c. eighth century B.C.
Homer is the name of the Greek poet author of the Iliad and Odyssey epics. These two works had a major influence on Western literature, although Homer’s life and authorship is still disputed.
It is believed that he lived around 850. C. and seven cities claim to be his birthplace. Chances are that he was born somewhere in Asia Minor. He’s commonly represented as a blind man with a beard and curly hair.
The composition of the Iliad and the Odyssey seems to lie between 750 and 650 B. C. Some theories hold that these poems were the result of a long oral tradition that Homer was commissioned to write. Other theories venture to think that Homer was not the author and instead was a group of writers. Some other works have been attributed to Homer, as Margites and Batrachomyomachia, although there are no certainties in this regard. These doubts about him are called “The Homeric question.”
Homer’s poems illustrate ancient society and Greek mythology. In the Odyssey he recounted the journey of Ulysses to Ithaca after the Trojan War, and in the Iliad he narrated the last year of this war. The style of the work suggests that Homer was a bard or some sort of minstrel, due to the structure with repetitive elements, similar to choirs or choruses of songs. This represents Homer as a magnificent oral poet. Moreover, the formal language and structure of the Iliad suggest its writing at an earlier age than that experienced when writing the second poem.
The Iliad and the Odyssey became very popular works and among the Greeks and it is said that Homer was considered the master of Greece. The impact has been great and perpetual, and that much of the contemporary literature is influenced by his poems.