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"Homer", "Homeric", and "Homerus" redirect here. For other uses, see Homer (disambiguation), Homeric (disambiguation), Homerus (disambiguation)


Homer (Ancient Greek: Ὅμηρος{{#invoke:Category handler|main}} [hómɛːros], Hómēros) is best known as the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey. He was believed by the ancient Greeks to have been the first and greatest of the epic poets. Author of the first known literature of Europe, he is central to the Western canon.

When he lived, as well as whether he lived at all, is unknown. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived no more than 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 750 BCE or later.<ref>Herodotus 2.53.</ref> Pseudo-Herodotus estimates that he was born 622 years before Xerxes I placed a pontoon bridge over the Hellespont in 480 BCE, which would place him at 1102 BCE, 168 years after the fall of Troy in 1270 BCE. These two end points are 252 years apart, representative of the differences in dates given by the other sources.<ref>"Vita Herodotea", Chapter 38. An analysis can be found in {{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}} A summary of the main traditional dates and sources can be found in {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref>

The importance of Homer to the ancient Greeks is described in Plato's Republic, which portrays him as the protos didaskalos, "first teacher", of the tragedians, the hegemon paideias, "leader of Greek culture", and the ten Hellada pepaideukon, "teacher of [all] Greece".<ref>Paragraph 595c lines 1-2, paragraph 600a line 9, paragraph 606e lines 1-2, respectively. The references are collected and interpreted in {{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Homer's works, which are about fifty percent speeches,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds.<ref>{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Fragments of Homer account for nearly half of all identifiable Greek literary papyrus finds in Egypt.<ref>{{#invoke:Footnotes|harvard_citation_no_bracket}} Finley's figures are based upon the corpus of literary papyri published before 1963.</ref>

Homer sections
Intro   Period    Life and legends    Works attributed to Homer    Identity and authorship    Homeric studies    Homeric dialect    Homeric style    History and the Iliad    Hero cult    Transmission and publication    See also    Notes    Selected bibliography    Further reading    External links