Homer, (flourished 8th century BCE, Ionia – Ancient Greece
Homer is presumed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey.
The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek states.
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 journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy.
Although these two great epic poems of ancient Greece have always been attributed to the shadowy figure of Homer.
Little is known of him beyond the fact that his was the name attached in antiquity by the Greeks themselves to the poems.
That there was an epic poet called Homer and that he played the primary part in shaping the Iliad and the Odyssey—so much may be said to be probable.
If this assumption is accepted, then Homer must assuredly be one of the greatest of the world’s literary artists.
The Homeric Question—concerning by whom, when, where and under what circumstances the Iliad and Odyssey were composed—continues to be debated. Broadly speaking, modern scholarly opinion falls into two groups. One holds that most of the Iliad and (according to some) the Odyssey are the works of a single poet of genius. The other considers the Homeric poems to be the result of a process of working and re-working by many contributors, and that “Homer” is best seen as a label for an entire tradition.