I hope not to ask a very silly question. As the title says, I want to know the place where Homer was born. According to some quick searches on the web, he was born in Ionia. But it seems strange for me that he narrates the Trojan War from an Achaean point of view, and not a Trojan one.

So I think I am missing something. Maybe you can help with this.

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    “Seven cities warred for Homer, being dead, / Who, living, had no roof to shroud his head.” (Homer's birthplace has been described as disputed (multiple places claimed him as their own) since the earliest accounts of him were written in ancient Greece…) Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 20:15
  • @ShreevatsaR very nice..who wrote that? Btw Homer surely was someone rich, so he may had roof..
    – user1630
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 20:41
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    @ShreevatsaR This might be a common attribute to a poet though and not a hint of his origin: Scholars today don’t think Homer was blind, he was simply „made blind“ to fit be the epitome of a poet from that time and fit all cliches.
    – Narusan
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:21
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    @Narusan I'm more interested in what was the traditional account of Homer that was common in Greek culture, than what was the “reality” (which may well be that no Homer existed, which case the question of Homer's blindness or birth would be meaningless). And the narrative seems to have been that Homer was blind and poor, and wandering between cities, etc. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:32

3 Answers 3


A great deal of what is believed to have happened this long ago is based on accounts written centuries later and/or archaeological finds that are open to interpretation. If Homer did exist, it shouldn't surprise us that there would be no evidence of it. If Homer didn't exist, it shouldn't surprise us that for a couple thousand years most people said he did.

While any sort of evidence of the existence (or non-existence) of Homer is scant and speculative, there is a good reason why someone from Ionia in Asia Minor some number of centuries before the peak of classical Athens would write from the Greek perspective.

After the traditional (and by traditional I mean the Ancient Greek tradition) date of the Trojan War, Ionian Greeks colonized the area where Troy supposedly was. From Wikipedia:

According to Greek tradition, the cities of Ionia were founded by colonists from the other side of the Aegean. Their settlement was connected with the legendary history of the Ionic people in Attica, which asserts that the colonists were led by Neleus and Androclus, sons of Codrus, the last king of Athens. In accordance with this view the "Ionic migration", as it was called by later chronologers, was dated by them one hundred and forty years after the Trojan War, or sixty years after the return of the Heracleidae into the Peloponnese.

People think the author of the Illiad may be from there because he accurately describes a handful of distinct climate patterns, geographical features, and uses their dialect.

  • I am not sure to understand. When Homer is supposed to exist Greeks had already colonized Trojans? So, why we read Homer was Ionian? Thanks a lot for the answer..
    – user1630
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 2:54
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    The tradition has it that the Trojan War occurred at a city in Asia Minor around 1200 BC. At some point after this, Ionian Greeks (there were different ethnicities among the Greeks, the other well known one being Dorian Greeks) colonized the part of Asia Minor where this supposedly took place. They called this area Ionia. However, even though they lived in Asia Minor, they (probably, we can't ask them of course) thought of themselves as Greeks (or more often in older sources, Hellenes), not Trojans. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 3:40
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    Others in the past called the area all sorts of other names, I'm not sure if anyone there would have identified with the Trojans if they heard the story. Does that help at all? Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 3:40
  • It is clear. I am just wondering what had in fact happened..; also your answer contradict the previous one..
    – user1630
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 4:03
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    The previous answer is correct that one can't prove Homer existed, and there are a number of reasons to suspect the Illiad and Odyssey aren't the sole work of one blind Ionian troubadour named Homer. I don't disagree with that, what I wanted to shed light on is why people think what they do about him, and some of the surrounding circumstances. Even if he didn't exist, the idea of Homer is so widespread it must have had some impact on European culture (at least). Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 5:11

Modern literature very much disputes that Homer existed.

Nothing is known for certain about Homer himself, and his very existence is now disputed; the Iliad and Odyssey may have different authors, if either can be said to have an author at all. The epics are certainly the product of a long oral tradition, probably dating back to at least the 12th century B.C.

"Portrait Bust". britishmuseum.org. The British Museum. Jump up ^ Wilson, Nigel. Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece. Routledge. p. 366.

Therefore, the question of where he was born or where he lived is void. The Iliad and Odyssey are both Greek poems, hence they are narrated from a greek point of view.

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    There is by no means any scholarly consensus that Homer did not exist. Claiming that the question is "void" presents only one side of an important debate.
    – brianpck
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 13:19
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    @brianpck If I'm understanding this answer correctly, it doesn't say there's consensus that Homer didn't exist, only that there isn't consensus that he did exist. Still, it'd be very interesting to see an answer starting from the assumption that he did exist and making whatever deductions/hypotheses are possible about his origins.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 20:48
  • @Randal'Thor Summed up my argument pretty good: As long as we aren’t sure whether a guy called Homer has written down the Illiad and Odyssey (one can be reasonably certain that he didn’t create the two poems by himself, as my source states as well), I don’t really see a point in discussing his origin. If I find time, I‘ll research in what areas the oral tale prinanely existed.
    – Narusan
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:19
  • @Randal'Thor Right, but the conclusion ("therefore, the question...is void") would only follow from the first. You could add another premise ("group B thinks he may have existed but that the question of his origin is undecidable") to come to the same conclusion, but as the answer stands it's a non sequitur.
    – brianpck
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:26

My opinion is - Homer is Odysseus. There are many versions about Homer's origins, but I believe Odysseus was Homer in old age, disappointed with his wife Penelope. He was born in Troy, but he was banished from Troy together with his parents on Ithaca, where Icarius king of Kephalenia gave him his daughter. Troy is in Istria, and there are villages - Disjoti (Odysseus), Tikali (Anticlea) and Liretov Brig (Laertus).

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    What is your opinion based on? Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 17:35
  • In Iliad and Odyssey,-Odysseus continued in his story.Sometimes he is alone,and I have conclusion he is the author.Also he is a good narrator ,remember when he talk stories to Alkinous - elements to be "Homer".Reading Iliad and Odissey you could not find his origins.
    – historicus
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 18:02
  • Odysseus' genealogy has the connection with Zakinthos,one member of Trojan king's aristocracy.Surname Zakinja is from Istria.
    – historicus
    Commented Mar 7, 2018 at 19:21

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