Homer

Homerguide

He was believed by the ancient Greeks to have been the first and greatest of the epic poets. Author of the first known literature of Europe, he is central to the Western canon.

The 9th century AD seems to be roughly the period in which the greatest Greek epic poet, the father of European literature, Homer, was born. Tradition inclines to suggest that his real name was Melesigenes. The time and place of the great blind bard’s birth (itinerant minstrel, singer) was for many centuries discussed by scholars. Biographies of Homer indicate about seven cities as his place of origin.

According to “Life of Herodotus”, the small “Iliad” and “Phocais” were composed by Homer during his stay in Phocaea, together with a man named Thestorides, who transported the manuscripts to Chios and won fame by claiming that they belonged to him. A similar story is told in the poem “The capture of Oechalia”, whose subject is one of the prominent works of Heracles. The poem was spread as Creophylus’s work, a friend, or as some would say, a son-in-law of Homer. However, it appears to be the work of the great poet. Finally, “Thebaide” has always been considered Homer’s work. Regarding the “Epigones” opera, the storyline was leading to the Theban story, thus there are doubts about the identity of the author.

The two great epics, “Iliad” and “Odyssey” were inspired by old songs and heroic ballads. They tell the charming deeds of the fighters who took part in the war of Troy. The massive books have been translated into all languages ​​of the earth. Homer talks in the “Iliad” about one episode of the war of Troy, which probably occurred in the 12th century AD.

Excavations made by Heinrich Schliemann in the late 19th century began to convince scholars of the existence of a historical basis for the Trojan War. Research led by Parry and Lord into oral epics of the Serbo-Croatian and Turkish languages began to convince scholars that long poems could be preserved with consistency by oral cultures until someone would bother to write them. The decoding of the “Linear B” in the 1950’s by Michael Ventris and others, convinced scientists of the existence of a linguistic continuity between the Mycenaean writings of the 13th century BC and the poems attributed to Homer.

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