Homer is, without any doubt, the greatest poet of ancient times. Who doesn’t know the Iliad and the Odyssey? Even if you never read them, you most certainly heard about them.
There aren’t many known facts in what concerns to Homer himself. And this is why most people tend to read his pieces of literature and try to identify some details that might have served as inspiration.
While some people believe Homer lived somewhere between the 8th and 9th century B.C, others think he actually lived in the early 12th century B.C, during the Trojan war.
Despite we know he was born in Greece, it’s not clear on where he was born or even lived his entire life for sure. There are again mixed opinions: while some believe he lived in Chios Island, others believe it was in Ionia. But by reading his poems and the dialect he uses, it points to Ionia.
Also through one of his descriptions on the Odyssey of a blind bard, it’s believed that Homer might have been blind.
Historians believe Homer wasn’t just a poet; he was also a court singer and a storyteller.
Homer wrote many different books, and the Iliad and the Odyssey are simply the most known ones. However, there are some historians who believe Homer didn’t write one of these books alone. However, people who believed he wrote both of them explain some differences in his writing style because the Iliad was written when he was young, and the Odyssey was only written many years later.
This famous epic narrates what happened during the Trojan war in the city of Ilion and gives a poetic description not only about the war, as well as about all of the intervenients.
Iliad only focuses on the last year of the war but Homer explained, in great detail, how the Trojan warriors and the Greek gained strength through their Gods, and have even made numerous sacrifices in their names.
The story of Odyssey is based on a Greek called Odysseus. Through this masterpiece, Homer covers a 10-year journey Odysseus took from Troy to Ithaca, right after the Trojan war.
Homer didn’t just write the Iliad and the Odyssey. These are just his most well-known poems. He also wrote:
- the Little Iliad, the Cypria, and the Epigoni, all based on the Trojan war;
- the Theban, where he talked about Oedipus and his sons;
- the Homeric Hymns;
- the Margites;
- the Capture of Oechalia;
- and the Phocais.
Although the real life of Homer remains a mystery, it’s just impossible to disregard the major impact he had and still has on literature. Even now, both the Iliad and the Odyssey continue to be deeply studied not only by historians but also by students from all over the world.