Alexander Pope. The Odyssey of Homer. 1760.


The translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey were Pope's chief employment for twelve years, from 1713 to 1725. The works were originally published by subscription and delivered in installments, with this later complete edition retaining a multivolume format. Pope's scholarship was less than ideal, and he required significant collaboration. For the Iliad, (also owned by Belmont Abbey College in the 1760 edition) he was assisted by William Broome and John Jortin. For the Odyssey, Pope took Broome and Elijah Fenton as coadjutors, who between them actually translated twelve of the twenty-four books. Opinions have varied on the literary merits of the result; but with regard to its worth as a translation few have differed with Bentley's famous criticism: "A fine Poem, Mr. Pope, but you must not call it Homer." Nevertheless, the enterprise was a considerable financial success and established Pope's reputation among his contemporaries.[EB]

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