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Great Lives Lecture: Homer

February 10 @ 7:30 pm 9:00 pm

Mark Twain had a school-boy declare: ‘Homer was not written by Homer, but by another man of that name’ – which suggests that the myth of the author endures, despite scholarly attempts to debunk it. The earliest sources that mention Homer by name date to the sixth century BCE: from them we can establish that the Greeks considered Homer the greatest poet that ever lived, but also that they knew nothing certain about him. The situation has not changed much: to this day, Homer is often hailed as the greatest poet of all time – even though it is not even clear he existed. This lecture considers two types of evidence in order to try and establish when, how, and by whom the Homeric poems were composed: textual hints contained within the Iliad and Odyssey and material clues revealed by the archaeology of the early Mediterranean. It also pays attention to what the Greeks had to say about Homer, not because their accounts necessarily reveal who composed the Iliad and the Odyssey, but because they illuminate how the poems were understood by their early audiences and how they continued to appeal to listeners and readers from antiquity to today. Event subject to be live-stream only. Check here for updates: Homer – Great Lives (


February 10
7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
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Dodd Auditorium

1301 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401 Select a Country:
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