For a work that is a foundational text not merely of modern literature but of all of Western civilization, it's surprising how little is known of its origins. The epic adventure The Odyssey was originally told in oral form and may have been written down for the first time in the 8th century BC. We attribute the work to the Greek poet Homer, but little is known about him, or if, indeed, the author was but a single person.
What is certain, though, is that The Odyssey is absolutely required reading for anyone who wishes to be considered truly educated and literate even today, nearly three thousand years after it was first written.
This replica of 1911 edition presents the 1851 translation by THEODORE ALOIS BUCKLEY (1825-1856), a highly readable rendition of the nine-year journey of the solider Odysseus as he returns home to Ithaca after the Trojan War. It's a compelling translation that makes plain how strikingly modern Homer's writing was, with its nonlinear plot fleshed out by flashbacks and driven as much by the actions of ordinary mortals-even women and slaves!-as it is by men of heroic stature and the gods themselves.
As entertaining as it is edifying, this is one of humanity's grandest literary achievements.