I don’t have the classical education required to actually write a review of the Iliad. I’ll be honest, while I enjoyed it a great deal I’m pretty sure that I missed a lot of smart culturally loaded stuff that would have made it way better. I don’t have very much in the way of interest when it comes to history to be honest and I’m quite aware that that’s a failing on my part.
With this in mind, I’m talking about my experience with the work and not for a moment trying to discuss the work like I know what I’m talking about. There’s a Wikipedia link for hat.
The Iliad appears in a lot of things it gets referenced in all sorts of classical science fiction works including the classic (and terrible) TV show ‘Time Tunnel.’ I feel like older science fiction writers were passively obsessed with it. I’m not sure why but I see referenced to it in everything including Asimov and Bester. It goes right through to the modern day with TV shows like The Hundred. This is the reason I decided to slog though a book that I had no direct interest in.
I was really quite surprised at how easy it was to read. It was verbose and the style was antiquated for sure but it was no more ‘difficult’ than some of the E W Hornung stuff I have read and I spent just as much time on he web searching for terms and phrases with both works.
I slowly chipped my way through it over a couple of weeks and then let it simmer for a little bit. I can say with all certainty that I did enjoy reading it. But I wouldn’t want so do so again. I have a feeling on a repeat visit I would find sections pointless and the verbose flow tiresome. But, with that said I am very glad that I now have the full work rolling around inside my head. I think being able to spot is influence on things I read going forward will be of value for me.
If you (like me) think that this work is being referenced enough that reading it will enhance other works then you make make it thought it but I think for post people the Wikipedia page will be enough.
While its a work of fantasy with a specific setting that predates the writing its significance as a historical wok cant be understated. If you have a healthy interest in history I think you will almost certainly find it an interesting read. That said, if you do have a healthy interest in history you will have already read it I would guess.