-Arnold, Matthew. On Translating Homer. Edited by W.H.D. Rouse. AMS Press, 1971. This study is a fine example of textual analysis, as well as an extremely informative survey of the history of Homeric translations in English.
-Auerbach, Erich. Mimesis:
The Representation of Reality in Western Literature
. Trans. Willard R. Trask. Princeton, 1953. The first essay in this book, “Odysseus’ Scar”, makes invaluable distinctions between the Greek epic’s portrayal of reality and the portrayal of reality in the book of Genesis.
-Bryant, William Cullen. Trans. of the Odyssey. Boston, 1879. This translation has moments of great richness. Bryant was considered the father of American poetry, back in the nineteenth century. He was certainly the father of the American Homer.
-Curtius, Ernst Robert. European Literature & the Latin Middle Ages. Trans. Willard R. Trask. Princeton, 1953. This book is about more than what the title indicates. Teachers may discover the methods of teaching and studying, the curricula, the standards, and countless other aspects of the period linking our modern world to that of the ancients.
-Frankel, Hermann. Early Greek Poetry & Philosophy. Trans. Hadas & Willis. HBJ, New York, 1962. Chapter 2, section G, p. 85-93 focuses on the evolution of Odysseus.
-Fyfe, W.H. Trans. Longinus: On the Sublime. Revised by Donald Russell. Harvard, 1995. Part of the Loeb Classics series. This famous treatise on literature pays special attention to Homer. Offering five points essential to the sublime, it goes on to cite Homer in many examples.
-Griffin, Jasper. Editor of Homer: Iliad, Book 9. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1995. A very astute look into the makings of the famous speech of Achilles to Odysseus, Ajax, and Phoenix.
-Jaeger, Werner. Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, Vol. 1. Trans. Gilbert Highet. Oxford, 1965. Of all the books to read, this one must not be missed. He presents an overview of the ideals of education and the development of character in the days of Homer and beyond, focusing on each step of evolution towards the concepts of justice and the polis so influential on our own time and government.
-Kirk, G.S. The Songs of Homer. Cambridge, 1962. A rich source of information derived from archeology, as well as literary scholarship. Kirk is very thorough in his analysis of the transition from an oral to a written culture, from the rich culture of Mycenae, through the “dark” ages of Greece, to Homer’s day and what followed.
-Mack, Maynard. Editor of the Iliad & Odyssey of Homer, trans. Alexander Pope. Yale, 1967. This edition offers countless insights into the historical perceptions of Homer in English.
-Preminger, Alex. Editor of Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry & Poetics. Princeton, 1974. This encyclopedia consists of informative entries written by expert contributors. The entries for such topics as myth, metaphor, Greek poetry, epic, etc. are thoroughly informative, with helpful bibliographies for further study. It is a very reliable place to start for general information. Students at the high school level should be able to digest an entry, with guidance.
-Steiner, George. Editor of Homer in English. Penguin, 1996. This book is an anthology of attempts in English to translate and/or imitate Homer, over five hundred years of the English language. Many passages are represented by three, four, or even five different translators, whose periods and styles may be contrasted fruitfully.
-Taplin, Oliver. Homeric Soundings: The Shaping of the Iliad. Clarendon, Oxford, 1992. A contemporary classicist uses the poetic shadings of contemporary poets such as Heaney and Walcott to flesh out the poetic uniqueness of Homer’s craft.
-Watson, John Selby. Trans. Quintilian: On the Early Education of the Citizen-Orator. Edited by James. J. Murphy. Bobbs-Merrill, 1965. Quintilian’s proscriptions for the effective education of a citizen are still extremely relevant to our own educational challenges. In a time of declining literacy, a return to the principles of learning how to speak, read, memorize and write could do a great deal of good, Quintilian did not separate these disciplines so much as he focused on their essential interconnectedness. His advice is practical and pointed.
-Wright, G.M., & Jones, P.V. Trans. Homer: German Scholarship in Translation. Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1997. Each one of the essays selected for this book stands out as brilliant in its field of inquiry. In particular, the essay “The Songs of Ares & Aphrodite: On the Relationships between the Odyssey & The Iliad” by Walter Burkert, should be useful in getting a better sense of the textual similarities & echoes between the first epic and the second. We begin to see that Homer was not just an educational influence on poets who came after, but Homer also had an influence on Homer. That is, the Odyssey alludes to its elder, the Iliad.
-Fitzgerald, Robert. Trans. The Odyssey. New York, Doubleday, 1961. This translation is a classic in its own right. No other translation presents the full stride of the story as a rhythmical, poetic event, in language both simple to understand and exhilaratingly “Homeric’. Many agree that it is the best version for teaching.
-Lattimore, Richmond. Trans. The Iliad. Chicago, 1951. The translator’s introduction offers many insights into Homer’s period, identity, language, art, and more. The translation, in its syntax and diction, may be a bit more difficult than Fitzgerald’s, at least to the average student, but there is no truer rendering. Pope’s may be used in contrast, for a few lines here and there, and in specific lessons aimed at comprehension of poetic structures like antithesis, meter, rhyme, etc.
-Starr, Chester G. The Ancient Greeks. Oxford, 1971. A fine look at the whole of Greek culture, designed as an introduction for students
-Steiner, George, & Fagles, Robert. Editors of Homer: A Collection of Critical Essays. Prentice-Hall, 1962. The range of essays and poems represented in this book is very convenient. The organization is rather unpretentious, and less intimidating than most works of scholarship. The first essay, by Steiner, and the last, by Fagles, offer overviews. Contributors include Tolstoy, Pound, Auerbach, W.B. Stanford, Cedric Whitman. The book also includes some contemporary poems based on Homeric themes, by Lowell, Auden & Snodgrass, among others. This book would serve as a good companion to any student’s journey through Homer.
Classroom materials will remain simple: pens, paper, texts, and a dictionary.