Notes on the dating of the homeric poems

Traditions which assert that he was blind may have arisen from the meaning of the word in both Ionic, where the verbal form ὁμηρεύω (homēreúō) has the specialized meaning of "guide the blind", The Cumean historian Ephorus held the same view, and the idea gained support in antiquity on the strength of a false etymology which derived his name from ho mḕ horṓn (ὁ μὴ ὁρῶν: "he who does not see").

Critics have long taken as self-referential Marcello Durante links "Homeros" to an epithet of Zeus as "god of the assemblies" and argues that behind the name lies the echo of an archaic word for "reunion", similar to the later Panegyris, denoting a formal assembly of competing minstrels.

According to Diodorus Siculus, Homer had even visited Egypt.

This led to many tales that he was a hostage or a blind man.

Some scholars, such as Martin West, claim that "Homer" is "not the name of a historical poet, but a fictitious or constructed name." Homer's works, which are about fifty percent comprised of speeches, provided models in persuasive speaking and writing that were emulated throughout the ancient and medieval Greek worlds.

Fragments of Homer account for about half of all ancient Greek papyrus finds.

The consensus is that "the Iliad and the Odyssey date from around the 8th century BC, the Iliad being composed before the Odyssey, perhaps by some decades," the Iliad being the oldest work of Western literature.

Over the past few decades, some scholars have argued for a 7th-century date.

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An eponymous bardic guild, known as the Homeridae (sons of Homer), or Homeristae ('Homerizers') suggests that Homer had visited many of the places and regions which he describes in his epics, such as Mycenae, Troy, the palace of Odysseus at Ithaca and more.

and although nothing definite is known about him, traditions arose purporting to give details of his birthplace and background.

The satirist Lucian, in his True History, describes him as a Babylonian called Tigranes, who assumed the name Homer when taken "hostage" (homeros) by the Greeks.

The Batrachomyomachia, Homeric Hymns and cyclic epics are generally agreed to be later than the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Most scholars agree that the Iliad and Odyssey underwent a process of standardisation and refinement out of older material beginning in the 8th century BC.

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