May 11, 2009

Homeric View of the Afterlife

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Homer (800 B.C.E. to 750 B.C.E.), was a Greek poet where he attributed many great epics as his credited “writing” the Iliad and the Odyssey; the epic poems about Achilles and the city of Troy. Scholars have debated then and now about whether Homer was an actual man who existed or if instead these epic poems have been created over time by series of storytellers and had been eventually written down.

Nobody really knew who Homer was but he was the one of the main poets contributing to Greek mythology. According to legend, Homer was known to the blind and lived in Ionia. It is not clearly possible to have a wide range of knowledge of who Homer was. Homer will always remain the greatest name known to ancient poetry and ancient art in whole. “How vein, the merit, is the name,” Homer surely describes himself. To Greece itself, he was the most important piece of their lives. He was the factor of Greek literature, the model of Greek art, and character. When his poems are taken in consideration, people should make a theory to the nature of the personality hidden behind these poems, which bear his name. Poems in which, Homer, has been known for more than two thousand years.

Though Homer’s life is a mystery, with his epic stories and myths, he has become well known throughout history. We know who he really is by the depictions of the stories, that he was the very characters and places he had talked about. He is not dead to be unknown but to be alive for many generations to come. Everyday he has been met by many children in schools throughout the world. Homer’s mind and heart are within his writings.

Countless difficulties beset any interpretation of the Homeric view of the afterlife, many of which are linked to the nature of the composition of the Odyssey as a whole and the Book of the Dead in particular. Discrepancies are apparent, and explanations must finally hinge upon one's views on the much wider problems of the Homeric question. Does the Book of the Dead reflect different attitudes and concepts put together by one man or several, at one time or over a period of years and even centuries? Basic to the account perhaps is a cult of the dead seen in the sacrificial ceremonies performed at the trench and in the serious note of moral compulsion to provide burial for one who has died. But as the description proceeds there is much that is puzzling.