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.

Other personalities

Discover some other popular persons who live / lived in Greece.

Nikos Kazantzakis

Nikos Kazantzakis

Was a Greek writer, celebrated for his novels which include “Zorba the Greek” (published 1946 as Life and Times of Alexis Zorbas), “Christ Recrucified” (1948), “Captain Michalis” (1950, translated “Freedom or Death”), and “The Last Temptation of Christ” (1955). He also wrote plays, travel books, memoirs and philosophical essays such as “The Saviors of God: […]



Also known as Hippocrates II, was a Greek physician of the Age of Pericles (Classical Greece), and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine. He is referred to as the “Father of Western Medicine” in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic […]

El Greco

El Greco

The nickname “El Greco” refers both to his Greek origin and Spanish citizenship. The artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος (Doménikos Theotokópoulos), often adding the word Κρής (Krēs, “Cretan”). There aren’t so many information on the painter’s years of youth. But in a notarial deed, dated […]

Aristotle Hayez


Was a Greek philosopher and scientist born in the city of Stagira, Halkidiki, on the northern periphery of Classical Greece. His father, Nicomachus, died when Aristotle was a child, whereafter Proxenus of Atarneus became his guardian. At eighteen, he joined Plato’s Academy in Athens and remained there until the age of thirty-seven. His writings cover […]



Was an Ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Generally considered the greatest mathematician of antiquity and one of the greatest of all time, Archimedes anticipated modern calculus and analysis by applying concepts of […]

Alexander the Great

Alexander The Great

Was one of the first great strategists and military leader in history. He was king of the Ancient Kingdom of Macedon between 336-323 BC and his conquests made the Macedonians rule over a large empire stretching from Greece to Egypt into northwest India and modern-day Pakistan. He was undefeated in battle, thing which made him […]

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