BOOK REVIEW: The War at Troy: What Homer Didn’t Tell
By Quintus of Smyrna
This reprint of the 1968 book, originally published by University of Oklahoma Press, is a narrative version of an epic poem written by Quintus circa 360 AD or so. It was meant to fill in the gap between Homer’s two poems, Iliad and Odyssey.
The Iliad, which tells the story of the Greek siege of the city of Troy, ends with the death of Hector, but Troy unconquered. The Odyssey begins after the fall of Troy. The War at Troy, then, fills in the gap--including the famous Trojan horse episode, as well as the death of Achilles.
It is not an easy read. I am sure the translation must be pretty close, but when you take the liberty of changing poem into prose, it should be a little cleaner, a little tighter, and with more native verbs. As it stands, it conforms to the necessary tenets of English, but it lacks heroic prose. It’s workmanlike, and, well, that’s about it. Oddly enough, Combellack is primarily translating another text from 1891.
In any case, for those wanting their Quintus in a form other then from a Loeb, this is acceptable.