Homer and Historical Context
From Reinhold, Meyer, Greek and Roman Classics, 1971, New York.
Homer (ca 900-800 B.C.)
- Western literature may be said to begin with Homer. There are no versions of earlier literature, although there was probably a mass of “floating” literature long before him, especially epic lays composed and handed down orally by court minstrels.
- Homer lived on the Ionian coast of Asia Minor, the birthplace of literature, most likely in Smyrna or Chios (note from Julie – other research shows Chios is more likely), a generation or two after the reigns of the biblical kings David and Solomon. There is a persistent tradition in antiquity that Homer was blind (note from Julie – more current research casts doubt/debunks this theory).
- Author of the Epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey.