Homer

(6979 words)
  • Martin Mueller (Northwestern University)

Homer is the name for the putative author(s) of the poems known since antiquity as the Iliad and Odyssey. The 16,000 lines of the former and 12,000 lines of the latter make up the bulk of Early Greek epic, which also includes about 2,000 lines of Hesiod as well as another 2,500 lines of Homeric Hymns (not by Homer), and a narrative poem called The Shield of Herakles.

The texts

The Iliad and Odyssey have been transmitted with exceptional fidelity since the second century BCE. The many papyrus fragments since that period show that texts had pretty much the same lines in the same order, and the manuscript tradition of Homer shows less internal variance than the texts of Shakespeare. …

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Citation:
Mueller, Martin. "Homer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 November 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2190, accessed 02 September 2014.]

Articles on Homer's works

  1. The Iliad
  2. The Odyssey