In 2002, the University of Michigan Press published Rodney Merrill's translation of "Homer's Odyssey", a version of the classic that was unique in employing dactylic hexameter, the meter of Homer's original. Merrill has now produced an edition of "Homer's Iliad", following the same approach. This form of rendering is particularly relevant to the Iliad, producing a strong musical setting which many elements of the narrative required to come truly to life. Most notable are the many battle scenes, to which the strong meter gives an impetus embodying and making credible the "war-lust" in the deeds of the combatants.
"Other competent translations of Homer exist, but none accomplish what Merrill aims for: to convey to the reader-listener in translation the meaning and the sounds of Homer, coming as close as possible to the poetry of the original. Merrill accomplishes this virtuosic achievement by translating Homer's Greek into English hexameters, a process requiring not only a full understanding of the original Greek, but also an unusual mastery of the sounds, rhythms, and nuances of English." - Stephen G. Daitz, Professor Emeritus of Classics, City University of New York "Undaunted by the common conception that dactyls in English are difficult, [Mer rill] chose to render the Odyssey in the poet's own meter and succeeded surprisingly well. His version is both accurate and pleasant to the ear." - Choice"
For many years, until his retirement, Rodney Merrill taught English composition and comparative literature at Stanford and Berkley. In addition to his translation of Homer's Odyssey, he is the author of Chaucer's Broche of Thebes.