The Odyssey

Historical Investigation: Homer and the Trojan War 11th Grade

For centuries, Homer’s epic Iliad was taken as literal interpretation of the Trojan War. Only rather recently has the reliability and accuracy of the Iliad in terms of depicting the war come into question. Modern historians and scholars have come to the same conclusion that the Iliad is not to be perceived as entirely historically accurate. In order to assess the amount of historical knowledge that is present, and the reliability of the epic as a literary source, the Homeric Question comes into play, along with the perspectives historians and scholars hold of the poem and the archaeological evidence of the Trojan War in correlation to the Iliad.

The Homeric Question calls into question the identity of Homer and the authorship of the Iliad (and the Odyssey). The origin and authorship of the poem is vital in this discussion as it depicts the reliability of the literary work. All known information on Homer was derived from the knowledge of the ancient Greeks; hence, it is most likely biased material as Homer’s work was deeply admired and was highly influential on the Greek culture. Ancient historians and scholars disagreed on the time frame of his life, yet everyone believed that he was blind, a statement based solely on a...

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