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In the Western classical tradition, Homer ( /ˈhoʊmər/; Greek: μηρος, Hómēros), is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest ancient Greek epicpoet. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature. Acer Aspire 5520 Battery 

When he lived is controversial. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before Herodotus' own time, which would place him at around 850 BC;[1] while other ancient sources claim that he lived much nearer to the supposed time of the Trojan War, in the early 12th century BC.[2]Dell MT335 Laptop Battery

For modern scholars "the date of Homer" refers not to an individual, but to the period when the epics were created. The consensus is that "the Iliad and the Odyssey date from around the 8th century BC, the Iliad being composed before the Odyssey, perhaps by some decades,"[3] Apple PowerBook G3 1997 AC Adapter/Charger

i.e. earlier than Hesiod,[4] the Iliad being the oldest work of Western literature. Over the past few decades, some scholars have argued for a 7th century BC date. Some of those who argue that the Homeric poems developed gradually over a long period of time give an even later date for the composition of the poems; according toGregory Nagy for example, they only became fixed texts in the 6th century BC.[5]Sony VAIO PCG-161L Battery - 4400 mAh

 The question of the historicity of Homer the individual is known as the "Homeric question"; there is no reliable biographical information handed down from classical antiquity.[6] Panasonic NVRZ2 Battery

The poems are generally seen as the culmination of many generations of oral story-telling, in a tradition with a well-developed formulaic system of poetic composition. Some scholars, such as Martin West, claim that "Homer" is "not the name of a historical poet, but a fictitious or constructed name."[7]Dell PA-3E AC Adapter/Charger


The formative influence played by the Homeric epics in shaping Greek culture was widely recognized, and Homer was described as the teacher of Greece.[8] Homer's works, which are about fifty percent speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds. Fragments of Homer account for nearly half of all identifiable Greek literary papyrus finds.[9]Acer AS07B41 Battery - 4400mAh


"Homer" is a Greek name, attested in Aeolic-speaking areas,[10] and although nothing definite is known about him, traditions arose purporting to give details of his birthplace and background. The satirist Lucian, in his True History, describes him as a Babylonian called Tigranes, who assumed the name Homer when taken "hostage" (homeros) by the Greeks.[11] Sony Vaio VGN-FS315B Battery - 6600mAh

When the Emperor Hadrian asked the Oracle at Delphi about Homer, thePythia proclaimed that he was Ithacan, the son of Epikaste and Telemachus, from theOdyssey.[12] These stories were incorporated into the various[13] Lives of Homercompiled from the Alexandrian period onwards.[14] New HP Compaq nx6325 Battery

Homer is most frequently said to be born in the Ionian region of Asia Minor, at Smyrna, or on the island of Chios, dying on theCycladic island of Ios.[14][15] A connection with Smyrna seems to be alluded to in a legend that his original name was Melesigenes ("born of Meles", a river which flowed by that city), Toshiba Satellite 4010CDS Battery - 4400mAh

with his mother the nymph Kretheis. Internal evidence from the poems gives evidence of familiarity with the topography and place-names of this area of Asia Minor, for example, Homer refers to meadow birds at the mouth of the Caystros (Iliad 2.459ff.), a storm in theIcarian sea (Iliad 2.144ff.), and mentions that women in Maeonia and Caria stain ivory with scarlet (Iliad 4.142).[16]Toshiba PA3331U-1BRS Battery 


The association with Chios dates back to at least Semonides of Amorgos, who cited a famous line in the Iliad (6.146) as by "the man of Chios". An eponymous bardic guild, known as the Homeridae (sons of Homer), or Homeristae ('Homerizers')[17] Toshiba PORTEGE 7140CT Battery

appears to have existed there, tracing descent from an ancestor of that name,[18] or upholding their function as rhapsodes or "lay-stitchers" specialising in the recitation of Homeric poetry.Wilhelm Dörpfeld[19] suggests that Homer had visited many of the places and regions which he describes in his epics, such as Mycenae, Troy, the palace of Odysseus at Ithacaand more. According to Diodorus Siculus, Homer had even visited Egypt.[20]Sony PCGA-BP71 Battery - 4400mAh


