News – Robert Fagles

Celebrated translator Robert Fagles, whose name will be familiar to anyone who studied classics, died today aged 74. His widely acclaimed translations of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey both became best-sellers, and he also translated works by Aeschylus and Sophocles from ancient Greek into English. From Latin, he translated Virgil’s Aeneid into English. Paul Muldoon, a colleague at Princeton, paid tribute to ‘a quiet man, diligent and decorous, yet one who was unexpectedly equal to the swagger and savagery of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey in a way no one had managed before him. It was as if two key texts of Western literature had been adapted by a director of Westerns like Leone or Peckinpah. Robert Fagles will be remembered for many reasons, not least of which being his extraordinary achievement in giving us not only a Homer, but a Virgil, who were true both to their own moments and ours.’ A memorial service in Princeton’s University Chapel is being planned for late May.