(Around 900- 800 BC)
Very little is known about Homer’s life, and his date of birth and death,
hometown, and other such things are a source of debate to many critics.
According to Herodotus, a famous Greek Historian, claimed Homer lived 400
years before his own time, placing his date of birth at 850; however some scholars
say he lived closer to the supposed time of the Trojan war, which would place him
around 1194-1184 BC.
Where Homer lived throughout his life is also up for discussion. Many scholars
say he been born on the island of Chios (also spelled in English as Khios) in the
Aegean Sea; in Smyrna, a seaport in western Turkey; in Colophon, near Ephesus,
Turkey; on Rhodes, an Aegean island; in Salamis, Cyprus; or in Athens or Argos
on the Greek mainland.
Scholars have gathered up information that Homer was blind, and a poet.
Some scholars believe that Homer may not have been one person, and he may
have been several different people who are placed under one fictitious name:
It was said that Homer called himself a “singer” rather than a writer or poet,
because he orally recited his works.
Because of the low amount of information on him, it is very difficult to determine
specific details of his life. It was not possible for scholars to find out whether he
was married, or when he died, or other such information.
Homer is credited for two of the most famous works ever existed: The Iliad and
the Odyssey. When Homer composed
, the events in
both stories were already at least 600 years old. Thus, the plots unfold in an age
when recorded history was in its infancy, about 3,200 years ago.
In each epic, humans–often noble persons of royal lineage–interact with the gods,
sometimes obeying them, sometimes defying them. The plot of each epic consists
of a series of exploits and adventures that help shape and define the main
character and provide examples of heroism, wisdom, and other desirable qualities
for the audience to imitate.