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The Odyssey

Translated by Barry B. Powell

Publication Date - 21 August 2014

ISBN: 9780199925889

488 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

A major new translation of Homer's timeless epic


Sing to me of the resourceful man, O Muse, who wandered
far after he had sacked the sacred city of Troy. He saw
the cities of many men and he learned their minds.
He suffered many pains on the sea in his spirit, seeking
to save his life and the homecoming of his companions.

Odysseus--soldier, sailor, trickster, and everyman--is one of the most recognizable characters in world literature. His arduous, ten-year journey home after the Trojan War, the subject of Homer's Odyssey, is the most accessible tale to survive from ancient Greece, and its impact is still felt today across many different cultures.

This lively free verse translation, from one of today's leading Homeric scholars, preserves the clarity and simplicity of the original while conveying Odysseus' adventures in a modern style. By avoiding the technical formality of earlier translations, and the colloquial and sometimes exaggerated effects of recent attempts, Barry B. Powell's translation deftly captures the most essential truths of this vital text. Due to his thorough familiarity with the world of Homer and Homeric language, Powell's introduction provides rich historical and literary perspectives on the poem. This volume also includes illustrations from classical artwork, detailed maps, explanatory notes, a timeline, and a glossary. Modern and pleasing to the ear while accurately reflecting the meaning of the original, this Odyssey is a superlative translation for twenty-first-century readers.


  • A free verse translation that preserves the simplicity of the original language
  • Includes reproductions of classical art illustrating the famous episodes of the poem
  • A detailed introduction contextualizes the poem in its cultural and literary history

About the Author(s)

Barry B. Powell is Halls-Bascomb Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His translation of The Iliad (2013) was also published by Oxford University Press.


Praise for Barry Powell's translation of The Iliad: "Magnetically readable." --Booklist, starred review

"[A] clear and energetic translation.... Staying true to Homer's poetic rhythms, Powell avoids the modified iambic lines found in Lattimore's, Fagles's, and Mitchell's works. He also avoids Lombardo's tendency to cast Homer in contemporary language and Fitzgerald's anachronisms. This fine version of The Iliad has a feel for the Greek." --Library Journal

"With swift, transparent language that rings both ancient and modern, Barry Powell gives readers anew all of the rage, pleasure, pathos, and humor that are Homer's Iliad--a reading experience richly illumined by the insightful commentary and plentiful images accompanying the text." --Jane Alison, author of The Love-Artist

"This translation is the complete package. A lucid and accessible introduction gives a general audience what they need to appreciate the nature of this extraordinary poem, and the translation itself is admirably energetic, readable, and direct. Powell's style is individual and self-assured, and his lines cry out to be read aloud. Just as in the original, the pace never lets up and the events of that long-lost past flash by. It is a remarkable achievement, one that fully deserves to rank with any of the current contenders." --Denis Feeney, Princeton University

"Barry Powell's clever translation is simple and energetic: sometimes coarse, sometimes flowing, it is always poetically engaged. He lays bare the semantic background of Homer through felicitous phrasing and delivers us a Dark-Age epic, one more suggestive of Norse sagas than the cultural milieu of archaic Ionia. Fresh and eminently readable, Powell's Iliad is likely to stay." --Margalit Finkelberg, editor of The Homer Encyclopedia

"Barry Powell, the master of classical mythology, has done it again--a powerful translation of the poem that started European literature. His muscular verses are faithful to the original Greek but bring the characters to life. This is a page-turner, bound to become the new standard." --Ian Morris, author of Why the West Rules--For Now

Table of Contents

    List of Maps and Figures
    About the Translator
    Homeric Timeline
    Book 1: Telemachos in Ithaca
    Book 2: Telemachos Calls an Assembly
    Book 3: Telemachos in Pylos
    Book 4: Telemachos in Sparta
    Book 5: Odysseus and Kalypso
    Book 6: Odysseus and Nausicaä
    Book 7: Odysseus in the Phaeacian Court
    Book 8: The Stranger in Town
    Book 9: Odysseus in the Cave of Cyclops
    Book 10: Odysseus and Kirkê
    Book 11: Odysseus in the Underworld
    Book 12: Odysseus on the Island of the Sun
    Book 13: Home at Last
    Book 14: Odysseus in the Pig Herder's Hut
    Book 15: The Pig Herder's Tale
    Book 16: Father and Son
    Book 17: The Faithful Dog Argos
    Book 18: Presents from the Suitors
    Book 19: Odysseus' Scar
    Book 20: A Vision of Doom
    Book 21: The Contest of the Bow
    Book 22: The Slaughter of the Suitors
    Book 23: Husband and Wife
    Book 24: Father and Son
    Pronouncing Glossary/Index


Please check out reviews of Powell's The Odyssey on the CAMWS website here and here.

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