English translation/no accompanying Greel text. The Greeks considered the Iliad their greatest literary achievement, and so no epic poem in any language has ever rivalled it. The Iliad is the culmination of the long standing oral tradition. The oral technique enabled a master bard like Homer to develop what may historically have been an event of minor importance into a fully fledged epic. So, out of a single episode in the legendary Trojan War, Achilles' withdrawel from the fighting and his return to kill the Trojan hero, Hector, Homer generated the twenty four books of the Iliad. Whar the oral technique does not automatically provide, however, is the genius of the poem which is rendered here so eloquently and clearly in E.V. Rieu's translation. Homer has created a timeless, dramatic tragedy. His characters are heroic but their passions and problems are human and universal, and he presents them with compassion, understanding and humor against the harsh background of the war and the quarrels of the gods.