From LitWiki


Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey are considered fundamental in classical literature. If we are to consider and study the Iliad and the Odyssey then we must look at the one who has been credited with the writing them, which would be Homer. It is widely believed by scholars, historians and literary heads that Homer was blind, is the author, creator, and the executor of the plan of both epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey. It has been considered that Homer could have possibly created both epic poems in the 8th century B.C. Because of the historical and Linguistic evidence in the poems it is also speculated that Homer lived in a Greek village on the west coast of Asia Minor. It is known that the Greeks did not write for literary purposes, so it has been determined that the poems were passed down orally, therefore going through possibly several revisions (Fordham.edu, para.4). The history of the Trojan War (if in fact the Trojan War happened) was preserved by the stories of the war told from person to person, generation to generation. These stories were probably told in first person of isolated incidents and of their perceived hero and events. When story telling became a profession, classicist called the new profession “bard” (wsu.edu:8080, para. 3). It has been speculated that Homer was a bard, that he made his living as a professional story teller or a court singer. Along with the Iliad and the Odyssey, there does not seem to be any history on Homer. There are several theories about Homer, who he is, where he is from, or the time period the epic poems were written down. There are several speculations about who Homer could have been; one suggestion about Homer’s identity that some may consider a silly notion that Homer’s name spelled backwards and in Hebrew is a form of Solomon as in King Solomon, the son of David and the king of Israel of the Old Testament of the Scriptures (library.thinkquest.org, para, 3). Samuel Butler, a British writer, theorizes that Homer was a Sicilian woman, that wrote the Odyssey (not the Iliad) and the landscape of the poem was taken from the coast of Sicily and surrounding islands. Butler elaborates more in his book, Authoress of the Odyssey (Wikipedia, Samuel Butler, para. 2). Still others have believed that Homer was a group that named themselves “Homer”. Some scholars say evidence shows that parts of the poems “belongs to different dates: and the tendency is to credit the composition of two shorter epics dealing respectively with the Wrath of Achilles and the Return of Odysseus to an author of artistic genius, and to conjecture that episodes were added by imitators, now at this point and over a considerable stretch of time, bring them finally to their present form and length” (Fordham.edu, para. 4). One thing is absolutely true about Homer, he is recognized as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey but perhaps, part of his fame is the mystery that has been a shroud around his identity for thousands of years has contributed to his legendary status.


Works Cited

library.thinkquest.org/19300/data/homerhist.htm Homer. The History of Homer. ... [Iliad] [Odyssey] [E-texts] [Homer's Greece] [Homer's History]

www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/odysseyBL.html Ancient History Sourcebook. Ancient History Sourcebook: Homer: The Odyssey. Translation: Samuel Henry Butcher (1850-1910) and Andrew Lang (1844-1912).

www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/MINOA/HOMER.HTM Bureaucrats & Barbarians, The Greek Dark Ages, Homer. Richard Hooker, 1996

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Butler Wikipedia, Samuel Butler (1835-1902). Paragraph 2.

http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia. Encyclopedia article, Homer,para,1



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