Born: Circa ninth century B.C., in, most probably, Ionia, Greece
Died: Circa ninth or eighth century B.C., in Greece
Little is known, with any certainty, about Homer. It is generally agreed that he likely lived in Ionia in the ninth or eighth century B.C. He is attributed with writing the Iliad which is a collection of many of the traditional stories and folklore that had been passed down through generations of verbal story-telling. Odyssey is also generally attributed to Homer but there is some debate as to whether he authored it or was simply another author's inspiration.
Homer was likely a poor, aged, blind, transient poet who wandered throughout ancient Greece. His place of birth has been a point of debate for centuries and will likely never be ascertained with any certainty.
Songs and stories of the Trojan War, fought in the twelfth century B.C., were widespread throughout Greece and, over time, became part of Greek tradition. Because the songs and stories originated in different parts of Greece, and were passed down through several generations, many of them reflect the language and cultural variations that would be expected from different regions. Homer preserved the uniqueness of the works but still managed to assemble them in the Iliad so as to provide a unifying thought and focus.
Ancient Greeks held the works of Homer in great regard and his texts were often consulted for guidance when navigating complex moral dilemmas. Both Iliad and Odessy have been translated into modern languages many times and the quality of the poetry is still highly regarded for its inspiration and depth of human emotion.