Homer's Existence Dilemma
Homer was an ancient Greek author and epic poet. He is the reputed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two epic poems that are the foundational works of ancient Greek literature. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most influential authors of all time: for example, in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, Virgil refers to him as ‘Poet sovereign’, king of all poets; in the preface to his translation of the Iliad, Alexander Pope acknowledges that Homer has always been considered the ‘greatest of poets’.
The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Mycenaean Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy.
The Homeric epics were a defining influence on ancient Greek culture and education; to Plato, Homer was simply the one who ‘has taught Greece’ (τὴν Ἑλλάδα πεπαίδευκεν, tēn Helláda pepaídeuken). From antiquity until the present day, the influence of Homeric epic on Western civilization has been great, inspiring many of its most famous works of literature, music, art and film.
The question of by whom, when, where and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed continues to be debated. Some scholars consider that the two works were written by different authors. It is generally accepted that the poems were composed at some point around the late eighth or early seventh century BC. Many accounts of Homer’s life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.
The poems are in Homeric Greek, also known as Epic Greek, a literary language which shows a mixture of features of the Ionic and Aeolic dialects from different centuries; the predominant influence is Eastern Ionic. Most researchers believe that the poems were originally transmitted orally.
To this day we do not know exactly whether the first Greek poet really lived or only existed in stories, i.e. was a so-called mythical figure. In any case, the poet Homer is said to have written the Iliad and the Odyssey. Seven Greek cities claim to have been Homer’s hometown.
The Iliadand the odyssey is a literary work written in epic form, that is, the story was written in rhyme . The author is said to have been this same Homer, a bliMany scholars have done research on Homer. It was believed, for example, that different poets and not just one wrote this epic and at different times. The stories about the Trojan War definitely existed. However, they were initially told orally, like so many stories of that time.
Wandering singers entertained people with exciting stories of heroes. It’s no different than today, except that we often see the stories on TV. Here, too, it is about good and evil, about noble heroes and brave fighters. So one can say that the Greek sagas have lost none of their topicality.nd poet who died in the 8th century BC. lived. The theme of the Iliad is the Trojan War , which ended with the Greeks defeating the Trojans and burning the city. Many exciting stories were told about this famous fighter, which are still worth reading today.
It is now believed that Homer, or the poets, lived in the mid-8th century BC. However, many events describe experiences and occurrences that took place much earlier, in the 12th century BC. or even earlier. This is how Homer describes events from his time, but also much earlier events and mixes them up. So if you want to understand the stories and read them properly, you have to be very careful when it comes to truth and historical facts.
It doesn’t really matter, you’ll say. The main thing is that the stories are exciting, and they really are. The Iliad and the Odyssey have inspired people for thousands of years. Even today we read about Paris and the beautiful Helena, the noble heroes Hector and Achilles. We follow with interest the experiences of Odysseus, who defeated the cyclops and defied the sirens. Whether they are fictitious or have a kernel of truth, that doesn’t take away from their fascination for young and old readers.
The story of the Odyssey written by Homer, highlights the heroic qualities of Odysseus. In the 21st century we can gather information to create an understanding about the ancient world and in precent society. An example of this is his growth of knowledge from his observation on the voyage, during Odysseus’ encounters on the voyage, this can be significant to a real life scenario, to observe and develop and understanding rather than thinking you know the answer. Even though the...
“There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism” (Hamilton, 45). A Hero’s Journey is never an easy one, but what defines a Hero? The best way to define a hero is by looking at literary examples such as the Odyssey or the Illiad. Focusing on the first work mentioned I will discuss the heroic qualities of Odysseus from the epic; The Odyssey. In this poem, his acts of...
Homer was a Greek epic poet and supposedly the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey which are thought to be composed sometime between 750 and 650 BC. In Homer’s Iliad, the characters Sarpedon (mortal son of Zeus) and Patroklos (companion of Achilles) who both die noble and heroic deaths are commemorated with the grandest burials, whilst in Homer’s Odyssey, the character Elpenor (youngest companion of Odysseus) was given a much smaller burial. Sarpedon, who was killed in battle by...
Although the Aeneid shares many characteristics with the Homeric epic, as an epic it is different in important ways. For this reason, the Aeneid is referred to as a literary or secondary epic in order to differentiate it from primitive or primary epics such as the Homeric poems. This, should not be interpreted as value judgments, but merely as indications that the original character of the epic was improvisational and oral. Aeneid, composed later in the epic tradition, was basically...
The Odyssey, written by Homer, is one of two ancient Greek epic poems and was written near the end of the eighth century BC. The Odyssey tells the tale of the Greek hero Odysseus who has been missing for 10 years and is trying to return to his kingdom in Ithaca. Everyone, including Penelope (Odysseus’ wife) and Telemachus (Odysseus’ son), believes that Odysseus died during the fall of Troy. Based on that, suitors from all around have come to Odysseus’...
The use of supernatural machinery is a prominent feature of many epics. Supernatural machinery is a must for an epic and Iliad is not devoid of this. Homer has used the Olympian gods and goddesses who take part in the poem separated into two parts. The most powerful gods and goddesses are equally balanced in the two groups such as Aphrodite and Apollo in support of the Trojans and Hera, Athena, and Hephaestus in support of the Achaeans. In the...
‘‘Achilleus the lion-hearted who breaks men in battle’’(192). As the strongest and most important character in the poem, Achilles’ return to the Trojan war towards the last books of Homer’s Iliad symbolizes the reappearance of his heroic greatness. Book 21 ends with Apollo distracting Achilles from killing more Trojans, while book 22 begins with Achilles chasing the God of light for preventing him from acquiring more honor on the battlefield. The hero then runs towards the walls of Troy, while...
In ancient Greek myth, heroes were humans, male or female, of the distant past, gifted with superhuman abilities and descended from the immortal gods themselves. What defines the heroic life itself is the fact that humans are mortal. The certainty that one day you will die is what makes us human, distinct from animals who are unaware of their future death and from gods who do not die. In this essay what makes a hero and the qualities one possesses...
The Importance and Influence of the Heroic Code in the Iliad Throughout the story of the Iliad the heroic code and what it embodies strongly affects a lot of the character’s actions and in turn, affects the way the story progresses. In the Iliad, the heroic code is a straightforward and simple idea, for heroes to achieve the honor. The way these heroes achieve honor is described through three Greek words that help embody the heroic code: Aristos, Aristeia, and...
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