Homer is widely considered the father of all Western literature. He is famed for his two epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey, describing in beautiful dactylic hexameter the rage of swift footed Achilles and the siege and destruction of Ilium at Troy as well as the long journey home of the wily Odysseus respectively. Please note that we choose to believe that Homer was an individual to whom we credit these works, though we do acknowledge that this theory is often disputed by academics. We are not academics!
These masterpieces are generally considered to form the backbone of Western literature and Homer is credited as the chief officer of their design. Often (but incorrectly), he is seen as an undoubted genius whose work just happens to have survived the numerous dark ages of pre and post antiquity. Having recently read the introduction to ML West‘s (OUP) translation of Hesiod’s Works and Days and Theogony (another masterpiece of Hellenic 8th century oral tradition) I have been persuaded that Homer as an individual was hugely innovative.
In a time where the buzzwords ‘disruption’ and ‘transformation’ are littered through the endless bombardment of online content, few could possibly comprehend the ‘transformation’ and ‘disruption’ the introduction of alphabet through Homer had on everything we know. What would civilisation be like, had Homer not decided to borrow and adapt an originally Phoenician alphabet to record the blockbuster hits that he probably dedicated his life to perfecting? Indeed, the probable reason for his desire to record his work was to perfect it. What would we do without written communication?
Dedicate your life to creating practical but innovative solutions to your work and you never know, people may well still be learning from you 3000 years on!
Aldrich & Company- In the Ancient Phoenician Alphabet