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", ' 7 — ^1

Entered according to the Act of Congress; in the Year 1833, i

by HiLLIARD, GflAT, &€o.,

I the Clerics Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetu.

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In the following pages, the Preface to the first edition of the
Iliad has been embodied with a few additional remarks. For
a single volume, one introduction is quite sufficient; and I have
chosen this method of avoiding a multiplication of them. The
notes at the end have been re-examined, and a variety of ad«
ditional matter has been inserted, wherever the leading idea
of my plan seemed to require or admit it.

The text of this edition of the Iliad is an exact reprint of
the Leipzig edition, published by Tauchnitz in 1829. It has
been thought better to select some approved text, and follow it
faithfully, than to attempt a revision, which cannot be execut-
ed with the same advantages in this country as in Europe.
The emendations of Wolf have met with general approbation,
and it has appeared expedient to adopt the most correctly
printed edition of his text, which is believed to be that just
mentioned. It was published in Leipzig after a most severe
revision. A reward was offered for the detection of every
em^, and a text comparatively immaculate was thus obtained,
which is here presented, in our reprint. The utmost pains
have been taken to insure its typographical correctness.

In the preparation of the notes, I have been guided by my
reooUeetions as an instructor, and have selected those passages-

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for comment which have appeared to me, from several years'
experience in the class-room, most to require it. I have con-
salted freely some of the best commentators, particularly Heyne
and Trollope. The notes, it will be perceived, are designed
partly to explain the most difficult phrases, allusio;is, and con-
structions, and partly to call the attention of the reader to the
intrinsic poetical beauties of the Iliad. My wish has been to
lead the yoiing student to read the poem, not in the spirit of
a school-boy conning a dull lesson to be ^'construed*' and
'* parsed/' and forgotten wiien the hour of recitation is at an
end, but in the delightful consciousness that he is employing
his mind upon one of the noblest monuments of the genius of
mdn'. Whatever his coiiickisiotis itay be, as to the merits of
particular passages^ if any remarks of mine sfaoidd chance to
excite his attention to die veal character of the poera« and to
promote a habit of analytical criticism, Whether his opinions
agree with my own or not* the object which I have proposed
toinyself will be accomplished. A faithful use of the Gram-
mar and Lexicon is, of course, of primary importance ; nor
can the habit of constant and carefid tetbal analysis be too
strongly inculcated. The ML meaning and this picturesique
beau^ of Homer will not open themofelveg to tiie ttind of the
reader, unless he takes the trouble of going back to the first
signification of the words.

The Illastrations of Mr. Flaxman are not «o generally knon^
in this country as they ought to be. No Inodem sculptor, ac^
wording to 4he opinions of the best judges ^ has imbibed more
thoroughly the spirit of grace and beauty which belongs pre-
eminently ID ancieBt art. His mind may be imd t0 have been
cfo in a Qreciaa mould: he had the same intuitive i^eieep^
tkm of the beautiful, the sane loire bf aimpUcilyi the riame
power, whic^ belonged to that inteUectand people^oftmnkody-
iaji m peifiiot fernMt, the ideri cniatitmiof gimiiiiu tUfpmt
aevmi fear* in stttdyiag the Tflmfuw iof atitiiiiiity «l iUnnei

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a^d no jnaA w&9 ev«r more fitted by nature and education to
revive and r^rodi^ce the elegant simplicity of the works of the
ancientB* His lUu^tralions of Homer, designed originally for
bas-reliels, were welcomed, on their appearance, by the ap-
plause of aU Europe. They have been repeatedly published
in England, France, Germany, and Italy, and have taken, by
universal consent, a place among the happiest modern repre-
sentations of the spirit of the antique. They hold the same
rank in art that Goethe's IpMgtnie holds in literature. The
republication of these Illustrations, it is believed, will be an
acceptable service to the readers of Homer, executed as they
are in the purest Grecian style. Mr. Flaxman illustrated the
Tragedies of ^schylus and the Poems of Hesiod in the same
classical and spirited manner. As a general remark, it may
be observed, that the art and literature of the ancients shed
light upon each other to a degree unknown in modern tunes.
There was a peculiar connection between them ; they were
different developements of thp same ideas of the beautiful.
The sculptor l^rrowed his theme from the poet ; the poet was
influenced in turn by the sculptor ; both were in some meas-
ure controlled by the architect ; while all wrought under the
animating impulse of the most delightful country and climate,
where every breeze seemed to bear on its wings the choicest
inspiration of poetry. Homer's descriptions are so vivid, his
language so animated, that, as we read him, the personages in
his scenes move before us with almost the distinctness of bod-
ily form. His poetry was the source from which the artists
of Greece drew their ideals of gods and goddesses and
heroes. The whole compass of ancient poetry was, in fact,
re-shaped in the marble, and delineated- anew on the canvass
of the Grecian sculptors and painters. The noble figures on
the Parthenon, wrought by the band of Phidias, the broken re-
mains of which are now the best teachers of the highest style
in the art, sprang into being from the same kind of inspiration as

