Homer is the name given to the author of Greece’s earliest surviving poetry, two epic poems based on the myth of the Trojan War, the Iliad and the Odyssey, and a collection of hymns sung in honour of a number of the Olympian gods. We cannot say for sure when Homer lived or in which Greek city he was born, and the two epic poems are probably the result of a long collaboration and tradition in oral poetry, and were likely never written down in his lifetime, possibly only published in the second half of the sixth century in Athens, at the very least a century or two after Homer’s death. The influence of the Iliad and Odyssey are immeasurable, on classical literature and beyond, and it was not for nothing that the poet was known as ‘Father Homer’.

 Stephen Jenkin
The Classics Library

The Iliad | The Odyssey

The Iliad

Iliad 1.1-7 | The Iliad begins
Contributed by Stephen Jenkin

Iliad 1, 334-363; 16, 1-19; 18,70 -77 | Tears, Echoes, and Artistry
Contributed by Tom Brown

Iliad 6.447-489 | Hector bids farewell to Andromache and Astyanax
Contributed by Jane Mason

Iliad 8.306-308 | Poppies in Classical Poetry
Contributed by Jane Mason and David Bevan

Iliad 8.555-559 | Endlessness 
Contributed by Cristina Maria Lofaro

The Odyssey

Odyssey 1.1-6 | The Odyssey begins
Contributed by Stephen Jenkin

Odyssey 9.82-105| The Lotus Eaters
Contributed by Amanda Waters

Odyssey 9.355-370, 403-414| Odysseus and the ‘Nobody’ trick
Contributed by Jane Mason

Odyssey 20.10-21| Endure o my heart!
Contributed by Anouska Cowen