Homer is a major figure in ancient Greek literature but virtually nothing is known about his life. He was probably an Ionian who lived in the 9th or 8th century BC.
The two epics the 'Illiad' and the 'Odyssey' are ascribed to him.
The many separate Greek states were united by the Homeric epics - the 'Iliad', telling how Greek tribes besieged and took the town of Troy in Asia Minor, and the 'Odyssey', a story based on the adventures of the hero, Odysseus, returning back from Troy to his home land.
The heroic ideals of these epics inspired Greeks everywhere to regard their particular polis as though it were one of Homer's heroes, thus persuading them to strive for collective glory of their cities.
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