Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 27 February |
Saint of the Day: St. Gregory of Narek
home iconNews
line break icon

Listen to The Iliad being recited in the original Greek

Public Domain

Daniel Esparza - published on 08/21/16

This is what the Homeric poem sounded like when it was “sung” by its original readers more than 2500 years ago

The Iliad, like so many other epic stories and poems of classical and pre-classical antiquity, was originally intended to be read (or recited by heart) aloud.

Several scholars and most classicists assume that the so-called “Homeric epithets” (that is, calling Athena “the destroyer of Giants” or “the bright-eyed,” or nicknaming Odysseus “he of the patient mood,” for example) were a resource that would help the listener to remember who is who in the narration, just as we do nowadays when we refer to someone as “the person with black hair” or “the one with the red beard.”

Dr. Stanley Lombardo, English translator of The Odyssey, The Iliad and The Aeneid, and professor and classicist from the University of Kansas, reads, in this video, lines 62 to 107 of Chapter 23 of The Iliad, corresponding to the funeral of Patroclus and the games Achilles organizes to honor his most beloved (and just deceased) friend.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.