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.