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An interview with Barry B. Powell on his translation of The Iliad

Every generation and culture needs its own version of The Iliad — one that capture the spirit of the original for a contemporary audience, whether Alexander Pope’s rhymed verse of the 18th century or dense Dickensian prose of 19th-century translations. Barry B. Powell’s new free verse translation of The Iliad was written with the modern English speaker in mind, and with the idea that the language Homer uses was colloquial and accessible to his contemporaries. In the following videos, Powell explains why he set out to write such a translation, and looks at some of the challenges that come with translating one of the great works of literature.

Why Do We Need Another Translation of The Iliad?

The Challenges of Translating Ancient Greek

The Iliad: The Endurance of the Epic

On why hearing The Iliad aloud is so important

Did The Iliad create the Greek Alphabet?

What’s Next for Barry Powell?

Barry B. Powell is Halls-Bascom Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the author of a new free verse translation of The Iliad by Homer.

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