List of maps; Preface; Abbreviations; Editorial introduction: the methods and aims of the commentary; Introduction; 1. The making of the Iliad: preliminary considerations; 2. The structural elements of Homeric verse; 3. Aristarchus and the scholia; 4. The first four Books of the Iliad in context; Commentary; Book 1; Book 2; Special index to commentary on the Achaean and Trojan catalogues; Book 3; Book 4; Index.
This Commentary will be an essential reference work for all students of Greek literature.
'The two great contributions of this volume are on the one hand the account of the Catalogues in Book Two, and on the other the close and rewarding attention which is paid to questions of rhythm. Again and again Kirk brings out effects ... created by the variation of rhythm ... It is in this area that I have learnt most from this commentary, and I regard it as a major advance of the sort which, once made, must be followed by all subsequent Homerists ... All those who read Homer will find new and illuminating observations both of fine detail and on a larger scale. The complete commentary will be a valuable possession.' Jasper Griffin, The Times Literary Supplement '[Professor Kirk] demonstrates and assesses the poet's individual skill in composition, tacitly correcting the extreme Parryist view that Homer merely manipulated pre-existing formulas. This is highly original. The section of the Introduction devoted to it ... offers the best analysis of the mechanics of Homeric poetry that this reviewer has read.' M. M. Willcock, Journal of Hellenic Studies 'Kirk's chief merit as an expositor is his awareness of the subtlest nuances of poetic technique ... The introduction and commentary as a whole form an excellent companion to Books 1-4.' J. T. Booker, JACT Review