Wednesday, January 14, 2015

No News is Historical News

I've noted about three news reports - or web reports, or whatever the babble is on the web about things that are or things that we think we perceive are or some such nonsense - about Homer not being a single person, but an amalgamation of several traditions and stories.

This is the general consensus about Homer. The tales are so old that we have no reliable record for the west's first literati and because of this it is assumed that he was not a single individual. Herodotus does write about him in 400 BC as being a single person and many argue that the material of both the Iliad and Odyssey are far too similar. Others argue that the tales

In truth we don't know.

However, from a historical point of view, I like to fall on the side of caution where literature is concerned. We have some reliable evidence that Homer wrote the poems, Herodotus...who is a fairly reliable historian (there are questionable parts of his Histories). Herodotus tells us that Homer wrote the poems, and he quotes passages from both. This is interesting. Written in 400 BC the Histories do not give us a good idea of when Homer was tramping it around, but the name is clearly well known to Herodotus.

But is it a word that perhaps was commonly bantered about, like "you're going all John Wayne up in here." It could easily have been a euphemism form a well known tramp bard.

We just don't know.

But you know what? It'll be okay. On the good chance that Homer DID exist and the decent chance that he did write two books (Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote about 90), lets just give him the benefit of the doubt and trust in Herodotus. If he did exist, and did write them, it would be very rude to say otherwise.

So Lets just say he did exist. Just in case.

He must have been a 20th level bard!

No comments: