Cover image for The printed Homer : a 3,000 year publishing and translation history of the Iliad and the Odyssey
The printed Homer : a 3,000 year publishing and translation history of the Iliad and the Odyssey
Young, Philip H., 1953-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., [2003]

Physical Description:
vi, 481 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm
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Table of contents
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PA4037 .Y68 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Greek poet Homer was one of the greatest and most influential poets of all time. His epic Iliad and Odyssey were the foundation of Greek education and culture in the classical age (Our earliest infancy was entrusted to the care of Homer, said Heraclitus 2500 years ago) and are widely read today. Nothing is known of Homer's life (some even doubt his existence) or of the composition of the two epics but we can assume that the texts that survive are not as they were originally formed in oral tradition. This is a publishing and translation history of the written forms of the Iliad and the Odyssey. It first considers who Homer might have been and then explores the when and how of the creation of the written forms of the works. The Homeric text in classical times and in medieval Europe and the Byzantine Empire, and the Homeric text, the printing press and Renaissance humanism are next taken up. The successes and failures of the many who attempted to translate the works are analyzed critically and then - a major portion of the book - all the known texts, editions and translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey from 1470 to 2000 are listed. Finally, the author considers the future of t

Author Notes

Philip H. Young is director of the Krannert Memorial Library at the University of Indianapolis.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Young, director of the Krannert Memorial Library at the University of Indianapolis, offers a fascinating and readable history of the transmission of Homer and the Homeric texts in the Western world. Young is conversant with the most recent theories in Homeric scholarship, which he here presents with balance and clarity. The first part of the book traces various models of who or whether Homer was and the movement from oral performance to written form. Young then goes on to explain how the ancients understood Homer. After a discussion of the break in the textual tradition and the medieval conception of Homer, Young turns to the recovery of The Iliad and The Odyssey in the Renaissance and then traces the editions and translations down to the present. In the second part of the book, he offers a comprehensive bibliography of the printed editions and translations of the Homeric texts from 1470 to 2000. While the book is aimed at the nonspecialist, its bibliography makes it an essential resource for the specialist. Highly recommended.-T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Young (Univ. of Indianapolis) has written for nonspecialists a synthesis of scholarly work on the texts of Homer, including both the Iliad and Odyssey as well as other works at one time attributed to Homer. Introductory chapters discuss the question of Homer's identify, the creation of the text, and the text through the centuries. Young's language is clear and interesting, and the illustrations and the graphs are well chosen. The second half of the book is a comprehensive, chronological list of all known printed editions of the Homeric texts from a Greek/Latin version of "The Battle of the Frogs and Mice" published in the 1400s to an English translation of the Iliad I published by Oxford (2000). Among the seven appendixes are listings of printings by author or translator, printings listed by printer or publisher, printings listed by place printed, and first printings in vernacular languages. The use of computer technology for the collection and manipulation of the information and the author's enthusiasm for his subject have produced an outstanding work. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Undergraduates, graduate students, researchers, and faculty. J. E. Sheets Baylor University

Table of Contents

Prefacep. 1
Introductionp. 3
Part I Homer and the Homeric Text
1. Who Was Homer?p. 9
2. The Creation of the Homeric Textp. 14
3. The Homeric Text in Classical Antiquityp. 47
4. The Homeric Text in Medieval Europe and the Byzantine Empirep. 67
5. Homer, Renaissance Humanism, and the Printing Pressp. 77
6. The Homeric Text in the Modern World: Translations and Editions
On Translating Homerp. 84
1470 to 1500p. 92
1501 to 1600p. 97
1601 to 1700p. 101
1701 to 1800p. 108
1801 to 1850p. 125
1851 to 1900p. 128
1901 to 1950p. 136
1951 to 2000p. 149
7. Homer, Present and Futurep. 159
Part II Printed Editions of the Homeric Texts, 1470 to 2000 C.E.
How to Read the Entriesp. 173
1470 to 1500p. 176
1501 to 1600p. 177
1601 to 1700p. 189
1701 to 1800p. 197
1801 to 1850p. 214
1851 to 1900p. 239
1901 to 1950p. 287
1951 to 2000p. 327
Part III Appendices
Appendix A Comments on the Printings Lists of Part IIp. 389
Appendix B Sources Used for Part IIp. 394
Appendix C Latin City Names and Their Modern Equivalentsp. 396
Appendix D Printings Listed by Translator or Authorp. 398
Appendix E Printings Listed by Printer or Publisherp. 419
Appendix F Printings Listed by Place Printedp. 444
Appendix G First Printings in Vernacular Languagesp. 465
Notesp. 467
Bibliography of Sources Citedp. 475
Indexp. 479