The greatest literary landmark of antiquity masterfully rendered by the most celebrated translator of our time.
When Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey appeared in 2017—revealing the ancient poem in a contemporary idiom that was “fresh, unpretentious and lean” (Madeline Miller, Washington Post)—critics lauded it as “a revelation” (Susan Chira, New York Times) and “a cultural landmark” (Charlotte Higgins, Guardian) that would forever change how Homer is read in English. Now Wilson has returned with an equally revelatory translation of Homer’s other great epic—the most revered war poem of all time.
The Iliad roars with the clamor of arms, the bellowing boasts of victors, the fury and grief of loss, and the anguished cries of dying men. It sings, too, of the sublime magnitude of the world—the fierce beauty of nature and the gods’ grand schemes beyond the ken of mortals. In Wilson’s hands, this thrilling, magical, and often horrifying tale now gallops at a pace befitting its legendary battle scenes, in crisp but resonant language that evokes the poem’s deep pathos and reveals palpably real, even “complicated,” characters—both human and divine.
The culmination of a decade of intense engagement with antiquity’s most surpassingly beautiful and emotionally complex poetry, Wilson’s Iliad now gives us a complete Homer for our generation.