A. E. Stallings

The bloody prequel: a triumphant new translation of the Iliad

Having tackled the Odyssey, Emily Wilson has turned her hand to the brutal exploits of Achilles in the Trojan War

‘Homer Singing His Iliad at the Gate of Athens’ (1811) by Guillaume Guillon-Lethière. [Alamy]

There is an ancient comment (on the work of a grammarian with the terrific moniker Dionysius Thrax) that the performers of the Iliad and the Odyssey changed costume according to which poem they were reciting: a dark blue crown for the sea of the Odyssey, red for the blood of the Iliad.

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