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Homer's mythological tales of war and homecoming, the Iliad and the Odyssey, are considered to be two of the most influential works in the history of Western literature. Yet their author, 'the greatest poet that ever lived' is something of a mystery. By the 6th century BCE, Homer had already become a mythical figure, and even today the debate continues as to whether he ever existed. In this accessible and concise introduction, Barbara Graziosi considers Homer's famous works and their impact on readers throughout the centuries. She shows how the Iliad and the Odyssey benefit from a tradition of reading that spans well over two millennia, from the impressive scholars at the library of Alexandria, in the third and second centuries BCE, who wrote some of the first commentaries on the Homeric epics.



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