~ 1000 BC

Virtually everything known about Homer, a blind minstrel who is credited with composing the Iliad and the Odyssey, the two greatest epic poems of the ancient world, is legendary. He is thought to have lived about 1000 B.C. There are many striking aspects to these two epic poems that raise them far above any other literature of the day. First, they were said to be composed nearly 400 years before the first version of them was known to be committed to writing. The Greek alphabet was not in common use until hundreds of years after they were first committed to memory. The poems are nearly 25,000 lines in total, but they were written in such beautiful and harmonious language that minstrels throughout Greece committed the entire composition to memory and traveled throughout the Greek world reciting them. By time of our first records of genuine history, it is likely that almost every Greek in every village and colony throughout the Greek speaking world, was at least passing familiar with them. Along with the common worship of the Greek Gods, these epic poems bound the far flung Greek culture together, and were prized above all other cultural achievements. It is impossible to overstate the importance of these poems in the development of the Greek Character. Although little is actually known of Homer's life, there is no more important contributor to Greek art and culture than this wandering blind Minstrel.

Odyssey for Boys and Girls  by  Alfred J. Church
Story of the Golden Age of Greek Heroes  by  James Baldwin

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Blind Poet  in  The Story of the Greeks  by  H. A. Guerber
Homer in  Back Matter  by  books/horne/artists/_back.html
Homer, The Great Story Teller  in  Old World Hero Stories  by  Eva March Tappan

Image Links

 in The Story of the Greeks

Telling Homer's Tales
 in The Story of the Greeks

A reading from Homer, L Alma Tadema
 in Famous Men of Greece

A reading from Homer.
 in The Story of the Greek People

Homer reciting his poems
 in The Story of the Greek People