|Publication Date||July 8, 2012|
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The Iliad is a Greek epic poem produced about one thousand years before the Christian era. It is very generally conceded to be one of the greatest poems in all literature, and as such has been admired from the dawn of Greek history to the present day. Since Wolf, in 1795, denied that the Iliad and Odyssey were the work of one poet, the authorship of the Iliad has been a subject of contention among scholars. Here it will only be possible to give a general view of the most modern, and most widely accepted theories as to the origin of the poem. Homer. When we speak of Homer we do not mean a person historically known to us in the way that Shakespeare or Pope is known. The name Homer is conventional, its etymological meaning being fitted together. Nothing is accurately known of Homer slife. All the knowledge we possess is derived from his works, from the scattered notices supplied by ancient literature and tradition, and from inferences drawn from archaeology. In the Homeric age the Bard was an important and influential member of the -courts of princes, and every princely court presumably had its court poet who was prepared to recite from memory the famous deeds of heroes. But, as there could not have been a great number of original poets of merit, it must have been the custom for one bard to learn from another. If this were the case, there was probably some sort of school of poetry to which the minstrels would resort. We can then conceive of the Iliad as originally a short poem by some supreme poet (H omer) which won its way to favor by intrinsic merit. After a time the This introduction lays no claim to originality, the editor believing that his task would be most acceptably accomplished if he gave the views of scholars who are recognized as authorities. The list of these given at the end will, it is hoped, prove of great assistance to the teacher.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)