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that which spoke in the Rhapsodies of Homer, and the Trage-
dies of iEschylus and Sophocles. The turn of the Grecian
mind, from the first song of the epic to the last of the dramatic
muse, was clearly towards the impersonation of the powers and
appearances of Nature. This is the bond, which holds to-
gether Grecian art, song and philosophy, in immortal unity
and beauty, [t appears necessary, therefore, to look beyond
the mere words of ancient literature, if we would understand'
it in a liberal way ; and to see how the same spirit, which
breathes from the poet's page, was embodied in the works of
the artist. To promote this kind of study among the young
readers of Homer, this edition of the Iliad is accompanied by
the truly Grecian Illustrations of Flaxman. Mr. Andrews has
executed the engraving with a skill and fidelity to the original,
highly honorable to his taste and talents as an artist.

The Homeric question, as it is called, cannot be discussed
in this place. The reader who is curious to look into this
very interesting subject, will do well to consult the learned
Prolegomena of Wolf, and the writings of Heyne. Happily,
a decision on this much contested matter is not necessary to
the most complete enjoyment of the poetical excellences of the
Iliad. For my own part, I prefer to consider it as we have
received it from the ancient editors, as one poem, the work of
one author, and that author Homer, the first and greatest
of minstrels. As I understand the Iliad, there is a unity of
plan, a harmony of parts, a consistency among the different
situations of the same character, which mark it as the pro-
duction of one mind ; but of a mind as versatile as the forms
of nature, the aspects of life, and the combinations of powers,
propensities and passions in man are various. Some of the
chief personages in the Iliad show themselves but imperfectly,
unless all the situations in which they are placed throughout
the poem be taken into consideration. Achilles, for example,
in the first book, exhibits only the ungovernable impetuosity

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of Us teoipery and justifies the character giiren of him by

Itnpig^, ifictOMltiiB, mezorabiliB, ac6r.

But m Ihe inlerview with the ambassadors sent by Agamem-
Bon to his tent, he shows himself courteous^ hospitable, and
eloquent. After the death of Patroclos, the higher qualities
of his character, his strong affections, his heroic virtues, are
magnificently devdoped. This circumstance seems to show,
that the poet, making his heroes display themselves by their
actions, intended that an entire character should be judged
by taking into view the whole series of events comprehended
in the poem. The same observation will apply to other per-
sonages of the Iliad.

The historical iiacts, which htm the basis of the poem, are
few, and may be concisely stated. The immediate cause of
the Trojan war was the abduction of the beautiful Helen from
Sparta, by Alexander, or Paris, son of Priam, the king of
Troy. The early people of Western Asia and of Greece
appear to have sprung from the same origin, and probably
flpoke the same language. Their manners, customs, and my-
thology, according to Homer and Herodotus, were nearly
alike. Before the Trojan war, piratical expeditions from
Greece to Asia, and from Asia to Chreece, were the common
enterprises of the adventurous spirits of the age, who carried
off men, women, children, and cattle. It also grew into a
fashion for the leadas to seize upon beautiful women of high
rank, the abduction of whom was a matter of pride and
triumph to the successful marauder. Herodotus, in his First
Book, mentions several instances. In consequence of this
state of things, Tyndarus, king of Sparta, required of the chie^
tains, who sought his daughter in marriage, to bind themselves
beforehand that they would unite to restore her, should she
be stolen in this manner from the husband of her choice.

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She was married to Menelaus. Shortly after this eTent, Paris,
who appears to have been a kind of piratical dandy, visited
Sparta, and was hospitably entertained by Menelaus, whom
he contrived to rob of his beautiful wife, and a large amount
of treasure. The chieftains of the different states were now
called upon to fulfill their promise, and a large armament was
assembled at Aulis, under the command of the two brothers,
Agamemnon and Menelaus. The numbers furnished by the
respective chiefs are given in the famous catalogue.

The state of society and character of the age must be kept
in mind by the reader of Homer. Though raised considerably
above barbarism, the marks of primitive simplicity were still
discernible. Communities were governed by hereditary chief-
tains, whose powers were not defined with much precision,
but depended in a great measure on the personal qualities of
the individual. These chieftains were in general distinguished
by strength and prowess, and were expected to lead their sub-
jects in expeditions for plunder and in battle. They are Va-
riously styled in Homer, kings, chiefs, leaders, and shepherds
of the people. In this great enterprise they were doubtless
animated, not so much by the desire of avenging the insulted
honor of Menelaus, as by the hope of returning laden with the
rich spoils of Asia ; for Troy, according to several intimations
in the Iliad, was at this period in a highly prosperous condi-
tion, and the customs of war sanctioned the merciless sacking
of cities and the selling of captives into slavery.

