The two epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, set in an idealized archaic past presently regarded as having some link to the Mycenaean age, are the earliest surviving works of ancient Greek literature, dating back to the early Archaic period. They were probably composed between 7th-century BC and 400-400 BC.
In form, the Iliad is a battle poem that describes ten years of war between the Greeks and the Trojans over Helen, wife of King Agamemnon of Greece. The conflict arises after Paris, a Trojan prince, steals Helen away from her husband Menelaus of Sparta at the end of a wedding procession. Paris promises to return Helen if Menelaus will fight him for her. Menelaus agrees, and during the ten-year war he leads his troops against Paris who has invaded Greece with an army of Troyers. In the end, Paris is killed by Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who is angry with him for stealing Helen. Menelaus then returns home to Sparta without Helen but brings an enormous ransom with him to secure her release.
In essence, the Iliad is a long story about a great battle with many events attached to it, such as speeches, deliberations, etc. It is written in the first person singular throughout, except where quotations or summaries from other poets are included. These passages are in the third person.
Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey, both of which recount the events of the Trojan War and King Odysseus' journey home from Troy, are two of the most well-known epic works. These were composed in Epic Greek (also known as Homeric Greek), although the dates of composition are uncertain. Some scholars believe that The Iliad was written down first and used as a source for The Odyssey, while others think they were written at the same time. Either way, these poems are important examples of ancient Greek literature.
In addition to being influential works in their own right, The Iliad and The Odyssey have had a lasting impact on later poets and writers. For example, Virgil used many details from The Iliad in his own epic poem, The Aeneid, which tells the story of Rome's founding father, Aeneas, who escapes destruction after the fall of Troy. Many elements in The Odyssey have been adopted into popular culture: for example, the phrase "out of sight out of mind" comes from this poem. And Shakespeare drew on The Iliad when he wrote about the battle between Achilles and Hector in his play, The Iliad.
The name "Iliad" is derived from the name of the war between Priam, king of Troy, and Achilleus, prince of Myrkon.
Homer (/'[email protected]/; Ancient Greek: Omeros; Greek pronunciation: [home:ros], Homeros; c. 800-c. 701 BC) is thought to be the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two seminal masterpieces of ancient Greek literature. Although no direct evidence exists, most modern scholars agree that he was also a priest of Apollo at the royal court of Mycenae.
The traditional date for his death has been given as 943 or 944 BC, but this calculation is based on an estimate for the beginning of the 11th century BC rather than on hard data from archaeology. A more recent study suggests that he died around 830 BC.
Homer's exact position at the royal court of Mycenae is unknown, but he may have been a servant or slave who played an important role in the administration of the palace. He could have been the son of a peasant farmer, but this assumption is not supported by any evidence. What we do know for certain is that he had considerable talent for poetry, which led King Agamemnon of Mycenae to ask him to compose songs for the Trojan War. It is from these poems that we get our first glimpse of the world of Ancient Greece.
Homer (/'[email protected]/; Ancient Greek: Omeros [home: ros], Homeros) was the assumed author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two fundamental masterpieces of Greek literature. The Iliad takes place during the Trojan War, a ten-year siege of Troy by a coalition of Greek nations. It is believed that Homer created an original version of this war around 880 BC. The Odyssey is a sequel to the Iliad that takes place after the end of the war. The story begins with Odysseus, one of the main characters in the Iliad, returning home to Ithaca after 10 years away from his wife and children.
Homer has been called "the father of history" because he is regarded as the first person to tell stories about great people doing amazing things. Before the Iliad and the Odyssey, Greek poets only sang songs to the music of lyre players. But Homer brought dignity to the art of storytelling by introducing himself as a narrator and by describing his subjects in detail even if they were already known to the audience. He also used dialogue between characters to add realism to his poems. So Homer is considered the father of historical writing as well as of poetry.
He was probably born in Smyrna (present-day Izmir, Turkey), where his family had settled after leaving Greece. Little is known about his life except for what can be inferred from his works.
The Iliad and Odyssey, two enormously important epic poetry of ancient Greece, are thought to have been written by Homer. The Iliad is the story of the conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans over Helen of Troy, which led to a massive war between them. The Odyssey is about Odysseus's adventures after he has left Troy behind him with his beloved wife, Penelope.
Homer also apparently wrote another epic called the Aethiopis that was never finished because many poets including Hesiod wrote poems in its place. These other works are known as "Homeric Hymns" because they used to be included in the Homeric Hymnal but now exist only in fragments. Modern scholars believe that the Iliad and Odyssey were not written by one author but consist of different poems that were put together later. Also, some modern scholars doubt that the Odyssey even belongs to Homer at all; instead, they argue that it was composed by an anonymous poet who lived around the same time as Homer.
In any case, these two epics are considered to be the greatest works of ancient Greek poetry. They are quoted extensively in other classical authors from Herodotus to Plato and beyond.
The epic story
Most classical historians think that the Epic of Gilgamesh influenced both the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems composed in ancient Greek during the eighth century BC. In 1849, the Epic of Gilgamesh was unearthed in Ashurbanipal's Library. It is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history.
The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem that many consider to be the world's first novel. It is told from the point of view of a king who wants to know what happened before he was born. He asks five other people to tell him about their own lives through dreams that they send him in a random order. Through this method, all five people learn something new about themselves.
Homer used information from the Epic of Gilgamesh when writing about battles in the Iliad. He also may have been aware of another old Babylonian poem called Enuma Elish which tells the story of creation almost exactly like the Epic of Gilgamesh. Some scholars believe that these two works inspired each other to write about certain events in history.
Other scholars say that Homer used information from other sources instead. For example, some believe that he might have taken ideas from speeches in legal documents called "lawcodes". These laws were used by kings to explain how they wanted their countries to be run.