Greek European Culture

Greek history, Greek Poetry

Homer – The Blind Poet, The Grandest Poet the world has ever known

Three or four centuries after the siege of Troy, there lived a poor old blind poet who wandered about from place to place, playing upon his lyre, and reciting wonderful verses which told about the adventures of the Greek heroes, and their great deeds during the Trojan War.

We are told that this old man, whose name was Homer, had not always been poor and blind, but that, having embarked by mistake upon a vessel manned by pirates, he not only had been robbed of all his wealth, and blinded, but had been left upon a lonely shore.

By some happy chance, poor blind Homer found his way to the inhabited parts of the country, where he soon won many friends. Instead of spending all his time in weeping over his troubles, Homer tried to think of some way in which he could earn his living, and at the same time give pleasure to others. He soon found such a way in telling the stories of the past to all who cared to listen to them.

As the people in those days had no books, no schools, and no theaters, these stories seemed very wonderful. Little by little Homer turned them into verses so grand and beautiful that we admire them still; and these he recited, accompanying himself on a lyre, which he handled with much skill. As he wandered thus from place to place, old and young crowded around him to listen to his tales; and some young men were so struck by them that they followed him everywhere, until they too could repeat them. This was quite easy to do, because Homer had put them into the most beautiful and harmonious language the world has ever known. As soon as these young men had learned a few of the tales, they too began to travel from place to place, telling them to all they met; and thus Homer’s verses became well known throughout all Greece.


  1. Jenna

    How do you know that homer was blind???

  2. No one can “prove” that Homer was blind. We just follow the ancient tradition according to which he was blind (even his name may mean “blind”).

  3. Bobby Joe

    Homer may have not been a real person so why are you assuming that he was a real person when you have no evidence on it. If you have evidence that he was real then put it on the site but don’t start saying things that may not be true.

  4. Dear Bobby, that Homer is a real person is evident by the fact of the existence of the poems: someone must have written them. The discussion is if the poems belong to just one person, or to more than one. Since there is a discussion on this, without end it seems, there is no reason we can’t refer to the poems as Homer’s, at least no better reason, than the one permitting the reference to Homer, which is convenient and also supported by a long tradition. The fact that there exists the Homer name meaning the author(s) of these poems, is significant by itself and should be estimated always each time we interpret the poems. In any case the “Homer” reference means above all the poems themselves independently of the name of their author(s).