The Iliad and Odyssey

To be Greek is to read Homer.  The great epic poems of the Iliad and the Odyssey were known to all Greeks, these epic poems would be read for several days at the annual religious festivals.  These Homeric epics had a far greater influence on the ancient Greek tongue than even the Bible and Shakespeare influence on the English language.

Many scholars posit that the Greek alphabet was derived from the Phoenician letters so the epics of Homer could be committed to writing.  For centuries those Greeks who were literate were taught how to read and write Greek using the Homeric epics.

To appreciate these great epics we highly recommend that you listen to the lectures on these epics delivered by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver of the Great Courses.

You can also listen to free recordings available from
The Odyssey lends itself better to an audible recording, I found it tough to listen to recorded Iliad, perhaps I will try again now that I have read the epic poem.  The ancient Greeks listened to these epics already knowing the plot in advance.

About Bruce Strom 152 Articles
I was born and baptized and confirmed as a Lutheran. I made the mistake of reading works written by Luther, he has a bad habit of writing seemingly brilliant theology, but then every few pages he stops and calls the Pope often very vulgar names, what sort of Christian does that? Currently I am a seeker, studying church history and the writings of the Church Fathers. I am involved in the Catholic divorce ministries in our diocese, and have finished the diocese two-year Catholic Lay Ministry program. Also I took a year of Orthodox off-campus seminary courses. This blog explores the beauty of the Early Church and the writings and history of the Church through the centuries. I am a member of a faith community, for as St Augustine notes in his Confessions, you cannot truly be a Christian unless you worship God in the walls of the Church, unless persecution prevents this. This blog is non-polemical, so I really would rather not reveal my denomination here.

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