Homer's epic about the horrors and heroism of the final year of the Trojan War is one of Western literature's most enduring and moving tales. Joe Sachs, whose translations are known for being faithful to the original Greek, brings new layers of depth, understanding, and interest to the poem.
Why translate the Iliad? Joe Sachs explains his motivation:
My own reading of the poem has been influenced less by the books and essays that discuss it than by its translators. I have read quite a few, and the variety among them is striking…Once, long ago, I expected that eventually I would find one translation the most satisfying. What I found instead was that it was the very multiplicity of them that was getting me closer to Homer. Felicitous phrases from them all have remained with me, and the way their words move and sound has helped me come to hear, in my inward ear, Homer’s voice.
Renowned philosophy professor Joe Sachs taught for thirty years in the Great Books program at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He has translated Homer’s Odyssey (Paul Dry Books, 2014); Aristotle’s Physics, Metaphysics, On the Soul and On Memory and Recollection, Nicomachean Ethics, and Poetics; and Plato’s Theaetetus, Republic, and Socrates and The Sophists.
"From the very first lines of Joe Sachs’s translation of the Iliad, you will feel yourself transported directly to the scene of a tumultuous war, landed on the Dardanian shores along with the long-suffering Achaeans, and invited inside the great walls of Troy, with occasional glimpses of the heights of Olympus. There you will not be a distant, isolated and wary spectator observing events told from and of a distinct century about strangers whose lives in no way coincide with ours, but a fellow world-citizen who happens to be wandering on the same soil and under the same blazing sun, where you will gain a deeper grasp of the ties that span that distance and reveal what it always was and is to be a human being. The translation shows a rare sensitivity to the fact that the language of Homer is one that nurtured the thinking of Plato and Aristotle."—Lale Levin Basut, Yeditepe University