This volume in the Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes contains his translations of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, edited by Eric Nelson. Hobbes translated the Homeric poems into English verse during the course of the 1670s, when he was already well into his eighties. These texts constitute his most extensive single undertaking, as well as his last major work. Yet, despite the explosion of interest in Hobbes over the last fifty years, this is the first modern critical edition of the Homer translations. Nelson provides extensive annotation detailing Hobbes's interactions with the Greek text of the epics and with other early-modern editions and commentaries, as well a substantial scholarly introduction placing Hobbes's enterprise in the wider context of Restoration politics and poetics. Nelson also offers a detailed analysis of the translations themselves, identifying the numerous instances in which Hobbes rewrites the poems in order to bring them into alignment with his views on politics, rhetoric, aesthetics, and theology. Hobbes's Iliads and Odysses of Homer, Nelson suggests, should be regarded as a continuation of Leviathan by other means. This edition will be fascinating reading for anyone interested in early-modern political philosophy, literature, and classical studies.
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