Robert Fagles '55

As an old Classics nerd, I was excited to find out that Robert Fagles was an Amherst alum.  How is this relevant to you?  Well, if your family owns a copy of The Iliad, there’s a pretty big chance it was translated by Fagles.  If you read The Odyssey in high school, you probably read the Fagles translation.


Fagles graduated from Amherst in 1955.  He went on to get a master’s degree and then a Ph.D. in English from Yale.  He then taught English at Yale for three years.  He next taught English at Princeton, then became director of the comparative literature program and eventually the department chair.  Between 1961 and 1996, he translated many works from Ancient Greek into English, including the Homer and Aeschylus’s The Oresteia


As an English and French major, I’m always relieved to hear about humanities Amherst grads who went on to do epic (pun intended) things.  Sure, Fagles graduated more than half a century earlier than I will.  Still, to my fellow humanities majors: take a deep breath and look to Fagles for inspiration.  We’re going to be okay.