11
  • Genre: Poetry
2.5 Score: 2.5 (From 12 Ratings)


TOLSTOY CALLED THE ILIAD A miracle; Goethe said that it always thrust him into a state of astonishment. Homer’s story is thrilling, and his Greek is perhaps the most beautiful poetry ever sung or written. But until now, even the best English translations haven’t been able to re-create the energy and simplicity, the speed, grace, and pulsing rhythm of the original.

In Stephen Mitchell’s Iliad, the epic story resounds again across 2,700 years, as if the lifeblood of its heroes Achilles and Patroclus, Hector and Priam flows in every word. And we are there with them, amid the horror and ecstasy of war, carried along by a poetry that lifts even the most devastating human events into the realm of the beautiful.

Mitchell’s Iliad is the first translation based on the work of the preeminent Homeric scholar Martin L. West, whose edition of the original Greek identifies many passages that were added after the Iliad was first written down, to the detriment of the music and the story. Omitting these hundreds of interpolated lines restores a dramatically sharper, leaner text. In addition, Mitchell’s illuminating introduction opens the epic still further to our understanding and appreciation.

Now, thanks to Stephen Mitchell’s scholarship and the power of his language, the Iliad’s ancient story comes to moving, vivid new life.


  • Brilliant translation

    By Tad Davis
    This is an update to my previous review, which appears below. The publisher has replaced the PDF download with an actual iBooks-formatted version. If you bought this and haven't looked at it in a while, check it out. The same applies to Mitchell's Odyssey, another brisk and brilliant version that is now available as a properly formatted ebook. ORIGINAL REVIEW: Stephen Mitchell's translation is wonderful, but in its current iBooks form, it's unreadable on the iPhone. It appears to be a PDF or something similar - the iPhone "page" corresponds to an image of the printed page. Each page has to be individually expanded to a readable size. Please - give us this outstanding book in a usable format!
  • The Iliad

    By Andrew Purcell
    What gives here? This came in the PDF format. I was expecting a great translation but this is very difficult to read. One star until it gets fixed.
  • Unacceptable Format

    By Nos Greene
    You cannot reformat, highlight or annotate on this book. For a classic like the Iliad this makes no sense.
  • cant take notes or highlight text

    By Seanus70
    I am absolutely in love with Stephen Mitchell’s brilliant translation. I am the type to highlight and take notes on every book I read. When I highlight text in this book – either to write a note or to add a highlight – I am unable to do so. When I highlight text it gives me the option to search and to use the dictionary, but not to add a highlight OR to add a note. So annoying. I do not have this problem with ANY of my other iBooks. I feel like I have wasted my money. Seriously, I should have just purchased the hardback edition.
  • Poor Formatting ruins this

    By Hal Friederichs
    The formatting on this book is terrible. Every page has to be resized while reading it. No option is given to change font style or size as with other iBooks. The book itself is excellent, but I would avoid purchasing it until they improve the formatting.