What Did Homer Do in Ancient Greece?

In Ancient Greece, Homer was a renowned poet who made significant contributions to the literary world. His works, the Iliad and the Odyssey, are still studied and read widely today. In this article, we will discuss who Homer was and what he did in Ancient Greece.

Who was Homer?

Homer’s identity is shrouded in mystery, and historians debate whether he was a real person or a collective name for a group of poets. He is believed to have lived in the 8th century BC in the city of Smyrna or Chios. According to legends, he was blind and traveled from town to town reciting his epic poems.

Homer’s Works

Homer is best known for his two epic poems – The Iliad and The Odyssey. These poems were composed orally, and it wasn’t until several years later that they were written down. The Iliad tells the story of the Trojan War, while The Odyssey follows the adventures of Odysseus as he tries to return home after the war.

The Iliad

The Iliad has 24 books or chapters and is written in dactylic hexameter. It tells the story of the Trojan War between Greece and Troy.

It focuses on the wrath of Achilles, one of Greece’s greatest warriors, who refuses to fight after a dispute with Agamemnon, another Greek leader. This leads to disastrous consequences for both sides.

The Iliad contains several themes such as honor, bravery, loyalty, betrayal, revenge, and fate. It also features several unforgettable characters such as Hector – Troy’s greatest warrior, Paris – who starts the war by abducting Helen (the wife of Menelaus), and Odysseus – who devises several strategies for winning battles.

The Odyssey

The Odyssey has 24 books or chapters and is also written in dactylic hexameter. It tells the story of Odysseus, a Greek hero who faces several challenges on his journey back home after fighting in the Trojan War. He encounters mythical creatures, navigates treacherous waters, and battles monsters before finally reaching his homeland of Ithaca.

The Odyssey contains themes such as hospitality, temptation, loyalty, perseverance, and the consequences of one’s actions. It also features several memorable characters such as Calypso – a nymph who keeps Odysseus captive for several years, Circe – a sorceress who turns Odysseus’s men into pigs, and Penelope – Odysseus’s wife who remains loyal to him during his absence.

Homer’s Legacy

Homer’s works have had a profound influence on Western literature and culture. His use of epic poetry and storytelling techniques has inspired countless writers over the centuries. His works have been translated into numerous languages and adapted into various forms such as plays, operas, movies, and television shows.

Moreover, Homer’s works provide insights into Ancient Greek society and culture. They reflect the values, beliefs, and traditions of the Greeks during that time period. They also shed light on their political systems, religious practices, social norms, and daily life.


In conclusion, Homer was a legendary poet in Ancient Greece who composed two epic poems – The Iliad and The Odyssey. Although his identity remains a mystery to this day, his works continue to inspire readers around the world with their timeless themes and unforgettable characters.