History and Literature: Ancient Epic, Homer and Virgil

66 66 views
2y Apr 21, 2019

While history encompasses many a fiction, fiction can also embrace much history. Homer, the earliest Western author whose work survives, shows this very clearly. His epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey, are literary tales steeped in historical realities, revealing much about life and times in early Greece. Many centuries later, another ancient author, Vergil who was the greatest of Roman poets, also preserves a complex and sophisticated picture of politics in his own day, even if his epic, The Aeneid, is on the surface a mythical saga. In sum, what-really-happened-in-the-past does not have to be packaged as history to deliver an accurate picture of life long ago.

Attributed to Mark L. Damen Professor of History and Classics,
Utah State University

For more information please visit: https://www.usu.edu/markdamen/1320Hist&Civ/index.htm

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