Who is Homer?
In the Western classical tradition, Homer is the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, and is revered as the greatest of ancient Greek epic poets. These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature.
When he lived is unknown. Herodotus estimates that Homer lived 400 years before his own time, which would place him at around 850 BC, while other ancient sources claim that he lived much nearer to the supposed time of the Trojan War, in the early 12th century BC. Most modern researchers place Homer in the 7th or 8th centuries BC.
The formative influence of the Homeric epics in shaping Greek culture was widely recognized, and Homer was described as the teacher of Greece. Homer's works, which are about fifty percent speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds. Fragments of Homer account for nearly half of all identifiable Greek literary papyrus finds.
- The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.
- Not vain the weakest, if their force unite.
- Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.
- A sympathetic friend can be quite as dear as a brother.
- For too much rest becomes a pain.
- Two friends, two bodies with one soul inspired.
- Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other's good, and melt at other's woe.
- It is not right to glory in the slain.
- But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast, for gentle ways are best, and keep aloof from sharp contentions.
- Be still my heart; thou hast known worse than this.