The Grecian forces, brought together in this manner, and
entertaining these expectations, sailed for the Troad. The
war was prosecuted with various success, on the plain of Troy,
for nine years; during which many neighboring cities were
plundered, and their inhabitants killed or sold. In the tenth
year the city was taken and laid in ruins. Such is a sketch
of the ground-plan on which the divine genius of Homer raised
the magnificent jsuperstructure of the Iliad. I have thought

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it necessary to state thus much, with a view to the clear under-
standing of merely the poetical character of Homer. Much
entertainment and instruction may be found in the farther in-
vestigation of these points, by such as wish to become learned
in the early history of Greece. .

The splendor of the Homeric dialect is worthy of the great*
est admiration. There is a certain point in the progress of
every people, when their language is most fitted for poetical
composition. It is when they have risen above the state of
barbarism to a condition of refinement, yet uncorrupted by
luxury, and before the intellectual powers have been given
much to speculative philosophy. Then the rudeness of lan-
guage is sofiened away, but the words are still used in their
primitive meanings. They are like coins, lately from the
mint, with the impressions unworn by long and various use
in the manifold business of life. The numerous secondary
meanings which the ever-increasing intricacy of the social re-
lations, and the new views and abstract ideas of science, im-
part to words, sometimes to the concealment of their original
senses, have not yet confused or effaced the images they at
first presented. Such was the condition of our own noble
language in the time of Elizabeth. The words of Shakspeare
and Massinger have a truth to nature, a clearness and graphic
power, a simplicity, force, and freshness, which few subse-
quent writers have been able to rival. Such was the condi-
tion of the Greek language in the age of Homer. Formed
under the genial influences of a serene and beautiful heaven,
amidst the most varied and lovely scenery in nature, and by
a people of a peculiarly delicate organization, of the keenest
susceptibility to beauty, and of the most creative imagination,
the language had attained a descriptive force, a copiousness,
and harmony, which made it a fit instrument to express the
immortal conceptions of poetry. Its resources were inexhaust-
ible. For every mood of mind, every affection of the heart,

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every asf^ci of nature, it had an appropriate expression, and
the most delicate shades of coloring. Its words and sentences
are pictures ; in such living forms do they bring the thing de-
scribed before the reader's eye. The metrical harmony of the
Iliad has never been equalled. The verse flows along freely
and majestically, more like the great courses of Nature than
any invention of man.

Thus the author of the Iliad enjoyed very great advantages
for the poetical handling of his subject ; and his genius was
on a level with his situation. We should not expect in the
work of an early poet, the various humors and characters
which grow out of modern aociety ; but we shall find in Homer
a wonderful power in the. delineation of such characters as
belong to the heroic age. The various personages of the Iliad
come bodily before us ; we s^e them act, we hear them speak ;
but we neither see nor hear the mighty conjuror who has sum-
moned them around us. , Every hero bears himself throughout
consistently, with the leading idea of his own character.
There is no confusion, no contradiction, no indistinctness in
the scenic representations. The voyage, the council, the bat*
tie-field, the storm, are all described with equal power, truth,
and knowledge. The hospitable entertainment, the eloquent
debate, the warmth qf friendship, the love of country, and the
happiness of domestic life, are depicted with a warmth of col-
oring which shows the familiarity and fondness of one who
has known them all. The ^eches of the ainbassadors in the
tent of Achilles, the lament of Agamemnon over his wounded
brother, the interview between Hector and Andromache, the
visit of Priam to the Grecian camp, the short but most ani-
mating harangue of Achilles urging the Greeks to immediate
battle after the reconciliation, with numberless others, display
the transcendent genius and consununate knowledge of the
poet. It has been well remarked, that Homer's vivid concep-
tion of human affections seems to have unfolded to him, in a

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Striking manner, those truths in relation to the human bou1«
which are so necessary to satisfy its innate aspirations; and
to illustrate this idea, the following words of Achilles are re-
lerredto: (xxii. 389, 390.)

AUxaq lyi» xal xn&t ^iXov fitfiv^aofi ' iral(f9V.

*^ For though they do forget the dead jm Hades,
Yet, even there, will I remember my companion."

