Not much is known about Homer, or if he even existed, but he is culturally conjured as a blind Greek oral poet who lived in either 9th or 8th century BCE and is considered to be the author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. Whether these two books were written by one genius or the product of many bards contributing to and reworking an oral tradition over generations, the Iliad and the Odyssey are considered two of the most influential works in the history of Western Civilization. They provided the basis of ancient Greek education and culture, became the template for storytelling in the form of the epic poem for two millennia, and then served as the central text for classical humanities education through the Roman Empire and the spread of Christianity all the way through the 19th century.

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