Homer is the poet to whom tradition has attributed the Iliad and the Odyssey. The poems appear to go back to at least the eighth century BCE, and were first written down at the command of the Athenian ruler Pisistratus, who feared they were being forgotten. He made a law: any singer or bard who came to Athens had to recite all they knew of Homer for the Athenian scribes, who recorded each version and collated them into what we now call the Iliad and Odyssey.
See also . . .
- The Iliad of Homer: translated into English blank verse by William Cowper; edited by Robert Southey
- The Odyssey of Homer / translated by William Cowper