Other poems of Homer, which probably once existed, have been lost.
The poems portray events surrounding the shadowy Trojan War, likely a fusion of various military exploits by Mycenaean Greeks of the Bronze Age, predating Homer by some four centuries.
The most prominent characteristics of Homer's poetic style were probably best captured by the nineteenth century poet Matthew Arnold.
An important role in this standardization appears to have been played by the Athenian tyrant Hipparchus, who reformed the recitation of Homeric poetry at the Panathenaic festival.
Many poems that were ascribed to Homer in antiquity are now known to be spurious.
Other than a putative date of birth, the only thing that authors of antiquity agree upon is that Homer was blind, and that he probably lived in the Greek isles of the Mediterranean.
Many classicists hold that this reform must have involved the production of a canonical written text, and that the name "Homer" was later somehow attached to this amalgamation.
No record of Homer's life, real or pretended, ever existed.
The Greeks believed that Homer was a blind rhapsode, or professional singer, and the poems were passed on for decades by oral tradition before being committed to writing.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902) was more specific, theorizing a young Sicilian woman as author of the Odyssey (but not the Iliad), an idea further speculated on by Robert Graves in his novel Homer's Daughter.
All epic poetry in Western literature ultimately derives from Homer.
Homer's plainness is probably an attribute of his time; as an oral poet, Homer could not afford to confuse himself or his audience with convoluted metaphors and digressions.
Other scholars, however, maintain their belief in the reality of an actual Homer.
Homer's "nobility,” as Arnold calls it, is probably the most difficult aspect of his poetry for contemporary readers to digest.
Of what survives, only the epic Iliad and Odyssey are considered to be authoritatively Homeric works.
The classical scholar Richmond Lattimore, author of well regarded poetic translations to English of both epics, once wrote a paper entitled "Homer: Who Was She?"
We know almost nothing of Homer's life; and, surprisingly, the writers of antiquity knew little more.
Homer (Greek ??????, Homeros) was a legendary early Greek poet traditionally credited with the composition of the epic poems the Iliad (?????) and the Odyssey (????????).
So little is known or even guessed of his actual life, that a common joke has it that the poems "were not written by Homer, but by another man of the same name."
Beyond this, nothing of Homer's life is known or even hinted at in his own writings.
Herodotus (2.53) maintains that Hesiod and Homer lived not more than 400 years before his own time, consequently not much before 850 B.C.E.
Mycenaean writings and the poems attributed to Homer.
Due to this dearth of information, for nearly a hundred years scholars have begun to question whether Homer ever really existed.
Throughout antiquity and subsequent history, Homer's influence on literature has been unequalled, and the Homeric epics are among the oldest surviving writings in any language.
Simply put, there are no moral dilemmas in Homer.
Another significant question regards the possible historical basis of the events that take place in Homer's poems.
Homer is tentatively located in the Greek archaic period, c. 750 B.C.E.
Homer's great poems remained foundational works of art, not religious scripture, for later classical Greeks.
The Odyssey (Greek: ????????, Odъsseia) is the second of the two great epic poems ascribed to Homer.
Homer's most important contribution to Greek culture was to provide a common set of values that enshrined the Greeks' own ideas about themselves. His poems provided a fixed model of heroism, nobility and the good life to which all Greeks, especially aristocrats, subscribed.