Dating iliad

Some scholars believe him to be one man; others think these iconic stories were created by a group.

A variation on the group idea stems from the fact that storytelling was an oral tradition and Homer compiled the stories, then recited them to memory.

One group holds that most of the Iliad and (according to some) the Odyssey is the work of a single poet of genius.

The other considers the Homeric poems to be the crystallization of a process of working and re-working by many contributors, and that "Homer" is best seen as a label for an entire tradition.

Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.

Although the story covers only a few weeks in the final year of the war, the Iliad mentions or alludes to many of the Greek legends about the siege; the earlier events, such as the gathering of warriors for the siege, the cause of the war, and related concerns tend to appear near the beginning.

Homer’s style, whoever he was, falls more in the category of minstrel poet or balladeer, as opposed to a cultivated poet who is the product of a fervent literary moment, such as a Virgil or a Shakespeare.

The consensus is that the poems were written around 750 BCE to 725 BCE.

They worked from the standard text of the epic poem.

The date they came up with fits the time most scholars think the "Iliad" was compiled, so the paper, published in the journal Bioessays, won't have classicists in a snit.

However, Homer’s works are designated as epic rather than lyric poetry, which was originally recited with lyre in hand, much in the same vein as spoken-word performances.

All this speculation about who he was has inevitably led to what is known as the Homeric Question—whether he actually existed at all.

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