Introduction

There are several "Lives of Homer" that have survived from antiquity. Their date is uncertain, but the Homer that appears in these pages is a figure of romance and adventure. It is now thought he came from Ionia [now in Turkey] in the 9th or 8th century BC.

Homer is the presumed author of the Iliad and Odyssey, the two greatest epic poems of ancient Greece.

Virtually nothing is known about the life of Homer. However, most modern scholars agree he composed, (but probably did not literally write) the Iliad, most likely relying on oral stories he had heard for many years. Scholars also feel he at least inspired the story of the Odyssey.

Ancient Greeks loved these epics as symbols of Greek unity and heroism.

Since this time the Iliad and Odyssey have been translated many times and they continue to have a profound influence on Western literature.