Notes on the dating of the homeric poems

A connection with Smyrna seems to be alluded to in a legend that his original name was Melesigenes ("born of Meles", a river which flowed by that city), with his mother the nymph Kretheis.

Internal evidence from the poems gives evidence of familiarity with the topography and place-names of this area of Asia Minor, for example Homer refers to meadow birds at the mouth of the Caystros (Iliad 2.459ff.), a storm in the Icarian sea (Iliad 2.144ff.), and mentions that women in Maeonia and Caria stain ivory with scarlet (Iliad 4.142).

Two other poems, the Capture of Oechalia and the Phocais were also assigned Homeric authorship, but the question of the identities of the authors of these various texts is even more problematic than that of the authorship of the two major epics.

Template: Details The idea that Homer was responsible for just the 2 outstanding epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, did not win consensus until 350 BC.

This led to many tales that he was a hostage or a blind man.Some scholars, such as Martin West, claim that "Homer" is "not the name of a historical poet, but a fictitious or constructed name." Homer's works, which are about fifty percent comprised of speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds.Fragments of Homer account for about half of all ancient Greek papyrus finds.and although nothing definite is known about him, traditions arose purporting to give details of his birthplace and background.The satirist Lucian, in his True History, describes him as a Babylonian called Tigranes, who assumed the name Homer when taken "hostage" (homeros) by the Greeks.

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The consensus is that "the Iliad and the Odyssey date from around the 8th century BC, the Iliad being composed before the Odyssey, perhaps by some decades," the Iliad being the oldest work of Western literature.

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