10 Facts About Homer


Homer is the legendary author to whom the authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey (the two epic poems that are the foundational works of ancient Greek literature) is attributed.

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Homer is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential authors of all time.

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Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey.

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Homer was expected to win, and answered all of Hesiod's questions and puzzles with ease.

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Homer chose a description of Greek warriors in formation, facing the foe, taken from the Iliad.

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Study of Homer is one of the oldest topics in scholarship, dating back to antiquity.

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Homer's wisdom became so widely praised that he began to acquire the image of almost a prototypical philosopher.

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Fifty years later, the English scholar Richard Bentley concluded that Homer did exist, but that he was an obscure, prehistoric oral poet whose compositions bear little relation to the Iliad and the Odyssey as they have been passed down.

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Barry B Powell dates the composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey to sometime between 800 and 750 BC, based on the statement from Herodotus, who lived in the late fifth century BC, that Homer lived four hundred years before his own time "and not more", and on the fact that the poems do not mention hoplite battle tactics, inhumation, or literacy.

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Homer noted that Homer often, when describing frequently recurring activities such as eating, praying, fighting and dressing, used blocks of set phrases in sequence that were then elaborated by the poet.

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