The poet's name is homophonous with μηρος (hómēros), "hostage" (or "surety"), which is interpreted as meaning "he who accompanies; he who is forced to follow", or, in some dialects, "blind".[21] This led to many tales that he was a hostage or a blind man. Toshiba TECRA M2 Battery - 4400mAh

Traditions which assert that he was blind may have arisen from the meaning of the word in bothIonic, where the verbal form μηρεύω (homēreúō) has the specialized meaning of "guide the blind",[22] and the Aeolian dialect of Cyme, where μηρος (hómēros) is synonymous with the standard Greek τυφλός (tuphlós), meaning 'blind'.[23] Toshiba Satellite A80 Battery - 4400mAh

The characterization of Homer as a blind bard goes back to some verses in the Delian Hymn to Apollo, the third of the Homeric Hymns,[24] verses later cited to support this notion by Thucydides.[25]  Dell J590M Laptop Battery

TheCumean historian Ephorus held the same view, and the idea gained support in antiquity on the strength of a false etymology which derived his name from ho m horn ( μ ρν: "he who does not see"). Critics have long taken as self-referential[26] a passage in theOdyssey describing a blind bard, Demodocus, in the court of the Phaeacian king, who recounts stories of Troy to the shipwrecked Odysseus.[27]Dell Studio PP39L Laptop Battery


Many scholars take the name of the poet to be indicative of a generic function. Gregory Nagy takes it to mean "he who fits (the Song) together".[28] μηρέω (homēréō), another related verb, besides signifying "meet", can mean "(sing) in accord/tune".[29] New Sony VGP-BPS8 Battery

Some argue that "Homer" may have meant "he who puts the voice in tune" with dancing.[30][31] Marcello Durante links "Homeros" to an epithet of Zeus as "god of the assemblies" and argues that behind the name lies the echo of an archaic word for "reunion", similar to the laterPanegyris, denoting a formal assembly of competing minstrels.[32][33]Dell Mini 1010n Laptop Battery


Some Ancient Lives depict Homer as a wandering minstrel, like Thamyris[34] or Hesiod, who walked as far as Chalkis to sing at the funeral games of Amphidamas.[35] We are given the image of a "blind, begging singer who hangs around with little people: shoemakers, fisherman, potters, sailors, elderly men in the gathering places of harbour towns".[36] Dell Vostro 1510 Battery

The poems, on the other hand, give us evidence of singers at the courts of the nobility. There is a strong aristocratic bias in the poems demonstrated by the lack of any major protagonists of non-aristocratic stock, and by episodes such as the beating down of the commoner Thersites by the king Odysseus for daring to criticize his superiors. In spite of this scholars are divided as to which category, if any, the court singer or the wandering minstrel, the historic "Homer" belonged.[37]Dell Vostro 1310 1310 Battery


For more details on this topic, see Ancient accounts of Homer, Life of Homer (Pseudo-Herodotus).

Works attributed to Homer

The Greeks of the sixth and early fifth centuries BC understood by "Homer", generally, "the whole body of heroic tradition as embodied in hexameter verse".[38] Thus, in addition to theIliad and the Odyssey, there are "exceptional" epics which organize their respective themes on a "massive scale".[39] Sony VGN-CR420 Laptop Battery

Many other works were credited to Homer in antiquity, including the entire Epic Cycle. The genre included further poems on the Trojan War, such as the Little Iliad, the Nostoi, the Cypria, and the Epigoni, as well as the Theban poems about Oedipus and his sons. Sony Vaio VGN-FS285M Battery

Other works, such as the corpus of Homeric Hymns, the comic mini-epic Batrachomyomachia ("The Frog-Mouse War"), and the Margites were also attributed to him, but this is now believed to be unlikely. Two other poems, theCapture of Oechalia and the Phocais were also assigned Homeric authorship, but the question of the identities of the authors of these various texts is even more problematic than that of the authorship of the two major epics. HP Compaq 6715b Battery


Problems of authorship

For more details on this topic, see Homeric Question.

The idea that Homer was responsible for just the two outstanding epics, the Iliad and theOdyssey, did not win consensus until 350 BC.[40] While many find it unlikely that both epics were composed by the same person, others argue that the stylistic similarities are too consistent to support the theory of multiple authorship. Asus X5DIN Laptop Battery

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