It is true that a future life was believed in as an article of poet-
ical faith ; yet many passages in Homer show how imperfect
and uncertain were the ideas of the age on this subject. But
here the poet is setting forth the grief of Achilles for the death
of his beloved companion and friend. In the ardor of his
Imagination, under the strong inspiration of the moment, his
genius, forgetting the dim traditions and idle fancies which
gave the heart no cheering hope, suddenly opens to the
fisbn of a future and conscious existence, in which the
friendships formed on earth shall be remembered and renewed.
According to this fine criticism, the passage at once shows
how the belief in a life to come suits the wants of the human
heart, and how deeply the poet was able to go into the nature
of man. I mention this as one of many points of view from
which the intelligent reader of Homer may examine his works,
and as one of many interesting reflections which will occur to
an attentive mind.

I have briefly referred to the peculiarities of the country and
the state of society in which the Iliad was produced. These
must be kept steadily in view, if we would form a just estimate
of Homer. I will remark, in addition, that books of travels
in Greece and Asia Minor afiford the most valuable assistance
in clearing up obscure passages, and particularly in throwing
light apon descriptions of natural scenery. There has not

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3^U ItI(!SV4G9.

|)e^n fufficient atteptioa giy^o^ to this kind of illuBtrationy b|
ppmmf^tfito]^. on ^hfi ^nciei^t classics. I am persuaded that
^ mf^ of p]a83ical tast^, who shoold make a careful survey of
Greece, and study her present lai^fttage, superstitions, cus-
tomsy traditions, and antiquities, with this single objiect in
view, would do more to illustrate the beauties of her ancient
literature, remove uncertainties, and restore the half-lost im-
pressions of som^ of her choicest gems, than the acutest mind
could do bj the researches of the closet, aided by the most
critical erudition. Every hill in Greece is venerable with
poetic a^speiatipns and beautiful superstitions. The banks of
e^^y riyer have a magical attraction in the memory of beings
^who^ our minds are united by every tie of learnings and by
e^fj^Y ph^n^ Pf fabulo^^ or historical renown. Every tree has
been described in the language of the poet, and every breeze
has been knmqrtalized in his graphic and sonorous line. The
^W stream of Grecian poetry has reflected, in images that
iiQve^ win fade, every feature of the lovely country through which
it flowed during the classic ages. In regard to the poetry of
Hptmer, thi9 is particularly true. The pictures he has drawn
wiith such unrivalled simplicity, life and beauty, are the combiiia*
tio]i8| an^ reproductions of scenes with which his own eye wa»
familiar, to which his own heart was bound, fr(»ii which hi^
own imagination gathered the choicest materials for the build*
ing up of his poetic and ever-during world. Mr. Wood's de-
^ijghtfut ** Essay on the Original Genius of Homer '' is a fine
Example of this kind of illustration, from which I beg leave ta
^|uote the following remarks upon a passage in Iliad ix i-*-

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Wliicli Popb has thm translated :

*'^ A89 ^fP itn cloudy dungeon iB8iiin|r finth,
A <foat)le tempiest of the West and NorUi
dWelte olbr ^ liea firoiii Thtaeia's Irozen sboie^
Heaiii iiratM i>A iM^Mi^ tthd bids th' fgoeai tott ;
Tbifl v4^ fiiid 4W the bdHliiig dixsps «i:e toirt^ ;
3pph yitf^iis pMfi^Pf im|;ed tbe tr9ub]fi4 iKant"

^Thb poet'g p^ffiteev wUch wis to |ttiiDit the straggle of
Wferidg mdebikibn Id the peofde^ ^strtictisd foetveen a sciue
of honor and <if dangel'; juul kkematdl^ resoiFnig to fljr or to
stay, is, no doubt, completely satisfied in the general image,
whidh be diakes use of. But though his meaning went no
farther, I am not less of opinion, .feklit, tUpoa tUs OQteaefaOi his
imagination suggested to him a storn^ vtiioh he had seen ;
and having myself had more than once an opportunity of ol>>
serving from the coast of Ionia the truth of this picture in
erery circumstance, I cannot help giving it as an instance of
the poet's constant original manner of composition, which
&ithfully (though perhaps in this case inadvertently) recalls
the images, that a particular striking appearance of Nature
had strongly impressed upon his youthful fancy, retaining the
same local associations, which accompanied his first warm
conception of them.

" But lest my testimony, as an eye-witness of the exact cor-
respondence of this copy to the original, from which I suppose
it taken, should not be satisfactory, I would propose a test
of this matter, upon which every reader will be enabled « to
form his own judgment. Suppose a painter to undertake this
subject from Homer, he will find each object not only clearly
eiq>res8ed, though within* the compass of four hexameters, but
its particular place on the canvass distinctly marked, and

Online LibraryHomerHomērou Ilias → online text (page 1 of 44)