On 12 April 1989 in the Main House of the Düsseldorf Theatre a staged version of Homer’s Iliad had its première. Die Ilias des Homer was a co-production between the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus and the Schauspiel Essen. It was presented in two parts, each lasting two and a half hours, directed by Hansgöunther Heyme and Hanns-Dietrich Schmidt, based on the translation into German by the Homer scholar Wolfgang Schadewaldt (1900-74) who had completed work on the project shortly before his death. A proposal to make the version into a television production to be shown in the early evening in order to attract a young audience to Homer had foundered for financial reasons.
Alongside his research, Schadewaldt also worked extensively on translations, many of which were published in the later stages of his career and some of which were staged. In 1958 he had published a prose translation of the Odyssey so the Iliad translation both completed his translation of Homer and linked to his staged translations of Greek drama. Schadewaldt also published works on the history of German culture, especially on the relationship between classicism and Romanticism, including Goethe-Studien: Natur und Altertum (1963). T