Rediscovering Homer

Ranked #11 on the list Best Books by Andrew Dalby

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Rediscovering Homer is a 2006 book by Andrew Dalby. It sets out the problems of origin, dating and authorship of the two ancient Greek epics, Iliad and Odyssey, usually attributed to Homer. Rediscovering Homer originated as a development and expansion of two academic papers published in the 1990s in which Dalby argued that the Iliad and Odyssey must be seen as belonging to the same world as that of the early Greek lyric poets but to a less aristocratic genre. This contradicted a widespread assumption that the epics come from an older stage of civilization and literature than the personal poetry of Archilochus, Sappho and others. Returning to these themes, Dalby summarizes the contents and significance of the two epics and hypothesizes the transmission they probably followed, from oral invention and circulation to written versions. He then spotlights the unknown poet who, long after the time of the traditional Homer, at last saw the Iliad and Odyssey recorded in writing. Dalby notes that "no early author describes or names the singer who saw these two poems written down. We are given no sex and no name -- certainly not Homer, who is seen as a singer of the distant past." Based on

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