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In Greek his name is Homēros, which is Greek for "hostage." This has led to the development of a theory that his name was extracted from the name of a society of poets called the Homeridae, which literally means "sons of hostages," as in descendants of prisoners of war.As these men were not sent to war because their loyalty on the battlefield was suspect, they were entrusted with remembering Greece's stock of epic poetry in the times before literacy came to the ancient world.

As a result his epics sound much like the work of a master story-teller.Part of what makes the Iliad interesting as a literary work is the way that Achilles, especially in Book 9, both embraces concepts of honor and glory and also simultaneously rejects them.In the midst of the war, Apollo sends a plague against the Greeks, who had captured the daughter of the priest, Chryses, and given her as a prize to Agamemnon. To assuage his pride, Agamemnon takes Briseis, whom the Athenians had given to Achilles, the greatest warrior of the age, as a reward for his efforts.Homer's great poems remained foundational works of art, not religious scripture, for later classical Greeks.Virtue and honor are central preoccupations of the epics.The Iliad and the Odyssey are part of a larger cycle of epic poems of varying lengths and authors; only fragments survive of the other poems, however.


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