Homeros – Ilias. Wrok in Troje

Book coverHomeros – Ilias. Wrok in Troje
Book coverHomeros – Ilias. Wrok in Troje
Book coverHomeros – Ilias. Wrok in Troje
Book coverHomeros – Ilias. Wrok in Troje

Publishers Athenaeum—Polak & Van Gennep also publish classics of world literature outside their Perpetua series – though they may look deceptively like the Perpetua volumes, as in the case of this new Dutch translation of the Iliad.

Flemish classical scholar Patrick Lateur elected for unrhymed iambic pentameters, a shorter metre than Homer’s hexameters. The line numbers, however, correspond to those of the Greek source text, leading to the surprising phenomenon that throughout the entire Iliad ten lines are counted for every thirteen to sixteen lines of verse.

The panel were full of praise for this Iliad. Classic repertoire, it was felt, was entitled to be dressed up classically. Everything is subservient to ease of reading, even to the extent that the main text is undisturbed by references to the annotations at the back. The reader seeking clarification on some point can quickly access the notes by reference to the line number.

The end matter occupies a further 120 pages: a postscript, a note by the translator, the notes proper and a descriptive index of persons. In the personal names, one or two italicized letters indicate where the stress lies.

The horizontal title on the spine is nice, and the headband and dust jacket are fresh. The designer’s decision to use a different typeface for the cover works well.

Edition: 2010
Language: Dutch, translated by Patrick Lateur
Publisher / commissioner: Athenaeum-Polak & Van Gennep, Amsterdam
Designer: Anneke Germers
Lithographer: Digitus Print, Enschede
Printer: Offizin Andersen Nexö, Leipzig (D)
Binder: Offizin Andersen Nexö, Leipzig (D)
Dimensions: 140 x 230 x 48
Amount of pages: 832 p.
Number of copies: 5,500
Price: € 32.50
ISBN: 978 90 253 6732 9
Font and foundry: Spectrum, Bodoni Old Face
Binding style: sewn hardback
Material: 80gsm Schleipen Fly 1.2 (interior), 110gsm tinted endpaper stock (endpapers), Imperial linen, black (binding), 115gsm Schleipen Fly, extra white (jacket)