In mid-January, Cambridge University Press will be publishing the latest title in its prestigious Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics series - or ‘Green-Yellows’, as they are known in academic circles (on account of the book jacket colours) - written by University of Amsterdam (UvA) professor of Classical Greek Language and Literature Dr Irene de Jong. The book, entitled Homer – Iliad Book 22, provides a commentary on the 22nd book of Homer’s Iliad. Launched in the late 1970s, this series of commentaries on the classics now numbers more than 70 titles. Today, the volumes are a standby for all scholars, whether students or professionals, studying Classical texts. De Jong is the first Dutch classicist to be asked to author one of the series titles.
The 22nd book (of 24) contains one of the dramatic high points of the Iliad: the duel between Hector, leader of the Trojans, and the Greek champion Achilles. Having long chosen to keep to the sidelines, Achilles’ slaying of Hector seals not only his own fate but that of all Troy. Though the Iliad does not describe the event itself, it does contain allusions, the most important being in Book 22.
In her commentary, De Jong elucidates various aspects of the text, ranging from details like unusual word forms to broad themes such as the narrative structure of the text. Commentaries play a vital role in classical scholarship, providing word-for-word and line-by-line clarifications and explanations of these ancient texts. In so doing, they provide an effective means of bringing together the full range of knowledge about a specific text as built up over the ages.
Irene de Jong
Irene de Jong (1957) studies the narrative techniques applied in the works of Homer, Herodotus, Euripides and others. Her past publications include A Narratological Commentary on the Odyssey (Cambridge 2001), Narrative in Drama. The art of the Euripidean Messenger-Speech (Leiden 991), Sophocles and the Greek Language. Aspects of Diction, Syntax, and Pragmatics (Leiden 2006), co-authored with Albert Rijksbaron, and the series Studies in Ancient Greek Narrative (Leiden 2004-2012). For a general readership she also wrote In betovering gevangen – aspecten van Homerus’ vertelkunst (Athenaeum, Polak 1992). De Jong has received both the Praemium Erasmianum Research Prize and the C.C. Hodshon Prize for her scholarly work.
Irene J. F. de Jong (ed.): Homer: Iliad Book 22, Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics
Available from mid-January 2012
The first copy of the book will be presented to the dean of the UvA's Faculty of Humanities during a special SPUI-25 event on Tuesday, 24 January 2012.