Homeric Issues In The Iliad

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It has been said the chief interest of The Iliad is that we can find in it answers to fundamentally important questions, characteristics of European or Western culture, a sense of the tragic, domestic comedy, scepticism of the role the divine in human life, admiration for the strength of the individual human will, pleasure in the kind of heroic conflict that elicits a moral pride and a fascination with the interaction between moral choice and political life in the community. The Homeric poems are the repository for us of the concepts like these which remain significant or even fundamental to the western culture today. in the narrower sense of culture as the inherited intellectual and chiefly literary tradition the Homeric poems have an even…show more content…
Is the author of The Iliad and The Odyssey the same, the question to which we will come back, and when were these poems composed and how were they composed, in an age of which evidence for literacy is very slight. Now in this we are concerned when and how, the second question the relationship between The Iliad and The Odyssey poet, we won’t dwell. As to the first question as to who is the author of the Homeric poems is, I will come a little later. As to the date of the epics I wish I could give you a visual timeline, but let’s do it verbally. It is tenable now that The Iliad and The Odyssey were composed somewhere around 750 BC. They are telling the story however of a society which seems to have flourished something like 1600 to around 1200 BC. So Homer is singing about a society considerably prior to his own. The traditional date for the fall of troy is 1184 BC. Before I consider the composition of the poems let me say few words about this time scheme and about our evidence for literacy, its loss and its eventual reintroduction in

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