Homer

[Mentioned in Science and Health, pp. 82 and 199]

Homer is known as the father of the epic. The ancient Greeks thought that both the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" were composed by him. However, they knew little about him. Seven cities claimed him as their son. Various dates varying from 1100 B.C. to 850 B.C. are given for his life. Tradition, probably correct, claims that he was blind. Something entirely certain is that the two poems were the authority to which the ancient Greeks turned unquestioningly for details of a civilization that had disappeared. Archaeology has largely confirmed Homer's picture of Troy and his location of Mycenaean centers of civilization.

At one time there were those who believed that the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey" were collections of lays assembled from different sources. In the eighteenth century many scholars accepted the theory that the "Iliad"' was the work of a single author, as was the "Odyssey," but they did not believe that these works were by the same author. Homer was a term used to designate "all those who somehow composed and assembled Greek epic."

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Signs of the Times
January 9, 1960
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