Texts of the Iliad and the Odyssey existed from at least the sixth century BC, and probably for a considerable span of time before that. These two great epic poems also had a life in performance: through the centuries, professional artists made their living by reciting Homer, performing the great epics for audiences that often know great parts of the poem by heart. It is impossible to pin down with any certainty when Homer lived. Eratosthenes gives the traditional date of 1184 BC for the end of the Trojan War, the semi-mythical event which forms the basis for the Iliad. The great Greek historian Herodotus put the date at 1250 BC.
In addition to each author having a different writing style, The Aeneid is used as a form of propaganda while The Odyssey is a record of Greek myths and values. Although written more than six hundred years apart, it is apparent that Virgil pulled much of his writing from Homer’s. This is demonstrated through the similarities in plots between The Odyssey and The Aeneid. The first half of The Aeneid can be summarized as a hero wandering, much like the story of The Odyssey. One example of this is in book 1 of The Aeneid when Aeneas and the Trojans land at Carthage.
The Iliad was thought to be written by a Greek minstrel named Homer. The Iliad was the first of the major epics credited to him, the second being The Odyssey. Discussion about Homer among scholars inevitably leads to controversy on nearly every conceivable issue, ranging from his birthplace to his actual composition of either of these epics. Because of our lack of reliable information, we have but a small fragment of knowledge agreed on by scholars about the writer of the first great piece of literature of Western civilization. Homer in ancient Greece was conceived as a "blind, old man, singing or reciting his own compositions" (History of Horticulture), and at least seven ancient Greek cities claimed to be his birthplace.
The first chapter introduces the world of the Greeks, their exposure to writing, the importance of Homer, and the possibility that the two epics were written by two people. The text distinguishes that Homer actually was an actual historical figure, contrary to the belief of some scholars. Finley discusses where the Greeks came from and how they did not come in one massive, conquering movement. Actually, the Greeks and the other inhabitants did not realize what was happening at all when the migration was taking place. Language is another topic of discussion for Finley as he writes about the Greek language and its Indo-European family.
Many of these epics, composed from the 8th century to the 6 century B.C. by unknown poets called the cyclic poets, concerned the Trojan War and war of the Seven Against Thebes. Historians have learned a great deal about Greek life through poems such as Hesiod’s major work Works and Days, which draws from everyday life of a Boeotian farmer (encarta.msn 2). Tragedy in drama as we know it today is said to have been originated in the 6th century B.C. by Attic poet Thespis, who is credited with spoken passages for actors to complement the lyric utterances of the chorus.
Epic poetry, mythology, and the creation of the dramatic genres comedy and tragedy, all came from ancient Greece. Much literature influenced to create what we write today was lead through time, beginning with the ancient Greeks. The best epic poems would no longer exist, the myths we use to learn about them would no longer exist, and all hilarious or absolutely tragic stories, Shakespeare’s included, would no longer exist. We have the Greeks to thank for much of the literature famous even today. Epic poetry is defined as a long, and narrative poem including details of a heroic event that affects the culture of a civilization.
Homer was the ancient Greek poet said to have lived between around the 8th and 9th century B.C. Some believe that he was born on the island of Chios and others say he was in Ionia. He was said to be a court singer and a storyteller. He is famous for the writings of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. While there is controversy weather or not Homer alone wrote these pieces or many other people wrote it over a period of time and even if Homer was an actual person.
Comparative Analysis of the Aeneid, Odyssey, and Iliad The Iliad and the Odyssey are two of the best Greek epics written by Homer. Despite their popularity, almost nothing is known about the author beyond the existence of his masterpieces. Surprisingly enough no concrete evidence of his existence is available; not even to confirm the same person created the two works. The authorship of the Iliad and the Odyssey were debated even in the times of the ancient Greeks. Many scholars have argued that Homer did not compose the Iliad and the Odyssey; only compiled over the centuries by many different storytellers.
The foundation of the school of history lies in the humble origins of Homer and his great plays. Written history up to this time had not been cataloged, thus we have no idea of the progression of history from the cave man to the present. However, in Greece, Homeric plays were passed down from generation to generation, as an oral history, and serve as our starting point for the formation of what we know as the study of history. Homer wrote plays to inspired the aristocratic, describing a virtuous life. As such, they didn't provide any real historical information, but rather an aristocratic view of social responsibility.
Each state had its own laws, government and money but they shared the same language and religion. The two most important city states were Athens and Sparta. Literature of the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek literature refers to the literature written in the Ancient Greek language from the earliest texts until roughly the rise of the Empire. This period of Greek literature stretches from Homer until the 4th century BC and the rise of the Alexander the Great. English mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead once claimed that all of philosophy is but a footnote to Plato.